I'm researching various sources regarding the Qumran calendar. I don't understand why there was a concern for incorporating the 24 priestly "watches" (mishmarot) (Refer to I Chronicles 4 for the names.) as part of the calendar arrangement.

Where these people Cohanim, or was there some other belief or motive that this needed to be included?

Refer to this article for an overview of the Qumran calendar structure.

  • 3
    You should explain what was done to the calendar as a result of the 24 mishmarot. How does the Qumran calendar differ from the standard halachic calendar? The 24 mishmarot were the families of kohanim that were assigned to serve in the Temple at the specific time mentioned. Sep 19 '19 at 0:58
  • @sabbahillel Link is added
    – DanF
    Sep 20 '19 at 14:06
  • What's wrong with the suggestion in the article you quote, that it is a conviniant check value? Why would we think that they had nothing to do with the Mishmaros, and that they did not go to the Temple as Yisroelim who went up in the same cycle as the Kohanim?
    – Mordechai
    May 2 at 20:29

The Qumranites included priests, "Sons of Zadok" among their number, if the Community Rule (1QS) is an accurate reflection of actual practice.

I think that they expected that their philosophy would eventually rule in the Temple. The War Scroll (1QM) describes "years of remission" when the war against the "Sons of Darkness" would be suspended. It implies that the "Sons of Light" will be in control of the Temple:

They shall rank the chiefs of the priests after the Chief Priest and his deputy; twelve chief priests to serve in the regular offering before God. The chiefs of the courses, twenty-six, shall serve in their courses. After them the chiefs of the Levites serve continually, twelve in all, one to a tribe. The chiefs of their courses shall serve each man in his office. The chiefs of the tribes and fathers of the congregation shall support them, taking their stand continually at the gates of the sanctuary. The chiefs of their courses, from the age of fifty upwards, shall take their stand with their commissioners on their festivals, new moons and Sabbaths, and on every day of the year. These shall take their stand at the burnt offerings and sacrifices, to arrange the sweet smelling incense according to the will of God, to atone for all His congregation, and to satisfy themselves before Him continually at the table of glory. All of these they shall arrange at the time of the year of remission….

To prepare for this time, they worked out a synchronization of their 364-day calendar, the lunar calendar, and the priestly courses, resulting (so scholars think) in a 6-year cycle of priestly courses.

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