Saturday, March 19, 2011

11QT - The Temple Scroll - a document written in the reign of Herod or was it Earlier?

On page 18 of his book, the Dead Sea Scrolls Today, James VanderKam gives dates for when 11QT was written or copied.  The paleographic dates are given as "late 1st century BC/early first century AD; and the Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) dates are given as "97 BC - AD 1".  These dates cover a period of Herod's reign.  One might easily conclude that the document was written during the reign of Herod.  The paleographic dates are at the end of Herod's reign.  The AMS dates just about cover the end of Herod's reign.  Given the large size of this scroll (28.5 ft or 8.75 m), one might have expected that few copies would have been made.  Also presumably this scroll was precious to the writer and one might assume that any copies would have been produced close to the time the original was written.  The 11QT manuscript could be documentary (original).  BUT GOLB SAYS THAT ALL THE SCROLLS (APART FROM THE COPPER SCROLL) ARE COPIES.   Shiffman says that "we can safely date the scroll as a whole no earlier than the second half of the reign of John Hyrcanus to which the scrolls polemics apply.  That would yield a date sometime after 120 BCE."  So it seems Schiffman agrees with Golb.  Do the scrolls polemics apply to the time of John Hyrcanus?      

In Chapter 16, The Enigma of the Temple Scroll, p257 of Reclaiming The Dead Sea Scrolls, Schiffman has: "The author/redactor of this scroll called for a thoroughgoing revision of the existing Hasmonean 'order', advocating its replacement with a temple, sacrificial system, and government representing his own understanding of the law of the Torah."  So my question is this.  Why a replacement of the HASMONEAN order which would involve the temple and sacrificial system?   

One question springs to mind.  Does the Temple Scroll show any awareness of THE HASMONEAN temple?  The temple of the Temple Scroll is on  larger scale than THE HASMONEAN temple.  It would have been easy to envisage such a temple, given that the writers of the Temple Scroll had already seen THE HASMONEAN TEMPLE.  The temple of the Temple Scroll had an outer court with overall dimensions of roughly 730m square.  The overall dimensions of the HASMONEAN Temple were much less, very roughly ---m from south to north and ---m from east to west. (See The Quest).  The writer of the Temple Scroll just had to make his ideal temple bigger than the HASMONEAN, yet still remain feasible.  Although no actual place is mentioned for the location of the temple, the Temple Scroll clearly refers to 'the city', meaning Jerusalem .  The intention almost certainly was to build it on the site of the Hasmonean temple.

On p260, Schiffman has: "This is an ideal Temple, built upon the beliefs of the author or authors."  On p258, Schiffman has: "To this day, we still do not know who wrote the scroll or why."   So why would someone take the trouble to laboriously write such a 28.5 ft long scroll?  What was the motive for this massive effort?  Also on p258, Schiffman wrote: "The Temple Scroll does not mount a sustained polemic against the priestly establishment in Jerusalem, with which the sect argued."  Who were the members of this "priestly establishment", and why does Schiffman call them "priestly".  Is Schiffman hiding something?  Were those who were 'priestly' actually prophets?  Other Scrolls do contain polemic against the 'priestly' establishment in Jerusalem.  In fact many of the Scrolls are riddled with polemic.  We have the 'seekers of smooth things', the 'wicked priest', and 4QMMT written to a king.

 4QMMT  contained corrections to the existing conduct in the Temple.  The priest who wrote it thought that the practices in the temple were against the Law.  He also wrote that he and other priests had separated from the people and the Temple.  Remarkably, on p263 of Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls, Schiffman gives a figurative quotation from 11QT 2:5; "Indeed you must tear down their altars".   This is in an introductory section where the writer has God imparting his Covenant between himself and Israel.  So here was a group that was completely dissatisfied the Hasmonean Temple and its practices.  They were planning a new era with a new Temple. Schiffman was wrong to say there was NOT a sustained polemic against the residents of the temple.  The priests were being increasingly isolated and paranoid, leading to their visions of the future temple.

Under a heading The Law of the King (p269 of Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls) Schiffman states: "The Temple Scroll goes on to require that the appointed king be Jewish and that he have written for him a special copy of the Torah for his edification."   In 11QT:16, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English, Vermes  has: "When he sits on the throne of his kingdom, they shall write for him this law from the book which is before the priests."    This would be the ideal.  4QMMT was an attempt at some tentative steps towards this, written in trepidation.

Schiffman's Chapter, The Enigma of the Temple Scroll (Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls) is full of conjectural expressions such as 'most likely', 'perhaps', 'probably' and 'may be', illustrating his own uncertainty.   On p269, Schiffman states: "The requirement that a king be appointed is most likely (itallics mine) intended as a critique of the early Hasmonean rulers, while serving as high priests, arrogated to themselves the temporal powers of the king.  Our passage requires that the monarchy and the high priesthood be two separate offices with two distinct incumbents."  The passage quoted in Schiffman's book was from 11QT:56:12-14 (see Vermes): "When you enter the land which I give you, take possesion of it, dwell in it, and say, 'I will appoint a king over me as do all the nations around me!', you may surely appoint over you the king whom I will choose."  Schiffman ended his quote at this point.  But the text continues (see Vermes): "It is from among your brothers that you shall appoint a king over you.  You shall not appoint over you a foreigner who is not your brother."  Clearly, this was not a critique of Hasmonean rulers who were all true blue Jews.  But were they?

On p269, Schiffman quotes Temple Scroll 56:15-19: "But he may not keep for himself many horses, nor may he send the people back to Egypt for war in order in order to accumulate for himself horses, silver and gold.  For I have said to you, 'You may never go that way again.'  Nor may he have many wives lest they turn his heart from following Me, nor may he accumulate for himself silver and gold to excess."  Schiffman speculates that the amassing of wealth was by the Hasmonean John Hyrcanus who mounted military campaigns outside of Judea.   Herod had amassed wealth himself by military means.  Also Herod had threatened war against Cleopatra of Egypt and he had many wives, two points of the quotation not mentioned by Schiffman.       

On p269, Schiffman quotesTemple Scroll 57:5-11: "He (the king) shall choose for himself from (those he has mustered) one thousand from each tribe to be with him, twelve thousand warriors, who will not leave him alone, lest he be captured by the nations.  And all those selected whom he shall choose shall be trustworthy men, who fear God, who spurn unjust gain, and mighty men of war.  They shall be with him always, day and night, so that they will guard him from any sinful thing, and from a foreign nation, lest he be captured by them."  Schiffman states on p269: "This description of the royal guard is in direct contrast to its Hasmonean counterpart.  The author requires for the royal guard not only trustworthy Jews but also those who will keep the king from transgressing.  Apparently, the author is here criticizing the Hasmonean rulers for being overly influenced by their foreign mercenaries."     

