4QInstruction, or Sapiential Work A (Hebrew: Musar leMevin,מוסר למבין, "Instruction to a student"), is a document that is preserved in at least seven fragmentary manuscripts from the Dead Sea Scrolls; these are 4Q415, 4Q416, 4Q417, 4Q418, 4Q418a, 4Q423, and 1Q26. Cave 1 materials were first published by Józef Milik in DJD 1 in 1955. Cave 4 materials were published in the Discoveries in the Judean Desert series in 1999 by John Strugnell and Daniel Harrington. The document is written in Hebrew, is likely to be categorized as "Non-Sectarian" or, perhaps, "Pre-Sectarian". There is some consensus that it dates to the third century BCE.
This document continues to receive so much attention because it is viewed, on the one hand, as a wisdom document and yet, on the other, has multiple apocalyptic motifs that arise alongside sapiential ones. Many major studies have asked questions about the relationship of wisdom to apocalypticism which has been part of a larger question about categorizing genres, schools and worldviews in Judaism in the Second Temple Period.
One of the most discussed passages (4Q417 1 i lines 15-18) from this document is a fragmentary and cryptic description of what many view as angelic involvement in the creation of humanity, which is apparently described in reference to Genesis 1:26. Humanity is divided into those who are among the "Spirit of Flesh" and the "Spiritual People". In addition to the fragmentary nature of these lines and the broader context, the identification of the "Vision of Hagu" and the "sons of s/Seth" have led to competing views about implications for the type of dualism one should find in 4QInstruction. A recent summary of interpretations is given by Florentino García Martínez.
Among the major studies published on the document are those by Armin Lange (1995), Daniel J. Harrington (1996), Torleif Elgvin (1998), John J. Collins (1999; 2003), Eibert Tigchelaar (2001), Matthew Goff (2003), Cana Werman (2004), Benjamin Wold (2005), and Jean-Sebastian Rey (2009).
- A guide to the Dead Sea scrolls and related literature – 83 Joseph A. Fitzmyer – 2008 "As a group they constitute Musar leMevin, "Instruction for a Maven/Student." See "General Introduction" (to these wisdom texts), ibid., 1-40. 4Q416 4QInstructionb Strugnell-Harrington, "416. 4QInstructionb (Musar leMevinb)," DJD 34."
- Barthelemy, Discoveries in the Judaean Desert 1 (DJD I) (Oxford 1955)
- 4QInstruction (Musar Le Mevin): 4Q415 ff. with a re-edition of 1Q26, ed. John Strugnell and Daniel J. Harrington, 505-533. DJD 34. Oxford: Clarendon, 1999.
- Florentino García Martínez Echoes from the Caves: Qumran and the New Testament (Leiden: Brill, 2009) p. 106
- A. Lange Weisheit und Prädestination: Weisheitliche Urordnung und Prädestination in den Textfunden von Qumran (Leiden: Brill)
- D. J. Harrington Wisdom Texts from Qumran (London: Routledge)
- J. J. Collins "In the Likeness of the Holy Ones: The Creation of Humankind in a Wisdom Text from Qumran" in Parry and Ulrich (eds.), The Provo International Conference on the Dead Sea Scrolls (Leiden: Brill)
- E. J. C. Tigchelaar To Increase Learning for the Understanding Ones: Reading and Reconstructing the Fragmentary Early Jewish Sapiential Text 4QInstruction (Leiden: Brill)
- M. Goff The Worldly and Heavenly Wisdom of 4QInstruction (Leiden: Brill)
- B. G. Wold Women, Men and Angels: Allusions to Genesis Creation Traditions in Musar leMevin (Tuebingen: Mohr Siebeck)
- J-S. Rey 4QInstruction: sagesse et eschatologie (Leiden: Brill)