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Piety of the Poor in the Community of Qumran and Its Historical Origins

Piety of the Poor in the Community of Qumran and Its Historical Origins
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  Hebrew Bible Monographs, 43Series EditorsDavid J.A. Clines, J. Cheryl Exum, Keith W. Whitelam Editorial Board A. Graeme Auld, Marc Brettler, David M. Carr, Paul M. Joyce, Francis Landy, Lena-Soa Tiemeyer , Stuart D.E. Weeks F rom  J udah   to  J udaea  S heFField  P hoenix  P reSS 2012 F rom  J udah   to  J udaea S ocio -e conomic  S tructureS   and  P roceSSeS   in   the  P erSian  P eriod Edited by  Johannes Unsok Ro  Copyright © 2012 Shefeld Phoenix Press Published by Shefeld Phoenix PressDepartment of Biblical Studies, University of Shefeld, 45 Victoria Street, Shefeld S3 7QBUKwww.shefeldphoenix.com  All rights reserved.No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system, without the  publishers’ permission in writing. A CIP catalogue record for this bookis available from the British Library BWHEBB [Hebrew] and BWGRKL [Greek] PostScript© Type 1 and TrueType™ fonts Copyright© 1994–2002 BibleWorks, LLC. All rights reserved. These Biblical Greek and Hebrew fonts are used with permission and are from BibleWorks, software for Biblical exegesis and research.Typeset by ISB TypesettingPrinted on acid-free paper by Lightning Source UK Ltd, Milton KeynesISBN 978-1-907534-55-3 (hardback)ISSN 1747-9614  C ontents List of Contributors viiAbbreviations ix I  ntroduCtIon  1 Johannes Unsok Ro J udea , s amarIa   and  I dumea : t hree  m odels   of  e thnICIty   and  a dmInIstratIon   In   the  P ersIan  P erIod  4 Yigal Levin P Iety   of   the  P oor    In   the  C ommunIty   of  Q umran   and   Its  h IstorICal  o rIgIns  54 Johannes Unsok Ro t he  t heologICal  C onCePt   of  y hwh ’ s  P unItIve  J ustICe   In   the  h ebrew  b Ible : h IstorICal  d eveloPment   In   the  C ontext   of   the  J udean  C ommunIty   In   the  P ersIan  P erIod  86 Johannes Unsok Ro s oCIal , C ultural   and  d emograPhIC  C hanges   In  J udah   durIng   the  t ransItIon   from   the  I ron  a ge   to   the  P ersIan  P erIod   and   the  n ature   of   the  s oCIety   durIng   the  P ersIan  P erIod  106 Avraham Faust J udah   and   Its  n eIghbors   In   the  f ourth  C entury   bCe : a t Ime   of  m aJor   t ransformatIons  133 Alexander Fantalkin and Oren Tal t he  r  ePresentatIon   of   the  P ersIan  e mPIre   by  g reek   a uthors , wIth  s PeCIal  r  eferenCe   to  a esChylus   and  h erodotus  197 Yoshinori Sano Index of References 205Index of Authors 211  P Iety   of   the  P oor    In   the  C ommunIty   of  Q umran   and  I ts  h IstorICal  o rIgIns Johannes Unsok Ro a bstraCt   The self depictions of being ‘poor’ in the  Hodayot   and also in 1QpHab and 4Q171 are closely related to those texts of the Hebrew Bible composed in the Persian and the Hellenistic period (e.g. Pss. 12; 25; 34; 35; 37; 40; 62; 69; 73; 76; 102; 109; 140 and 149). The self depictions of being ‘poor’ in the  Hodayot   as well as in the psalms of the poor are inseparably linked to the triadic constellation of ‘the redemptive God—the oppressed supplicant—the adversaries intimidating the supplicant’. Towards God, the terminology relating to the poor serves as a self-depiction to indicate one’s own sinful nature and lowness; in regard to the adversaries, it emphasizes the contrast between one’s own baseness and the threatening superiority of the godless adversaries in order to stress one’s own need for help from God. Nowhere in the texts are there statements objectively dening or explaining the nature of this ‘poverty’. As to how the terminology relating to the ‘poor’ is used, we can clearly see that it is not about addressing a particular state of economic impoverishment that threatens one’s own existence. The supplicants and their communities of faith faced multiple hostile factors, especially a serious conict with the temple leadership of Jerusalem. From the author’s view, the relevant biblical texts of Persian-Hellenistic period could shed light upon the historical srcins of piety of the poor articulated in the Qumran community. k  eywords : Piety of the Poor, Dead Sea Scrolls, Qumran Community,  Hodayot  , Psalms of the Poor, Persian and Hellenistic Period. 1. Terminology of Poverty in the Hodayot : Dening the Problem  No one has, of yet, succeeded in persuasively deciphering the exact meanings and connotations of some terms related to poverty in postexilic Israel that were used as self-designations by religious groups. These terms of poverty seem to have played a special role in the self-understanding of certain religious groups. It is also by no means clear which religious movement rst used these terms of poverty for self-designation in the history of Israel.
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