On p271 of Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls, Schiffman has: "The complete, edited scroll (11QT) may be seen to a large extent as a polemic against the policies of the Hasmoneans on the one hand, and against the rulings of the Pharisees on the other.  A similar polemic underlies the Halakhic Letter (4QMMT), confirming that Pharisaic rulings were being followed in the Temple in the early Hasmonean period."  But the pharisees did not exist when the Scrolls were written.  In another paragraph on p271, Schiffman has: "It appears that the Sadducean sources included laws dating back to pre-Maccabean days, a theory confirmed by comparing this scroll (11QT) with the Halakhic Letter."  The words in itallics show Schiffman's uncertainty, and that he is speculating.  Sadducees did not exist when the scrolls were written.  Sadducees and Pharisees are not mentioned anywhere in the vast quantity of the scroll manuscripts.  The polemic was against the policies of Hasmoneans and the prophets who they supported.  The writers of 11QT and 4QMMT were priests.  So the priests, the writers of the Temple Scroll, were complaining about prophets.  

On p261 of Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls, Schiffman wrote: "Because he wanted to claim that the law had been handed down directly by God without the intermediacy of Moses, the author altered the commandments of Deuteronomy, wherein God speaks through Moses, but preserved the language of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, wherein God speaks directly....".   What Schiffman neglected to say was that throughout this long scroll of 11QT, despite its many references to the time of Moses, Moses does not recieve one direct mention at all.  (Schiffman does say on p262: "In one passage the writer/redactor seems to have slipped, allowing an indirect reference").  This of course does not mean that Moses did not exist.  It does, partially at least, mean what Schiffman said.  The writers did not believe in the intermediacy of Moses.  They wrote in 1QH, Hymn 14, p272 of The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, Vermes: "For Thou wilt bring Thy glorious salvation to all the men of Thy Council, to those who share a common lot with the Angels of the Face.  And among them shall be no mediator to invoke Thee, and no messenger to make reply; for ... they shall reply according to Thy glorious word and shall be thy princes in the company of the Angels."  They would speak to God directly using the words of the law and as a prince speaks to his king.  And they saw themselves as being in the company of Angels.  But there was more to this than simply the idea of rejecting Moses as an intermediary.  Moses as intermediary was the excuse for rejecting him. 

The writers of 11QT and 1QH had no time for Moses, although he gave them most of the Law.  The real reason for this was because Moses not only legislated for the priests, but the prophets also.  The Temple Scroll doesn't have a good word to say about the prophets.  The first mention of prophets is a hostile warning (11QT 54:9-19, Vermes): "If a prophet or dreamer appears among you and presents you with a sign or a portent, even if the sign or the portent comes true, when he says, 'Let us go and worship other gods whom you have not known!', do not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer, for I test you to discover whether you love YHWH, the God of your fathers, with all your heart and soul.  It is YHWH, your God, that you must follow and serve, and it is him that you must fear and his voice that you must obey, and you must hold fast to him.  That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for he has preached rebellion against YHWH, your god, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to lead you astray from the from the path I have commanded you to follow.  You shall rid yourself of this evil." This was a thinly veiled instruction to the followers of the writer not to have anything to do with the Jewish prophets.  What kind of God was a prophet going to preach to the priests?   There was a sharp theological difference between the priests and prophets, and thus a sharply different view of what God was like.  The priests were in effect following a different God from the prophets.  The writer craftily conveyed his message as though it was his God speaking, thus: "I test you" and "I have commanded you".  It wasn't his God doing the testing it was the writer himself. 

The second place where prophets are mentioned (11QT 71:1-4, Vermes) is also a hostile warning: " utter a word in my name which I have not commanded him to utter, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall be put to death.  If you say in your heart, 'How shall we know the word which YHWH has not uttered?', when the word uttered by the prophet is not fulfilled and does not come true, that is not a word that I have uttered.  That prophet has spoken arrogantly; do not fear him."  My question here is: why should the writer have to reassure his readers not to be afraid of a prophet clearly said to be speaking in the name of YHWH?

In Philo's Hypoththetica, 11.1, Eusebius quotes (PE 8.5.11ff) what is supposed to have been written by Philo : "But our lawgiver trained an innumerable body of his pupils to partake in those things, who are called Essenes, being as I imagine, honoured with this appellation because of their exceeding holiness.  And they dwell in many cities of Judaea, and in many villages."  Eusebius, gave the game away.  Philo's original text undoubtedly had Moses as the "our lawgiver" (legislator) for the prophets.  Eusebius obviously hadn't met any.  He could only imagine what they were.  The "Essenes" didn't just appear out of the blue, as in Josephus's extant text.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

1QH and 4QMMT

On page 18 of his book, The Dead Sea Scrolls Today, James VanderKam gives dates for when 1QH was written or copied;  the paleographic date is given as 50 BC - AD 70; and  the Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) date is given as 21 BC - AD 61.  THESE DATES ARE MISLEADING BECAUSE 1QH AND 4QMMT ARE COPIES OF AN EARLIER ORIGINAL ACCORDING TO GOLB.    The date suggested by Lawrence Schiffman is just before the time of the Maccabean revolt. (See

The quotations below are from The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, Vermes.

1QH Hymn 12, p263 -
"Teacher of lies have smoothed Thy people with words,
and false prophets have led them astray;
they perish without understanding
for their works are in folly.
For I am despised by them
and they have no esteem for me
that Thou mayest manifest Thy might through me.
They have banished me from my land like a bird from its nest;
all my friends and brethren are driven far from me
and hold me for a broken vessel.
And they, teachers of lies and seers of lies and seers of falsehood,
have schemed against me a devilish scheme,
to exhchange the Law engraved on my heart by thee
for the smooth things (which they speak) to Thy people.
And they withhold from the thirsty the drink of Knowledge,
and assuage their thirst with vinegar,
that they may gaze upon their straying,
on their folly concering the feast days,
on their fall into their snares."

1QH has :'Banishment from the land'.  In 4QMMT: "And you know that we have separated from the people."  1QH also has the 'they' group of 4QMMT.  'They' oppose the 'we' group.  

