Qumran Grotte 4. XXII: Textes Araméens, Première Partie, 4Q529-549, by ÉMile Puech

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DJD XXXI. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2001. 439 pp. + Plates. $125.00.

In this DJD volume, one of two in the series dedicated entirely to Aramaic texts from Qumran, Émile Puech provides the editio princeps of 4Q529-549. These manuscripts were originally assigned to one of the early scrolls editors, Père Starcky. Starcky died before he was able to finish his work, which was then passed on to Puech. J. T. Milik also had a hand in interpreting the fragments that constitute these texts, and his contributions, along with Starcky's, are often -- and suitably -- acknowledged by Puech.

The volume includes the following manuscripts. 4QWords of Michael (4Q$29) is a single fragment of sixteen lines of text and a second fragment of two lines of just over a dozen letters; it reports the "words of the book which Michael spoke to the angels." 4QBook of Giants(b-e) (4Q530-533) is four manuscripts of text closely related to Gen 6:1-4 and the Book of the Watchers (1 Enoch 6-16); Puech relates 4Q2031 to 4Q530-533 as well, and he publishes an appendix including that fragment in this volume. 4QBirth of Noah(a-c) (4Q534-536) are three manuscripts that seem to have to do with, among other things, the birth of Noah. 4QTestament of Jacob (4Q537) is a single manuscript that Milik in particular was persuaded provides a testamentary-style vision from the patriarch Jacob. Puech relates aspects of the very fragmentary and small manuscript 4QTestament of Judah (4Q538) to the Testament of Judah of the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs. Likewise, Puech relates 4QTestament of Joseph (40Q539) to the Testament of Joseph. At one time Puech identified 4QApocryphon of Levi(a-b?) (40Q540-541) as perhaps two more Aramaic texts belonging to Aramaic Levi (4Q213-214), but now he seems content to treat them as an apocryphon somehow connected with the biblical patriarch Levi. 4QTestament of Qahat (4Q542) is preserved in sufficient scope to provide confidence that it is a valedictory speech of the text's namesake to his sons. And finally, 4QVisions of Amram(a-g) (4Q543-549) are manuscripts claiming to recount Amram's visions as he described them to his sons at his death. While there are differences in how each work is presented depending on the special circumstances affecting it and its representative manuscripts (e.g., 4QBook of Giants(b-e) merits an additional section on its relationship with the Book of Giants and the Books of Enoch), Puech usually provides the following elements in presenting each manuscript: a physical description of it, a discussion of its paleography and date, and an analysis of its orthography language. …