Academic journal article Journal of Biblical Literature

4Q Pesher Nahum: A Critical Edition

Academic journal article Journal of Biblical Literature

4Q Pesher Nahum: A Critical Edition

Article excerpt

4Q Pesher Nahum: A Critical Edition, by Gregory L. Doudna. JSPSup 35. Copenhagen International Series 8. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001. Pp. 813. $185.00.

This hook is a published version of the author's disputais that was submitted to the University of Copenhagen. Doudna's study should generate considerable controversy since it proposes that the mysterious "Lion of Wrath" in 4QpNaIi (4Q169) is a Nebuchadnezzar-like foreign invader who will deliver God's judgment on Israel and that the Dead Sea Scrolls were deposited in the caves surrounding Qumran in 40 B.C.E. It also contains the original text of the pesher that is based on the author's examination of the actual manuscript and all the available photographic evidence. Although this book is a critical edition of and commentary on 4QpNah, it is actually much more; it is a bold reconstruction of the history of the Qumran community.

Doudna's study of 4QpNah consists of nineteen chapters, divided into three sections, with two appendices (one on paleography and the other on the identity of the Teacher oF Righteousness). In the first section, "Text Reconstruction and Analysis I," Doudna presents a careful and meticulous philological study, reconstruction, and translation of 4QpNah. This section contains much valuable information, because Doudna was granted access to Allegro's personal papers pertaining to 4QpNaIi, which Allegro published in DJD 5, as well as the photographs that J. Strugnell consulted in writing his review of this DJD volume. Doudna was able to compare this evidence with the actual pesher in the Rockefeller Museum. In the final weeks before publication, Doudna incorporated several readings in his footnotes from S. Berrin's 2001 dissertation ("4QpNah [4Q169, Pesher Nahum]: A Critical Edition with Commentary, Historical Analysis, and In-Depth Study of Exegetical Method" [Ph.D. diss., New York University]). Much of the material in part 1 is repeated in part 2, "Text Reconstruction and Analysis II," which contains another reconstruction and translation of 4QpNah and a few chapters on the pesher's historical background. Part 3, "On the Eve of the Roman Conquest," is an enlarged presentation of the historical material found in part 2, much of which is then repeated in two lengthy appendices. The study concludes with Doudna's reconstructed text in Hebrew, with an adjacent English translation, and a photograph of 4QpNaIi. Because of the great amount of material in this book, it is impossible to give a complete review of the author's discussions and conclusions about 4QpNali, paleography, and the archaeological and historical background of the Qumran settlement. The following comments are intended to provide selected examples of Doudna's methodology and interpretations that this reviewer found particularly interesting because of their implications for Qumran studies.

The greatest contribution of the present volume is its detailed examination and description of 4QpNah. It includes numerous charts and extended discussions of column length, line spacing, letter size, and the placement of vacats. Doudna's analysis of scribal behavior is particularly useful for evaluating the likelihood of proposed restorations. One example is 4QpNah 1-2 II 9-11, where Strugnell proposes that the word mimitu in line 10 is a variant from all known texts of Nahum and restores a lengthy uninterrupted quotation from Nah l:5-6a to complete the missing portions of these lines. Doudna's precise measuring of the spacing in this column demonstrates that this word, and the others visible in lines 10 and 11, are in the exact positions expected if the quotation had continued. For this reason Doudna accepts Strugnell's restoration as convincing (pp. 306-14) and includes it in his reconstructed text of 4QpNah (p. 757). However, earlier in the book Doudna does not adopt Strugnell's proposal, since he writes that there is little to support it over Allegro's shorter restoration (p. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.