1QH Hymn 5, p250 -
"I know through the understanding which comes from Thee
that righteousness is not in a hand of flesh,
that man is not master of his way
and that it is not in mortals to direct their step.
I know that the inclination of every spirit
is in Thy hand;
Thou didst establish all its ways before ever creating it,
and how can any man change Thy words?
Thou alone didst create the just
and establish him from the womb
for the time of goodwill,
that he might hearken to Thy Covenant
and walk in all Thy ways,
and that Thou mightest show Thyself great to him
in the multitude of Thy mercies,
and enlarge his straightened soul to eternal salvation
to perpetual and unfailing peace.
Thou wilt raise up his glory
from among flesh.

But the wicked Thou didst create
for the time of Thy wrath,
Thou didst vow them from the womb
for the Day of Massacre,
for they walk in the way which is not good.
They have despised Thy Covenant
and their souls have loathed Thy truth;
They have taken no delight in all thy commandments
and have chosen that which Thou hatest.
For according to the mysteries of Thy wisdom,
Thou hast ordained them for great chastisements
before the eyes of all Thy creatures,
that for all eternity
they may serve as a sign and a wonder
and that all men may know Thy glory
and Thy tremendous power."

Would you have felt comfortable with a group who believed that their spirits had been created good before birth?  The writer believed that God created his spirit and the spirits of his followers good.  They were created 'just', from the womb, to obey the Covenant, in effect the Law as understood by the writer.  He claimed that this knowledge was from God who would be revealed as 'great' to them.  Their spirits would all be raised to eternal glory, and that they would live at peace forever.  This has a modern ring of Calvinistic or Muslim beliefs, and we know where they can take you.

But he believed that the spirits of the wicked were also created from birth so that God could reveal his 'wrath', on 'the day of massacre'.  These were they who did not obey the Law, who despised the Covenant, loathed God's truth, did not delight in God's commandments, but chose what God hated.  These were they who were ordained for eternal punishment before all men. 

1QH Hymn 6, p255 -
"Thou dost set words to measure
and the flow of breath from the lips to metre."

1QH Hymn 4, p248 - 
"And thus do I bring into community all the men of my Council."

1QH Hymn 23, p291 -
"I, the Master, know Thee O my God"

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Story about Judas and Mattathias Pulling Down the Altar and Cleansing the Temple (A Story Extracted from Ant.12 and Transferred to Ant.17)

The Anchor Bible Dictionary, Vol. 1, p166 has an article ‘Altars in the NT’. It says that: “Mat 23:18-20, and 1 Cor.9:13 etc. refer to the contemporary altar in the temple of Herod. This altar is described (War 5.5.6, Whiston) as large (50 by 50 by 15 cubits) with a ramp approach." These measurements are deliberately larger than indicated in the Mishnah (30 by 30 by 5 cubits: Mid.3:1, because it was anti-Herod propaganda.  The story was extracted from Book 12,318 about the real Judas and Mattathias who did take down the altar for burnt offerings to prevent its use for sacrifice of animals.  Judas and Mattathias (Mathias in War) were of priestly heritage but converted to the prophets.   

There is an assumption here - the altar in the temple of Herod was there at the time Jesus is supposed to have walked the earth. I would go a step further and ask the question: was there any altar for burnt offerings at all in the temple at the time of the supposed Jesus? I would say there was no altar at that time, and that the priests had previously 'separated' themselves from temple activities.  The altar was the invention of the Church Fathers of Ceasarea who wanted to write the prophets out of Jewish history, as did the Jewish rabbis. Herod did not build any altar for burnt offerings.  There was no altar of burnt offerings after Judas Maccabeus or during the time of Herod.  Although an Idumean, Herod was essentially a Hasmonean prophet (in effect a Maccabean) who worshipped the Spirit of God at the altar of incense.  Hence the Church Fathers created Herod as a bad character.  

NOTE My current thinking is that the priests 'separated' themselves from the temple at the time of Judas Maccabeus who 'purged' the temple of animal sacrifices and priests.  The priests were kicked out. (See  I now believe that 'Christianity' had its beginning at the time of Judas Maccabeus.

But let me ask another question. Where do you think War 5.5 entitled A DESCRIPTION OF THE TEMPLE would be best placed, in War or in Antiquities? The answer is obvious. The text belongs to Antiquities.  It has been neatly re-arranged by Church Fathers who transferred the complete chunk on the temple from Antiquities to War.  Thus the altar was in existence before the time of Judas: “Before this temple stood the altar, [fifteen] {five} cubits high, and equal both in length and breadth; each of which dimensions was [fifty] {thirty} cubits. The figure it was built in was a square, and it had corners like horns; and the passage up to it was by an insensible acclivity. It was formed without any iron tool, nor did any such iron tool so much as touch it at the time.”  The numbers in square brackets refer to dimensions given by the Church Fathers in the extant text of War .  They are all fabricated.  But as we have seen, because the Mishnah implies it, Herod’s altar was created larger to be unlawful in that it was said to be approximately 10 cubits or 15 ft higher with a much larger base.  This was a fictitious high altar, frowned upon by legalist rabbis.  Herod's altar supposedly had a volume approximately eight times that of the Mishnah altar.  The ratio of volumes was about 40,000:5000 cu ft approx.  The ratio of stones would have been roughly the same; 32,000:4000, allowing for a rule of thumb of 1 cu ft per stone and 20 % space around each stone.   There never was such an altar.  It was created by the Church Fathers of Ceasarea AS ANTI-PROPHET AND ANTI-HEROD PROPAGANDA.  THIS IS A CHANGE OF VIEW FROM MY PREVIOUS THOUGHTS - THE PRIESTS NEVER DID DESTROY SUCH AN ALTAR BECAUSE IT NEVER EXISTED.     

