יום שבת, 11 ביולי 2015


Introduction to the Sermon

Listen, all you who recognize righteousness, and consider the deeds of Elohim. When he has a dispute with any mortal, he passes judgment on those who spurn him. For when Israel abandoned him by being faithless, he turned away from them and from His sanctuary and gave them up to the sword. But when He called to mind the covenant He made with their forefathers, He left a remnant for Israel and did not allow them to be exterminated. In the era of wrath three hundred and ninety years at the time He handed them over to the power of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon He took care of them and caused to grow from Israel and from Aaron a root of planting to inherit his land and to grow fat on the good produce of His soil. They considered their iniquity and they knew that they were guilty men, and had been like the blind and like those groping for the way twenty years. But Elohim considered their deeds, that they had sought Him with a whole heart. So He raised up for them a teacher of righteousness to guide them in the way of His heart. He taught to later generations what Elohim did to the generation deserving wrath, a company of traitors. They are the ones who depart from the proper way. That is the time of which it was written, "Like a rebellious cow," so rebelled Israel.[1]

The Man of Mockery

When the Man of Mockery appeared, who spit lying waters upon Israel, he led them to wander in the trackless wasteland. He brought down the lofty heights of old, turned aside from paths of righteousness, and shifted the boundary marks that the forefathers had set up to mark their inheritance, so that the curses of His covenant took hold on them. Because of this they were handed over to the sword that avenges the breach of His Covenant.

For they had sought flattery, choosing travesties of true religion; they looked for ways to break the rules; they favored the fine neck. They called the guilty innocent and the innocent guilty. They overstepped covenant, violated Torah; and they conspired together to kill the innocent, for all those who lived pure lives they loathed from the bottom of their heart. So they persecuted them violently, and were happy to see the people quarrel. Because of all this Elohim became very angry with their company. He annihilated the lot of them, because all their deeds were uncleanness to Him.

The Immensity of Elohims Resources

So now listen to me, all members of the covenant, so I can make plain to you the ways of the despicable so you can leave the paths of sin. Elohim, who loves true knowledge, has positioned Wisdom and Intelligence[2] in front of Him; Ingenuity[3] and True Knowledge wait on him. He is very patient and forgiving, covering the sin of those who repent of wrongdoing. But Strength, Might, and great Wrath in the flames of fire with all the malachim of destruction will come against all who rebel against the proper way and who despise the rules, until they are without remnant of survivor, for Elohim had not chosen them from ancient eternity. Before they were created, He knew what they would do.[4] So He rejected the generations of old and turned away from the land until they were gone.

He knows the times of appearance and the number and exact times of everything that has ever existed and ever will exist before it happens in the proper time, for all eternity. And in all of these times, He has arranged that there should be for Himself people called by name, so that there would always be survivors on the earth, replenishing the surface of the earth with their descendants. He taught them through those anointed by set-apart spirit, the seers of truth. He explicitly called them by name. But whoever He had rejected He caused to stray.

The Fall of the Malachim

So now my children, listen to me that I may uncover your eyes to see and to understand the conduct[5] of Elohim, choosing what pleases Him and hating what He rejects, living perfectly in all His ways, not turning away through thoughts brought on by the sinful urge and lecherous eyes. For many have gone astray by such thoughts, even strong and fearless men of old faltered through them, and still do. When they went about in their willful heart, the Guardian Sky-Malachim fell and were ensnared by it, for they did not observe the commandments of Elohim. Their sons, who were as tall as cedars, and whose bodies were as big as mountains, fell by it. Everything mortal on dry land expired and became as if they had never existed, because they did their own will, and did not keep the commandments of their Maker, until finally His anger was aroused against them.

The Historical Results of Straying

By it the sons of Noah and their families went astray, and by it they were exterminated. {Though}Abraham did not live by it, he was {still} considered Elohims friend, because he observed the commandments of Elohim and he did not choose to follow the will of his own spirit; and he passed them on to Isaac and to Jacob and they too observed them. They too were recorded as friends of Elohim and eternal partners in the covenant. But the sons of Jacob went astray by them and were punished for their errors. In Egypt their descendants lived by their willful heart, too obstinate to consult the commandments of Elohim, each one doing what was right in his own eyes. They even ate blood; and the men were exterminated in the wilderness. <Elohim commanded> them at Kadesh, "Go up and possess <the land"; but they chose to follow the will of> their spirit; and they did not listen to their Makers voice or the commandments of their teacher; instead they grumbled in their tents. So Elohim became angry with their company.

