Saturday, May 31, 2008

Friday is for Fontes: The "anointed one" in 11Q13

I was intrigued in reading through the Qumran Melchizedek scroll with the joining of Isa. 52.7, Dan. 9.25, and Isa. 61.2-3 is such a short space. 

"This is the day of [peace/salvation] concerning which [God] spoke [through Isa]iah the prophet, who said, [How] beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who proclaims peace, who brings good news, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion: Your ELOHIM [reigns] (Isa. 52.7). Its interpretation; the mountains are the prophets ... and the messenger is the Anointed one of the spirit, concerning whom Dan[iel] said, [Until an anointed one, a prince (Dan. 9.25)] ... [And he who brings] good [news], who proclaims [salvation]: it is concerning him that it is written ... [To comfort all who mourn, to grant to those who mourn in Zion] (Isa. 61.2-3)."  
- 11Q13 17-20 (Vermes).

By linking together Isa. 52.7 and Isa. 61.2-3 with Dan. 9.25, was the author putting a "messianic" spin on the Isaianic texts? Of course, exactly who the anointed prince(s) of Dan. 9.24-27 are is far from clear, but Fitzmyer regards Dan. 9.24-27 as the only real messianic text in the entire OT! If one says, "yes", then I wonder if Isa. 61.1 could also have a messianic meaning in 4Q521 2.11-12 which could be more likely given the context of 2.1: "heaven and earth will listed to his Messiah".

1 comment:

Richard Fellows said...

Michael, did Isa 61:2-3 inspire the naming of Barnabas?

To the apostles, who named him, "Barnabas" would have meant "son of prophet" or "son of prophecy", yet Acts 4:36-37 interprets the name as "son of PARAKLHSEWS" and says that he sold a field and laid the money at the feet of the apostles.

Now, the prophecy of Isa 61:2-3 reads "to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who mourn in Zion." The word for "comfort" here is PARAKALE/SAI. So in this text, as in Acts 4:36-37 we have prophecy, generosity to Jerusalem, and "comfort". Was Joseph named "Barnabas" because he showed himself to be a son of the prophet (or prophecy) of Isa 61:2-3 by providing comfort for the Jerusalem church through his gift? This would explain why Luke rendered the meaning of the name, "son of PARAKLHSEWS". I can imagine that this text was important to the apostles.