Now Herod's ambassadors made haste to Rome; but sent, as instructed beforehand, what answers they were to make to the questions put to them. They also carried the epistles with them. But Herod now fell into a distemper, and made his will, and bequeathed his kingdom to [Antipas] {Aristobulus} , his [youngest] {eldest} son; [and this out of that hatred to Archelaus and Philip, which the calumnies of Antipater had raised against them]. He also bequeathed a thousand talents to Caesar, and five hundred to Julia, Caesar's wife, to Caesar's children, and friends and freed-men. He also distributed among his sons and their sons his money, his revenues, and his lands. He also made Salome his sister very rich, because she had continued faithful to him in all his circumstances, and was never so rash as to do him any harm; and as he despaired of recovering, for he was about the seventieth year of his age, he grew fierce, and indulged the bitterest anger upon all occasions; the cause whereof was this, that he thought himself despised, and that the [nation was] {priests were} pleased with his misfortunes; besides which, he resented a sedition which [some of the lower sort of men] {the priests} excited against him, the occasion of which was as follows:-

Commentary on Ant.17.6.1
All the reasons given for Herod's bequeathments made to various individuals are good, except for that supposedly made to Antipas.  The writer has Herod hating Archelaus and Philip as the excuse.  Herod didn't bequeath his kingdom to his "youngest" son Antipas, but to his eldest living son Aristobulus.  Herod's hatred of Archelaus, Philip and the "calumnies" of Antipator were fabricated by the Church Fathers - in his will, Herod "distributed among his sons and their sons his money, his revenues, and his lands."

"NOW Herod's ambassadors made haste to Rome; but sent, as instructed beforehand, what answers they were to make to the questions put to them. They also carried THE EPISTLES with them."  The epistles involved were nothing to do with the "wicked contrivances" of Antipator, as given at the end of Ant.17.5. They were about the "wicked contrivances" of the priests, who were plotting against Herod. The ambassadors were to hold discussions with Caesar about this potential sedition.    It was they and not Caesar who asked the questions (the editor has twisted the text around). Clearly, the ambassadors were to seek Caesar's advice about the letters and the priest's intentions. The priests had previously 'withdrawn their services' from the temple, at the time of Judas Maccabeus. Now they were attracting support. The king knew that the priests were disposed to rebellion and war. "Besides which, he resented a sedition which some of the lower sort of men excited against him" - the Flavian editors were preparing the reader. It wasn't "lower sort of men" who were responsible for the sedition, but the priests.

There was one Judas, the son of Saripheus, and Matthias, the son of Margalothus, two of the most eloquent men among the Jews, and the most celebrated interpreters of the Jewish laws, and men well beloved by the people, because of their education of their youth; for all those that were studious of virtue frequented their lectures every day. These men, when they found that the king's distemper was incurable, excited the young men that they would pull down all those works which the king had erected, contrary to the law of their fathers, and thereby obtain the rewards which the law will confer on them for such actions of piety; for that it was truly on account of Herod's rashness in making such things as the law had forbidden, that his other misfortunes, and this distemper also, which was so unusual among mankind, and with which he was now afflicted, came upon him; for Herod had caused such things to be made which were contrary to the law, of which he was accused by Judas and Matthias; for the king had erected over the great gate of the temple a large golden eagle, of great value, and had dedicated it to the temple. Now the law forbids those that propose to live according to it, to erect images or representations of any living creature. So these wise men persuaded [their scholars] to pull down the golden eagle; alleging, that although they should incur any danger, which might bring them to their deaths, the virtue of the action now proposed to them would appear much more advantageous to them than the pleasures of life; since they would die for the preservation and observation of the law of their fathers; since they would also acquire an everlasting fame and commendation; since they would be both commended by the present generation, and leave an example of life that would never be forgotten to posterity; since that common calamity of dying cannot be avoided by our living so as to escape any such dangers; that therefore it is a right thing for those who are in love with a virtuous conduct, to wait for that fatal hour by such behaviour as may carry them out of the world with praise and honour; and that this will alleviate death to a great degree, thus to come at it by the performance of brave actions, which bring us into danger of it; and at the same time to leave that reputation behind them to their children, and to all their relations, whether they be men or women, which will be of great advantage to them afterward.
Commentary on Ant.17.6.2
The editors put their spin on a story extracted from Ant.12.  They made it sound as though these were Pharisees teaching their pupils the law.  Pharisees did not exist at the time of Herod, as the scrolls show.  Ant.12 has Mattathias teaching his sons. The names of Judas and Matthias were synonymous with Judas Maccabeus and his father Mattathias, and thus of revolution.  The leader in Ant.17 was a Matthias, a supposed "high priest".  His "education" of "youth", was teaching priests to obey the law.  This was to the point where "the scholars" would be prepared to die for their beliefs.  The parallels between the Judas and Matthias of Ant.17 and the Judas and Mattathias of Ant.12 cannot be ignored.
In Ant.17, Herod had supposedly put up a golden eagle over the entrance of the temple which Matthias's scholars were to pull down because it was against the law to have an image of an animal on the temple.  These events were fabricated from the much earlier reality that Judas and Mattathias with their followers had originally pulled down the altar of burnt offerings when they purged the temple.  

The Flavian editors had Herod dying from miserable disease.  This was pure fabrication.  THE KING WHO HAD THE "INCURABLE DISTEMPER" WAS ANTIOCHUS, NOT HEROD.  Antiochus was for animal sacrifice only.  Mattathias was against animal sacrifice.  In Ant.12 Mattathias just dies and his sons mourn his loss.  In fact, as in Ant.17, Mattathias was executed by the Antiochus along with those who had pulled down the altar when Judas Maccabeus purged the temple.  Mattathias became the "other Matthias".  So Mattathias the father of Judas didn't die naturally making a speech to his sons.  

Also in Ant.17.6.4, the editors forgot to include Judas in those supposedly burned as a punishment.  Judas, the real Judas, in reality, had escaped.  