Their sons perished because of it. Their kings were exterminated because of it. Their heroes perished because of it. Their land was devastated because of it, and because of it the members of the forefathers covenant committed sin, and so were handed over to the sword because they abandoned the covenant of Elohim, and chose their own will, and followed their own willful heart, each man doing his own will.

But when those of them who were left held firm to the commandments of Elohim, He instituted His covenant with Israel forever, revealing to them things hidden, in which all Israel had gone wrong: His sacred Sabbaths, His famous festivals, His righteous ordinances, His reliable ways. The desires of His will that man should carry out and so have life in them, He opened up to them. So they "dug a well," yielding much water. Those who reject this < water He will not allow to live. > And although they had wallowed in the sin of humanity and in impure ways and said, "Surely this is our business," Elohim in His mysterious ways atoned for their iniquity and forgave their transgression. So He built for them a faithful house in Israel, like none that had ever appeared before; and even at this day, those who hold firm to it will receive timeless life, and all human honor is rightly theirs, as Elohim promised them by Ezekiel the prophet, saying, "The priests and the Levites and the sons of Zadok who have kept the courses of My sanctuary when the children of Israel strayed from Me, they will bring Me fat and blood."[6]

{As for} "the priests" – they are the captives of Israel, who go out of the land of Judah and the Levites are those accompanying them; {and as for} " the sons of Zadok" – they are the chosen of Israel, the ones called by name, who are to appear in the Last Days.

The House of Judah Vanquished in the Time to Come

< . . . > holiness < . . . > whom Elohim atoned for, acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty as well as all who came after them who act according to the interpretation of the Torah by which the forefathers were taught, until the age is over, that is, the present time. Like the covenant Elohim made with the forefathers to atone for their sin, so will Elohim atone for them. When the total years of this present age are complete, there will be no further need to be connected to the house of Judah, but instead each will his own tower; "the wall is built, the boundary removed" (Mic.7:11). But in the present age Belial is unrestrained in Israel, just as Elohim said by Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, saying, "Fear and pit and snare are upon you, resident in the land."

Those Caught Up in the Three Nets of Belial

The true meaning of this verse concerns the three nets of Belial about which Levi son of Jacob said that Belial would catch Israel in, so he directed {those nets} toward three kinds of righteousness: The first is fornication; the second is wealth; the third is defiling the sanctuary. Who escapes from one is caught in the next; and whoever escapes from that is caught in the other.

{Regarding} the Shoddy-Wall-Builders who went after "Precept" - Precept[8] is a Raver[9] of whom it says, "they will surely rave"[10] they are caught in two traps: fornication, by taking two wives in their lifetimes although the principle of creation is "male and female He created them"[11] and those who went into the ark "went into the ark two by two."[12]

Concerning the Leader it is written, "he will not multiply wives to himself"
[13]; but David had not read the sealed book of the Torah in the Ark; for it was not opened in Israel from the day of the death of Eleazar and Joshua and the elders who served the goddess Ashtoret. It lay buried <and was not> revealed until the appearance of Zadok. Nevertheless the deeds of David were all excellent, except the murder of Uriah, and Elohim forgave him for that.

They also defile the sanctuary, for they do not separate clean from unclean according to the Torah, and lie with a woman during her menstrual period. Furthermore they marry each man the daughter of his brothers and the daughter of his sister, although Moses said, "Unto the sister of your mother you will not draw near; she is the flesh of your mother."[14] But the rule of consanguinity is written for males and females alike, so if the brothers daughter uncovers the nakedness of the brother of her father, she is the flesh <of her father>.

Also they have corrupted their set-apart spirit, and with blasphemous language they have reviled the statutes of Elohims covenant, saying, "They are not well-founded." They continually speak abhorrent things against them. "All of them are kindlers and lighters of brands"[15]; "the webs of a spider are their webs and the eggs of vipers are their eggs."[16] Whoever touches them will not be clean. The more he does so, the more he is guilty, unless he is forced.

