By Seth L. Sanders, Jonathan Ben-Dov
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Additional info for Ancient Jewish Sciences and the History of Knowledge in Second Temple Literature
8 B. Solar data: The annual course of the sun, month by month, is the subject of the opening chapter in the Ethiopic version (ch. 72). There the sun, like the moon and stars, moves through the six gates on the eastern and western horizons during a year of twelve months. Each month consists of 30 days except numbers 3, 6, 9, and 12 that have a thirty-first day for a total of 364 days. Several times in the book Henryk Drawnel, “Moon Computation in the Aramaic Astronomical Book,” RQ 23/89 (2007): 3-41; see pp.
The founders of Qumran were associated with the school, or the circle, in the Jerusalem Temple which had preserved and studied the Enochic literature, and they brought copies of the texts with them from there to Qumran. Be this as it may, if my analysis is even half correct, then it points to a rather interesting conclusion. Sometime in the late Persian period, say around 450-400 BCE, under the influence of Persian and, ultimately, of Babylonian ideas, Jews for the first time became interested in producing scientific models of the workings of the natural world.
The result is a solar year of 364 days. See the fundamental discussion by Otto Neugebauer in The Book of Enoch or I Enoch (ed. M. Black; Leiden: Brill, 1985), 386-419. 23 36 Ancient Jewish Sciences All this may seem rather primitive and obvious, but we should not underestimate how revolutionary both in content and in method such a text must have seemed when it first appeared in Israel. 1 Enoch 72 belongs to the Book of the Heavenly Luminaries, the earliest section of 1 Enoch, and is probably to be dated to the late Persian period (around 400 BCE).
Ancient Jewish Sciences and the History of Knowledge in Second Temple Literature by Seth L. Sanders, Jonathan Ben-Dov