Commentary Magazine


Cave Scroll Dating

To the Editor:

Professor H. L. Ginsberg in his article “More Light from Judean Caves” (November 1955) said that among the finds which were discovered were “several fragmentary Hebrew documents dated by ‘deliverance of Israel through Simeon ben Kosbah, Prince of Israel.’” I assume that Professor Ginsberg has seen a photostat of these Hebrew fragments. Will he inform us whether the words “deliverance of Israel through Simeon ben Kosbah” appear in a letter or a document and whether they occur in the beginning or at the end, and what is the context of the entire fragment? It is of paramount importance that he answer these questions.

Solomon Zeitlin
Philadelphia, Pa.

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Prof. Ginsberg writes:

The papyri in question were reported on briefly by de Vaux in Revue Biblique 60 (1953): 264. Upon my request Father de Vaux communicated the Hebrew formula to me in an air letter of February 14, 1955. It goes like this:

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About the character of the documents and the number of occurrences, de Vaux’s letter adds to what he said in the above passage in Revue Biblique only this: C’est un formule de date, qui se rencontre plusieurs fois dans des documents de contenu analogue [“A similar formula in dating shows up a number of times, in documents of analogous character”].

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