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Tal Ilan Gender and Lamentations: 4Q179 and the Canonization of the Book of Lamentations


In diesem Artikel wird ein Text aus Qumran untersucht (4Q179), der verblüffende Ähnlichkeit mit dem Buch der Klagelieder besitzt, aber dennoch keine Version dieses Buches ist. Es wird dargelegt, dass einer der grundlegenden Unterschiede in der Behandlung der Geschlechter liegt. 4Q179 ist in dieser Hinsicht reicher als das masoretische Buch der Klagelieder. Anders als andere Autoren, deren Rekonstruktion der Beziehung zwischen den beiden Texten stets die Behauptung zu Grunde lag, dass 4Q179 beim masoretischen Text Anleihen machte, wird behauptet, dass es sich vielmehr um zwei zeitnah entstandene Texte handelt und dass die Entscheidung, den masoretischen Text zu kanonisieren und den qumranischen zu verwerfen von genderrelevanten Überlegungen herrührt. Es wird die These vertreten, dass Frauen, die zu aktiv oder zu sichtbar sind, oft beim Prozess der Kanonsierung gestrichen werden.

The biblical Book of Lamentations (Lam) is important for gender consideration, because it is full of gendered imagery. When it speaks, as it does most of the time, about the destruction of Jerusalem, it describes her as a mourning, widowed woman, or a wicked heartless mother. The feminine, maternal character of the city is a constant literary and artistic motif from antiquity, both in Jewish and non-Jewish texts. [1] Although, feminist scholars have paid some attention to this book, it remains a relatively unexplored territory. [2] Needless to say that the fate of similar texts of a fragmented nature from Qumran have received even less scholarly attention, and none from gender scholars. However, one fragment from Qumran, closely associated with the Book of Lamentations, could benefit greatly from just such an analysis, which is what I propose to do here. I suggest that the results of this study may also have far-reaching implications for the question of editing and canonization of the masoretic Book of Lamentations itself. The text, known as 4Q179, runs as follows: [3]

Fragment 1, Column II

1.      ...] ר עוונותינו ואין לאלידינו כי לוא שמע[נו

2.            ] יהודה לקורותנו כל אלה ברוע [

3.               ]את בריתו                   אוי לנו[

4.             ]היה לשרפת אש והפכה [

5.                יק]ר תפאר[ת]נו וניחוח אין בו בבי[ת

6.                                    ]חצרות קודשנו היו

7.       ] כנ [                                  ] יתום ירושלים עיר

8.                   ] לחיה ואין מ[חריד       ] ורחובותיה

9.                         ]ן היו כל ארמונותיה שממו

10.                     ] ובאי מועד אין בם כל ערי

11.           ] נחלתנו היתה כמדבר בארץ לוא

12.  זרועה  כ]ל שמ[ח]ה לוא נשמ{ש}עה בה ודורש

13.                ]ל אנוש למכאובתינו [   ]כול חובינו

14.                    פ]שעינו ינ[       ]חטאותינו

Fragment 1, Column II

1.                   אוי לנו כי אף אל עלה[

2.                   ונגוללה עם המתים [

3.                   כמשונאה   יש[

4.                   לעוליהן ובת עמי אכזריה [

5.                   עלומיה שוממו בני [

6.                   מלפני חורף בדל ידיהן [

7.                   אשפתות מדור ביתו[

8.                   שאלו מים ואי[ן] מגי[ר

9.                   המסלאים [ב]פז תו[

10.               וחפץ אין בו האמונים עלי תול[ע

11.               וכתם טוב עדים נושאים הלב[

12.               ומשי תכלת וריקמה מו[

13.               בנות ציון {היקרים} הרכות בם


Fragment 2



3.                                  ]ם בכ]                        ]ע באהלך[

4.                   איכה ישבה] בדד העיר[     ] י [       ירוש]לים   [

5.                   בגו]ים שרתי כל לאומ[ים] שוממה כעזובה וכל [ב]נותיה

6.                   כא]שה ערמה כעצובה וכעזובת [אישה] כל ארמונתיה [

7.                   כ]עקרה וכמסככה <וכמסכנה> כול אורחו[תיה                     ]ה כאשת מרירים

8.                   ] וכל בנותיה כאבלות על בע[ליהן   ]דיה כמשכלות

9.                   ]ליחידיהן בכו תבכה וד[                            ]ו על לחיה על בניה


