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Transliteration of Hebrew פֵּשֶׁר (pēšer, interpretation, solution). Popularised after the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947.

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pesher (plural pesharim or peshers)

  1. An interpretive commentary on scripture, especially one in Hebrew.
    • 1944, Louis Greenberg, The Jews in Russia: The Struggle for Emancipation, page 68:
      In 1807, Manasseh Illier sought in his Pesher Dabar (Solution to the Problem) to bring unity into the ranks of Jewry by reconciling all the factions of the conflicting schools of thought through the harmonization of reason and faith.
    • 1954, The Biblical Archaeologist, volumes 17-20, page 91:
      In commenting upon lQ28b, Abbe Milik referred to this fragment as a pesher on the Psalms, but since that time the document has been augmented by new fragments, and it appears certain that it is, in fact, a commentary on Isaiah.
    • 1994, Robert P. Gordon, Studies in the Targum to the Twelve Prophets, from Nahum to Malachi, page 83:
      Of all the Dead Sea texts it is the Habakkuk pesher (1QpHab) that, by common consent, exhibits the most impressive agreements with a Targum text.
    • 1997, Timothy H. Lim, Holy Scripture in the Qumran Commentaries and Pauline Letters[1]:
      The classification of the Qumran commentaries by Jean Carmignac into the continuous and thematic pesharim is based upon typological issues rather than such concerns as the dates of publication: for former more or less follows sequentially continuous biblical passages while the other draws its proof-texts from a variety of biblical books around a particular theme.
    • 1998, Robert H. Eisenman, James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls[2]:
      A similar method is followed in the Dead Sea Scrolls, particularly in those documents we have already described as peshers — but in the latter not quite so blatantly, as the ethos of the interpretation generally remains the same as that of the interpretation generally remains the same as that of the underlying passages
    • 2001, Graham Harvey, The True Israel: Uses of the names Jew, Hebrew, and Israel in Ancient Jewish and Early Christian Literature, page 33:
      The Pesher on Zephaniah (1Q15)45 interprets Zeph 1:18 and 2:2 as referring to "all the inhabitants of the Land of Judah" (i.5).
    • 2003, Geert Wouter Lorein, The Antichrist theme in the Intertestamental Period, pages 196–197:
      According to the suggested interpretation he sinned horribly; his victims were 'only' Pharisees, but the author of the pesher does think that he went too far in his tyrannical actions.

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