Actually the seah is a dry measure, equal to about 7/8 bushel. If we figure that 40 seahs equal three cubic cubits, then one seah would be 1.89 U.S. gallons, or 7.15 liters.


See Suzanne F. Singer, “The Winter Palaces of Jericho,” BAR 03:02. A miqveh has also been excavated at Chorazin, but it dates two or three centuries after the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D.


The definitive treatment of miqva’ot with double entrances is Ronny Reich, “Mishnah, Sheqalim 8:2 and the Archaeological Evidence,” in Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period, ed. A. Oppenheimer, V. Rappaport and M. Stern (Jerusalem, 1980) (in Hebrew). Reich also identified many other Jerusalem miqva’ot, especially in the City of David, that were uncovered in pre-World War II excavations but were not recognized as such by their excavators.


Commonly referred to as deacons.



Yigael Yadin, Masada (London: Sphere Books, 1966), p. 165. There were other scantily preserved miqva’ot at Masada. Here, we focus on the two well-preserved ones.


Maimonides, Book of Cleanness, p. 526; Yad, Miqva’ot 9:8.


Maimonides observed that the water of a spring “imparts cleanness however little its quantity.” The Code of Maimonides, Book Ten, The Book of Cleanness, transl., Herbert Danby (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1954), p. 526; Yad, Miqva’ot 9:8.


In the so-called Damascus Document, several fragments of which were also found at Qumran (site of the Dead Sea Scrolls), it is stated, “Concerning purification with water: Let not a man wash in water that is filthy or not enough to cover a man.” Transl. in Millar Burrows, The Dead Sea Scrolls (New York: Viking Press, 1955), p. 359; Geza Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English (Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1962), p. 111.

This translation assumes that the word mar‘el (root r‘l) means “cover.” The word was not in common use, according to available lexicons, but the Hebrew words ra‘ûl “veiled” and re‘alah “veil” apparently come from a root meaning “to cover” (cf. Charles Schechter, Millön ‘ibrŒí-’angeli Kôlel [Tel Aviv: Yabuch, 1962], Vol. 2, p. 724).


Maimonides, Book of Cleanness, p. 498; Yad, Miqva’ot 1:7.


Herbert Danby, The Mishnah, Translated from the Hebrew with Introduction and Brief Explanatory Notes (London: Oxford University Press, 1933), p. 742, note 5.


Danby, The Mishnah, Translated, p. 732, note 5.


Maimonides, Book of Cleanness, p. 404; Yad, Kelim 3:4.


An elaborate water-supply system was built to furnish the Temple Mount with water in the days of the Second Temple (cf. Amihai Mazar, “The Aqueducts of Jerusalem,” in Jerusalem Revealed; Archaeology in the Holy City 1968–1974, ed. Yadin [New Haven and London: Yale University and Israel Exploration Society (IES), 1976], pp. 79–84; Benjamin Mazar, The Mountain of the Lord [Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1975], pp. 210–212; William S. La Sor, “Jerusalem,” International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE), II (1982), p. 1025).


Nahman Avigad, Discovering Jerusalem (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983), pp. 139–142.


Hershel Shanks, “Report from Jerusalem,” BAR 03:04.


Roland de Vaux, Archaeology and the Dead Sea Scrolls (London: Oxford University Press, 1973), p. 132.


De Vaux, “Qumran, Khirbet-‘Ein Feshka,” Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land, ed. Michael Avi-Yonah and Ephraim Stern (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1978), p. 983.


Frank Moore Cross, The Ancient Library at Qumran and Modern Biblical Studies (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1958), p. 50.


Cross, The Ancient Library at Qumran, rev. ed., Anchor Books (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1961), p. 68.


Bryant G. Wood, “To Dip or Sprinkle? The Qumran Cisterns in Perspective,” Bulletin of American Schools of Oriental Research 256 (1984), pp. 45–60.


Wood, “To Dip or Sprinkle?” p. 51.


Wood, “To Dip or Sprinkle?” p. 58.


Yadin, The Temple Scroll (in Hebrew), 3 vols. (Jerusalem: IES, 1977). (Hereafter The Temple Scroll (3).) In Vol. I, p. 210 and notes 91–93, Yadin refers to the Qumran water installations and their partitions. A one-volume edition of the Temple Scroll in English was published by Random House in 1984.


Qumran, Temple Scroll, 45:7–10; Yadin, The Temple Scroll (3), I. pp. 221–223, cf. Deuteronomy 23:10–11 (Masoretic Text 11–12); Qumran, War of the Sons of Light vs. the Sons of Darkness, 7:5–6.


Qumran, Temple Scroll, 45:11–12; Yadin, The Temple Scroll (3), I. pp. 223ff; cf. Leviticus 15:18; Qumran, Damascus Document (found in Cairo Genizah) 12:1–2.


Qumran, Temple Scroll, 45:12–14; Yadin, The Temple Scroll (3), I. pp. 224ff.; cf. Qumran, War of the Sons of Light, 7:4–5; Qumran, Rule of the Congregation, 2:4–11.


Qumran, Temple Scroll, 49:16–17, 50:10–14; Yadin, The Temple Scroll (3), I. p. 277; cf. Numbers 5:2–3.


Jacob Milgrom, “Studies in the Temple Scroll,” Journal of Biblical Literature 97 (1978), pp. 501–523.


La Sor, Amazing Dead Sea Scrolls, rev. ed. (Chicago: Moody Press, 1962), pp. 78ff, 203–206; La Sor, The Dead Sea Scrolls and the New Testament, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1972), pp. 69ff, 149–153. Not being a specialist in Judaism, I suppose I might plead that I had been misled by others who were recognized as such. In writing my dissertation on the subject (“A Preliminary Reconstruction of Judaism in the Time of the Second Temple in the Light of the Published Qumran Materials,” University of Southern California, 1956), I was strongly influenced by George F. Moore’s classic work, in which he separated baptism from “the many baths prescribed in the law for purification” (Moore, Judaism in the First Centuries of the Christian Era, The Age of the Tannaim, 2 vols. [Cambridge: Harvard University, 1927], I. p. 332).


I have elsewhere given my reasons for rejecting the idea that John was trained at Qumran (Dead Sea Scrolls and New Testament, pp. 142–153, esp. 152f.). The Qumranites’ idea of community was more legalistic or ritualistic (ibid., pp. 63–74); John’s concept of repentance, on the other hand, involved ethical and moral rather than merely hereditary or legalistic matters (Luke 3:7–14, 18).


Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, Loeb Classical Library, 18.5.2 (117).


C. Joseph Montefiore and H. Martin Loewe, A Rabbinic Anthology (New York: Schocken Books, rev. ed. 1974; original edition, 1938).


Danby, The Mishnah, Translated.


Eusebius, Onomasticon 40:1–4.


See La Sor, “Dead Sea Scrolls,” ISBE, I (1979), p. 891.


Yebamoth 48b; Encyclopaedia Judaica, vol. 13, 1184.


Lawrence H. Schiffman, Who Was a Jew? (Hoboken: KTAV, 1985), p. 26.