And with such discourses as this did these men excite the young men to this action; and a report being come to them that the king was dead, this was an addition to the wise men's persuasions; so, in the very middle of the day, they got upon the place, they pulled down the eagle, and cut it into pieces with axes, while a great number of the people were in the temple. And now the king's captain, upon hearing what the undertaking was, and supposing it was a thing of a higher nature than it proved to be, came up thither, having a great band of soldiers with him, such as was sufficient to put a stop to the multitude of those who pulled down what was dedicated to God; so he fell upon them unexpectedly, and as they were upon this bold attempt, in a foolish presumption rather than a cautious circumspection, as is usual with the multitude, and while they were in disorder, and incautious of what was for their advantage; so he caught no fewer than forty of the young men, who had the courage to stay behind when the rest ran away, together with the authors of this bold attempt, Judas and Matthias, who thought it an ignominious thing to retire upon his approach, and led them to the king. And when they were come to the king, and he had asked them if they had been so bold as to pull down what he had dedicated to God, "Yes”, said they, “what was contrived we contrived, and what hath been performed we performed it, and that with such a virtuous courage as becomes men; for we have given our assistance to those things which were dedicated to the majesty of God, and we have provided for what we have learned by hearing the law; and it ought not to be wondered at, if we esteem those laws which Moses had suggested to him, and were taught him by God, and which he wrote and left behind him, more worthy of observation than thy commands. Accordingly we will undergo death, and all sorts of punishments which thou canst inflict upon us, with pleasure, since we are conscious to ourselves that we shall die, not for any unrighteous actions, but for our love to religion." And thus they all said, and their courage was still equal to their profession, and equal to that with which they readily set about this undertaking. And when the king had ordered them to be bound, he sent them to Jericho, and called together the principal men among the Jews; and when they were come, he made them assemble in the theatre, and because he could not himself stand, he lay upon a couch, and enumerated the many labours that he had long endured on their account, and his building of the temple, and what a vast charge that was to him; while the Asamoneans, during the hundred and twenty-five years of their government, had not been able to perform any so great a work for the honour of God as that was; that he had also adorned it with very valuable donations, on which account he hoped that he had left himself a memorial, and procured himself a reputation after his death. He then cried out, that these men had not abstained from affronting him, even in his lifetime, but that in the very day time, and in the sight of the multitude, they had abused him to that degree, as to fall upon what he had dedicated, and in that way of abuse, had pulled it down to the ground. They pretended, indeed, that they did it to affront him; but if any one consider the thing truly, they will find that they were guilty of sacrilege against God therein.  

Commentary on Ant.17.6.3
This was really a story about the activities of the revolutionaries Judas and Mattathias.  The "young men" (priests) were made to think the king was dead, and thus he would not be able to hinder them. So “they got upon the place”, the “place” being the high altar – one can hardly imagine the priests getting “upon” an eagle. This was while a “great number of people” were in the temple - a “great number of priests” were tearing down the altar. The cutting “into pieces with axes” was a fabrication. The altar was built out of natural unhewn stones stacked-up loose. These were thrown “down”. The king’s captain (Antiochus's) came with soldiers to put a stop to this activity. He “supposed it was a thing of a higher nature”. The priests (prophets) had thrown “down” the altar that Herod (Antiochus) had supposedly dedicated to God. 

The majority of the priests (prophets) ran away, but the captain (Antiochus's) caught forty of the culprits together with Matthias (Mattathias) the high priest (the leader). These were taken to the king (Antiochus). The captured priests (prophets) said that they had planned and executed the destruction. They had learned that the altar was not according to the Law (in keeping with God's commands), which they had been taught by Matthias (Mattathias).  It was more important to obey the Law (God) than Herod (Antiochus), and they recognized they were going to die.  Herod (Antiochus) sent them to Jericho where there was a “theatre” -  a large place where the captured priests (prophets) were to be executed.  Herod (Antiochus) “called” for the other priests (prophets), “the principal men among the Jews”, to come and watch the execution of their friends. 

But the people, on account of Herod's barbarous temper, and for fear he should be so cruel and to inflict punishment on them, said what was done was done without their approbation, and that it seemed to them that the actors might well be punished for what they had done. But as for Herod, he dealt more mildly with others of the assembly;but he deprived Matthias of the high priesthood, as in part an occasion of this action, and made Joazar, who was Mattathias's wife's brother, high priest in his stead.  Now it happened, that during the time of the high priesthood of this Matthias, there was another person made high priest for a single day, that very day which the Jews observed as a fast. The occasion was this:- This Matthias the high priest, on the night before that day when the fast was to be celebrated, seemed, in a dream, to have conversation with his wife; and because he could not officiate himself on that account, Joseph, the son of Ellemus, his kinsman, assisted him in that sacred office.

But Herod deprived this Matthias of the high priesthood, and burned the other Matthias, who had raised the sedition, with his companions, alive. And that very night there was an eclipse of the moon.

Commentary on Ant.17.6.4

There was no high priesthood at the time of Herod.  Herod's barbarous temper and cruelty were Antiochus's.  The "other Matthias" was really Mattathias the father of Judas Maccabeus.  He was burned to death by Antiochus.

But now Herod's distemper greatly increased upon him after a severe manner, and this by God's judgment upon him for his sins; for a fire glowed in him slowly, which did not so much appear to the touch outwardly, as it augmented his pains inwardly; for it brought upon him a vehement appetite to eating, which he could not avoid to supply with one sort of food or other. His entrails were also exulcerated, and the chief violence of his pain lay on his colon; an aqueous and transparent liquor also had settled itself about his feet, and a like matter afflicted him at the bottom of his belly. Nay, further, his privy-member was putrefied, and produced worms; and when he sat upright, he had a difficulty of breathing, which was very loathsome, on account of the stench of his breath, and the quickness of its returns; he had also convulsions in all parts of his body, which increased his strength to an insufferable degree. It was said by those who pretended to divine, and who were endued with wisdom to foretell such things, that God inflicted this punishment on the king on account of his great impiety; yet was he still in hopes of recovering, though his afflictions seemed greater than any one could bear. He also sent for physicians, and did not refuse to follow what they prescribed for his assistance; and went beyond the river Jordan, and bathed himself in the warm baths that were at Callirrhoe, which, besides their other general virtues, were also fit to drink; which water runs into the lake called Asphaltitis. And when the physicians once thought fit to have him bathed in a vessel full of oil, it was supposed that he was just dying; but upon the lamentable cries of his domestics, he revived; and having no longer the least hopes of recovering, he gave order that every soldier should be paid fifty drachmae; and he also gave a great deal to their commanders, and to his friends, and came again to Jericho, where he grew so choleric, that it brought him to do all things like a madman; and though he were near his death, he contrived the following wicked designs. 

