The admonitions in the Damascus document as a series of thematic Pesharim

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This study reveals a mosaic of artful rearrangement, rewriting, and creative interpretation of prophetic texts within the Admonitions of the Damascus Document. Many explicit quotations from scriptures and implicit allusions are interwoven and interpreted in the Admonitions through various methods, including pesher interpretation. The textual backdrop of the Admonitions helps us to determine the borders of the different discourses and to define the structure of the composition, which is divided into ten discourses built in a symmetrical chiastic structure. Each discourse comprises layers of quotations and allusions arranged around a central explicit pesher. Therefore, the explicit pesher in each discourse should not be viewed as an isolated pesher, as some have claimed, but rather as part of a larger thematic pesher. Each discourse/thematic pesher presents a different aspect of the work's central theme: a polemic introduction to the rules of interpreting the Torah.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-411
Number of pages27
JournalDead Sea Discoveries
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:


  • Admonitions
  • B
  • CD
  • Cluster of pesharim
  • Damascus Document
  • Final redaction
  • Implicit pesher
  • Manuscripts A
  • Thematic pesher

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Religious studies


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