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The Story of King Jannaeus (b. Qiddušin 66a): A Pharisaic Reply to Sectarian Polemic*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 January 2014

Vered Noam*
Tel-Aviv University


As is well known, no Pharisaic document has survived. What we know of this Jewish faction has been transmitted through the mediation of other, frequently hostile, factions, or later sources. The sudden discovery of a Pharisaic document hidden in a cave somewhere would certainly arouse profound interest and excitement. In what follows, I would like to propose that the story of the rupture between King Jannaeus and the Pharisees recounted in b. Qiddušin 66a is actually such a discovery, except that it was not concealed in a sealed jar but rather embedded in the Babylonian Talmud (BT).

Copyright © President and Fellows of Harvard College 2014 

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This study was funded by the Israel Science Foundation (Grant no. 85/08). I am indebted to several friends and colleagues for their useful comments on different drafts of this paper: Daphne Baratz, Steven D. Fraade, Tal Ilan, Noam Mizrahi, Elisha Qimron, Inbar Raveh, and Moulie Vidas.


1 See, e.g., Rivkin, Ellis, “Defining the Pharisees: The Tannaitic Sources,” HUCA 40–41 (1969–1970) 205–49Google Scholar, at 205.

2 This parallel is just one example of the more than two dozen parallel traditions found in Josephus and rabbinic literature. For preliminary observations see Cohen, Shaye J. D., “Parallel Historical Traditions in Josephus and Rabbinic Literature,” in The History of the Jewish People: From the Second Temple Period until the Middle Ages (vol. B.1 of Proceedings of the Ninth World Congress of Jewish Studies; Jerusalem: World Union of Jewish Studies, 1986) 714Google Scholar. I am now engaged in a joint research project on this topic with Tal Ilan, in collaboration with Daphne Baratz, Meir Ben Shahar and Yael Fisch; see recently Noam, Vered, “Did the Rabbis Know Josephus’ Works?Tarbiz 81 (2013) 367–95Google Scholar [Hebrew].

3 Revised translation based on Kiddushin (ed. Isidor Epstein; trans. H. Freedman; vol. 15 of Hebrew-English Edition of the Babylonian Talmud; new ed.; London: Soncino, 1966). Some revisions follow Baumgarten, Albert I., “Rabbinic Literature as a Source for the History of Jewish Sectarianism in the Second Temple Period,” DSD 2 (1995) 1457Google Scholar, at 36–37. Others are mine, based mainly on the variants found in the manuscripts of the Babylonian sugya.

4 For scholarly identifications of Kohalith, see Efron, Joshua, Studies on the Hasmonean Period (SJLA 39; Leiden: Brill, 1987) 178Google Scholar.

5 See Deut 3:4; and Efron, Studies, 178.

6 On , see Baumgarten, “Rabbinic Literature,” 36 n. 84.

7 Usually translated “evil-hearted,” according to the printed versions (both Venice [Bomberg edition, 1520] and Vilna [Romm edition, 1835] editions read: ), but mss Vatican 111 (henceforth V.), Oxford 367 (O.), Munich 95 (M.) and the old, reliable Spanish printed edition of Guadalajara (ca. 1480; SP) read: (SP: ), without . This word, as already suggested by Israel Friedlander, is a dittography from (“The Rupture between Alexander Jannai and the Pharisees,” JQR NS 4 [1914] 443–48, at 446 n. 15).

8 Kiddushin here translates (Belial) as “worthless,” as do the English editions of the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) on occasion (see, e.g., Martin G. Abegg et al., The Dead Sea Scrolls Concordance [3 vols.; Leiden: Brill, 2003–2010] 1:146; and Steudel, Annette, “425. 4QSapiential-Didactic Work B,” in Qumran Cave 4 XV: Sapiential Texts, Part 1 [ed. Elgvin, Torleifet al.; DJD XX; Oxford: Clarendon, 1997] 203–10Google Scholar, at 205). In my opinion, however, the renderings “wicked” or “a scoundrel,” found in certain Bible translations, are better equivalents. For biblical occurrences of , see 2 Sam 20:1; Prov 16:27.

9 On the possible identification of this Eleazar with Eleazar son of Pachura, mentioned in the Yerushalmi, see below.

10 Thus O., SP, and the Venice and Vilna editions. This expression is unique to our story and appears nowhere else in rabbinic literature or in any other Hebrew corpus.

11 The verb in this context has nothing to do with standing, as ancients and moderns erroneously understood, but rather means “to make someone swear,” as already suggested by Krochmal, Nachman (Commentaries and Notes on the Babylonian Talmud [facsimile of the 1881 ed.; Jerusalem: Makor, 1978] 218 [Hebrew])Google Scholar and elaborated by Lieberman, Saul (Tosefta ki-fshutah. Seder nashim [Parts 6–7; 2nd ed.; New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1995] 397 n. 14)Google Scholar according to the meaning of the Aramaic root . For further elaboration on this root see Paul, Shalom M., Divrei Shalom: Collected Studies of Shalom M. Paul on the Bible and the Ancient Near East, 1967–2005 (Leiden: Brill, 2005) 142–43, 287Google Scholar. in this meaning also appears, though rarely, in Hebrew sources, such as the DSS, the Mishnah (see Schiffman, Lawrence H., Sectarian Law in the Dead Sea Scrolls [Chico, Calif.: Scholars, 1983] 7071Google Scholar n. 80) and probably the Hebrew original of several Jewish works from the Second Temple era of which only the Greek translations have survived (see Alon, Gedalyahu, Studies in Jewish History in the Times of the Second Temple, the Mishna and the Talmud [2 vols.; Tel Aviv: Haqibbuts Hameuhad, 1957] 1:189Google Scholar [Hebrew]). According to Krochmal, Eleazar advised Jannaeus to make the Pharisees swear by the , the golden plate that the high priest used to wear on his forehead, that they accepted his dual authority as king and high priest (although Jannaeus was not wearing it at the feast, outside the Temple). Eleazar believed that they would refuse to swear, thus proving their disloyalty. Swearing by the Temple worship, by the high priest's clothes, and especially by the Tetragrammaton engraved on the ≈yx, was a common Jewish practice; see Lieberman, Seder nashim, 397 n. 14 and Schiffman, Sectarian Law, 70–71 n. 80.

