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English Abstract of Eshel’s Article on Leviticus Fragments

15th December 2005

In a previous post I mentioned the publication of an article by Hanan Eshel on the recently recovered Leviticus scroll fragments in volume three of Meghillot: Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Here is the published English abstract of Eshel’s article:

Fragments of a Biblical Scroll from the Judean Desert

Hanan Eshel, Yosi Barschi, and Roi Porat
In August 2004 Bedouin discovered a number of small biblical fragments — at least four — in a cave in the Judean desert. These fragments, which measured 3.5 cm2, contained verses from Leviticus 23-24. The uncleaned fragments were photographed, first by Roi Porat and Hanan Eshel, and later by Roi Parat and Yosi Baruchi. Recently, these fragments were purchased by the Jeselsohn Epigraphic Center for Jewish History, Bar-Ilan University, and presented to the Israel Antiquities Authority. They were discovered in a small cave an the southern slope, east of the big waterfall (N.T. 1826/09708).

These fragments should be identified as additional fragments of a biblical scroll from the time of the Bar Kokhba revolt. The text of the verses found in the fragments is identical to the MT, with one exception: the word בסכות appears in fragments b and c (Col 1, line 4) with a waw, whereas in the MT (Lev. 23:42) it is written defectively. The ability to complete the lines according to the MT is further evidence of these fragments’ affinity to the MT. Based as they are on partial data and on photographs made under very poor field conditions and before the fragments had been cleaned, our conclusions remain preliminary.

The table of contents and English abstracts of all three volumes are available online at http://megillot.haifa.ac.il/english.htm, while the table of contents of all issues (in Modern Hebrew) may be found at http://megillot.haifa.ac.il. Thanks to Devorah Dimant (the journal’s general editor) for the heads up via the Megillot email list.

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