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The Dead Sea Scrolls Rewriting Samuel and Kings. Texts and Commentary.
Berlin u. a.: De Gruyter 2015. XII, 206 S. = Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, 469. Geb. EUR 79,95. ISBN 978-3-11-033811-9.
This volume is an edition of four fragmentary manuscripts from Qumran that are identified as »rewritings« of the books of Samuel and Kings: 4Q160, 4Q382, 4Q481a, and 6Q9.
The text-editions and commentaries are preceded by a chapter that surveys the representations of Samuel and Kings in the Qumran corpus, and contextualizes this material within the larger body of Second Temple literature (delineated as writings outside the Jewish canon, composed up to 70 C. E., with the addition of Chronicles and Josephus’ Antiquities). The organization of this chapter according to »modes of composition« maximizes the effectiveness of the comparison of the Qumran writings to previously known texts. The survey begins with a succinct discussion of the text-critical value of the Qumran manuscripts of Samuel and Kings in relation to other textual traditions of these works. The subsequent sections are devoted to »Expositional Uses« and »Compositional Uses« (sub-sections of this latter section include »literary models«, »quotations and allusions«, »references to biblical figures and events«, »lists« etc.). It is to be noted that an unfortunate error in the use of the words »former« and »latter« on pp. 24–25 confuses the explanations for the otherwise useful distinction between »internal« and »external« pseudonymity.
The comprehensive overview is highly recommended as a reference tool and bibliographic guide for both specialists and non-specialists, and ought to serve as a model for thematic surveys of Qumran material. One common feature that emerges from the cumulative data is the »sectarian« nature of Samuel-Kings traditions that are attested only in Qumran texts, without known parallels in other extant sources (32).
The textual editions in chapters 2–5 consist of brief introduc-tions, textual transcriptions and translations, suggested reconstructions, textual notes, comments and, in two cases, a concluding discussion. One of the chief original contributions in Feldman’s textual analysis is the suggestion that textual overlap between 4Q160 and 4Q382 may indicate that these two manuscripts are copies of a single »putative composition [that] rewrote both Samuel and Kings« (34.55; elaborated upon in chapter 6).
4Q160: F. devotes the concluding section of ch. 2 to demonstrate the exegetical tendentiousness of variants from MT 1 Sam 3 in 4Q160 frag. 1. He identifies possibly nomistic inclinations and speculates about the reflection of divergent views regarding the nature of divine communication, as visual or auditory. This analysis is framed as a response to scholars who view fragment 1 as a biblical version rather than a rewriting. Some more extensive theoretical discussion would have been welcome here. Notwithstanding earlier bibliographic notes about criteria for identifying rewritten Bible (1), and the pluriformity of scriptural texts (5), as well as remarks about the exegetical character and genre of 4QSama (6–8) and a discussion of rewriting in Chronicles, Eupolemos, LAB, and Josephus (28–32) – the presumed dichotomy between »copies of a biblical text« vs. expositional and compositional »uses« and »rewriting« might be too rigid in application to the fragmentary manuscripts at hand.
4Q382: Most of the identifiable fragments associated with this manuscript contain speeches and prayers. F.’s summary discussion addresses whether these fragments belong to one or more compositions (particularly distinguishing between narrative and »rhe-torical« materials), and examines scriptural exegesis, focusing on expansions related to the figure of Elijah. F. favors viewing 4Q382 as a single composition. Observations in this chapter regarding genre hybridity are also relevant for evaluating the nature of 4Q160.
Chapters 4 and 5, devoted respectively to 4Q481a and 6Q9, are very brief, and lack summary discussions. This is regrettable, especially since this work is »the first comprehensive attempt to revisit Baillet’s editio princeps«. The novel contributions are made within the notes and comments.
The concluding chapter is only four pages long. Here, F. pulls together the data supporting his view that 4Q160 and 4Q382 reflect a single composition. He further reflects upon common features shared by the four examined scrolls, particularly (1) a focus on prophetic figures and (2) a wealth of »rhetorical and liturgical expan-sions«, to an apparent neglect of narrative material and a seeming lack of interest in Samuel and Kings as »history (or historiography)« (184). The volume concludes with the remark that »these four scrolls deserve to become an integral part of every inquiry into the early reception history of Samuel and Kings« (185). The same is true of this volume, both for its editions of the four scrolls and for the introductory contextualization.