12 The description of the as placed between the eyes appears elsewhere in rabbinic literature (t. Ḥal. 1:10; Šir Hašširim Zuṭa 4:3).

13 In the printed versions: . However, the mss provide a variety of versions: (V. twice); (O. three times); ‘ (M. twice [the third time: ‘]); (SP twice). Genizah fragment Cambridge, CUL: T-S Misc. 28.265, begins with the second mention of the name and has twice. V. also reads in the third occurrence of the name. This version appears in Rashba too, as noted by Friedlander, “Rupture,” 447 n. 18; Efron, Studies, 180. I prefer this version since it appears consistently in the Genizah fragment and is attested elsewhere too. Moreover, the name Gudgeda is well known from the days of the Second Temple. On the early sage Yoḥanan son of Gudgeda see m. Ḥag. 2:7; m. >Ed. 7:9; t. Ter. 1:1; t. Šeqal. 2:14; Sipre Num. 116; Sipre Zuṭa 28:4, and elsewhere.

14 Baumgarten (“Rabbinic Literature,” 37 and n. 86) translates (following Rashi, s.v., ): “The Sages of Israel departed [with the king] angry [at them].” In my opinion, the Hebrew syntax does not enable this reading. Here Josephus's version relates: “while all the Pharisees were very indignant ()” (292). This indicates that the vague anger in our story is not the king's anger at the sages, but rather the sages’ anger at the slanderer (see Neusner, Jacob, The Rabbinic Traditions about the Pharisees before 70 [3 vols.; Leiden: Brill, 1971] 175Google Scholar). Likewise, their “departure” does not mean physically leaving the place, but rather separating themselves from this man and his words. As I hope to show below, the main goal of the storyteller is to show that, in contradistinction to Eleazar's accusation against the Pharisees, the sages never supported Yehudah's defamation of the king.

15 It is unclear to which “law for a commoner” Eleazar is referring. As Heinrich Graetz notes, there is an omission in the Talmudic version, which can only be supplemented by the Josephan parallel, according to which the Pharisees suggested stripes and chains, instead of execution, as the slanderer's punishment (Geschichte der Juden von den ältesten Zeiten bis auf die Gegenwart [11 vols.; Leipzig: Leiner, 1890–1908] 3:688). See also Derenbourg, Joseph, Essai sur l'histoire et la géographie de la Palestine d'après les Thalmuds et autres sources rabbiniques (Paris: L'Imprimerie Impériale, 1867) 80 n. 1Google Scholar; Neusner, Rabbinic Traditions, 175; Schwartz, Daniel R., “On Pharisaic Opposition to the Hasmonean Dynasty,” in Studies in the Jewish Background of Christianity (Tübingen: Mohr, 1992) 49 n. 23Google Scholar. This detail is missing from the baraita, but Eleazar's statement seems to react to it, meaning, according to Schwartz (ibid.): “Such is the proper punishment when a private person has been insulted, but you are a king!” For a different opinion, see Kalmin, Richard, Jewish Babylonia between Persia and Roman Palestine (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006) 210 n. 101CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

16 On Urbach's suggested reading of this phrase— (written and deposited)—and Baumgarten's rejection of this suggestion, see Baumgarten, “Rabbinic Literature,” 37 n. 87. The reading is not directly attested in any manuscript or printed witness. All witnesses, including the Genizah fragment, read (bound up and lying). For more on this expression, see below.

17 Thus in O. and in the Venice and Vilna printed editions. In the Genizah fragment . This verb is unique to this story. According to Elisha Qimron (oral communication), the vowel u in this verb does not indicate the passive, but rather an intransitive verb. See Qimron, Elisha, “ and its Kindred Forms,” Leshonenu 67 (2005) 2126Google Scholar [Hebrew].

18 As noted by many, Tannaitic sources use the designation “Pharisees” only in contexts of dispute, integrating this word into their opponents’ arguments, whereas the storytellers always prefer the label “sages” (). See Rivkin, “Defining the Pharisees,” 205–49 (esp. 213–17, 231–32, 247–48); Cohen, Shaye J. D., “The Significance of Yavneh: Pharisees, Rabbis, and the End of Jewish Sectarianism,” HUCA 55 (1984) 41Google Scholar and n. 39; Flusser, David, “4QMMT and the Benediction against the Minim,” in Qumran and Apocalypticism (trans. Yadin, Azzan; vol. 1 of Judaism of the Second Temple Period; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2007) 97103Google Scholar, esp. 99 (I am indebted to Yair Zoran for this reference). The exact connection between the post-70 rabbis and the pre-70 Pharisees is beyond the scope of this article; see Cohen, “Significance of Yavneh,” 36–42. In contrast to Cohen's conjecture (37, 39), I do not see any reason to ascribe the designation “sages of Israel” to later, Babylonian “rabbinization” processes. For Second Temple equivalents of this expression, see below.

19 Mason, Steve, Flavius Josephus on the Pharisees: A Composition-Critical Study (Leiden: Brill, 1991) 228, 230–40Google Scholar.

