Since their discovery more than fifty years ago, scholars have been puzzled by the absence from the Qumran scrolls of fragments from the second Enochic work, assembled in the Ethiopic Book of Enoch (1 Enoch 37–71), whereas remains of the other four Enochic works contained in this collection surfaced in the caves. Notwithstanding this work's clear affinity to Qumran ideas, and the fact that its probable composition during the first century CE overlapped the final stage of the Qumran community, because of its absence from Qumran the Book of Parables is usually excluded from Qumran literature. Additionally, it has been argued that, because it describes the sun and the moon in equal terms, in clear contrast to the Qumranite predilection for the solar calendar, this work is incompatible with Qumran ideas. Accordingly, the Book of Parables is often attributed to another group, similar to, but not identical with, the Qumran community. The present article points to recent data that suggest the Qumran calendar was a solar-lunar, rather than a purely solar, calendar. If that is the case, a connection between the Book of Parables and the Qumran group cannot be ruled out on the basis of its attitude toward the luminaries. Seen in this light, the affinity between this work and the Qumran literature becomes more pronounced, explored here through detailed analysis of the links between 1 Enoch 39:10–11 and 58:2–6 and Qumran documents. Given the fact that most of our Qumran copies come from the late second and the first centuries BCE, we may assume that this was indeed the period when this literature flourished. Composed at the earliest in the first half of the first century CE, the Book of Parables may therefore be seen as drawing upon, rather than as part of, Qumran literature. Such a view accounts both for its absence from Qumran and for its affinity with Qumranic ideas and literature.
|Translated title of the contribution
|The "Book of Parables" ("1 Enoch" 37–71) and the Qumran Scrolls
|Meghillot: Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls / מגילות: מחקרים במגילות מדבר יהודה
|Published - 2005