Israel Antiquities Authority/Permission of Julie Duncan and Frank Moore Cross

Yahweh established nations by drawing up boundaries “according to the number of the sons of God” (Deuteronomy 32:8). On this Dead Sea Scroll fragment of Deuteronomy 32:8 appear the words “sons of God” (in the rabbinic text, the wording is “sons of Israel,” probably a rabbinic emendation). The biblical text thus conceives of a number of nation-states, with each devoted to its own national god. The god of Edom, for example, is Qos (which we know from inscriptions), while the god of Israel is Yahweh.