20 The following does not propose to cover the extensive bibliography devoted to the two versions of the story. For historical reconstructions based on this tradition, see, e.g., Schürer, Emil, The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ (ed. Vermes, Geza and Millar, Fergus; 3 vols.; rev. English ed.; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1973) 1:213–14, 223 n. 16Google Scholar; Aptowitzer, Victor, Parteipolitik der Hasmonaeerzeit im rabbinischen und pseudoepigraphischen Schrifttum (Vienna: Kohut-Foundation, 1927) 1317Google Scholar; Tcherikover, Victor, Hellenistic Civilization and the Jews (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1959; repr., Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 1999) 254–61Google Scholar; Zeitlin, Solomon, The Rise and Fall of the Judaean State: A Political, Social and Religious History of the Second Commonwealth (3 vols.; Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1962) 1:168–70Google Scholar. For more recent and refined efforts to draw historical conclusions from this tradition, see Levine, Lee I., “The Political Struggle between Pharisees and Sadducees in the Hasmonean Period,” in Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period: Abraham Schalit Memorial Volume (ed. Oppenheimer, Aharonet al.; Jerusalem: Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi, Ministry of Defense, 1980) 6183Google Scholar, esp. 70–74 [Hebrew]; Schwartz, “On Pharisaic Opposition,” 48–49; Baumgarten, “Rabbinic Literature,” 36–52; Main, Emmanuelle, “Les Sadducéens vus par Flavius Josèphe,” RB 97 (1990) 190202Google Scholar; Goodblatt, David, “The Union of Priesthood and Kingship in Second Temple Judea,” Cathedra 102 (2001) 728Google Scholar, esp. 11–14 [Hebrew]. For other kinds of analysis see Efron, Studies, 161–65, 176–86; Neusner, Jacob, “Josephus’ Pharisees: A Complete Repertoire,” in Josephus, Judaism, and Christianity (ed. Feldman, Louis H. and Hata, Gohei; Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1987) 283–86Google Scholar; idem, Rabbinic Traditions, 1:173–76; Schwartz, Daniel R., “Josephus and Nicolaus on the Pharisees,” JSJ 14 (1983) 158–59Google Scholar; idem, “Remembering the Second Temple Period: Josephus and the Rabbis, Apologetics and Rabbinical Training,” in Erinnerung als Herkunft der Zukunft. Zum Jubiläumssymposium des Instituts für jüdisch-christliche Forschung an der Universität Luzern (17.–19. September 2006) (ed. Verena Lenzen; Bern: Peter Lang, 2008) 63–83, esp. 70–71, 74–76; Mason, Flavius Josephus, 213–45; Kalmin, Jewish Babylonia, 53–59, 160–67.

21 For the most detailed comparisons, see Main, “Les Sadducéens vus par Flavius,” 190–202; Kalmin, Jewish Babylonia, 53–59.

22 Derenbourg, Essai, 79–80; Aptowitzer, Parteipolitik, 13–17; Rabin, Chaim, “Alexander Jannaeus and the Pharisees,” JJS 7 (1956) 89CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Tcherikover, Hellenistic Civilization, 254–61; Neusner, Rabbinic Traditions, 1:173–76; Efron, Studies, 177; Cohen, “Parallel Historical Traditions,” 14; Goodblatt, “Union,” 13. See also the references in Friedlander, “Rupture,” 443 n. 3; Efron, Studies, 178 n. 151. Many scholars have referred to b. Ber. 29a, where the fourth generation sage Abaye explicitly states: “Yannai [= Jannaeus] and Yohanan [= John Hyrcanus] are one [and the same person].” Since Abaye is the sage who transmits our legend in Qiddušin, they have suggested that he was responsible for the switch of Hyrcanus to Jannaeus (see, e.g., Derenbourg, Essai, 80–81, n. 1; for other postulations regarding the connections between these two sugyot, see Kalmin, Jewish Babylonia, 160–64; Geller, Markham J., “Alexander Jannaeus and the Pharisee Rift,” JJS 30 [1979] 202–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar). Graetz (Geschichte, 3:687–89) and Lévi, Israel (“Les sources talmudiques de l'histoire juive,” REJ 35 [1897] 218–23Google Scholar), like most of their successors, preferred Josephus's identification of the Hasmonean ruler as Hyrcanus over that of the Talmudic baraita as Jannaeus. However, they argued for the uniqueness and antiquity of the account in Qiddušin, which they considered an excerpt from a lost Hebrew Hasmonean chronicle. For a similar stance, see Klausner, Joseph, Historia shel HaBayit HaSheni (5 vols.; Jerusalem: Aḥiasaf, 1950) 3:136–39Google Scholar [Hebrew]; Baumgarten (“Rabbinic Literature,” 46 n. 116); and Zeitlin (Rise and Fall, 169), who prefer Josephus's dating of the story, but still consider his narrative to be “of a later period” than the Talmudic legend.

23 Friedlander, “Rupture,” 443–48; Alon, Gedalyahu, “The Attitude of the Pharisees to Roman Rule and the House of Herod,” in Jews, Judaism and the Classical World (trans. Abrahams, Israel; Jerusalem: Magnes, 1977) 26Google Scholar and n. 22; Geller, “Alexander Jannaeus,” 202–11; Main, “Les Sadducéens vus par Flavius,” 190–202. See also the references in Efron, Studies, 177 n. 150.

24 There are visible seams between Josephus's frame narrative for the “rupture tradition,” which displays hostility toward the Pharisees and, as many note, in many respects contradicts the pro-Pharisaic tradition, and the story itself. The rupture tradition, as shown by Mason (Flavius Josephus, 215–16, 218–21); Kalmin (Jewish Babylonia, 56, 167) and others, runs counter to Josephus's tendencies and terminology in general, and thus must have stemmed from a different source. This is also obvious from the absence of this tradition in the parallel account in B.J. 1.67–69. Its content, as well as its Talmudic parallel, attests to its Jewish origin. For the scholarly dispute regarding the sources used by Josephus for the frame narrative, see Schwartz, “Josephus and Nicolaus,” 158–59; Mason, Flavius Josephus, 222–27, and the additional references in both. See also Levine, “Political Struggle” 71–72; Efron, Studies, 163–65.

25 Kalmin, Jewish Babylonia, 56.

26 See, e.g., Levine (“Political Struggle,” 73) and Baumgarten, (“Rabbinic Literature,” 47–52) who date the story to the period following Jannaeus's death.

