A Liturgy

4Q409

This manuscript contains the remnant of a hymn praising God for the festivals of the holy year. The calendar followed is a subspecies of the solar version known from other Dead Sea Scrolls. This variant on the theme adds several festivals that the Bible never explicitly mentions. These additions are particularly important when trying to get a clear picture of the Qumran calendrical writings as a whole, since most of them do not include the new festivals.Just a few other calendrical works among the scrolls seem to support them (note in particular The Sabbaths and Festivals of the Year, text 64, and the Temple Scroll, text 131). Thus, in respect to these extra festivals, the scrolls are at odds, pointing to the complexity of the historical situation in which they arose.

The beginning of the calendrical recital is missing. Preserved portions include or imp:ly the following festivals: the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost, which falls on the fifeenth day of the third month, “the Feast of First Fruits of Wine, the third day of the fifth month; the Feast of Oil, the twenty-second day of the sixth month; the Feast of Wood Offering, the twenty-third day of the sixth month; the Day of Memorial, the first day of the seventh month; the Day of Atonement, the tenth day of the seventh month (presumably; the relevant lines are damaged and reconstruction is uncertain); and the Feast of Booths, the fifteenth day of the seventh month. Of these festivals, the First Fruits of Wine and Qil and the Feast of Wood Offering do not appear in the Bible, at least not clearly (Neh. 10:34 alludes to wood offering, but not to a full-blown festival for it). These, then, were the controversial entries objects of heated debate, no doubt, because of their extrabiblical nature.

Frag. 1 Col. 1 [ . . . Praise and bless on the da]ys of the fi[rst fruits:] 2[of wheat, of fresh wine and fresh oil, with the] new [cereal of ~fering, 3[and bless His holy name. Prai]se and bless on the days of 4[the festival of woods, with the offering of] woods as a sacrifice, 5[and bless His name. Praise and bless] on the day of remembrance with a blast 6[on the ram’s horn. Bless the Lor]d of all. Praise 7[and bless . . . and bles]s His holy name. 8[ ., . and bles]s the Lord of all 9[ . . . Praise and bless] on these days 10[ . . . ] Praise and bless and give thanks “[ . . . Praise and bless and] give thanks with tree branches [ . . . ]

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