The title “The Seductress” is based on the translation by John M. Allegro, who published the first critical edition of the poem. See Allegro, Discoveries in the Judaean Desert V, QumraÆn Cave 4 (Oxford, UK: Oxford Univ. Press, 1968), p. 82. John Strugnell corrected Allegro’s restoration of [hazon]ah. See Strugnell, “Notes en marge du volume V des ‘Discoveries in the Judaean Desert,’” Revue de QumraÆn 7 (1970), p. 264. The translation provided here is from Geza Vermes and is adapted to Baumgarten’s interpretation.


John Allegro’s rendering “the sins in her skirt are many,” followed by subsequent translators, is subject to serious doubt. For a detailed explication, see Joseph M. Baumgarten, “On the Nature of the Seductress in 4Q184,” Revue de QumraÆn 15 (1991–1992), p. 139.


James P. Pritchard, Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, 2nd ed. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 1955), p. 106.


Henri Frankfort, “The Burney Relief,” Archiv für Orientforschung 12 (1937–1939), pp. 128–135; Emil G.H. Kraeling, Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 67 (1937), p. 18. Today, however, some scholars identify the figure as Ishtar.


Babylonian Talmud, Niddah 24b.


However, the phrase might instead be a variant of te ‘uphot and thus refer to demons that fly by night. It would thus be a counterpart to the demons that fly by day in Psalm 91:5–6 and recalls the Arslan Tash relief that exhorts, “To the female demon that flies in the dark chamber, say, ‘Pass by, time and again, Lilith.’” See Pritchard, Ancient Near Eastern Texts, p. 658.


From the Babylonian Maqlu ritual series (3.1–9).