- Baillet 1982. DJD 7: 137-168.
This text is a cycle of prayers for each day of the week. Each day has its own prayer, but all the prayers follow a set style and are based on uniform formulas. Only the prayer for the Holy Sabbath (Saturday) has its own distinctive style. The weekday prayers are all petitions to God that begin with the formula “Remember, Lord”. This is followed by a recollection of past events, leading to the main petition for that day. Each daily prayer ends with a benediction which summarizes the day’s theme. However, the prayers are linked together. For example, the historical events mentioned each day progress in chronological order throughout the week. This composition is probably very ancient. Although the text was apparently used by sectarian groups, it does not display any of the distinctive features found in the sectarian texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls. In addition, the prayers were to be recited communally, not by individuals, and several of the formulas are similar and even identical to those found in rabbinic liturgy. Therefore, it is plausible that these prayers were in use by other Jewish communities as well. Prior to the discovery of the scrolls, it was assumed that the daily Jewish communal prayer first took form after the destruction of the temple in 70 CE to replace the daily sacrifices. In light of liturgical texts such as the Words of the Luminaries, some scholars now claim that the practice must have originated much earlier.