Classics and Religious Studies


Date of this Version



Published in Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 319 (2000), pp. 81–82. Copyright © 2000 American Schools of Oriental Research


This is the sixth volume of the final report of the late Yigael Yadin’s excavations on Masada from 1963-1965. The trustees of Yadin’s literary legacy, the late N. Avigad, J. Amiran, and A. Ben-Tor, are publishing not only the final reports on Masada, but also on Hazor and Nahal Hever. They are to be commended for the fine quality of their work. The present volume includes the publication of the fragmentary Hebrew manuscripts found on Masada, which Yadin entrusted to Prof. Shemaryahu Talmon of the Hebrew University before his death in 1984. These documents include seven biblical manuscripts: one manuscript of Genesis (MasGen), two manuscripts of Leviticus (MasLeva & b), one of Deuteronomy (MasDeut), one of Ezekiel (MasEzek), and two of Psalms (MasPsa & b). Also included are two manuscripts of what Talmon refers to as “Bible- Related Compositions” (MasapocrGen, which is not related to the Qumran Genesis Apocryphon, in spite of its title, and MasapocrJosh), four “Fragments of Extra-Biblical Works” (MasJub, MasShirShabb, and two unidentified works), and one papyrus document, “A Text of Samaritan Origin.” The chapter on MasShirShabb or “Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice” is a reprint of the original publication by Carol Newsom and Yigael Yadin. Finally, the volume issues a revised edition of Yadin’s original The Ben Sira Scroll from Masada (Jerusalem, 1965), with updated “Notes on the Reading” by E. Qimron and a bibliography by F. García Martínez. This is an important contribution to the corpus of the texts from the Judaean desert, and the student of the late Second Temple period will find much of interest.

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