This volume contains a collection of previously unknown compositions from Cave 4 at Qumran. These compositions, written during the Second Temple period, use specialized terminology that allows them to be classified as sapiential (or instructional) literature. As such, they are part of the larger genre of wisdom literature, common in the ancient Near East, which includes other collections of sayings and instruction such as the Book of Proverbs, Ben Sira, and theEpistle of James. The documents published here include Mysteries (a manuscript of which was also found in Cave 1), several Meditations on Creation, an Admonitory Parable, Work Concerning Divine Providence, Ways of Righteousness, a number of small sapiential texts, and one text written in the script knownas Cryptic A Words of a Sage to All Sons of Dawn. These compositions enhance our understanding of the keen interest in theological and ethical issues (such as God's omnipotence, justice, creative power and design, and man's moral and ethical responsibility to his Creator and fellow men), both of the Qumran community specifically and of Second Temple period Judaism in general.
Discoveries in the Judaean Desert: Volume XX. Qumran Cave 4: XV
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