1QS srk

S. L. lyosovs at cityline.ru
Thu Sep 12 02:34:10 EDT 2002

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Îò: RGmyrken at aol.com <RGmyrken at aol.com>
Êîìó: Biblical Hebrew <b-hebrew at franklin.metalab.unc.edu>
Äàòà: Wednesday, September 11, 2002 8:09 PM
Òåìà: Re: 1QS srk

Dear Russell,
Thank you very much.  Unfortunately the book of L. Schiffman is unavailable
to me.  I am trying to figure out from where they (the sectarians or, for
that matter, the Maccabeans) took this word. Does it have Semitic etymology?
Or is it a borrowing from Persian? – Is it the very term used in a different
meaning in Dan 6:3 ff. (<Pers. sa:raka ‘an der Spitze stehend’, HALAT
1753b)?  The semantic shift  “commander”> "battle array, order, instruction"
(as L. Schiffman seems to suggest) does not look like a very common one.
  Serge Lyosov

>    The best discussion of the etymology of serekh is probably that at L.
>Schiffman, The Halakhah at Qumran (Leiden:  E.J. Brill, 1975) 60-68.
>Schiffman's detailed analysis shows that the term serekh was originally
>in a military context and was later applied in organizational and legal
>settings.   At page 68 he summarizes his conclusions as follows:
>    'A denominative verb meaning "to administrate, issue an order or array"
>came into use, followed by a noun meaning "battle array, order,
> This military use of serekh led to its employment for a list of names in a
>military context.  Since the sect saw itself as a militia preparing for the
>eschatological war, it appropriated the term for a roster of its members.
>the same time, serekh became a general term for a series of orders or
>instructions and was used for a list, body, or code of halakhot (usually on
>one subject) and even as a general term for sectarian law.'
>    My own view is that the serekh literature is to be associated with the
>Maccabean army, who first used the term serekh in a military context (its
>development can be traced in the War Scroll, 1QM) and later applied it to
>civil institutions, legal contexts, etc.  The use of Serekh in 1QS as an
>organizational term belongs to this latter phase.
>Best regards,
>Russell Gmirkin
>>    Dear all,
>>  what do you think about the etymology of seret (srt) hayyaHad in the (
>> restored) title of 1QS, occurring also elsewhere in Qumran literature? Is
>> related to Aram. srk 'to clutch, hold fast, hang to'  (Jastrow 1027b)
>> serek ''clinging to, following the example of; habit' (ibid.1028a), and
>> is, what is the  semantic relation between these notions  and 'RULE  of
>> Community'? Common law?
>>  Thank you
>>     Serge Lyosov
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