27 See, e.g., Lévi, “Sources talmudiques,” 218–23; Friedlander, “Rupture,” 443–48; Levine, “Political Struggle,” 73–74; Schwartz, “On Pharisaic Opposition,” 48–49; Baumgarten, “Rabbinic Literature,” 47–52.

28 See especially Efron, Studies, 177–86. Kalmin's opinion is not as extreme. He believes that the baraita “is based on a very early source that Babylonian rabbis altered on the basis of their own preoccupations” (Jewish Babylonia, 58). Schwartz alludes to a similar premise (“Remembering the Second Temple Period,” 75–76).

29 On waw consecutive, see Segal, Moses H., A Grammar of Mishnaic Hebrew (Oxford: Clarendon, 1927) 72Google Scholar. He elaborates in the later, Hebrew edition of this book: Segal, Moshe Zvi, Dikduk leshon hamishnah (Tel Aviv: Dvir, 1936) 124Google Scholar. See also Kutscher, Eduard Y., The Language and Linguistic Background of the Isaiah Scroll (1QIsaa) (STDJ 6; Leiden: Brill, 1974) 351–52Google Scholar; Smith, Mark S., The Origin and Development of the Waw Consecutive: Northwest Semitic Evidence from Ugarit to Qumran (HSS 39; Atlanta, Ga.: Scholars, 1991)Google Scholar. For additional references, see Bar-Asher, Studies in Mishnaic Hebrew, 1:111 and n. 8.

30 See, e.g., Zeitlin, Rise and Fall, 169; Geller, “Alexander Jannaeus,” 210; Baumgarten, “Rabbinic Literature,” 38.

31 See B.J. 1.3; Graetz, Geschichte, 3:688. Baumgarten rejects this idea (“Rabbinic Literature,” 38). Apart from the fact that the first edition of B.J. was probably written in Aramaic and not in Hebrew, I note that the rupture tradition is missing from the current B.J. altogether, and that Josephus could hardly be the source of the rabbinic version of the story, which differs in many respects from his account in A.J. In any event, it seems that Graetz himself did not take his own theory too seriously, since he proposed a different work as the source of this legend in the same volume; see below.

32 1 Macc 16:23–24. This possibility is only implicitly alluded to by Graetz (Geschichte, 3:82; see his reference in the footnote to Appendix 11, which is devoted to the rupture legend). See also Friedlander, “Rupture,” 448.

33 Lévi, “Sources talmudiques,” 222.

34 Klausner, Historia, 3:137

35 Neusner, “Josephus’ Pharisees,” 285.

36 Segal, Grammar, 13, 72.

37 See Rabinowitz, Zvi Meir, Halakha and Aggada in the Liturgical Poetry of Yannai (Tel Aviv: Kohut Foundation, 1965) xxxv n. 25Google Scholar [Hebrew] (but cf. Baumgarten, “Rabbinic Literature,” 38 n. 88); Efron, Studies, 183. Kalmin (Jewish Babylonia, 58–59) identified disparate layers within the story. For greater detail, consult the end of this article.

38 After the completion of the current article I became aware of an elaborated discussion of this allusion, by Koller, Aaron J., Esther in Ancient Jewish Thought (Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2014) 147–51Google Scholar. I thank Dr. Koller for sharing his work with me prior to its publication.

39 See Goodblatt, “Union,” 13 n. 21, although he did not note the intentional allusion here. The Hebrew word is also unique to these three biblical occurrences. Interestingly, the only other rabbinic context that mentions swearing by the priestly golden plate that is placed “between the eyes” alludes to Esther as well. See t. Ḥal. 1:10 and Esth 6:8.

40 Lévi, “Sources talmudiques,” 222; Koller, Esther, 147–51.

41 For this point, see Baumgarten, “Rabbinic Literature,” 45; Koller, Esther, ibid. On meals as sites that manifest hierarchic struggles in rabbinic literature, see Weiss, Ruhama, Meal Tests: The Meal in the World of the Sages (Tel Aviv: Haqibbuts Hameuhad, 2010) 1638Google Scholar, 320–25 [Hebrew].

42 Source criticism recognizes at least two literary strata in the biblical story, but this question is beyond the scope of the current discussion.

43 On the rabbinic treatment of the Korah story, see Feldman, Louis H., Studies in Josephus’ Rewritten Bible (Leiden: Brill, 1998) 9497Google Scholar; Urbach, Ephraim E., “The Role of the Ten Commandments in Jewish Worship,” in The Ten Commandments in History and Tradition (ed. Segal, Ben-Zion; English version ed. Gershon Levi; Jerusalem: Magnes, 1990) 176–79Google Scholar; repr. in Collected Writings in Jewish Studies (ed. Robert Brody and Moshe D. Herr; Jerusalem: Magnes, 1999) 304–7; and the references collected by Scott, James M., “Korah and Qumran,” in The Bible at Qumran: Text, Shape, and Interpretation (ed. Flint, Peter; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2001) 182202Google Scholar, at 190 n. 35. See also Draper, Jonathan A., “‘Korah’ and the Second Temple,” in Templum Amicitiae: Essays on the Second Temple Presented to Ernst Bammel (ed. Horbury, William; JSNTSup 48; Sheffield: JSOT, 1991) 150–74Google Scholar.

