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A Commentary on the Law of Moses, 4Q251

Twenty-six severely damaged fragments, palaeograptiically dated to the late first century BCE, represent extracts from the Pentateuch with textual variations and exegetical paraphrases. The main topics are the Sabbath, compensation for injuries, firstfruits, the priest's wife, forbidden marital unions, etc.

This text may have some spelling errors due to the nature of the OCR process.

Frs. 1-2

… and to draw water from a cistern … the drawing … [No] man shall take anything from his place on the Sabbath, [from outside the house into it] or from the house outsi[de] … for him to interpret and read in the Book on the [Sabba]th …

Frs. 4-7 i

… [Wh]en m[en] quarrel [and one stri]kes [his fellow with a stone or with his fist and the man does not] di[e but keeps] his [be]d, [then if the man rises again] and w[alks outside, tie who injur]ed him is not guilty. Only [he shall pay for the loss of his time] and for his medical [treatment]. vacat

[When a man strikes his slave, male or female] with a rod … (cf. Exod. 21:1 8-20).

Fr. 8

[When a man strikes his slave, male or female,] in the eye [and destroys it, or if he knocks out the tooth of his slave, male or female, he shall free] him. He shall pay for the lo[ss of his time and for his medica]l treatment [for the sake of his eye or his tooth (cf. Exod. 21:26 combined with 21:19). When an ox gores a man or] a woman, the ox shall be killed and they will stone it [and its flesh shall not be eaten. But the owner of the ox will be not guilty. But if the ox has been accustomed to gore] in the past, and its owner has been warned but has not kept it in, and it has killed [a ma]n or a woman, [the ox shall be stoned and its owner also shall be put to death. If a ransom is laid upon him, then the man shall give … (cf Exod. 21 :28-30).

Fr. 9

[Let no man eat wheat, wine or oil unless [the priest has waved] their best, the firstfruit of the produce. No man shall delay, for [wine] is the firstfruit of the produce, [and] the wheat. The juice … (cf Exod. 22:28). The firstfruits are the leavened loaves which they bring [on the d]ay of the [firstfruits.] These are firstfruits: let no man eat new wheat … until the day of the bread of the firstfruits has come …

Fr. 16

… When a woman is given to a priest, she [may eat] the food of her husband. [… One acquired by him for money and one born into his house, they] may eat his food. But a whore [and a profaned woman may not eat the consecrated food. And] every unfaithful deed which [a

man] shall commit … to eat, for It Is an abomination … owner who is without redeemer …

Fr. 17

On cases of incest … No man shall take the w[ife of his father so as to uncover the skirt of his father. No man shall take] the daughter of his brother or the daughter of [his] si[ster]. No man shall uncover the nakedness of the sister of [his] mo[ther or of his father This is wickedness. A woman shall not be given to the brother of] her father or to the brother of her mother … A man shall not uncover the nakedness of … A man shall not give his daughter …


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