Hananiah Notos: The Never-ending Importance of the Dead Sea Scrolls

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One of the recently published Dead Sea Scroll documents is known as the "Register of Rebukes." Only parts of eleven lines of a column of this document have survived. However, even these few words and parts of words are enough to see that the document, or a portion of it, was a list of the sect's members who were rebuked because they had violated community laws.

Revised: 17-Jun-2013

One of the recently published Dead Sea Scroll documents is known as the “Register of Rebukes.”[1] Only parts of eleven lines of a column of this document have survived. However, even these few words and parts of words are enough to see that the document, or a portion of it, was a list of the sect’s members who were rebuked because they had violated community laws. The three individuals mentioned in the document are the only members of the Dead Sea sect that we know by name.

Dr. Esther Eshel of the Faculty of Jewish Studies of Bar-Ilan University published a preliminary edition of the document’s text.[2] The following is Vermes’ English translation[3] of the document:

…who…[wh]o acted wickedly…the Congregation…Yohanan son of Ar…[they rebuked because] he was short-tempered…with him…the iniquity with him and also the spirit of pride was with [him]…[blank] They rebuked Hananiah Notos because he…[to dis]turb the spirit of the Communi[ty…and] also to mingle the …they rebu[k]ed because evil…was with him and also because he was not…and also because he loved his bodily nature (or: showed preference to his near kin)…[blank] And [they rebuked] Hananiah son of Sim[on] [because he…and he also loves the goodness…

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  • [1] The document’s scientific designation is 4Q477.
  • [2] Esther Eshel, “4Q477: The Rebukes by the Overseer,” Journal of Jewish Studies 45.1 (1994): 111-122.
  • [3] Geza Vermes, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English (Allen Lane, The Penguin Press, 1997), 237-38.

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