Jewish Apocalyptic Writings:
The "Dead Sea Scrolls"
OF THE JERUSALEM
TEMPLE, ZEALOTS & PELLA-BOUND CHRISTIANS
Dead Sea Scroll 4Q171
C14 Age: 1) AD 22-78 ; 2) AD 5-111 (Subrange)
4Q171 Fragment 1
Column 2 - "The Way" Terminology
1-4 "Renounce your anger and abandon your resentment, don't yearn to do
evil, because evildoers will be wiped out" (37:8-9a).
This refers to all who return to the Law and do
not hesitate to repent of their sin, because all who refuse to repent
of their faults will be wiped out.
"But those who trust in the LORD are the ones who will inherit the
earth" (37 9b).
This refers to the company of His chosen, those who do His will.
Column 2 - "Forty Years" from
Teacher to Desolation
2:5-9 Yet a little while (Heb: me'at,
mem-ayin-tet) and the wicked one will be no more. I will discern his
place but he will not be there (Psalm
"Its pesher refers to all wickedness
at the end of 40 years (Heb:Mem = 40). They will be
finished and no wicked man will be found on the earth."
"Then the meek will inherit the earth and enjoy all the abundance that
peace brings" (37:11).
This refers to the company of the poor who endure the time of error but
are delivered from all the snares of Belial. Afterwards they will enjoy
all the [ . . . ] of the earth and grow fat on every human luxury.
Column 2 - Vs "Temple Establishment" Position
The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes
[his teeth against him. But the LO]RD laughs at him; for he knows his
day is coming" (37:12-13).
13 This refers to the cruel Israelites in the house
of Judah who
14 plot to destroy those who obey the Law who are in the
society of the Yahad. But God will not leave them in their power.
"The wicked have drawn a sword, they have bent their bows, to strike
down the poor and needy, to slaughter those who live honestly. May their
sword pierce themselves, may their bows break!" (37:14-15).
This refers to the wicked of "Ephraim and
Manasseh," who will try to do away ' with the Priest and the members of
his party during the time of trial that is coming upon them. But God
will save them from their power and afterwards hand them over to the
wicked Gentiles for judgment.
All shall vanish like smoke (37:20c)
This refers to the wicked princes who oppressed
His holy people, and who shall scatter like smoke that dissipates in the
"The wicked borrow and do not repay; 9but the
righteous give generously, for those whom God blesses will inherit the
earth, but: those whom He curses will be exterminated" (37:21-22).
This refers to the company of the poor, w[ho will ge]t the possessions
of all [ . . . ], who will inherit the lofty mount of Is[rael and]
enjoy His holy mount. ["Those whom He curses] will be exterminated":
these are the cruel Jews, the w]icked of Israel who will be exterminated
and destroyed forever.
Column 3 - "Teacher of Righteousness" in
["A man's path] is ordained by the LORD; he
delights in all His ways. If he stu[mbles, he shall not] fall, because
the L[ORD holds his hand"] (37:23-24).
This refers to the priest, the Teacher of R[ighteousness, whom]
to be His servant [and] ordained him to form Him a company [ . . . ]
[his] way He smoothed for the truth.
["I have been young], and now I am old, but I have not [seen a righteous
man] abandoned and his children begging food. [Al1 the time] he is
lending generously, and his chil[dren are blessed"] (37:25-26).
[This] refers to the Teacher of [Righteousness .
. . ]
Column 4 - Vs "Wicked Priest" (Perhaps
"The wicked man observes the righteous man and
seeks [to kill him. But the LO]RD [Will not leave him in his power and
will not co]ndemn him when he comes to trial" (37:32-33).
This refers to the wicked [Pri]est who ob[serv]es
the [Teach]er of Righteous[ness and seeks] to kill him [ . . . ] and the
Law that he sent to him, but God will not le[ave him in his power] and
will not [condemn him when] he comes to trial. But to the [wicked God
will give] his just [de]serts, by putting him into the power of the
cruel Gentiles to do with him [what they want].
["Look to the L]ORD and obey his rules; then He
will honor you so that you will inherit the earth. You will look on] while
the wicked are: exterminated" (37:34).
[This refers to . . . ] who will see judgement
passed on the wicked with [the company of] His chosen they will rejoice
in a sure heritage [forever].
My heart is [astir] with a good message: [I
address my poem to: the king"] (45:1a).
