4QPrayer of Nabonidus
Dead Sea Scrolls

Words of the pr[ay]er which Nabonidus, king of [the] la[nd of Baby]lon, the [great] king, prayed [when he was afflicted] by a malignant inflammation, by decree of the G[od Most Hi]gh, in Teiman. [I, Nabonidus,] was afflicted [by a malignant inflammation] for seven years, and was banished far [from men, until I prayed to the God Most High] and an exorcist forgave my sin. He was a Je[w] fr[om the exiles, who said to me:] «Make a proclamation in writing, so that glory, exal[tation and hono]ur be given to the name of [the] G[od Most High». And I wrote as follows: «When] I was afflicted by a ma[lignant] inflammation […] in Teiman, [by decree of the God Most High,] [I] prayed for seven years [to all] the gods of silver and gold, [of bronze and iron,] 8 of wood, of stone and of clay, because [I thoug]ht that t[hey were] gods […]

Nedarim 41a

Babylonian Talmud

§ Rabbi Alexandri said that Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba said: The sick person recovers from his illness only when the heavenly court forgives him for all his sins, as it is stated: “Who forgives all your iniquity; Who heals all your diseases” (Psalms 103:3). Rav Hamnuna said: When he recovers, he returns to the days of his youth, as it is stated in a verse with regard to one recovering from illness: “His flesh is tenderer than a child’s; he returns to the days of his youth” (Job 33:25). Interpreting the verse: “The Lord will support him upon the bed of suffering; You overturned all his lying down in his illness” (Psalms 41:4), Rav Yosef said: That is to say that the sick person forgets his studies, as everything that is organized is overturned.

 Notes and References

"... Sin and disease were often associated in the ancient world, something the discussion surrounding the blind man in John 9:2–3 assumes, but Jesus rejects as automatic (Ps 41:4; 103:3; James 5:15–16). Later in the Talmud, healing is not seen as possible without forgiveness (B. Nedarim 41a– “No one gets up from his sick-bed until all his sins are forgiven.”) ... Although it is expressed as a divine passive that could attribute forgiveness to God, they see Jesus as crossing a sacred line (see Lev 4:26, 31; 2 Sam 12:13 – Nathan announcing to David; or the debated Qumran’s Prayer of Nabonidus [4Q242], where a diviner either points to God forgiving and announces it or in an exceptional text makes a direct declaration) ..."

Bock, Darrell L. Mark (pp. 140-141) Cambridge University Press, 2015

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