Moar Living Amongst the Dead
You saw me dookieing on The Paper of Record the other day, and I’m a fair man, working on the equity, but I’m a fair man, and so I dish out praise when it is due. With all of the critical things I said about President Obama, I was the first to commend his freeing of nonviolent prisoners and slight unlocking of the embargo on Cuba during the last throes of his regime. The Times is at its best when it covers news such as new findings amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The new fragments contain verses from Zechariah 8:16-17, including part of the name of God written in ancient Hebrew, and verses from Nahum 1:5-6, both from the biblical Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets.
Hebrew means so many things. The language spoken in the nation-state of Israel today is a concoction of Biblical Hebrew, Yiddish and other mostly European influences. Biblical Hebrew is named after עבר (Aber); the one who crosses or passes over. ሸገር (sheger) in Amharic, which in a mostly unconnected way, is the nickname for Adees Abeba the capitol city of Ethiopia. Biblical Hebrew is mostly written in an Aramaic script picked up in Babylonian captivity. Before this script, in use today for Modern and Biblical Hebrew, there were different iterations of what is called paleo or ancient Hebrew (click font, and play). The Samaritans’ script, they’re still around, and this paleo or ancient script look more like each other than the Aramaic script in use today. Twins versus first cousins.
Samaritans, Sadducees, Pharisees, Zealots, Herodians, Essenes, and Christians are some of the designations we use to refer to the various self-described worshipers of YHWH in the 1st Century A.D. Palestine. Samaritans accept the pentateuch: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy as scripture. Although, they wouldn’t call them these names because these are the names received from the Old Greek translation tradition of diasporic YHWH worshippers. And they’re mountain of choice is Mt. Gerazim. The Sadducees similarly only accept the pentateuch as scripture, but additionally eschew the resurrection of the dead, angels, and the like. And they held clerical power, even as a minority, in this period. The Pharisees are broadly speaking the ancestors of modern Jews and Christians alike, but more narrowly speaking of the scholarly rabbinic (professorial) class that replaced the priestly power after the destruction of the Second Temple.
The destruction of the Second Temple can be attributed to many percolating matters, but chiefly it is the result of the Zealots’ idea of salvation through a physical insurrection against Rome. The Zealots would have preferred victory and the establishment of a nation-state; nothing like that happened till about 2000 years later and minus their כהנים (kohaneeym - priests). The Herodians were hereditary kings of the Jews who collaborated with and were under the governmental authority of Rome. The Christians were mostly established by the Pharisee Paul of Tarsus, but were also a hodge-podge of these groups and many others. Even those Steppe Scythians, and those Ethiopians at the extremities of the earth.
The Scroll of the Twelve (minor prophets) is the last subpart of the Hebrew Bible. It is filled with prophesies of the coming Christ, and warnings of final judgment. I encourage you to read them aloud throughout the year, but especially during the Ge’ez Rite Fast of the Prophets that precedes Christmas. As a taste of what is to come, here is how the KJV renders the passages listed above.
These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates: And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the Lord.
The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.
Finally, the Dead Sea Scrolls have always had a place in my heart, because in some ways I was named after them. HNWK (Enoch) appears in Genesis, Hebrews, and Jude. This is accepted by all Christians. Jude quotes directly from the Scroll of HNWK, which only the Aksumites accept as Scripture and perhaps as late as in the Solomonic Dynasty’s 13th Century A.D. arrival. Fragments of HNWK were found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, but the complete text is found only amongst the Aksumites, who surely didn’t originally write it. My baba ELYHW (Elijah/Elias) named me after the biblical HNWK after this national pride, and because these are the two characters of scripture to never taste death.
The Aksumite School of Biblical Exegesis says they are still today in the nation of the living; wherever that is. And though not named explicitly, some say they are the two figures named in John’s Revelation who will return for judgement day. Certainly ELYHW was present at the Metamorphosis of Christ. Who knows? YHWH knows.