Does anybody know anything about the pesher method of interpretation used by the Essenes at Qumran? And I don’t mean the Barbara Thiering garbage lol.
What I know of it is the following:
Pesher follows a “petirah” approach. Petirah involves reading a cryptic prophetic or poetic biblical verse, or part of a verse, and saying “this bizarre verse sort-of reminds me of that” event. The Rabbis used this approach to refer to people from the past, within the Bible, whereas the Essenes used it to refer to their own community or to the future events surrounding the Eschaton or the Messiah. I will give an example by making up my own “bible verse” just to show the crypticness and the method involved: “Water and thighs and fulfilments abound.” The Rabbis would argue that this refers to Abraham’s servant who swore by putting his hand on Abraham’s thigh to find Isaac a wife, and who, in order to find her, asked God for a sign that it was her, which involved water. The Essenes would do the same thing but in regards to their community or to the future (the future being possible according to apocalyptic typological Second Temple Judaism expectations).
Pesher also involves the updating of past realities with current realities (analogically, OR chronologically/past-to-current geography, politics). An example would be saying that “Babylon” is first century Rome, or is, rather, “ISIS.”
Pesher also employs mantological techniques: dividing one word into two words (“example” becomes “exam” and “pill”), related root-words (“Adam” becomes “Edom”), acronyms, anagrams, gematria, similar sounding words as substitutes, words with one letter substitution according to phonetic oral area (rabbinic technique), synonyms, connotations.
I’d love to be able to use Pesher interpretation, but I can’t find anything more on the methodology than the above, nore can I understand how all of this melds together.
Any further suggestions?