Qumran horoscopes (4Q186, 4QMessAr)

Among the Dead Sea manuscripts were found two documents from cave пе 4, one of which was written in ancient Hebrew and the other in Aramaic, and the dating of these manuscripts probably dates back to the end of the first century BC. These documents contain fragments of “horoscopes” or more precisely – of astrological physiognomies about the relationship between the characteristics of the individual and fate, according to the configuration of the stars at the birth of the individual. The Hebrew text published by J. Allegro is written with a childish cryptography (cipher). The text goes from left to right, instead of the normal for biblical Hebrew – from right to left, and also uses along with the standard square font (“ketav meruba”) and letters from the archaic (paleo-) Hebrew (or Phoenician), as well as letters from the Greek alphabet.

Here we see a description of three types of personalities according to how light and darkness are reflected in them. The first man is very bad, with eight parts of darkness and one part of light. The second type of personality is rather good and contains: six parts light against three parts darkness. The latter type of man is almost perfect and is composed of eight parts light and one part darkness.

Insofar as physical characteristics such as height, fullness, etc. are considered, their disproportion is associated with injustice and evil, while their opposites reflect virtue.

In the astrological terminology of the document, the term “second column” undoubtedly means “second house”; and birth “at the feet of a bull” should most likely be interpreted as the period in which the sun is in the lowest part of the constellation Taurus.

The Aramaic horoscope represents, according to its publisher J. Starkey, horoscope of the last prince of society, ie the royal Messiah. The text itself contains an allusion to the wonderful birth of Noah.

Whether the members of the Qumran sect predicted the future through astrological instruments, or used horoscope-like compositions as literary schemes, is not currently possible to determine, although some researchers (J. Strugnell, G. Vermes) are more willing to accept the second possibility.

The fact of finding such texts among the Qumran scrolls should not surprise us. Although orthodox Jews rejected astrology in disgust, others, such as the Hellenistic Jewish writer Eupolemus, attributed the invention of astrology to Patriarch Abraham himself.

Messiah’s horoscope – calculation of the birth of Noah 4QMessAr

“I … on his arm: two … birthmarks. And his hair will be red. And there will be moles … and a small birthmark on your thigh. / And in two years he will know / how to distinguish / things from each other. In his youth he will be like … / like a man / who knows nothing until the time comes when he will know the three books.

And then he will attain wisdom and learn to understand … a vision will come to his knees. And with his father and his ancestors … life and old age. Advice and dignity will be with him and he will know the human secrets. His wisdom will reach all peoples and nations, and will know the secrets of all that lives. And all their plans against him will be in vain, and his power over all living things will be great. His plans (will succeed) because he is God’s Chosen One. His birth and the breath of his spirit … and his endeavors will be forever and ever … “