"Light of God’s Dwelling” According to Qumran Writings, in the Context of Biblical and Apocryphal Tradition

Mateusz Targoński


The article explores the ways in which the writings of the Qumran community use the metaphor of light to describe God’s dwelling. The first part outlines the background contained in the Hebrew Bible, which permits an understanding of the theological foundations of Judaism in the Second Temple period. The second part considers the two important non-canonical texts of greatest importance to the Qumran community, namely First Book of Enoch and Book of Jubilees. The last part analyses the four Qumran sectarian works which employ the “light of God’s dwelling” imagery: Songs of Sabbath Sacrifice, Blessings and Curses, Songs of the Maskil and Works of God. Also examined are examples of the broader eschatological use of light in other texts of the community. Light, when used to describe God’s dwelling, emphasises the perfection of a heavenly palace and the unapproachability of the Creator by the man during his earthly lifetime.


light, God’s dwelling, heaven, Qumran

Botterweck G.J. – Ringgren H. – Fabry H.-J. (red.), Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans 1974, 1998) I, IX (=TDOT).

Chazon E.G., „Human and Angelic Prayer in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls”, Liturgical Perspectives: Prayer and Poetry in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls (red. E.G. Chazon) (STDJ 48; Leiden – Boston: Brill, 2003) 35-47. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004350465

Collins J.J., Apocalypticism in the Dead Sea Scrolls (LDSS; London – New York: Routelegde, 1997). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110813029.19

Davila J.R., Liturgical Works (ECDSS 6; Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2000).

Hanson K.L., „The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Language of Binary Opposition: A Structuralist/Post-structuralist Approach”, Australian Journal of Jewish Studies 22 (2008) 26-55.

Heger P., „Another Look at Dualism in Qumran Writings”, Dualism in Qumran (red. G.G. Xeravits) (London – New York: T&T Clark, 2010) 39-101.

Homerski J., Księga Daniela. Wstęp – przekład z oryginału – komentarz – ekskursy (Poznań: Pallottinum, 2008).

Hogeterp A.L.A., Expectations of the End. A Comparative Traditio-Historical Study of Eschatological, Apocalyptic and Messianic Ideas in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament (STDJ 83; Leiden – Boston: Brill, 2009). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/ej.9789004171770.i-572

Liddell H.G. – Scott R., A Greek-English Lexicon (Revised and Augmented by H.S. Jones) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 91925-1940) I-II (=LSJ).

Łach S., Księga Psalmów. Wstęp – przekład z oryginału – komentarz – ekskursy (red. J. Łach) (Poznań: Pallottinum, 1990).

Milik J.T. (red.), The Books of Enoch. Aramaic Fragments of Qumrân Cave 4 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976).

Muchowski P., Komentarze do rękopisów znad Morza Martwego (JiH 1; Poznań: WN UAM, 22005).

Muchowski P., Rękopisy znad Morza Martwego. Qumran – Wadi Murabbaʽat – Masada – Nachal Chewer (BZ.TNT 5; Kraków: The Enigma Press, 22000).

Newsom C., „Heaven”, EDSS, 338-340.

Newsom C., „«Sectually Explicit» Literature from Qumran”, The Hebrew Bible and Its Interpreters (red. W. Propp) (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1990) 167-187.

Nitzan B., „The Idea of Creation and Its Implications in Qumran Literature”, Creation in Jewish and Christian Tradition (red. H.G. Reventlow – Y. Hoffman) (JSOT.SS 319; Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002) 240-264.

Parchem M., Biblijny język aramejski. Gramatyka, kompletne preparacje, słownik (BeJ 5; Pelplin: Bernardinum, 2016).

Parchem M., Księga Daniela. Wstęp, przekład z oryginału, komentarz (NKB.ST 26; Częstochowa: Edycja Świętego Pawła, 2008).

Rubinkiewicz R. (red.), Apokryfy Starego Testamentu (PSB 13; Warszawa: Vocatio, 1999).

Schiffman L.H. – VanderKam J.C. (red.), Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000) I-II (=EDSS). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/acref/9780195084504.001.0001

Scott J.M., On Earth as in Heaven. The Restoration of Sacred Time and Sacred Space in the Book of Jubilees (SJSJ 91; Leiden – Boston: Brill, 2005). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789047405115

Segal M., The Book of Jubilees. Rewritten Bible, Redaction, Ideology and Theology (SJSJ 117; Leiden – Boston: Brill, 2007).

Stokes R.E., „The Throne Visions of Daniel 7, 1 Enoch 14, and the Qumran Book of Giants (4Q530): An Analysis of Their Literary Relationship”, Dead Sea Discoveries 15 (2008) 340-358. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/156851708X304877

Szymik S., „Qumran a kanon Biblii Hebrajskiej”, Qumran. Pomiędzy Starym a Nowym Testamentem (red. H. Drawnel – A. Piwowar) (ABL 2; Lublin: Wydawnictwo KUL, 2009) 77-91.

Wróbel M.S., Studia z Ewangelii Janowej (WKS 5; Tarnów: Biblos, 2009).

Van Dam C., The Urim and Thummim: A Means of Revelation in Ancient Israel (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1997).

VanderKam J., „Book of Jubilees”, Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000) I-II, 434-438.

VanderKam J., „Reflections on Early Jewish Apocalypses”, Apokaliptyka wczesnego judaizmu i chrześcijaństwa (red. M.S. Wróbel) (ABL 6; Lublin: Wydawnictwo KUL, 2010) 13-28.

VanderKam J. (red.), The Book of Jubilees. A Critical Text (CSCO 510; Lovanii: E. Peeters, 1989).

Zdun P., Pieśni Ofiary Szabatowej z Qumran i Masady (TzPJ 1; Kraków: The Enigma Press, 1996).


Targoński, M. (2016). "Light of God’s Dwelling” According to Qumran Writings, in the Context of Biblical and Apocryphal Tradition. Verbum Vitae, 29, 149–171. https://doi.org/10.31743/vv.1696

Mateusz Targoński  targonski.mateusz@gmail.com


The author(s) grant (s) to the Licensee a non-exclusive and royalty-free license in accordance with the provisions of the Appendix: LICENSE TO USE THE WORK