44 Feldman, Studies, 91–109.

45 The words (the punishment of Korah) appear in 4Q423 5 (see the possible parallel in 4Q418a 3). Since the fragmentary text contains the words (and take care), (leader of your people), and (all rulers), it seems to be warning against opposing the leaders/rulers (of the sect?) and assuring that transgressors would receive “the punishment of Korah” (but cf. Elgvin, Torleif, “423. 4QInstructiong [Musar leMeving],” in Qumran Cave 4 XXIV: Sapiential Texts, Part 2 4QInstruction [Musar LeMevin]: 4Q415 ff. [ed. Strugnell, Johnet al.; DJD XXXIV; Oxford: Clarendon, 1999] 518–22Google Scholar). See also Strugnell, John and Harrington, Daniel J., “418a. 4QInstructione (Musar leMevine),” in Qumran Cave 4 XXIV (ed. Strugnell, et al.), 479–80Google Scholar. According to Scott (“Korah and Qumran,” 182–202), in 4QInstruction the Korah affair is used as a paradigm of a schism that took place during the history of the Yahad sect. 4QWarScrolla (4Q491 1–3 1) refers to (Korah and his congregation . . . judgment), probably in the context of eschatological judgment, but the text is highly fragmentary (see Qumran Grotte 4 III (4Q482–4Q520) [ed. Maurice Baillet; DJD VII; Oxford: Clarendon, 1982] 13, 15–16). On a Josephan parallel to the expression , see Elgvin, “423. 4QInstructiong,” 520. According to Scott, this expression does not occur in rabbinic literature (“Korah and Qumran,” 189 n. 34). However, the Tannaitic midrash (Sipre Deut. 307) does mention Korah's punishment as one manifestation of God's judgment () as mentioned in Deut 32:4 (, lit.: “All His ways are [true] judgment”). A third reference to Korah in 4Q171 3–10 IV, 23 is merely a citation of Ps 45:1. Aharon Shemesh argues that the root (to grumble), denoting grumbling against the authority of the community—as mentioned in the penal code, 1QS 7:15 and parallels, and in 1QHa 13:25—alludes to the story of Korah at Num 16:11 (“The Scriptural Background of the Penal Code in the Rule of the Community and Damascus Document,” DSD 15 [2008] 212–16).

46 Note the close similarity between the Greek and Hebrew versions: , (give up the high-priesthood and be content with governing the people; A.J. 13:291); (let the royal crown suffice thee, and leave the crown of priesthood). However, it seems that the Josephan version depends on some Hebrew original and does not allude directly to the biblical expression in Numbers, since the lxx has and (Num 16:3, 7) rather than (all meaning: “let it be sufficient for you”).

47 See Baumgarten, “Rabbinic Literature,” 37 and n. 86; Kalmin, Jewish Babylonia, 58; and n. 14 above.

48 A clear play on words can be discerned when the roots (in Num 16:12–13) and (in Num 17:2; 18:8, 11, 19) are used with different senses than they have in this passage.

49 Sipre Num. 119. For a recent edition, see Kahana, Menahem I., Sifre on Numbers: An Annotated Edition (Jerusalem: Magnes, 2011) 3132Google Scholar (provisional numbering) [Hebrew]. I thank Yoni Pomeranz for his assistance in the translation of this passage.

50 On the “three crowns” motif, see below.

51 Another intriguing affinity between the Korah narrative and the Hasmonean dynasty emerges from the midrashim on Deut 33:11. An ancient midrash, embedded in Tg. Ps.-J., identifies the subject of this verse (“smite the loins of his foes; let his enemies rise no more”), which is part of Levi's blessing, with John Hyrcanus: “so that there will not be for the enemies of Johanan, the high priest, a foot to stand on” (Targum Pseudo-Jonathan: Deuteronomy [trans. with notes by Ernest G. Clarke; ArBib 5b; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1998] 100). On the other hand, the Tannaitic midrash identifies the “foes” mentioned in the verse with Korah (Sipre Deut. 352).

52 The most famous source is m. <Abot 1:1. On the “rabbinization” of Moses's image, see Cohen, “Parallel Historical Traditions,” 122.

53 See, e.g., Matt 23:2.

54 This does not necessarily mean that Jannaeus in the story corresponds to Moses and Aaron in the biblical narrative as well. The Second Temple occurrence cannot resemble the biblical prototype in every detail. However, it is noteworthy that the portrayal of Jannaeus here is much more positive than that reflected in other rabbinic sources.

55 For medieval citations, see Friedlander, “Rupture,” 448 n. 24.

56 See, e.g., Schwartz, “On Pharisaic Opposition.” In light of the above, Yehudah is certainly not “a spokesman for the Pharisees” (ibid., 48, but Schwartz presents a different view in his later article, “Remembering the Second Temple Period,” 75). According to the testimony of the manuscripts, it is also not the case that Yehudah “is not described as wicked” (Kalmin, Jewish Babylonia, 57). Kalmin argues that Yehudah is defined as an elder and is, therefore, designated a sage, but the expression (an elder), is in certain cases applied to Sadducees and other adversaries of the rabbis (b. Soṭah 49b = b. B. Qam 82b = b. Menaḥ. 64b; b. B. Bat. 115b; b. Menaḥ. 65a).

57 This is indeed the way later Talmudic sages understood Eleazar's argument as may be seen in the Amoraic gloss inserted into the early legend: “For he [Yannai] should have replied: ‘That is well for the Written Law, but what of the Oral Law?’” Interestingly, Josephus's version of the story is also followed by his comment regarding the Pharisees’ role as transmitters of unwritten laws that were rejected by the Sadducees (A.J. 20.297). I am indebted to Steven Fraade for these insights.

58 ([You shall act] in accordance with the instructions [lit.: the Torah] given you).

59 See Yadin, Yigael, The Temple Scroll (3 vols.; Jerusalem: The Israel Exploration Society, The Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and The Shrine of the Book, 1983) 2:251Google Scholar.

60 See Rivkin, “Defining the Pharisees,” 217–18, and Scholion O to the Scroll of Fasting, Tenth of Tammuz in Vered Noam, Megillat Ta'anit: Versions, Interpretations, History, with a Critical Edition (Jerusalem: Yad Ben Zvi, 2003) 78–79, 206–16 [Hebrew].

61 Mason came to the same conclusion with regard to Josephus's version: “The story seems to say that Jonathan's accusation of the Pharisees was a shrewd piece of ‘disinformation,’ not an accurate statement of the facts” (Mason, Flavius Josephus, 230).

