BAR 9:04, Jul/Aug 1983
Beware the Wiles of the Wanton Woman
Dead Sea Scroll fragment reflects Essene fear of, and contempt for, women
Nearly 35 years ago, Bedouin tribesmen searching for more scrolls near the original find on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea discovered the now-famous Qumran cave 4. Cave 4 proved to be the richest of all the Qumran caves, containing fragments of over 500 scrolls.
One of the scroll fragments from cave 4 is known as the Wiles of the Wanton Woman1 and reflects the Essene fear of, as well as contempt for, women. The text on this fragment is remarkably similar to certain passages from Proverbs; indeed, the Qumran fragment was apparently modeled after chapters 5 through 7 of Proverbs.