1.         …]our sins and we have no strength because [we] did not listen

2.                     ] Judah that all these befell us.  Through the evil [

3.                         ] His covenant                                 Woe for us [

4.                         ] has become burnt by fire, and has turned [

5.         ] our [magnific]ent glory, and there is no sweet aroma in the hou[se

6.                                                         ] our holy courtyards have become

7.                                                         ] orphan. Jerusalem, city of

8.         ] for wild beasts and there is no one to f[righten (them)] and her streets

9.         ] woe, all her fortresses have become desolate

10.       ] and there are no festival visitors in them. All the cities of

11.       ] our heritage has become like a desert, a land not

12. sown. E]very j[o]y  is unheard in it and [there is none who] seeks

13.                   ] sore are her injuries[  ]all her sins

14.  ] our [re]belion will[    ] our transgressions.


Fragment 1, Column II

1.                   Woe for us for God’s anger has arisen [

2.                   and let us roll about with the dead     [

3.                   like a despised woman.    There is[

4.                   to their infants and my people’s daughter is cruel[

5.                   her youth(s) have/has been devastated, the sons of [my] people [

6.                   before a curser, when their hands were weak [

7.                   garbage piles are his home dwelling [

8.                   The asked for water and non[e] pou[red

9.                   Who are valued [as gold

10.               and he is undesirable; those nurtured on scarl[et

11.               and fine gold is their adornment, bearers of [

12.               silk, blue wool and embroidery [

13.               the noble sons delicate daughters of Zion among them  [


Fragment 2



3.                                             ] in your tent[

4. How did sit ]alone the city [                                   Jerusa]lem

5. among the nati]ons, princess of all real[ms] is desolate like a [       ] and all her daughters

6. like a wo]man naked, like one suffering, and like one abandoned [by her husband]. All her places

7. like] a barren and impoverished woman. All [her] road[s   ]like a woman of  bitterness

8. ] and all her daughters are like mourners over [their] hu[sbands ]; her [  ]are like those bereaved

9. ]of their only ones. She weeps constantly and [     ] on her cheek over her children


This text was designated by John Allegro “Lamentations.” [5] Only a few scholars have ever discussed it in any depth, and one of the issues they raised was this name. [6] Mauyra Horgan had rightly claimed that this was a misleading title, because the text is not a version of the biblical Lamentations, but rather a text deriving from a similar genre. Therefore, scholars are now calling it 4QApocryphal Lamentations. [7] Yet Allegro was right too in calling it Lamentations. The similarity to the biblical text is striking.

All scholars who have discussed this text have commented that it is very close to the biblical Lamentations. All also concluded, with no further discussion, that since 4Q179, like the biblical Lamentations, is a dirge over the destruction of Jerusalem, it must have been influenced by the biblical text. [8] With this conviction in mind, they assume that its author’s concern was not really to lament the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE, which was an event of the distant past, but rather to use the metaphorical language of the destruction to lament something else. [9] This assumption is based, I suppose, on the principle employed often in the study of ancient Jewish literature, that the authors of the text had a political or theological agenda (or both) and that it was contemporary rather than historical. Thus, for example, the rabbinic Lamentations Rabbah, while using the biblical lament over the destruction of the First Temple, is really actually interested in the destruction of the Second Temple. [10] Up to this point the scholars are in agreement, but this is where they part company. Because if it is not clear who wrote this short lament, it is also impossible to know what s/he is actually lamenting. If this is a sectarian text, as some would have it, perhaps s/he is lamenting the state of Jerusalem and the Temple in the days of the Dead Sea Sect. [11] But scholars are extremely careful to name a Qumran text sectarian. [12] Thus, if it is not sectarian, the chances of identifying the social location of such a text are slim, and its real intentions have to remain obscure. [13] Our scholarly pursuit reaches an impasse.

