Nahum Commentary

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The Nahum Commentary or Pesher Nahum, labelled 4QpNah (Cave 4, Qumran, pesher, Nahum) was among the Dead Sea Scrolls in cave 4 of Qumran that was discovered in August 1952. The editio princeps of the text is to be found in DJD V., edited by John Allegro. The text is described thus: 'one of the "continuous pesharim" from Qumran, successive verses from the biblical Book of Nahum are interpreted as reflecting historical realities of the 1st century BCE."[1]

The most clearly historical references in the text can be found in Fragments 3-4 Column 1, which cites Nahum 2:11b, "Where the lion goes to enter, there also goes the whelp..." and provides the commentary,

"[This refers to Deme]trius, king of Greece, who sought to enter Jerusalem through the counsel of the Flattery-Seekers; [but it never fell into the] power of the kings of Greece from Antiochus until the appearance of the rulers of the kittim...."[2]

According to Larry R. Helyer (as well as to many other scholars), Demetrius in this text is Demetrius III Eucaerus (95-88 BCE), the Seleucid king who defeated Alexander Jannaeus in battle, but was forced to withdraw back to Syria. Accordingly, by "the Flattery-Seekers", the Pharisees were probably meant.[3]

See also[edit]


  • Allegro, John M., Qumran Cave 4, I (4Q158-4Q186) DJD V. (Oxford, 1968) editio princeps, pp. 37–42.
  • Berrin, Shani L., The Pesher Nahum Scroll from Qumran: An Exegetical Study of 4Q169. (Leiden: BRILL, 2004) ISBN 978-9004124844
  • Berrin, Shani L., "Pesher Nahum" in Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls, eds Lawrence H. Schiffman and James C. VanderKam, Volume 2. (Oxford, 2000) ISBN 0-19-513797-3, pp. 653–655.
  • Doudna, Gregory, 4Q Pesher Nahum: A Critical Edition. (Sheffield Academic Press, 2002) ISBN 978-1841271569
  • Charlesworth, James H., Henry W. L. Rietz, Casey D. Elledge, and Lidija Novakovic. Pesharim, Other Commentaries, and Related Documents. The Dead Sea Scrolls: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek Texts with English Translations 6b. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2002. (More recent publication of the Hebrew text and English translation on facing pages)
  • Cross, Frank Moore. The Ancient Library of Qumran. 3d ed. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1995. (General reading on the Dead Sea Scrolls in general, their discovery, and contents)
  • Ingrassia, David,(2002)CLASS 3 Biblical Commentaries:Pesharim. Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bible.
  • Dead Sea Scrolls Pesher Nahum


  1. ^ Shani L. Berrin (2004). The Pesher Nahum Scroll from Qumran: An Exegetical Study of 4Q169. BRILL. p. 1. 
  2. ^ Translation by E.M. Cook in Michael Wise, Martin Abegg Jr, & Edward Cook, eds. (1996). The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation. HarperSanFrancisco. p. 217. 
  3. ^ Larry R. Helyer, Exploring Jewish Literature of the Second Temple Period. InterVarsity Press, 2002 ISBN 0830826785