Elisha Qimron, in a recent article, recognized the importance of these passages for the question of Essene celibacy, but without drawing the proper conclusions. See Hershel Shanks, “Here Are the Secret Papers from Madrid,” BAR 19:04; and Qimron, “Celibacy in the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Two Kinds of Sectarians,” Madrid Qumran Congress, ed. J. Trebolle Barrera and L. Vegas Montaner (Leiden: Brill, 1992), pp. 287–294. Qimron asserts that there were two kinds of Essenes. One kind was allowed to live an ordinary life, but the other kind was part of an elite company devoted to special holiness, the yahad. Symbolically, the yahad identified themselves with the Temple or with Jerusalem and so were bound to respect the laws that otherwise applied to Jerusalem, including celibacy: “This explains why the members of the yahad were celibates even though they did not live in Jerusalem” (Qimron, “Celibacy,” p. 294).

But Qimron does not explain why the yahad, which he imagines living at Qumran, did not try to live by the other laws pertaining to Jerusalem, such as those concerning the use of animal skins and the placement of cemeteries. The fact is, the members of the yahad were celibates precisely because they did live in Jerusalem.