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Covenant of Damascus

DAMASCUS, COVENANT OF. The name of a Jewish community which cherished the priestly traditions of the sons of Zadok. Its existence became known through the discovery of two fragmentary MSS written between the 10th and 12th centuries a.d., found in 1896-1897 in the genizah of the Ibn-Ezra Synagogue in Cairo. These documents are usually called the Zadokite Fragments, but sometimes referred to as the Damascus Document or the Zadokite Work. They refer to the community as the “New Covenant in the Land of Damascus.” The community has also been called the community of the Zadokites, or the New Covenanters. Affinities between this group and the Qumran community are striking and indisputable. Many characteristic expressions of the Zadokite Fragments are found in the DSS.