62 4QpNah (4Q169) 3–4 II, 9–10. Translation according to Berrin, Shani L., The Pesher Nahum Scroll from Qumran: An Exegetical Study of 4Q169 (STDJ 53; Leiden: Brill, 2004) 194Google Scholar. See also Horgan, Maurya P., Pesharim: Qumran Interpretations of Biblical Books (Washington, D.C.: Catholic Association of America, 1979) 164Google Scholar. For bibliography, see ibid., 158–59. For more on this passage, see below.

63 According to the description of Eleazar in Josephus, A.J. 13.291: .

64 A.J. 13.288 (see B.J. 1.67).

65 A.J. 4.14, 25, 41. See Feldman, Studies, 98–99, 101.

66 A.J. 4.12, 13, 32, 36, 59, 66. See Feldman, Studies, 101–2; see A.J. 13.299.

67 I thank Daphne Baratz for this observation.

68 All the occurrences of this motif were reviewed by Beer, Moshe (“The Term ‘Crown of Torah’ in Rabbinic Literature and Its Social Significance,” Zion 55 [1990] 397417Google Scholar [Hebrew]). Stuart A. Cohen dedicated an entire volume to this theme, which for him symbolizes a basic rabbinic agenda of “constitutional power-sharing in Jewish public life” (The Three Crowns: Structures of Communal Politics in Early Rabbinic Jewry [Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1990] 12). See also the next note.

69 A.J. 13.299; compare to B.J. 1.68. See Flusser, David, “Messianic Figures in Early Christianity,” in Messianism and Eschatology: A Collection of Essays (ed. Baras, Zvi, Jerusalem: Zalman Shazar Centre, 1983) 118–20Google Scholar [Hebrew]; Kister, Menahem, “Metamorphoses of Aggadic Traditions,” Tarbiz 60 (1990–1991) 202–12Google Scholar [Hebrew]; Cohen, Three Crowns, 18; Mason, Josephus on the Pharisees, 223 n. 52; Eshel, Hanan, The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Hasmonean State (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2008) 77Google Scholar.

70 See T. Levi 8:11–15; De Jonge, Marinus, The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs: A Critical Edition of the Greek Text (Leiden: Brill, 1978) 34Google Scholar; Hollander, Harm W. and De Jonge, Marinus, The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs: A Commentary (Leiden: Brill, 1985) 149, 153–54Google Scholar; compare to Aramaic Levi Document 4:7 as printed in Greenfield, Jonas C., Stone, Michael E., and Eshel, Ester, The Aramaic Levi Document: Edition, Translation, Commentary (Leiden: Brill, 2004) 6667Google Scholar, 37 n. 145. I hope to elaborate on this point elsewhere and wish to extend my thanks to Prof. Esther Eshel for her assistance in this matter.

71 Flusser, “Messianic Figures,” 118–20, believed that the addition of “Torah” was a rabbinic replacement of the earlier virtue of prophecy, whereas Kister, “Metamorphoses,” 205, dated the addition of “Torah” to an earlier period and pointed at sources that count four, rather than three, privileges.

72 Kister, “Metamorphoses,” 203 n. 65; idem, “Additions to the Article ‘’,” Leshonenu 53 (1988–1989) 45 [Hebrew].

73 On “clusters of terms and ideas” typical of the terminology of the Qumran sect, see Dimant, Devorah, “The Qumran Manuscripts: Contents and Significance,” in Time to Prepare the Way in the Wilderness (ed. Dimant, Devorah and Schiffman, Lawrence; STDJ 16; Leiden: Brill, 1995) 2358Google Scholar, esp. 27–29. See recently, eadem, “Criteria for the Identification of Qumran Sectarian Texts,” in The Qumran Scrolls and Their World (ed. Menahem Kister; 2 vols.; Jerusalem: Yad Ben-Zvi, 2009) 1:49–86 [Hebrew]. On the term (Belial) as typical of sectarian works but also appearing in contemporary nonsectarian literature, see ibid., 76; Qimron, Elisha, “The Language,” in Qumran Cave 4 V: Miqsat Ma>ase ha-Torah (ed. Qimron, Elisha and Strugnell, John; DJD X; Oxford: Clarendon, 1994) 84Google Scholar.

74 Qimron, “Language,” 87.

75 CD 1:14 (= 4Q266 2 i 18).

76 (4Q162 ii, 6, 10; Qumran Cave 4 I (4Q158–4Q186) [ed. John M. Allegro; DJD V; Oxford: Clarendon, 1968] 15–16; Horgan, Maurya P., “Isaiah Pesher 2 (4Q162 = 4QpIsab),” in Pesharim, Other Commentaries, and Related Documents [ed. Charlesworth, James al.; vol. 6B of The Dead Sea Scrolls: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek Texts with English Translations; 7 vols.; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002] 4243Google Scholar; see also CD 20:11; 4Q433a 3, 7; 4Q525 23, 8).

77 4Q426 8, 4. The passage is too fragmentary to discern the context.

78 But only 27 times in the Bible!

79 CD 4:13, 15–18; 19:14. Baumgarten, Joseph M. and Schwartz, Daniel R., “Damascus Document (CD),” in Damascus Document, War Scroll, and Related Documents (ed. Charlesworth, James al.; vol. 2 of The Dead Sea Scrolls: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek Texts with English Translations; 7 vols.; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1995) 19Google Scholar, 31.

80 1QHa 10:16, 22. Abegg, Martin, “Hodayot and Hodayot-Like Texts,” in The Dead Sea Scrolls Reader, Part 5: Poetic and Liturgical Texts (ed. Parry, Donald W. and Tov, Emmanuel; Leiden: Brill, 2005) 19, 21Google Scholar [translation revised slightly].

81 Steudel, “425. 4QSapiential,” 204–5 [translation revised slightly].

82 4Q175:23. See “175. Testimonia,” in Qumran Cave 4 I (4Q158–4Q186) (ed. John M. Allegro; DJD V; Oxford: Clarendon, 1968) 57–58; Cross, Frank Moore, “Testimonia (4Q175 = 4QTestimonia = 4QTestim),” in Pesharim, Other Commentaries, and Related Documents (ed. Charlesworth, James al.; vol. 6B of The Dead Sea Scrolls: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek Texts with English Translations; 7 vols.; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002) 308–27Google Scholar, at 318–19. Compare to the parallel 4Q379, ibid., 322.

