Lives of The Patriarchs 4Q464

The remnants of this fragmentary manuscript expound the lives of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, andJacob. Lives does not discover fulfillments of biblical prophecies as does A Commentary on Habalbuk (text 4), but rather appears to select passages that support the author’s ideas in a way similar to Commentaries on Genesis (text 44).

Line 9 of this fragmerlt quotes Zephaniah 3:9, which refers to the conversion of the Gentile nations in the Last Days. The remaims of l. 8 suggest that this verse was taken to mean that everyone would speak Hebrew at that time. The phrase “holy language” is also found in Midrash Tanhuma (edited by S. Buber), 528, in reference to Genesis 11 :7, which Tanhuma interprets as meaning that all the world was created speaking the holy language, which God then confused at the Tower of Babel. The midrash follows with a quote of Zephaniah 3:9 to show that a day is yet to come when God will again make the people “pure of speech” so that they might serve him as one.

Frag. 3 Col. 1 3[ . . . ] servant 4[ . . . ] the same 5[ . . . ] confused of (or carcass ot) 6[,, . ] to Abraham 7[ . . . ] forever, for he 8[,, . ] the holy language 9[ . . . {`For I will give] purlfied lips to the people” (Zeph. 3 9).

The Egyptian bondage is foretold with a prophetic interpretation (peshier).

Col. 2 2the judgment [ . . . ] 3just as He said to Abrah[am,”Indeed you know that your offspring shall be a strangers in a land that is not their own] 4and they shall serve them and they shall oppress [them for four hundred years” (Gen. 15:13)…. ] Sand he shall sleep with [his fathers ] 6[ . . . ] 7The prophetic interpretation o[f . . . ] 8to e[a]t [ . . . ]

The binding of Isaac (Gen. 22:12).

Frag. 6 2[ . . . ] his hand and not [ . . . ] 3[ . . . ] your hand against thedad and [do] no[thing to him . . . ] 4[ . . . ] make it an offering [ . . . ]

Jacob’s departure for Haran (Gen. 28:10).

Frag. 7 1[ . . . and] they shal1 be fifteen [years] old [ ] 2[,, . end Jacob went out from Beer]sheba to go to Haran and E[sau . . . ] 3[ . . . just ads He promised. to give him t[he land . . . ]

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