In order to overcome this impasse let us approach the issue from a different angle. Let us not assume that the similarity to the biblical Lamentations derives from 4Q179’s borrowing, but rather that 4Q179 is an alternative version of Lamentations, preserved in Qumran before the biblical text received its final form and recognition. A short review of the masoretic Lamentations’ presence and distribution in Qumran can be useful here. Although it has been argued by some that the masoretic text of Lamentations is cited in the Hodayot scroll, [14] an investigation of these so-called allusions discloses that they are no more than a combination of two words, in different grammatical modes than the ones found in Lamentations [15] and they may have been no more than common idioms. The scroll of the masoretic Lamentations itself is attested once in Cave 4, [16] on two fragments from Cave 3 and on two fragments from Cave 5. The fragments from Cave 3, however, consist of 10 and 16 letter and one of the fragments from Cave 5 consists of 18 letters. [17] While their reconstruction is convincing, it is hard to know how similar the entire composition in which they were embedded was to the masoretic Lamentations. I shall return to the other two larger fragments of the masoretic Lamentations from Qumran below. Thus, we may conclude that the masoretic Lamentations was known in Qumran, but there is no evidence that its form was stable. In fact, as I will show below, it was not.

As shown by the other scholars who examined this text, if we compare the masoretic Lamentations with 4Q179 linguistically and with regard to common motifs, we are struck by the apparent similarity. When we inquire what is the chief issue on which they differ we should note that gender here plays a major role. [18] Let us take a close look at the text of 4Q179 printed above. It has three parts, or three separate poems. The first one is an admission of guilt on the part of the writer, and is actually dissimilar to the biblical text of Lamentations, so we shall not discuss it here. However, the second part holds linguistic and topical similarities to Lamentations 4 and the third part is similar to Lamentations 1.

I will now present a synoptic comparison of 1Q179 with chapter 1 of Lamentations. In the first column I print the masoretic text. In the second, I present part 3 of 4Q179 as it parallels Lam 1. In the third column I present the text of Lamentations 1 as it is preserved in a scroll from Cave 4 in Qumran. In red are the words in 4Q179 that are feminine and absent from the biblical text. I have boldfaced feminine words in the biblical composition. I have boldfaced in red those words which are gendered and appear in both texts in a similar function. And in blue are presented those words in the biblical text that are clearly masculine. As is obvious, text in red in 4Q179 by far exceeds the ones boldfaced in the masoretic text. I do not present a translation, because the importance in the similarities is linguistic and not textual.

See comparison in the PDF, which you can download via the link at the top and bottom of the article.

As can be seen, chapter 1 in Lamentations consists of feminine images, but only two of them שרתי (my mistress 1:1) and שוממה (deserted 1:13) are also repeated in the Qumran composition. Also, the term אשת מרורים (bitter woman) of 4Q179 may be viewed as similar to the description מר לה (it is bitter to her 1:4) found in the masoretic text. In fact the biblical text suggests three feminine images for Jerusalem – a widow (1:1), a virgin (1:4; 15; 18) and a menstruant (1:8; 17). The last two represent a positive feminine image (the virgin) and a negative one (the menstruant). The first image, the widow, a woman left without her husband, is neutral, but her situation is tragic and irreversible. Because 4Q179 is fragmentary at the very beginning, it remains unclear whether it had also used the widow metaphor, and the parallel to the first verse of Lamentations is very close. However, further down in the text Jerusalem is compared neither to a sinless virgin, nor to a sinful menstruant, nor to a widow, but rather to a deserted (שוממה, עזובה) and infertile (עקרה) woman.

Before I attempt to say something about this difference let me draw your attention to four other textual phenomena in this synopsis.

(1) Note that the woman in 4Q179 is described as שוממה (deserted). This adjective is also used in the masoretic Lamentations, but there it is applied in verse 1:4 to the gates of Jerusalem, which in Hebrew are male and in verse 1:16 to her male sons (בניה).

(2) Jerusalem of Lam 1:4 has virgins (בתולותיה), who are sad (נוגות), but her children are described with the gender neutral term עולליה in 1:5. In 1Q179 as a mother, she is the mother of daughters (בנותיה), who appear in lines 5 and 8. In line 5 they are also deserted. In line 8 they are in mourning.

(3) Note the way the editor of 4Q179 had emended the text: The woman in line 6 is not just described as deserted but also as deserted by her husband (אישה). This last word, absent from the text, is a clearly androcentric emendation. One could instead suggest here for example the emendation אלוהיה (i.e. the woman is deserted by her God). In line 8 the daughters mourn over something that the editor has again emended as בעליהן (their husbands) although the same criticism applies here too.

