The Aramaic text 4Q246 (the "son of God" text) is recognized as a document of first-rate importance, but scholars have not been able to agree on its interpretation. The present study offers new readings, translation, and commentary, and suggests that a proper understanding of the fragment's internal poetic structure and of its affinity to the Akkadian prophecies leads to the conclusion that the text represents the "son of God" as a negative figure. The probable historical background of 4Q246 is the Seleucid period, especially the struggle against Antiochus IV Epiphanes.

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