4Q stands for Qumran Cave 4. The number 448 is the arbitrary number assigned to the text.


Syriac is an Aramaic dialect, the language of the Syrian Christians whose center was in Edessa (modern Urfa in south Turkey), where the Syriac translation of the Bible originated. Today Syriac is the sacred language and script of the so-called Assyrian church.


The Hasmoneans were the priestly family who ruled Judea from 152 to 63 B.C.E. They headed the rebellion against the Seleucid kingdom between 167 and 161 B.C.E., led first by Mattathias (167–166 B.C.E.) and later by his son Judah the Maccabee (166–161 B.C.E.). After Judah died in battle, his brothers fled to the Judean desert. In 152 B.C.E., his brother Jonathan became the high priest (152–143 B.C.E.). After he was murdered, the last of Mattathias’s sons, Simon, took his place (143–135 B.C.E.). All other Hasmonean rulers were Simon’s descendants. Alexander Janneus was Simon’s grandson. At first, the Hasmoneans held the office of high priest, but the third generation of Hasmonean rulers took the title “king.” In 63 B.C.E., the Roman general Pompey annexed the area, bringing an end to the independence of the Hasmonean state.



Esther Eshel, Hanan Eshel and Ada Yardeni, “A Qumran Composition Containing Part of Ps. 154 and a Prayer for the Welfare of King Jonathan and His Kingdom,” Israel Exploration Journal (IEJ) 42 (1992), pp. 199–229.


We would like to thank again Professor John Strugnell for allowing us to publish 4Q448. Strugnell entrusted us to publish the text although he was aware of its importance, an act not common in the academic world.


For a discussion of this subject, see J. Carswell, “Fastenings on the Qumran Manuscripts,” in Qumran Grotte 4, ed. Roland de Vaux and J.T. Milik, Discoveries in the Judaean Desert 6 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977), pp. 23–28.


Martin Noth, “Die fünf syrisch-überlieferten apokryphen Psalmen,” Zeitschrift für die alttestamentlische Wissenschaft (ZAW) 48 (1930), pp. 1–23.


James A. Sanders, “Two Non-Canonical Psalms in 11QPsa,” ZAW 76 (1964), pp. 57–75.


This alternative was suggested to us by Prof. Frank M. Cross.


As suggested by Elisha Qimron, “Concerning the Blessing over King Jonathan,” Tarbiz 61 (1992), pp. 565–567 (in Hebrew).


See Nahman Avigad, “A Bulla of Jonathan the High Priest,” IEJ 25 (1975), pp. 8–12.


The pesharim are 4QpIsa (=4Q161); 4QpNah (=4Q169); and 4QpHosb (=4Q167). See J. D. Amussin, “The Reflection of the Historical Events of the First Century B.C. in Qumran Commentaries (4Q161, 4Q169, 4Q167),” Hebrew Union College Annual 48 (1977), pp. 123–152.


David Flusser, “Some Notes about the Prayer for the Welfare of King Jonathan,” Tarbiz 61 (1992), pp. 297–300 (in Hebrew).