A Liturgical Calendar

4Q334 

Basic to any calendar is the idea of order. Because there is order in the universe the sun, moon, and stars move on orderly and more or less predictable paths a calendar is possible. Such an orderly creation calls for an ordeirly response, and that is what this text represents. Even what might seem the least orderly and by nature most spontaneous type of human expression praisc here has order imposed upon it.

This intriguing and orderly liturgical writing records the number of “songs” (Hebrew shirot) and “words of praise” (divre tishhuhot) for each of two daily services. In the following reconstruction the letter “x” signifies an unknown number indicating the number of songs or praises, according to context. The Liturgical :£alendar is clearly a methodical work, but only one aspect of the method is still apparent: the number of “words of praise” that are sung during the day is double the date of the month (note particularly frag. 2, II. 4-5).

Record for the eighth, ninth, and tenth days of an unknown month.

Frag. 2 on the ~eighth of the month, in the evening, e]ight [s]ongs, and forty [x w]ords of prai[se]. 2[During the day, x songs, and] sixtee[n words of [praise].

[On the nint]h of the month, in the evening, 3[eight songs3 and fort[y-tw]o words of praise. [During the d]ay, [x] songs, 4[and eighteen words of praise.]

On the tenth of the [month,] in the evening, eight songs 5[and forty-x words of praise. During the day, x songs,] and twent[y] wor[ds of piraise.

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