The scriptural background of the Penal Code in the Rule of the Community and Damascus Document

Aharon Shemesh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article analyzes the "Penal Code" of the Qumran sectarians, and argues that the list of sins and punishments included in it is based on three biblical pericopes concerning the holiness of the people of Israel and their dwelling place. Violators of these laws endanger the holiness of the community and thus need to be excluded. The idea that the structure of the penal code is based on readings of three specific biblical literal units bears interestingly on our understanding of the development of Midrash. This is taken up in the last part of the article.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-224
Number of pages34
JournalDead Sea Discoveries
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008

Keywords

  • Damascus Document
  • Midrash
  • Rule of the Community
  • Sins and Punishments

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