The Dead Sea Scrolls
Part 4

Biblically Based Apocryphal Works

Jubilees
Jubilees were know prior to the discovery of small fragments of the text in Hebrew found at Qumran. These fragments were found in Caves 1, 2, 3, 4, and 11. There were known copies of a complete Ethiopic text and partial Greek, Syriac, and Latin manuscripts. Jubilees is a retelling of the Genesis story and the first part of the Exodus. It takes the form of a revelation to Moses delivered by angels. Some of the Qumran fragments are large and can be translated into English. The 4Q216 scroll is possibly the earliest manuscript of Jubilees and is dated to the last quarter of the 2nd Century BCE. 4Q225 is considered to have been written at the turn of the era, 4Q226 to the 2nd half of the 1st Century BCE, and 4Q227 to the final decades of the 1st Century BCE. A badly preserved scroll (fragment 2 of 4Q227) is focused on Enoch, the angels, and the Watchers. It also speaks of Enoch’s astronomical writings.

The Prayer of Enosh and Enoch
A manuscript consisting of ten fragments (including three large fragments) was found in Cave 4. These fragments appear to be a recording of prayers. The first fragment seems to be linked to Enosh (line 10 in fragment 1, column 1 mentions Enoch).

The Book of Enoch and The Book of Giants
The original Aramaic texts of the Book of Enoch have been found in Caves 1, 2, and 4 at Qumran. There is a complete Ethiopic translation and various chapters exist in Greek. In Cave 4, seven copies much like the Ethiopic Enoch and four copies of the Book of Giants were found. They are all dated between 200 BCE and the end of the pre-Christian era. Most of the fragments are too small for translation. There are some differences between the Ethiopic text and the scrolls of Qumran; the Book of Parables is missing in the Qumran text and the section on astronomy is much more developed in the text from Qumran. The Book of Giants is not present in the Ethiopic text. Themes of the Qumran text fragments are the names of the twenty leaders of the fallen angels and the amazing birth of Noah.

An Admonition Associated with the Flood
This text, discovered in Cave 4, is based on Genesis Chapters 6-9. Only two fragments have survived, and of the two, only one is translatable. It is dated to the first half of the 1st Century BCE, but the composition of the Admonition is thought to be pre-Qumran.

The Ages of Creation
This scroll deals with the fallen angels and the daughters of men. The manuscript from Cave 4 is in a bad state of preservation.

The Book of Noah
The remains of what seems to be a Book of Noah were discovered in Caves 1, 4, and 6. This book of Noah is mentioned in Chapters 10:13 and 21:10 of Jubilees and in the Aramaic text of the Genesis Apocryphon and Enoch. The Cave 1 and 4 fragments tell of the miraculous birth of Noah. The Cave 1 fragments also tell of the state of mankind before the flood. The Cave 6 fragments speak of Noah’s birth.

Words of the Archangel Michael
In the scroll text found in Caves 4 and 6, Michael the Archangel speaks to the angels (Gabriel in particular). He relates a vision which is possibly concerning the building of the tower of Babel. The Aramaic text fragments are in very poor shape.

The Testament of Levi
Found in Cave 4, a damaged section of two columns of text contain parts of Levi’s prayer. The same text in Greek exist at Mt Athos and dates to the 11th Century.

Testaments of the Patriarchs:

The Testament of Levi
The Testament of Levi scroll was found in Cave 4 and consist of numerous fragments. The Testament is most likely that of Jacob, Levi’s father. The scroll is dated to the end of the 2nd Century BCE and contains information about a priestly figure that encounters opposition because of the wickedness prevalent in his generation. Other small fragments found are classes as belonging to a Testament of Judah and a Testament of Joseph.

The Testament of Naphtali
Dating to the turn of the era, two fairly intact fragments of the Hebrew text of The Testament of Naphtali were found in Cave 4. The theme of fragment 2 is a blessed end time and is possible part of a sectarian text.

A Joseph Apocryphon
The two fragments of A Joseph Apocryphon were found in Cave 4. The texts, extremely fragmented, are dated to the second half of the 1st Century BCE.

The Testament of Qahat
Two fragments in Aramaic, one complete and one in a bad stat of preservation, of the Testament of Qahat were discovered in Cave 4 at Qumran. The text is “death-bed” literature; a moralizing manuscript. It is dated by Carbon 14 testing to probably 388-353 BCE or 303-325 BCE. The text is non-sectarian.

The Testament of Amram
The five or six fragmented copies of The Testament of Amram were found in Cave 4 at Qumran. The theme of the text is an admonition by Amram to his children. Some of the text is borrowed from the book of Exodus. Part of the text deals with a vision in which Amram sees Melkiresha’, the Chief Angel of Darkness. He also speaks to the Chief of the Army of Light (Possibly Melchizedek).

The Words of Moses
A farewell speech by Moses is the theme of the Words of Moses scroll. Found in Cave 1, the text of the four columns is badly preserved. The text relies on different scriptures from Deuteronomy.

Sermon on the Exodus and the Conquest of Canaan
Of the 16 fragments of this scroll found in Cave 4, only one is large enough for a coherent translation. The scroll tells of the Exodus and the occupation of Canaan.

A Moses Apocryphon (a)
A Moses Apocryphon (a) scroll is much like the Pentateuch. It gives instructions on how a person claiming to be a prophet should be treated. In column 11 there is a sacrificial ritual. The fragments were located in Cave 4 at Qumran.

A Moses Apocryphon (b)
This text is a re-working of exodus 28:9-12. It deals with the subject of the two stones in the shoulder pieces of the High Priests’ garment. Also, the secular head of the community is discussed. These fragments were found in Cave 4.

Moses Apocryphon (c)
Found in Cave 4 at Qumran, this text tells of Eliab, an elder who curses the Jews who do not observe the Law while Moses was on the mountain with God.

Pseudo-Moses (e)
Pseudo-Moses (e) is undoubtedly related to Jubilees and also, possibly, to the Damascus Document. The text is said to be a divine speech addressed to Moses. The date of this work is possibly 2nd Century BCE, no later than 134-104 BCE.

A Moses (or David) Apocryphon
The three small fragments of A Moses (or David) Apocryphon found in Cave 4 deal with a historical rendition of an unknown speaker. Og, King of Bashan is the only actual name mentioned in the text.

Divine Plan for the Conquest of the Holy Land
In Caves 4 and 5 at Qumran, two badly preserved columns and several small fragments of this scroll were found. The narrative seems to tell of the future conquest and the division of the Holy Land. The manuscript appears related to Joshua because of a list of areas, several which appear in Joshua 15-21. The Conquest of Zion by David and the building of the Temple are also included in the text.

Part 5

“The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls In English”
Amazon.com

Links to On-line Study Resources on the Dead Sea Scrolls

Dead Sea Scrolls
Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Dead Sea Scrolls - Qumran Library

Dead Sea Scrolls Web Page of the University of St Andrews

at Books for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered, Robert Eisenman & Michael Wise, Penguin Books, 1992
The Dead Sea Scriptures, Theodor H. Gaster, Peter Smith Publishing, 1976
The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated, Florentino Garcia Martinez, William B. Eerdmans, 1996
Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation, Michael Wise, Martin Abegg, Jr. & Edward Cook, Harper, 1996