Now any one may easily discover the temper of this man's mind, which not only took pleasure in doing what he had done formerly against his relations, out of the love of life, but by those commands of his which savoured of no humanity; since he took care, when he was departing out of this life, that the whole nation should be put into mourning, and indeed made desolate of their dearest kindred, when he gave order that one out of every family should be slain, although they had done nothing that was unjust, or that was against him, nor were they accused of any other crimes; while it is usual for those who have any regard to virtue to lay aside their hatred at such a time, even with respect to those they justly esteemed their enemies. He commanded that all the principal men of the entire Jewish nation, wheresoever they lived, should be called to him. Accordingly, they were a great number that came, because the whole nation was called, and all men heard of this call, and death was the penalty of such as should despise the epistles that were sent to call them. And now the king was in a wild rage against them all, the innocent as well as those that had afforded ground for accusations; and when they were come, he ordered them to be all shut up in the hyppodrome, and sent for his sister Salome, and her husband Alexas, and spake thus to them: "I shall die in a little time, so great are my pains; which death ought to be cheerfully borne, and to be welcomed by all men; but what principally troubles me is this, that I shall die without being lamented, and without such mourning as men usually expect at a king's death. For that he was not unacquainted with the temper of the Jews that his death would be a thing very desirable, and exceedingly acceptable to them, because during his lifetime they were ready to revolt from him, and to abuse the donations he had dedicated to God that it therefore was their business to resolve to afford him some alleviation of his great sorrows on this occasion; for that if they do not refuse him their consent in what he desires, he shall have a great mourning at his funeral, and such as never had any king before him; for then the whole nation would mourn from their very soul, which otherwise would be done in sport and mockery only. He desired therefore, that as soon as they see he hath given up the ghost, they shall place soldiers round the hippodrome, while they do not know that he is dead; and that they shall not declare his death to the multitude till this is done, but that they shall give orders to have those that are in custody shot with their darts; and that this slaughter of them all will cause that he shall not miss to rejoice on a double account; that as he is dying, they will make him secure that his will shall be executed in what he charges them to do; and that he shall have the honour of a memorable mourning at his funeral. So he deplored his condition, with tears in his eyes, and obtested them by the kindness due from them, as of his kindred, and by the faith they owed to God, and begged of them that they would not hinder him of this honourable mourning at his funeral. So they promised him not to transgress his commands.

Commentary on Ant.17.6.5 and 17.6.6 

In Ant.17, Herod apparently planned to kill all of the priests.   Herod had supposedly  gathered about 30000 of the priests in the Hippodrome (theatre) in Jericho where they were to watch the execution of those involved in "the plot to revolt".   The priests were to be surrounded by soldiers and shot with arrows.  That "one out of every family should be slain" is polemic and the source of the murder of the babies by Herod in the New Testament.  But Herod died, and the priests were released and sent home by Salome and Alexus, a fictitous ending.   

This was really Antiochus's plan to destroy all the prophets in one go for refusing to sacrifice and for pulling down the altar of burnt offerings in the temple.  It was Mattathias, the father of Judas Maccabeus, and those who had pulled down the altar who were executed by burning.  The rest of the prophets fled to fight another day. This was not Herod being demented to give himself "the honour of a memorable mourning at his funeral". It was Antiochus's vengeance on the prophets who "had not abstained from affronting him".  The whole account involving Herod was a fabrication.   


Monday, February 07, 2011

Did Herod Really Execute Mariamne and Three of His Sons?

No Hasmonean at any price - the Hasmoneans followed the prophets

The picture with the Vermes article, shows the judgement of Mariamne: There are some priestly figures in the background looking very severe. Yet when one reads the story (the supposed history in the writings attributed to Josephus) one gets very little interaction with priests which is strange given Herod’s piety. We do read about Herod occasionally 'offering sacrifice' before going into battle, and that’s about it.  I have to ask what type of sacrifice did Herod offer?  Was it an animal, or was it incense? 

The family tragedy in Herod’s life, as recorded in the writings attributed to Josephus, was a creation of the Church Fathers. There are some fanciful stories. We are led to believe that Herod executed his wife Mariamne who he loved madly, and that he is supposed to have killed his three sons Alexander, Aristobulus and Antipator.  The scholars swallow it. Herod was not the ogre portrayed by the Church Fathers in the writings attributed to Josephus. These stories are propaganda, with the Church Fathers doing the writing.  They have written a far-fetched story that is impossible for any rational person to accept.  The aim was to cover-up the truth, that priests had been involved in the murders of Herod's family because they didn't want a Hasmonean king who supported the prophets.  The person who survived was the son of Mariamne, Aristobulus (because he was in Rome) whom Herod later appointed king.  He was a Hasmonean.

Mariamne, a Hasmonean, was never executed by Herod, and neither was her father Hyrcanus (Hyrcanus was clearly her father not her grandfather as Josephus has it).   She was killed, along with her father Hyrcanus, her mother Alexandra and a number of other prominent Jews (including his brother Pheroras) during the battle of Arabia.  (See my post on Antiquities 15).  Herod had kept the Arabians at bay in the East while Augustus fought the battle of Actium against Anthony, and also the battle of Egypt against Cleopatra's army and the remnants of Anthony's army.  While the battle of Arabia was raging ( a very fierce war), the Arabians were tipped off by the priests that Herod's family had been placed in Alexandrium near the river Jordan for their safety.  But Herod's forces were stretched and were not able to get to Alexandrium in time.  His family and friends were wiped out. Augustus was later to honour Herod with a visit by his army.

Mariamne had given birth to four children. Her first child, a boy, and unnamed, was educated in Rome. He died, but the text doesn’t say why.  Antipator, and his mother Doris, were fabricated by the Church Fathers so that they could add to the bad character created for Herod.  Doris, Antipator’s supposed mother was invented - she appears briefly in the editor’s story, and then much later conveniently re-appears for a brief moment, again for the story, being later dismissed from the court.  Alexander died by poisoning - Herod was suspicious in the story as to how Alexander died - he didn't execute him.  Aristobulus survived. We can now see why the Talmud (also quoted in the Vermes article) calls Herod a “wicked slave of the Hasmonean kings”. Herod wanted a Hasmonean son of Mariamne to succeed him, and someone appears to be out to stop him. The priests were set against having a Hasmonean king. It was their betrayal of Herod that was responsible for the deaths of Mariamne and two of her sons.  This was because the Hasmoneans were prophets and supported the prophets.  Priests despised prophets.

Herod didn’t murder his wife Mariamne and two of her three sons.  The Church Fathers made it look as though he did in the writings attributed to Josephus.  The same editors added the third son, Aristobulus to the list of Herod’s victims – they wanted to blacken Herod's name and erase Aristobulus from history.  Aristobulus, the father of Agrippa the Great, was appointed king by Herod. He remained king until he died when Agrippa became king. Kokkinos rightly asks the question: “However, is it possible that a royal court of such magnitude…. lost its well placed manpower in a spectacular overnight disintegration?” The answer is, it didn’t.

