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Document Details :
Title: A New Solution to an Exegetical Crux (CD IV 20-21)
Author(s): LIM, Timothy H.
Journal: Revue de Qumran
Volume: 26 Issue: 2 Date: numéro 102, 2013
This article provides a solution to one of the most vexing textual problems in the study of the Damascus Document: the understanding of the phrase בחייהם in CD IV 20-21. It will be suggested that the pronominal suffix is to be understood as a feminine dual referring to two women in their lifetime, thus disambiguating the phrase to mean a prohibition against bigamy while obviating the need to emend the text. Behind the phrase 'by taking two wives in their lifetime' are the law of incest of Lev. 18:18 and the story of Rachel and Leah who were rival sisters and who were married at the same time to Jacob. The use of the feminine dual in the book of Ruth is a key to this solution. The Damascus Document interprets Leviticus 18 to be advocating an ideal monogamous partnership, ignoring other biblical laws that govern polygamous relationships.