[This refers to . . . ho]ly spirit, for[ . . . ]
books of [ . . . ]
WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID
"The documents called 4QpPsa (4Q171) and 1QpHab are examples of a
genre of which a number of instances were found in the caves. Each is a
pesher (plural, pesharim), that is, a commentary on a book of the Old
Testament, claiming that its wording predicts events in the life of the
Teacher and his opponents. Significantly, only one copy of each pesher was
found in the caves, whereas multiple copies of other documents were found.
The pesharim are an ephemeral genre of literature, referring to events in
the author's own immediate circumstances, with the claim that they fulfilled
prophecies. Once events changed, and the prophecies were seen to fit
subsequent events better, the earlier document would be regarded as invalid.
This would mean that no copies were made, each of the pesharim being an
4Q171 is a pesher on some Psalms. At the time it was composed, the
Teacher of Righteousness was still alive, and under threat from his
opponents. The pesharist, his supporter, turned to Psalm 37 and found there
the teaching that even though the righteous person may suffer now, he will
soon be vindicated and his enemies punished. He applied this, using his
technique of turning universals into particulars, to the Teacher, who, he
said, would soon be vindicated, while the opponents would be destroyed.
The principles of hypothetical document C apply to this
work, the Teacher being person X. He was still alive at the time it was
recorded, and the document we have, being a pesher, is an original, not a
copy. These exceptional circumstances mean that the earlier date of the 14C
range (Table 1) for the manufacture of the writing material gives us a
probable date after which the Teacher was alive.
Both sets of 14C ranges, that based on the 1986 curve, and
that derived from the 1998 curve (Table 1), give a date in the 1st century
CE for this document: respectively, 22-78 CE and 29-81 CE. If it is the case
that the 14C dating is a reliable indicator, this result gives good evidence that the
document was composed and recorded after the twenties CE, and, since the
Teacher was alive and active at the time of composition, he lived in the
first Christian century, being contemporary with the early Christians. It
would be clear evidence against the view held by the first generation of
Scrolls scholars, that the Teacher lived in the second century BCE.
The handwriting of this piece is a Herodian semiformal
(Cross 1961, note 134; Strugnell 1970, p 211), a fact that is omitted in the
Tucson report. The handwriting of all the pesharim is Herodian, that is, a
class of handwriting used from 30 BCE to 70 CE.
This finding agrees with one possible interpretation of the
indirect datings given for the Teacher in the
Damascus Document (CD). They
are not overt, and their interpretation has been disputed, but when the
usages of the Scrolls are applied consistently, they may be seen to mean
that the Teacher began his work in 26 CE and died about 30 CE. The reasons
in brief summary are as follows:
- The wording of CD 1:5-11, concerning "the Period
of Wrath, 390 years for his giving them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar
king of Babylon" is more correctly and consistently seen as a prediction
of the length of the Roman occupation of Judea, the figure of 390 years
being drawn from Ezekiel 4:5, treated as a prophecy in the habitual
Qumran manner. In the pesharim it is asserted that "Babylon" of the Old
Testament is an equivalent for Rome, a view found also in the New
Testament, where "Babylon" is used as code for Rome (1 Pet 5:13, Rev
18). On this understanding, the ruler of Rome is being referred to by
the writer of CD in a disguised way through a pseudonym, for political
reasons. The usual translation of the phrase following "390 years" is
"after his giving them", but it should be "for his giving them",
consistently with the normal meaning of the preposition. The Roman
occupation of Judea, an event that could well be called "the Period of
Wrath", took place in 6 CE (see further below). Since, according to the
text, the Teacher came 20 years after the Period of Wrath, he began
working in 26 CE.
- The writer of CD 20:13-15 calculates that the
death of the Teacher occurred about 40 years before a certain
destruction of enemies. The destruction would result from a Visitation,
an event expected in the near future. The Visitation is described in CD
19:10-16 using the language of the first fall of Jerusalem (Ezek 9:4).
The passage may be understood as referring to another fall of Jerusalem,
very shortly expected at the time of the writer. Jerusalem did fall in
70 CE; hence, on this interpretation, the Teacher died about 30 CE. (See
Thiering 1979). (Use
of Radiocarbon Dating)
"Here we find a period of "about 40 years" tied to the demise
of the Teacher. There is a fragment from Cave 4 (4Q171) that refers to
the same period: "A little while and the wicked shall be no more; I
will look towards his place but he shall not be there" (Psa 37:10).