All the Roman governors were fictitious – fabricated by the Church Fathers.  (Pilate was not a Roman governor, but was a prefect of soldiery in Caesarea).  Laughably, Martin Goodman has the governors hiding “in political isolation on their estates in the southern part of the province”. The so-called procuratorial coins were coins of king Aristobulus and his son Aggrippa I.  They, like their father and grandfather Herod, didn’t allow their image on their coins. Only for a short period did Agrippa I’s image appear on coins, when the editors were forced to admit that a Hasmonean was in power.  Agrippa I’s rule was considerably longer than the range of the dates on the coins with his image.  In Judaism, Agrippa I was known as Agrippa the Great.  The reign of Agrippa I was comparable to that of his grandfather Herod, and thus much longer than the three years allowed by the coins with Agrippa's image.  Agrippa I, a Hasmonean king, succeeded his father Aristobulus, also a Hasmonean, who in turn succeeded Herod. The history is garbled in the writings attributed to Josephus.  Agrippa I ruled until 64 CE when he was killed by the priests.  The killing of Agrippa I and the persecution of the prophets prompted the Roman invasion under Nero. This invasion lasted a few months.

The priests  had been thrown out of the temple earlier by Judas Maccabeus.  Hence Kokkinos could write: “the ‘priestly class’ as the sole ruling class in Judaea under Rome is a myth”.  Hasmonean rule was thus continuous from the time of Judas Maccabeus through the time of Herod, Aristobulus and Agrippa I.  During that time all kings were Hasmomonean and supported the prophets.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Was the Addressee of 4QMMT Herod Himself? (Theories 1 and 2)

Theory 1 - The addressee was Herod (a wrong theory)

Golb wrote (p183 of Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls): "The importance of Milik's observations about the idiom of the Acts of Torah resided in the necessary implication that the work was written during the early or middle first century A.D., before which no evidence could be found for the existence of such an idiom.  Indeed Milik made use of passages FROM (capitals mine) the Acts of Torah to elucidate his discussion of a first-century A.D. documentary work in the same idiom - the Copper Scroll....The idiom appears in no written testimony before the turn of the era,"

Up until now I had taken the last sentence at face value, and thought that we were looking for a date post the turn of the era.  Herod died in 4 B.C.  So could we squeeze 4QMMT back into the end of first century B.C. just before Herod died?   I don't see why we shouldn't.  The two letters that form 4QMMT then begin to make sense.

HERODS KEEPING OF THE JEWISH LAW (NOT UP TO THE STANDARDS REQUIRED BY 4QMMT) - The quotes are Geza Vermes’s about Herod taken from
 A. "In obedience to Jewish law, he did not allow his effigy to appear on coins. Nor has any statue of his survived away from home." 
B. "Herod considered himself a Jew and at home he behaved as one... He also observed Jewish dietary laws." 
C. "He strictly adhered to Jewish rules governing mixed marriages and required circumcision of non-Jewish men before they were allowed to marry into his family." 
E. "Some of the pools discovered in Herodian palaces served for ritual purification, according to archaeologists." 
F. "The jewel in the crown of his exclusively Jewish creative activity was the reconstruction of the Second Temple." 
G. "To allay religious worries, he associated the Jewish clergy with the project, and to please them he ordered sumptuous robes for 1,000 priests." 
H. "His formal adherence to the Jewish religion...." 
I. "His unpopularity reached boiling point when he sentenced to death two respected religious teachers and 40 of their pupils for destroying the golden eagle, symbol of Rome, attached to the new Temple." 

So why would Herod attach an eagle to the outside of the temple knowing this would break the Law and offend ALL Jews. It wouldn’t have made him very popular right from the opening of the temple. Clearly, Herod did no such thing as to put up a golden eagle on the temple wall. This story about "two teachers" and their "40 pupils" "pulling the eagle down" from the temple wall is garbled in the writings attributed to Josephus. Was this a story based on something else that occurred earlier?

HEROD "A WICKED SLAVE OF THE HASMONEAN KINGS"? - In the same article Vermes wrote: “The Talmud, ignoring Herod's ancestry and attainments, downgrades him to the status of a "wicked slave of the Hasmonean kings". Why does the Talmud say that? Was it because Herod switched his allegiance from the priests to the prophets towards the end of his life? It wouldn’t have been the first occasion in Jewish history that a king switched allegiances.  Strangely the writer of Josephus saw Josephus as a Hasmonean prophet, as well as a priest, who again strangely never practised as a priest. The Hasmoneans were linked to prophets who were not strict in applying the Law.

ACTS OF TORAH - Imagine if you were king Herod and you were near life’s end. You had generally kept the Jewish Law (as Vermes said above). You had not stamped your image on coins, put up no statues of yourself, observed the Laws on diet, required the circumcision of men who wanted to marry Jewish women, obeyed the Law regarding ritual purification, reconstructed the temple, associated the priests with the project, and bought 1000 of the Jewish priests sumptuous robes, to name a few things. Then two letters (4QMMT) land on your desk from some of the priests written on behalf of all of the priests (the 'we') who had resigned their responsibilities to the Temple. In effect, they told you that your Jewish ways of behaving were not up to their standards - these priests had moved the goalposts by their interpretation of Jewish Law. I think you would have been very annoyed.

THE ACTS OF TORAH - In the first letter, the priests who had resigned from the Temple, and had separated themselves from the people, wrote something like the following, based on a translation from Robert Eisenman and Michael Wise, The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered, p193 – who have filled-in most of the text missing from the manuscript with their best guesses to make sense. The text is a series of Laws or rules, mostly about Temple practice, which the writers of the document thought in their opinion should apply. It was an early form of Jewish rule or Law writing (halakah) – the “idiom” referred to by Milik and Golb in relation to the copper Scroll:

 “These are some of our words concerning the Law of God, that is some of the works that we reckon as justifying you. All of them have to do with holy gifts and purity issues. Now concerning the offering of grain by the Gentiles, who…and they touch it…and render it impure…One is not so to eat any Gentile grain, nor is it permissible to bring it to the Temple. Concerning the sin offering which is boiled in vessels of Gentile copper, by means of which they (the priests remaining) render impure the flesh of their offerings, and further that they boil in the courtyard of the Temple and thereby pollute it (the Temple) with the soup that they make (we disagree with these practices). Concerning sacrifices by Gentiles, we say that in reality they sacrifice to the idol that seduces them; (therefore it is illicit). Further, regarding the thank offering that accompanies peace offerings, that they put aside one day for the next, we reckon that the grain offering is to be eaten with the fat and the flesh on the day that they are offered. It is incumbent upon the priests to assure that care is taken on this matter, so that the priests will not bring sin upon the people. Also, with regard to the purity of the heifer that purifies from sin: he who slaughters it and he who burns it and he who gathers its ashes and he who sprinkles the water (of purification from) sin - all of these are to be pure from the setting of the sun, so that only the pure man will be sprinkling upon the impure. The sons of Aaron must give warning in this matter… Concerning the skins of cattle and sheep…their skins vessels…One is not to bring them to the Temple.” 