83 Interestingly, even the omission and addition of the words and are typical of the different manuscripts of the Talmudic legend and are the same as the scribal process that took place many centuries earlier in the manuscript of the Qumranic work.

84 One of these biblical pericopes is indeed known to have been applied to John Hyrcanus in Tg. Ps.-J. See n. 51 above.

85 Eshel, Dead Sea Scrolls, 63–89. The different opinions regarding the Qumran fragment are cited in his discussion.

86 See Baumgarten, “Rabbinic Literature,” 40 n. 94 and the references there. This identification was accepted by Gedalyahu Alon as well (“Biqoret: Sha'are Torat Eretz Yisrael,” Tarbiz 12 [1940] 94–95 [Hebrew]).

87 Prov 9:7, 8, 12.

88 Prov 17:14.

89 Isa 66:10, 14; Lam 1:21, 4:21.

90 CD 1:21, Baumgarten and Schwartz, “Damascus Document,” 12–13.

91 Shemesh, Aharon, “The Origins of the Laws of Separatism: Qumran Literature and Rabbinic Halacha,” RevQ 18 (1997), 223–41Google Scholar, at 224.

92 4Q397 14–21, 7.

93 CD 7:12–13; 8:4, 16; 14:1; 19:17, 29; 1QSa 1:2; 11Q13 2:24.

94 CD 6:14–15, Baumgarten and Schwartz, “Damascus Document,” 22–23. It may well be that CD also alludes to the Korah story here. Note the root and the description of the wicked as “sons of the pit.”

95 1QS 5:1, see also 10. See Elisha Qimron and James H. Charlesworth, “Rule of the Community (1QS),” in Rule of the Community and Related Documents (ed. Charlesworth; vol. 1 of Dead Sea Scrolls, 1994) 1:18–19, 22–23. Compare also 4QS MSS A–J and 5Q11 printed in the same volume.

96 1QS 8:13; Qimron and Charlesworth, “Rule of the Community,” 36–37. The root is central in sectarian works, and has other connotations, like the distancing of a member from the sect, and halakhic distinctions between pure and impure essences, among others.

97 See above at n. 47.

98 4QpNah (4Q169) 3–4 II, 9–10; see above at n. 62. See Berrin, Pesher Nahum, 194, 250 n. 59. On the biblical source of this expression and its connection to the Pharisees, see Menahem Kister, “Biblical Phrases and Hidden Biblical Interpretations and Pesharim,” in The Dead Sea Scrolls: Forty Years of Research (ed. Devorah Dimant and Uriel Rappaport; STDJ 10; Leiden: Brill, 1992) 27–39, at 32.

99 See Berrin, Pesher Nahum, 49 n. 47; 87, 120–22, 140–41.

100 For a summary of these themes and detailed bibliography see Horgan, Pesharim, 158–62. See also Berrin, Pesher Nahum, chs. 4, 6, 8 and the excursus to ch. 5.

101 Shemesh, Aharon and Werman, Cana, “Hidden Things and Their Revelation,” RevQ 18 (1997) 397427Google Scholar, esp. 423–27. The quotations are from 423, 425.

102 1QpHab 7:10–11, Horgan, Pesharim, 16. I prefer the translation in idem, “Habakkuk Pesher (1QpHab), in Pesharim, Other Commentaries, and Related Documents (ed. James H. Charlesworth et al.; vol. 6B of The Dead Sea Scrolls: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek Texts with English Translations; 7 vols.; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002) 157–85, at 172–73.

103 CD 6:2–3 (= 4Q266 3 II, 10; 4Q267 2:8), Baumgarten and Schwartz, “Damascus Document,” 22–23; see also 1QSa 1:28; 2:16.

104 4QMMT C:7; Miqsat Ma'ase ha-Torah (ed. Qimron and Strugnell), 58–59.

105 On the many contradictory definitions of the genre “pesher” and the problematic nature of the debate, see Brooke, George, “Qumran Pesher: Towards the Redefinition of a Genre,” RevQ 10 (1981) 483503Google Scholar. I certainly do not mean to delve into the question of literary terminology, but rather to point at the resemblance between the rabbinic legend and the Qumranic pesher, only in terms of its scriptural allusions, political nature, and its hermeneutic mode, i.e., the application of biblical stories and figures to contemporary events and individuals.

106 Rabinowitz, Halakha, xxxv n. 25; Efron, Studies, 183.

107 Baumgarten, “Rabbinic Literature,” 38 n. 88.

108 Kalmin, Jewish Babylonia, 59.

109 I hope to elaborate on the linguistic aspects in another publication, including a detailed bibliography. I wish to express my gratitude to my brother, Prof. Yoel Elitzur, for his immense help in the linguistic matters.

110 b. >Abod. Zar. 58b (= Ḥul. 137b). On possible reasons for the abandonment of LBH and the emergence of MH in the rabbinic and pre-rabbinic cultures, see for example Rabin, Chaim, “The Historical Background of Qumran Hebrew,” in Aspects of the Dead Sea Scrolls (ed. Rabin, Chaim and Yadin, Yigael; ScrHier 4; Jerusalem: Magnes, 1958) 144–61, esp. 149–61Google Scholar. On the Jannaeus legend, see ibid., 155. See also idem, “Hebrew and Aramaic in the First Century,” in The Jewish People in the First Century (ed. Shmuel Safrai et al.; CRINT [section I]; 2 vols.; Philadelphia: Fortress, 1976) 2:1007–39, esp. 1015–18; David Talshir, “The Habitat and History of Hebrew during the Second Temple Period,” in Biblical Hebrew: Studies in Typology and Chronology (ed. Ian Young; London: T&T Clark, 2003) 251–75, and the review of other opinions there. For a novel suggestion as to the origin of MH and a useful review of previous opinions, see Rendsburg, Gary A., “The Galilean Background of Mishnaic Hebrew,” in The Galilee in Late Antiquity (ed. Levine, Lee I.; New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 1992) 225–40Google Scholar.

