Pesher and Razim - Qumran or Pharisee?

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frank Rogers
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Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2019 6:07 pm

Pesher and Razim - Qumran or Pharisee?

Post by frank Rogers »

I have been looking into the Pesher interpretations of the Qumran community. The appeared to believe the "teacher of righteousness" by the Spirit of God, would be able to bring about the revelation or the "Pesher" from the Razim or the mysteries of Torah prophecy. They also believed that the prophecies had application to their time period and related to them. Is there a less "charasmatic" version of this Pesher of which it would not be divinely imparted but simple rabinic exegesis that would have existed during the time of Hillel? Or is the Qumran Pesher the earliest introduction to this form of Jewish understanding of what the word means. I know it can also be found in the book of Daniel of which Daniel revealed the dream to the King. So would the midrash that existed in Jerusalem at that time included Pesher interpretation or was this something the Qumran community engaged in more exclusively?

Frank Rogers
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Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:39 am

Re: Pesher and Razim - Qumran or Pharisee?

Post by klewis »

I would argue that the vast majority of the Hebrew scriptures is a more sophisticated Pesher interpretation.

For example the Book of Ezekiel is a parallel to the latter half of the book of Exodus. The writer of Ezekiel interpreted the plight of the Jews in the Babylonian captivity in light of the journey of Moses from Mount Sinai to the construction of the tabernacle in Exodus:

Exodus 19:1 - 40:38 Ezekiel (1:1 - 48:35) (Ordered by)
  • Moses at Mount Sinai (Exod 19:1-2).
  • Yahweh descends in a thick cloud and Moses ascends (Exod 19:7-20).
  • God sends Moses back to his people to give a message (Exod 19:21-25).
  • Moses is given the ten commandments on two stone tablets, written on both sides (Exod 20:1-26; 24:12-28; 32:15).
  • Ezekiel at a River (Ezek 1:1-3).
  • A cloud comes to Ezekiel and he is taken to it (Ezek 1:4-28).
  • God tells Ezekiel that he will send him to the Israelites (Ezek 2:1-7).
  • Ezekiel is given a scroll written on two sides (2:8 - 3:3).
  • God tells Moses that he will kill the Israelites because they are unfaithful (Exod 32:7-9)
  • God tells Ezekiel that he will destroy idolatrous Israel (Ezek 6:1 - 7:27).
  • Moses pleads with God to preserve his people (32:7-14).
  • God pleads with Ezekiel to tell his people (Ezek 3:4-15).
  • In anger, Moses breaks the ten commands written on both sides of the stone (Exod 32:15-20).
  • Ezekiel eats the two sided scroll which tastes like honey (2:8 - 3:3).
  • Aaron makes a golden god in the shape of a calf (Exod 32:1-6).*
  • Ezekiel told to make a low quality food and bake it with cows dung (Ezek 4:9-16).
  • The sons of Levi with a sword were to kill (Ezek 32:26-27):
    1. Every man’s brother.
    2. Every man’s companion.
    3. Every man’s neighbor.
  • They will be blotted out of the book (Exod 32:31-33).
  • Ezekiel with a barber razor / sword was told that god will do (Ezek 5:1-2):
    1. A third shall burn in the fire.
    2. A third killed with the sword.
    3. A third scattered to the wind to be killed by God’s sword.
  • God uses an ink blot on the Israelites forehead as a means of identifying who will be killed (Ezek 9:1-11).
  • Yahweh’s followers went to the tent of the meeting (Exod 33:7).
  • Moses stood at the door and Yahweh’s glory talked with him (Exod 33:8).
  • Everyone left the tent and shows mercy to the Israelites (Exod 33:7-23)
  • God shows Moses his glory (Exod 33:18-22).
  • God sends his executions to the six Jerusalem gates (Ezek 9:1-2).
  • The God’s glory ascends to talked with a man at the door (Ezek 9:3).
  • The man was told to mark everyone with ink on their forehead who committed abominations. The man was told not to show any mercy (Ezek 9:4-5).
  • The glory of God flees Jerusalem (Ezek 10:1-22).
  • God orders Israel to keep the Sabbath (Exod 16:23-29; 20:8-11; 31:14-16)
  • Breastplate of 12 stones (Exod 28:15-20).*
  • God promises the conquest of Canaan (Exod 23:20-33).*
  • Israel did not follow the Sabbath (Exek 20:13-30).
  • Same 12 stones as Exodus’ breastplate but found in the garden of Eden (Ezed 28:13).
  • God promises the restoration and protection of Israel (Ezek 29:3 - 39:29).
  • The building of the tabernacle (Exod 35:4 - 40:38).
  • The twelve tribes encamped around the city of God (Num 1:50 -3:38).
  • The offering by the princes of Israel (Num 2:3-34).
  • The city of God (Ezek 40:1 - 48:35).
  • The twelve tribes will camp around the city of God (Ezek 48:1-8).
  • The princes of Israel will provide offerings (Ezek 48:9-29).

*Exodus passages aligned to Ezekiel passages.

The Book of Revelation does the same with the book of Ezekiel. Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians as depicted by Ezekiel and the writer of Revelation used the book of Ezekiel to convey the story of Rome destroying Jerusalem. The difference is that the writer also took Isaiah chapters 6 to 29 and used the imagery of Jesus (see ... uSXCx/view).

I can give you literally hundreds of examples like the two provided above. The Pesher interpretation is a natural byproduct of how the Hebrews wrote and thought at the time that the Hebrew and Christian scriptures were written.
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