(4) 4QLam eliminates the gendered feminine term לנדה (as a menstruant) from the masoretic Lamentations. In 1:8 it is replaced with לנוד (object of derision) and in 1:17 לנדה ביניהמה (a menstruant among them) is replaced here with
לנדות בניהמה (sending away of their sons). Similarly the female שוממה (deserted) of 1:13 is replaced with the male שומם in 4QLam. These changes are of the same quality as those between 4Q179 and the masoretic Lamentations, where powerful feminine metaphors are toned down or removed, and male figures appear instead. 4Q179 is more female gendered than the masoretic text, and the masoretic text is more female gendered than 4QLam. This may point to the unstable character of the Lamentations texts during the Second Temple period regarding gender images.

What then is the difference between 4Q179 and the masoretic chapter 1 of Lamantation? The deserted and infertile woman of 4Q179 seems to me more human than the sinless virgin or the sinful menstruant of the masoretic text. This means that, while the masoretic Lamentations has not completely moved away from the use of the feminine metaphor, it has shifted its emphasis from a portrayal of what is reminiscent of a real woman to an unequivocal metaphor. Also the situation of 4Q179’s woman is not hopeless. An infertile woman may be blessed and become fertile. A deserted woman may yet be repossessed, but the husband of a widow is dead. Masoretic Lamentations is a much more pessimistic text than 4Q179.

Let us now turn to a comparison of Lamentations chapter 4 with 4Q179:

See comparison in the PDF, which you can download via the link at the top and bottom of the article.

This synopsis, as can be seen, has only two columns, because there is no extant Qumran manuscript of Lam 4. In chapter 4 of Lamentation we are no longer concerned with metaphor of the pitiful woman, Jerusalem, who is widowed and suffering, but rather with the daughter of Israel as a wicked, heartless mother. In 4:3 she is described as wicked. In 4:6 her crimes are described as greater than those of Sodom. In 4:10 the wickedness of the daughters of Israel is described as so great that they cook their own children. Although 4Q179 is fragmentary and we cannot judge how faithful it is to the Lamentation text, it seems that the wickedness of the daughter of Zion here is not as horrendous. In line 4 she is described as wicked (אכזריה in the feminine, unlike the masculine אכזר of the masoretic text) but unlike the masoretic text, where her victims are the dear sons of Zion (4:2) in 4Q179 her victims are the tender daughters of Jerusalem (line 13). Note also the mistake made by the scribe of 4Q179, who began to write ‘dear’ in the masculine (יקרים) as referring to the sons of Jerusalem, and then corrected himself. This is probably an indication that this scribe was versed in the masoretic lamentations text.

Let me sum up. I think it is hard to miss the gender implications of 4Q179. There are many more feminine images in it than in the masoretic Lamentations, and they are usually more positive or nuanced. How can this be explained? One could claim simply that the author of 4Q179 was friendlier to women and wished to ‘correct’ the picture emerging from the masoretic Lamentations but I find such an explanation unlikely. I think that instead of claiming that 4Q179 was composed by a ‘zealous feminist,’ who found Lamentations offensive and corrected it, we must look for another model here. In my opinion, it makes more sense to assume that 4Q179 is an example of the kind of texts the editor of Lamentations had before his eyes when composing the biblical treatise. The choice he made to diminish the role of women, and at the same time make more extreme the character of the female is a common trait in the process of canonizing texts, as I have argued in many of my studies. [20] I think this is one more such example.

One can demonstrate this process even with straight masoretic manuscripts of Lamentations found in Qumran. In the following synopsis a fragment of the masoretic Lamentations discovered in Cave 5 [21] from Qumran is compared with the end of chapter 4 and the beginning of chapter 5 of the masoretic text:

See comparison in the PDF, which you can download via the link at the top and bottom of the article.

Note that the similarity is great but again that the most significant difference between the texts entails gender. At the very end, the Qumran text, which could (but need not be) viewed as scribal error includes not just mothers (אמתינו), but also daughters (בנות) among the victims of the destruction. This means that even after a masoretic text of sorts had been established for Lamentations, gender was still influencing its shaping.

If my hypothesis is correct, it demonstrates how vital the issue of gender is for such major historical and religious developments as the creation of a sacred canon of texts. This example (and others can certainly also be found) clearly shows that editors who made decisions about what texts will become authoritative and eventually be canonized, were sensitive to gender and the proper ordering of the world according to strict gender categories. Any deviations from the theme they removed or corrected. The masoretic biblical text we possess seems to be a text in this editing process frozen in time. In Qumran we have examples both of what was removed from the text (4Q179) and of what could further have been removed, but was not (4QLam).