111 For a detailed review of this position and its advocates, see Qimron, Elisha, “Observations on the History of Early Hebrew (1000 b.c.e. – 200 c.e.) in the Light of the Dead Sea Documents,” in The Dead Sea Scrolls: Forty Years of Research (ed. Dimant, Devorah and Rappaport, Uriel; STDJ 10; Leiden: Brill, 1992) 349–61Google Scholar, at 350–52.

112 Qimron, “Observations”; idem, “The Nature of DSS Hebrew and its Relation to BH and MH,” in Diggers at the Well: Proceedings of a Third International Symposium on the Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls (ed. Takamitsu Muraoka and John F. Elwolde; STDJ 36; Leiden: Brill, 2000) 232–44. For a different opinion, see, in the same volume, Avi Hurvitz, “Was QH a ‘Spoken’ Language? On Some Recent Views and Positions: Comments,” 110–14; and Joshua Blau, “A Conservative View of the Language of the Dead Sea Scrolls,” 20–25.

113 Muraoka, Takamitsu, “Hebrew,” in Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls (ed. Schiffman, Lawrence H. and VanderKam, James C.; 2 vols.; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000) 1:344Google Scholar.

114 Qimron, “Language,” 107.

115 Muraoka, “Hebrew,” 344.

116 Muraoka, Takamitsu, “The Participle in Qumran Hebrew with Special Reference to its Periphrastic Use,” in Sirach, Scrolls, and Sages: Proceedings of a Second International Symposium on the Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Ben Sira, and the Mishnah, Held at Leiden University, 15–17 December 1997 (ed. Muraoka, Takamitsu and Elwolde, John; STDJ 33; Leiden: Brill, 1999) 188204, at 201Google Scholar.

117 Qimron, “Language,” 107.

118 Qimron, “Language,” 73.

119 Ibid., 104.

120 Ibid., 108.

121 Joosten, Jan, “Pseudo-Classicisms in Late Biblical Hebrew, in Ben Sira, and in Qumran Hebrew,” in Sirach, Scrolls, and Sages: Proceedings of a Second International Symposium on the Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Ben Sira, and the Mishnah, Held at Leiden University, 15–17 December 1997 (ed. Muraoka, Takamitsu and Elwolde, John; STDJ 33; Leiden: Brill, 1999) 146–59Google Scholar, at 148–49.

122 Segal, Grammar, 13, 72. The intentional imitation of biblical Hebrew evident in this source receives greater emphasis in his Hebrew edition (Dikduk, 11–12). See also Rabin, “Hebrew and Aramaic,” 1015–18, who explicitly ascribes a pre-rabbinic style to our source (see 1016 n. 2). However, he does not include LBH and QH in this category, but rather defines the “mixed style,” which in his view consisted of liturgy and of lost “historical works relating to the Hasmonaean period” (1016), as “a rival to late biblical Hebrew.” Neusner surmised: “The Talmudic story is written in biblical, not mishnaic or rabbinic, Hebrew. In this respect one recalls the anachronistic, pseudo-archaic language of the Dead Sea Scrolls” (“Josephus’ Pharisees,” 285).

123 See Qimron's postulation that the Pharisees living at the time of MMT, “apparently spoke a kind of MH” (“Language,” 104).

124 I tend to ascribe this reworking to the phase during which the Hebrew version was created, before the citation of the tradition in the Talmudic sugya. In contrast to Kalmin, Jewish Babylonia, 58 (see n. 28 above), I do not find any traces of Babylonian intervention in this text.

125 To this we may add the name of the antihero, Eleazar son of Po'irah, who is probably known from another collateral rabbinic tradition as a contemporary of John Hyrcanus (see above at n. 87). It seems unlikely that a rabbinic author revised and integrated the marginal note in the Yerushalmi about Eleazar son of Pachura here.

126 Interestingly, most of the rabbinic parallels to Josephus's Jewish traditions were preserved in the Babylonian Talmud, rather than in the Palestinian sources (See Cohen, “Parallel Historical Traditions,” 13; Kalmin, Jewish Babylonia, 149–68; Günter Stemberger, “Narrative Baraitot in the Yerushalmi,” in The Talmud Yerushalmi and Graeco-Roman Culture [ed. Peter Schäfer; TSAJ 71; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1998] 80 n. 22). Similarly, the Scholium (the Hebrew interpretation of the Scroll of Fasting), which originated in the Land of Israel, is cited only in the Bavli (Noam, Megillat Ta'anit, 363–70; 375–80), and nearly all the traditions regarding King Jannaeus are found in the Bavli (and not even once in Tannaitic literature!). This is probably due to the Bavli's expansive, inclusive nature and its much longer process of formation. However, the nature of the information available to the Babylonian authors and redactors and the kind of accessibility they had to these early materials still require investigation.

127 This example should serve as a counterweight to the recent scholarly tendency to consider any tradition embedded in rabbinic literature as heavily reworked, reflective only of editorial biases, and in every respect inferior to its external counterparts. The value and nature of any rabbinic source should be judged on an individual basis. The Babylonian Talmud has deeply manipulated many of its sources, but in other cases the quotations may be surprisingly loyal to the original. In cases of parallels between Josephus and the Talmud, we must take into account that in spite of the Josephan version's chronological advantage, the rabbinic parallel is the one preserved in its original language—Hebrew or Aramaic. This is in contrast to Cohen (“Parallel Historical Traditions,” 8–9), but in accord with the suggestion of Schwartz (“Remembering the Second Temple Period”) that rabbinic parallels should, at times, be used as controls for Josephus, and not only vice versa.