Interpreted, this concerns all the wicked. At the end of the forty years
they shall be blotted out and not an man shall be found on earth." Here
things get a bit prophetically complicated, unless one is steeped in the
chronological schemes of the book of Daniel (and Ezekiel)-- particularly
the "70 weeks" prophecy of Daniel 9. It essentially sets forth a 490
year period, which the DSS community understood neatly as Ten Jubilees,
49 years each. We then find references in various fragments (11QMelch;
4Q390) that attempt to fit the history of the community within this time
scheme. The Teacher himself is to arise, as one would expect, "in the
first week of the Jubilee that follows the nine Jubilees" (11QMelch), or
just over 40 years from the End.
In the DSS commentary on Habakkuk (1QpHab) we find that the community
has obviously lived through this past this 40 years "countdown" period
with the Teacher long gone and the apocalyptic expectations of the
arrival of the Kingdom of God anything but fulfilled. The Romans have by
now invaded the country and propped up the puppet priests that the
community despised as utterly corrupt (Hyrcanus II). Col I interprets
the cry of the prophet Habakkuk of "How long?" as referring to the
"beginning of the final generation." (Dead
Dr. Barbara Thiering
"The major Qumran pesharim, on Psalms, Nahum and Habakkuk,
together with the fragmentary pesher of Micah and that on Hosea, may be
shown to fit neatly into the events that the gospels and Acts record." (The
Pesher of Christ)
"In the Qumran commentaries on the Psalter, the Teacher of
Righteousness, the Wicked Priest, and the Man of the Lie are on center
stage (see the Introduction for an initial discussion of these figures).
The largest surviving fragments of 4Q171 preserve a running commentary
on Psalm 37, which deals with the necessity of the righteous to keep
faith in God despite the apparent successes of the wicked. God will
ensure that both righteous and wicked get their due: for the righteous,
a reward for their faithfulness; for the wicked, punishment.
The Yahad members and their leader, the Teacher of Righteousness,
represent the righteous of the psalms, while their enemies, the Wicked
Priest and the Man of the Lie, who have persecuted them, represent the
wicked. The psalm and its attendant commentary are shot through with a
passionate desire to see the injustices of the world put right, tempered
with a recognition that patience is required for the suffering that is
inevitable while waiting for God to act. These commentaries, then, have
an eschatological fervor that the more historical commentaries, such as
text 4 (A Commentaries on Habakkuk) and text 21 (A Commentary on Nahum)
only occasionally display. "
What do YOU think ?
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Comment Box Disabled For Security
Date: 29 Sep 2006
after examination of the text, it is shown that it yield to a pesher. The
main proof that is offered and in my view, incontravertable, is the
Date: 17 Apr 2011
jesus is true persue truth to know him, read allyou can about his life , not
jus in the bible , but as well as . amen. bless you all to know him.
Date: 22 Aug 2011
Passover 2030: The arrival of the teacher
Date: 27 Jul 2012
Dr Barbara Thiering is not someone whom I would use for looking at the
theology of Jesus Christ, for she believes, from her writings, the He is
just a man ( no divinity).
James Tabor is talking about his piecewhich has validity, but looking at it
in present times, and knowing that the Anti-christ will be making his
appearance in 2013, globally, I believe it is about the time of The Great
Tribulation..The Teacher of Righteousness is Jesus Christ, the Wicked Priest
is the man of god, who will deceive many and the Man of Lie(s), is the
anti-christ..It's just my theory based on my studies, so eschatology ? Yes,
very much so..The Holy Bible is full of it and its a blueprint of the future
as we are shortly, to live it.
Date: 28 Apr 2013
In the various attempts to identify the Teacher of Righteousness one very
critical piece of information is overlooked.
The teacher came to an understanding of the mysteries contained in the
prophecies. When you examine which prophecies have remained mysteries since
they were given, your attention is inexorably drawn to all the end time
prophecies from the book of Daniel.
The end time prophecies in the book of Daniel were to be sealed until the
time of the end. The correct understanding of those prophecies would not be
possible until that time, and since the Teacher would undoubtedly have the
correct interpretation of those mysteries, it absolutely requires that the
Teacher of Righteousness be alive at the time of the end.
These facts are undeniable and inescapable. No argument can be made that the
time of the end actually occurred more than 2,000 years ago.
The only logical conclusion that can be reached in light of the preceding
facts is that the Teacher of Righteousness is alive today!
Having the teacher be a person alive in our time explains why there is no
historical evidence regarding the teacher, his life, ,his name, what he
taught, and many other unanswered questions regarding his life.
The texts regarding the Teacher, the star, the scepter, and the wicked
priest are prophecies of people and events that take place in the very near
future and are NOT personages and events that took place more than 2,000
There is simply no other solution that makes sense in light of the very
prophecies that the teacher would understand.