The songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice and biblical priestly literature: A linguistic reconsideration

Noam Mizrahi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice, a liturgical composition whose fragments were discovered among the Dead Sea scrolls, comprises thirteen songs that describe the heavenly temple and the angels who serve in it as priests and whose main ritual duty is to praise and glorify God.1 These topics are taken commonly to indicate that the Songs was composed in priestly circles, stems from classical priestly traditions, and reflects a priestly agenda and worldview. Thus, for instance, a priestly provenance of the Songs was entertained by Johann Maier.2 Israel Knohl also detected a continuation of priestly traditions and conceptions in the Songs.3 The prominent proponent of this view is Rachel Elior, who presented a sweeping synthesis according to which a direct and continuous tradition leads from biblical priestly literature, through sectarian writings from Qumran-and the Songs in particular-to Hekhalot literature. In her view, these texts exhibit numerous thematic, ideological, and terminological affinities that prove that they are parts of a single, well-defined stream of tradition, nurtured by priestly circles.4.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)33-57
Number of pages25
JournalHarvard Theological Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


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