[1] For Biblical texts see Ulrike Sals, Die Biographie der ‘Hure Babylon’. Studien zur Intertextualität der Babylon-Texte in der Bibel. (Tübingen 2004); for apocryphal and intertestamental literature see Edith McEwan Hymphrey, The Ladies and the Cities: Transformation and Apocalyptic Identity in Joseph and Aseneth, 4 Ezra, the Apocalypse and the Shepherd of Hermas ( Sheffield 1995), particularly pp. 20-23. On the image of the city as a female goddess in visual art see e.g. Tobias Dohrn, Die Tyche von Antiochia, Berlin 1960.

[2] A recent example is Amy Kalmanofsky, “Their Hearts Cried Out to God: Gender and Prayer in the Book of Lamentations,” in Deborah W. Rooke (ed.), A Question of Sex? Gender and Difference in the Hebrew Bible and Beyond (Sheffield 2007) 53-65 and see also additional bibliography there.

[3] This version is found in Donald W. Parry and Emanuel Tov (eds.), The Dead Sea Scrolls Reader Part 5: Poetic and Liturgical Texts (Leiden Boston 2005) 148-51, edited and translated by Moshe J. Bernstein.

[4] Ibid.

[5] John Allegro, Discoveries in the Judaean Desert 5 ( Oxford 1968) 75.

[6] See Mauyra P. Horgan, “A Lament over Jerusalem (4Q179)” Journal of Semitic Studies 18 (1973) 223.

[7] See Parry and Tov, The Dead Sea Scrolls Reader, 148.

[8] Horgan, “A Lament over Jerusalem,” p. 223: “The work clearly belongs to the literary genre of the lament; … images are drawn … from the biblical book of Lamentations …” and also Adele Berlin, “Qumran Laments and the Study of Lament Literature,” in Esther G. Chazon, (ed.), Liturgical Perspectives: Prayer and Poetry in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Leiden 2003) 1-17 (p. 1: “It is obvious that this composition has drawn heavily on the book of Lamentations …”); Jesper Høgenhaven, “Biblical Quotations and Allusions in 4QApocryphal Lamentations, (4Q179),” in Herbert and Tov (eds.), Bible as Book (p. 116: “… there is a demonstrable and particularly strong link between 4Q179 and the biblical Book of Lamentations”). Hananiah Michaeli, “Reconstruction of ‘Lamentations’ from Qumran: 1Q179,” Beit Mikra 46 (2001) 146-70 (Hebrew) (p. 148: “The [full] reconstruction [of this text] must be based on the biblical Lamentations Scroll … which shares with 4Q179 the description of the destruction” – my translation T.I.).

[9] E.g. Horgan, “A Lament over Jerusalem,” 222 writes: “There is nothing within the text itself which gives any firmer indication of the date except perhaps the devastation of Jerusalem which is described. Theoretically 4Q179 could be a poetic reminiscence of the fall of Jerusalem in 578 B.C. … but it is possible that more contemporary events inspired the work. In I Macc. i. 16-40 there is an account of Antiochus IV Epiphanes’ attack on Jerusalem following his campaigns against Egypt (169/8 and 168/7 B.C.) … the details of the destruction as presented in I Maccabees [are] similar to the content of 4Q179 …”

[10] See Galit Hasan-Roken, Web of Life: Folklore and Midrash in Rabbinic Literature (Stanford 2000) 12.

[11] As suggested by Berlin, “Qumran Laments,” 9, who writes: “All this begins to add up to a peculiarly Qumranic view of Jerusalem. The poet may be conveying a picture of the condition of Jerusalem of his own time, which he couched in the language of the destruction of 586 BCE. To the Qumran community, the Temple was a place of impurity, unfit for sacrifice, and whatever sacrificing was done there would not be pleasing to God. It may not be going too far to say that for the Qumranites the Temple was, in a cultic sense, still in ruins.”

[12] See Dvora Dimant, “The Qumran Manuscripts: Contents and Significance,” in Dvora Dimant and Lawarence H. Schiffman, Time to Prepare the Way in the Wilderness: Papers on the Qumran Scrolls by Fellows of the Institute of Advanced Studies of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem 1989-1990 (Leiden 1995) 27-30. On p. 47 she labels 4Q179 as non-sectarian.

