Israel Dept. of Antiquities and Museums

“Sons of God” are the words in Hebrew written on the bottom line of this Dead Sea Scroll fragment from Deuteronomy 32:8 Above “sons of God” is the Hebrew word behanhel, the first word of this verse from Deuteronomy; behanhel means “when he assigned the inheritances.”

Although the Masoretic Text of the Bible reads “sons of Israel” in this verse, scholars now propose that this Dead Sea Scroll fragment represents the original Hebrew version. Thus, according to Deuteronomy, the Sons of God figured prominently in the early history of humanity, receiving nations from God to rule.

BAR is grateful to Julie Duncan, a young scholar at Harvard University working with Professor Frank Cross, who has been assigned the publication of this fragment. With Professor Cross’s approval, Ms. Duncan graciously released this fragment, thereby setting an example that we hope will be frequently emulated (compare “Debate on Enoch Stifled for 30 Years,” sidebar to “Don’t Let Pseudepigrapha Scare You”).