Title says it all. Who were the Magharians? It seems like they were some group of Pre-Christianity Jews or something like that that lived in caves?

  • 3
    Where is that name used?
    – Shalom
    Sep 9, 2011 at 14:07
  • I've seen it in various papers that I've read about Jewish History Sep 9, 2011 at 14:10
  • 7
    What did those papers say about them? Any context you provide in your question will only help people answer it.
    – msh210
    Sep 9, 2011 at 15:08
  • do you mean the mugrabi? Sep 12, 2011 at 3:29
  • 1
    Is this on topic?
    – Double AA
    Aug 29, 2021 at 1:52

1 Answer 1


Any of many groups that lived in or used caves could be given the name Magharians (from Arabic).

The tenth century (CE) Karaite Jacob Qirqisani described them as a pre-Christian group with distinctive views about angels, creation and biblical anthropomorphisms.

According to Muslim scholar al-Biruni (973-1048) they used a lunar calendar and observed Rosh ha-Shanah and Passover only on a Wednesday.

In modern times, there have been some suggestions that those using the Dead Sea Scrolls and the caves at Qumran may have been Magharians, though there are several other theories.

A couple of links: 1 and 2

  • 1
    Henry, welcome to Judaism.SE, and thanks very much for the informative answer! I look forward to seeing you around.
    – Isaac Moses
    Sep 11, 2011 at 2:08

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