This is about one quarter of the letter. I have given sufficient for you to get some idea of its content. These were important priests, no longer within the Temple fold, telling Herod that he wasn’t doing things correctly. If I had been Herod, I would have been enraged – my Kregel translation of Josephus has “distemper”, making out Herod was going crazy, when really it should be “temper”, a word that occurs just a little later. And we know that Herod’s temper boiled over (as Vermes wrote above), but it WAS NOT TO DO WITH the ridiculous tearing down of the “eagle”.

ACTS OF TORAH - The second letter is critical of king Herod, however you dress this up. The following is based on a translation by Geza Vermes taken from The Dead Sea Scrolls in English, p226. Some words are Vermes’s best guesses:

“And concerning the women … violence and betrayal …For in these … on account of the violence and fornication they perished … places. And furthermore it is written in the Book of Moses that you shall not bring an abominable thing into your house (cf. Deut. 7.26) for an abominable thing is detestable. And you know that we have separated from the mass of the people … and from mingling with them in these matters and from being in contact with them in these (matters). And you know that no treachery or lie or evil is found in our hands for we give for these the … And furthermore we have written to you that you should understand the Book of Moses and the Books of the Prophets and David and all the events of every age. And in the Book is written … not for you and the days of old. And furthermore it is written you will depart from the way and that evil will befall you (cf. Deut. 31.29). And it is written: And it shall come to pass when all these things befall you in the end of days, the blessing and the curse, then you will call them to mind and return to Him with all your heart and all your soul (Deut. 30:1,2) at the end of days. And it is written in the Book of Moses and in the Books of the Prophets that there shall come …and the blessings came in the days of Solomon the son of David. And the curses came in the days of Jeroboam the son of Nebat until Jerusalem and Zedekiah king of Judah were exiled that He will bring them to … And we recognize that some of the blessings and curses which are written in the Book of Moses have come. And this is the end of days when they will come back to Israel for ever … and shall not turn backwards. And the wicked shall act wickedly and … Remember the kings of Israel and understand their works that each of them who feared the Torah was saved from troubles, and to those who were seekers of the Law, their iniquities were pardoned. Remember David, that he was a man of piety, and that he was also saved from many troubles and pardoned. We have also written to you concerning some of the observances of the Law which we think are beneficial to you and your people. For we have noticed that prudence and knowledge of the Law are with you. Understand all these (matters) and ask him to straighten your counsel and put you far away of evil and the counsel of Belial. Consequently, you will rejoice at the end of time when you discover that some of our sayings are true. And it will be reckoned for you as righteousness when you perform what is right and good before Him, for your own good and for that of Israel.”

A SLAP IN THE FACE FOR HEROD - The second letter of The Acts of Torah was a real slap in the face for Herod. The references to women, violence, betrayal, fornication, and perished are all words that SEEM to have resonances with Herod’s family life: his many wives and their jealousies, the SUPPOSED murder of Mariamne, the SUPPOSED betrayals by his sons, and the SUPPOSED putting to death of two of his sons Alexander and Antipater are a few examples. The writers (priests), were telling Herod that his acts were abominable and detestable to God, and that he should not come into his house (the Temple). They vainly declared that they had kept themselves separate from all these goings-on. They had separated themselves from the people, and thus from Herod and his family. They had washed their hands of the whole business, and their hands were clean.  

THE PRIESTS WERE PLAYING MIND GAMES WITH HEROD. They were taking advantage of his weakness in old age. They believed that only they fully understood what was in the Book of Moses (the Pentateuch), and the Books of the Prophets and David, implying that Herod’s knowledge of them was inferior. Furthermore, they believed that the Book of Moses described Herod as one of those kings who would fall from the “way” (the Law) and that there would be consequences of that disobedience. There was an allusion to Herod being at the end his days, when he would recognize that some of the blessings written about king Solomon, and some of the curses written about king Jeroboam and king Zedekiah, had been repeated during his reign. They knew he was getting weaker and thought he couldn't retaliate.  There was a direct comparison of Herod with previous kings, showing that a king was being addressed. And they expected that king Herod would know all about these earlier kings, and about the Law. The writer says: “Remember the kings of Israel and understand their works that each of them who feared the Torah was saved from troubles, and to those who were seekers of the Law, their iniquities were pardoned”. The priests implied that king Herod had not sought to obey the Law and that he needed to repent. Yet they recognized that Herod had observed the Law to a certain extent, but not to the standards that they set. They wrote, condescendingly: “Understand all these (matters) and ask him to straighten your counsel and put you far away of evil and the counsel of Belial. Consequently, you will rejoice at the end of time when you discover that some of our sayings are true. And it will be reckoned for you as righteousness when you perform what is right and good before Him, for your own good and for that of Israel.” I think when Herod read this, he had had enough of these priests.

Theory 2 - Was about an earlier time (a right theory)

The idiom identified by de Vaux in 4QMMT was earlier than the first century AD despite Golb's statement that there is no evidence for the existence of such an idiom, that is apart from the Copper Scroll which by implication would also be from an earlier time.   This implies that the metal scroll recorded events that were well before the time it was dumped in the Judean desert along with the other scrolls.  This would make the Copper Scroll part and parcel of the scrolls taken from Agrippa I's archives.  It recorded the burial of temple treasure much earlier than the first century.  It has been assumed that the dating of some of the scrolls was first century.  In fact Golb acknowledges that none of the scrolls were originals.  I believe they had been kept under lock and key in Agrippa I's archives until the priests rebelled and took them.   

The above argument means that Herod could not have been the addressee of 4QMMT.  What we have is a vast amount of propaganda about Herod that amounts to total lies.   The Talmud, ignoring Herod's ancestry and attainments, downgrades him to the status of a "wicked slave of the Hasmonean kings".  The Talmud is of the same mind as the Scrolls.      

This story about "two teachers" and their "40 pupils" "pulling the eagle down" from the temple wall is false and based on an earlier account.  The 'pupils' were prophets, and the 'two teachers' were priests turned prophets, Judas Maccabeus and his father Mattathias.