[13] And see the words of Høgenhaven, “Biblical Quotations and Allusions,” 120: “It may be added that the general theme of 4Q179, the image of Jerusalem in ruins, is itself a strong biblical theme, reflected as it is in Daniel, Psalms, and a great number of prophetic passages. The theme also occurs with theological significance in other writings from the Qumran library. In light of this literary background there should seem little reason to look for any specific historical events as the background for 4Q179.”

[14] See Lange, “The Status of the Biblical Text,” 28, n. 12. The references in this footnote are very confusing and in one case incorrect, and see next note.

[15] These are Lam 3:17 (תזנח משלום נפשי) in 1QH 9:11 (ושלומי לא הזנחת) and 3:14 (הייתי שחק לבני עמי נגינתם כל היום) in 1QH 2:11 (אני הייתי נגינה לפושעים) but compare also Psalms 69:13 (ישיחו בי יושבי שער ונגינות שותי שכר), which could be the source of this text. Both these references were suggested by J. Licht, The Thanksgiving Scroll: A Scroll from the Wilderness of Judaea ( Jerusalem 1957) 67, 144 (Hebrew). See also Lam 3:48 (פצו עליך פיהם כל אויביך) in 1QH 5:11 (ולא פצו עלי פיהם) as identified by Johann Maier, Die Qumran-Essener: Die Texte vom Toten Meer III (München 1969) 178. Note that both scholars failed to identify Lamentation ‘quotations’ identified by the other.

[16] See Frank Moore Cross, in Discoveries in the Judaean Desert 16 (Oxford 2000) 229-37.

[17] For the Cave 3 fragments see: M. Baillet, Discoveries in the Judaean Desert 3 ( Oxford 1962) 95:

Lam 1:10-2:

] קהל[

] יהוה [

הוג[ה [

Lam 3:53-62:

צמתו ב[בור [

קולי שמע[ת [

ראי[תה [

ש[פ]ת[י [

For the cave 5 fragment see Josef T. Milik, ibid., 176-8:


צדו צע[דינו

קלים ה

] אפינו

[18] Gender is such a generic issue in the imagery of Lamentations that anyone who deals with these texts is bound to come across it. Thus Horgan, “A Lament over Jerusalem,” 228-9, wrote: “The third column describes the desolate city as a woman and enumerates her sorrows. The principle allusions are to Lam. i. 2 and Isa[iah] liv. 5-6. Jerusalem and all her daughters, i.e. the surrounding cities have been abandoned … she mourns the fate of the people, her children.” Horgan here chooses to stress the similarities rather than the differences. Berlin, “Qumran Laments,” 8, writes: “Whereas Lam 1:1 speaks of a widowed woman dwelling alone and then goes on to portray a faithless woman, 4Q179 2, calling on descriptions of the destroyed cities from Isa[iah] 54:1-6 and perhaps Zeph[aniah] 2:4, speaks of a woman abandoned, barren and bitter.” She obviously notes the difference between 4Q179 and the masoretic text but assigns this difference to a reference found in 4Q179 to another biblical allusion. She is consistent in her understanding of the text as secondary to the biblical. Høgenhaven, “Biblical Quotations and Allusions,” 119-20, writes: “In the text of the column preserved on fragment 2 (column iii) we have a direct quotation from the opening phrase of Lamentations 1:1. This quotation is then used as a starting-point for developing the metaphor of Jerusalem as a mourning, abandoned woman, a metaphor which governs the entire following description. A biblical allusion is thus made the structuring principle of the text, biblical allusions and materials being employed extensively to elaborate the metaphor, yet the context created is a new context in its own right.” The ‘structuring principle’ in the understanding of this scholar is that this composition is secondary to the biblical ones, but aside from that he comes closest to identifying the unique gendered features of this text.

[19] Cross, Discoveries in the Judaean Desert 16, 231-2.

[20] And see recently Tal Ilan, Silencing the Queen: The Literary Histories of Shelamzion and other Jewish Women (Tübingen 2006) especially the Introduction.

[21] On the insignificance of the provenance of a manuscript in the Qumran caves see Dimant, “The Qumran Manuscripts,” 30-1.

[22] Milik, Discoveries in the Judaean Desert 3, 176-7.

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Tal Ilan,

is professor for Jewish Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin und co-editor of the lectio difficilior.

© Tal Ilan, 2008,, ISSN 1661-3317