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Matthew J. Goff
Publication Date
August 2013


The wisdom tradition of ancient Israel, represented in the Hebrew Bible by Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes and in the Apocrypha by Ben Sira and the Wisdom of Solomon, is also well-attested in the texts from Qumran. 4QInstruction (1Q26, 4Q415–418, 4Q423), the largest wisdom text of the Dead Sea Scrolls, is considered a sapiential text primarily because of its explicit and insistent pedagogical nature. To make this significant wisdom text more widely available, this volume offers a critical edition, translation, and commentary on the main fragments of 4QInstruction. It examines particular texts of 4QInstruction as well as broader issues, including its date, genre, main themes, and place in Second Temple Judaism. Finally, in order to contextualize this pivotal work, 4QInstruction’s relationship to the sapiential and apocalyptic traditions is also explored.

Matthew J. Goff is an Associate Professor of Religion at Florida State University. He is the author of The Worldly and Heavenly Wisdom of 4QInstruction and Discerning Wisdom: The Sapiential Literature of the Dead Sea Scrolls (both from Brill) and co-editor of The ‘Other’ in Second Temple Judaism: Essays in Honor of John J. Collins (Eerdmans).

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Download volume front matter, including table of contents and introduction.