[b-hebrew] Use of Qahal in Qumran Scrolls

Yitzhak Sapir yitzhaksapir at gmail.com
Sun Dec 18 02:29:58 EST 2005

In an article in Tarbiz, Avi Hurvitz argues that Qahal, as a Biblical
term, was used
in later Priestly and Rabbinic literature, whereas (edah, was used in earlier
literature.  He argues that (edah signifies as a legal term a
juridical institutional
body, although it may refer to all of Israel.  Thus in Num. 35:24-25
it is used in
a similar way as the "Elders of the Town" are used in Deut. 19:12, and
this serves
(in his opinion) to show that just like the "Elders of the Town" are
an institutional
juridical body, so too is (edah.  Similarly too, he brings the (adat
)el of Ps. 82:1.
Now, he argues that part of the reason for the disappearance of the term (edah
was the disappearance of the institution it represented in post-exilic
times.  But
he says that the term that is used in Priestly literature in similar
situations is
Qahal.  He brings no specific evidence from the DSS, but it is an early article.
I don't know what this means in reference to the meaning and usage of the word
Qahal, though, although it may help to consider these issues relating to (edah
in studying the usage and meaning of Qahal.

Avi Hurvitz, "The Usage of the Priestly Term (DH in Biblical Literature", Tarbiz
40 (1931), p. 261 - 267, Reprinted: Likkutei Tarbiz: The Linguistic Study of
Biblical Hebrew - A Reader, ed. Avi Hurvitz, p. 82 - 88 (Hebrew).

Yitzhak Sapir

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