Original Research - Special Collection: Qumran Texts

Orphans in the Dead Sea Scrolls

Gideon R. Kotzé
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 72, No 4 | a3271 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i4.3271 | © 2016 Gideon R. Kotzé | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 November 2015 | Published: 12 August 2016

About the author(s)

Gideon R. Kotzé, Department of Ancient Studies, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Share this article

Bookmark and Share


This study investigates the literary references to orphans in writings amongst the Qumran texts that were written in Hebrew and can be associated with the sectarian Qumran movement. The study focuses on passages where forms of the word יתום are used. These include the Damascus Document (CD 6:16–17), Hodayot (1QHa 13:22) and Barkhi Nafshia (4Q434 1 i 2). The investigation concludes that the references to orphans in these passages do not have the same rhetorical functions. In CD 6, the wordings of authoritative scriptures are adapted to portray orphans and widows as the victims of wrongdoing. In 1QHa and 4Q434, however, orphans are mentioned in hymns that praise the Lord’s positive treatment of needy people


Qumran; Dead Sea Scrolls; Hebrew Bible; Orphans; Damascus Document


Total abstract views: 3349
Total article views: 3363

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.