The modern history of the three Samuel scrolls from Cave 4 at Qumran began in 1952 when they were discovered with the great mass of scrolls from Cave 4 in clandestine excavations by Bedouin. Twenty-seven additional fragments, parts of columns II and III of 4QSama, were found in the excavations of R. de Vaux and G. Lankester Harding, and given preliminary publication by F. M. Cross in 1953, upon which they achieved immediate fame. There followed publication ofseveral fragments of 4QSamb in 1955 and 4QSamc was pre-published by E. Ulrich in 1979. The scholarly world has eagerly awaited the full presentation of the three scrolls in the Discoveries in the Judaean Desert series. Ever since the 1950s, they have been at the forefront of scholarly investigation of thetextual criticism of the Hebrew Bible. It is no exaggeration to say that the critical study and exegesis of the books of Samuel are no longer possible without these three scrolls in conjunction with that of the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint. The final publication of 4QSama, 4QSamb, and 4QSamc in this volume thus crowns the publication activity of the last decade.
Qumran Cave 4 XII
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