This is apparent from the Targum of the verse: “God shall slay the mighty men of his army strong as iron, and his warriors shall fall upon the land of Israel.” Cf Geza Vermes, Scripture and Tradition in Judaism (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1973), p. 27.


See The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, 2 vols., (Garden city, NY: Doubleday, 1983–1985), ed. James H. Charlesworth, vol. 1, p. 633.


CD 7:20; 1QM 5:1.


4QpGena [4QPBless 49:10]; 4QFlor 1:11–13.


Such a fallen messiah, called the messiah son of Ephraim or the messiah son of Joseph, is attested in later rabbinic literature. For example, the Targum to Zechariah 12:10 reads: “Afterwards, the messiah son of Ephraim shall go forth to engage in battle with Gog [the leader of the eschatological enemy], and Gog shall kill him before the gate of Jerusalem.” Cf. also Babylonian Talmud, Sukkah 52a.


It is noteworthy that the word mhwllwt, translated as “wounds” or “piercings,” which is similar to mhll (“wounded” or “pierced”) in Isaiah 53 5, derives from the same Hebrew root (H|LL) as the phrase “hlly (“the slain,” i.e., “fatally wounded”) of the Kittim [the final foe],” in the truncated line 6 of our fragment. Observe also that the Hebrew verb hll is used in Isaiah 51:9 (mhwllt) and Job 26:13 (hllh) concerning God’s hand transpiercing the primeval dragon or fleeing serpent In the Greek Psalms of Solomon 2:25–26, the divine punishment of the Roman Pompey, conqueror of Jerusalem in 63 B.C.E., is described thus: “Do not delay, O God, … to declare dishonorable the arrogance of the dragon. And I did not wait long until God showed me his insolence pierced (ekkekentemenon) on the mountains of Egypt.” See Charlesworth, Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, vol. 2, p. 653.