4Q175

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4Q175

4Q175 (or 4QTest), also known as The Testimonia, is one of the Dead Sea Scrolls and was found in Cave 4 at Qumran in the West Bank. Only one sheet long, 4Q175 is a collection of scriptural quotations seemingly connected to a messianic figure. The manuscript was written in Hasmonean script of the early 1st century BCE and was edited by John Marco Allegro.

Contents[edit]

The Testimonia is a short document containing five Biblical quotations arranged in four sections concerning God's activities at the end-time. Only the last section is followed by an interpretation. The first three sections refer to future blessings which will come from three figures, a prophet similar to Moses, a messianic figure and a priestly teacher.

The first section consists of two texts from Deuteronomy and refers to the prophet-figure who is like Moses (Deuteronomy 5:28-29; 18:18-19). The second section is an extract from a prophecy of Balaam about the Messiah-figure, who is similar to David (Numbers 24:15-17). This prophecy predicts "A star shall come out of Jacob and a sceptre shall arise out of Israel; he shall crush the temples of Moab and destroy all the children of Sheth." The third section is a blessing of the Levites, and of the Priest-Messiah who will be a teacher like Levi (Deuteronomy 33:8-11). The last section begins with a verse from Joshua (6:26), which is then expounded by means of a quotation from the Psalms of Joshua (see 4Q379). These verses show that the Qumran community was interested in the messianic prophecies found in the Tanakh.

Interpretation[edit]

To date, no scholar has seriously attempted to identify the three figures described in 4Q175, but many associate them with a father and two sons. However many muslims[who?] believe that the three mentioned figures in the said scroll are Mohammad ,Jesus & Mahdi.John Marco Allegro believed them to be Alexander Jannaeus and his sons; Frank Moore Cross identified them as Mattathias and his sons Simon and Judas Maccabee who were all central figures in the Maccabean revolt; while Otto Betz believed they were the Hasmonean king John Hyrcanus and his two sons Aristobulus and Alexander Jannaeus.

Many scholars[who?] believe that the scribe who copied 4Q175 also copied the Community Rule (1QS) found in Cave 1 as well as a Samuel manuscript also found in Cave 4. All have been dated by the style of script (palaeography) to the Hasmonean period.

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