Against the Boundary-Shifters and For the Teacher in the Last Days

For in times past, Elohim punished their deeds and His wrath burned against their misdeeds, for "they are a people without insight"[17]; "they are a people wandering in counsel, for there is no insight in them."[18] For in times past Moses and Aaron stood in the power of the Prince of Lights and Belial raised up Yannes and his brother in his cunning when seeking to do evil to Israel the first time. In the time of destruction of the land the Boundary-Shifters appeared and led Israel astray and the land was devastated, for they had spoken rebellion against the commandments of Elohim through Moses and also through the anointed of the spirit; and they prophesied falsehood to turn Israel from following Elohim. But Elohim called to mind the covenant of the forefathers; and He raised up from Aaron insightful men and from Israel wise men and He taught them and they dug the well of knowledge: "the well the princes dug, the nobility of the people dug it with
a rod."

{Regarding these verses,} the Well is the Torah, and its "diggers" are the captives of Israel who went out of the land of Judah and dwelt in the land of Damascus; because Elohim had called them all princes, for they sought Him and their honor was not denied by a single mouth. And the "rod" is the Interpreter of the Torah of whom Isaiah said, "he brings out a tool for his work."[20] The nobility of the people are those who come to "dig the well" by following rules that the Rod made to live by during the whole era of despicableness, and without these rules they will obtain nothing until the appearance of One who teaches righteousness in the Last Days.

The Plan of Return and Teshuvah Unto Long Life

None who have been brought into the covenant will enter into the sanctuary to light up His altar in vain; they will lock the door, for Elohim said, "Would that one of you would lock My door so that you should not light up My altar in vain."[21] They must be careful to act according to the specifications of the Torah for the era of despicableness, separating from corrupt people, avoiding filthy despicable lucre taken from what is vowed or consecrated to Elohim or found in the Temple funds. They must not rob "the poor of Elohims people, making widows wealth their booty and killing orphans."[22] They must distinguish between defiled and pure, teaching
the difference between sacred and profane. They must keep the Sabbath day according to specification, and the sacred days and the fast day according to the commandments of the members of the new covenant in the land of Damascus, offering the sacred things according to their specifications. Each one must love his brother as himself, and support the poor, needy, and alien. They must seek each the welfare of his fellow, never betraying a family member according to the ordinance. Each must reprove his fellow according to the command, but must not bear a grudge day after day. They must separate from all kinds of ritual impurity according to their ordinance, not befouling each his holy spirit, just as Elohim has told them so to do.

In short, for all who conduct their lives by these ordinances, in perfect holiness, according to all the instructions, Elohims covenant stands firm "to give them life for thousands of generations as it is written,"He keeps the covenant and loyalty to those who love Him and keep my commandments for a thousand generations."[23]

As For Those Who Reject

But those who reject the commandments and the rules <will perish>. When Elohim judged the land, bringing the just deserts of the despicable to them, that is when the oracle of the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came true, which says, "Days are coming upon you and upon your people and upon your fathers house that have never come before, since the departure of Ephraim from ]udah,"[24] that is, when the two houses of Israel separated, Ephraim departing from Judah. All who backslid were handed over to the sword, but all who held fast escaped to the land of the north, as it says, "I will exile the tents of your king and the foundation of your images beyond the tents of Damascus."[25]

The books of Torah are the tents of the king, as it says, "I will re-erect the fallen tent of David."[26] The king is <Leader of> the nation and the "foundation of your images" is the books of the prophets whose words Israel despised. The star is the Interpreter of the Torah who comes to Damascus, as it is written, "A star has left Jacob, a staff has risen from Israel."[27] The latter is the Leader of the whole nation; when he appears, "he will shatter all the sons of Sheth." [28] They escaped in the first period of Elohims judgment, but those who held back were handed over to the sword.

Alternate Explanation from Manuscript B

When the oracle of the prophet Zechariah comes true, "O sword, be lively and smite my shepherd and the man loyal to Me so says Elohim. If you strike down the shepherd, the flock will scatter. Then I will turn my power against the little ones."[29] But those who give heed to Elohim are "the poor of the flock"[30]: "they will escape in the time of punishment,but all the rest will be handed over to the sword when the Messiah of Aaron and of Israel comes, just as it happened during the time of the first punishment, as Ezekiel said, "Make a mark on the foreheads of those who moan and lament,"[31] but the rest were given to the sword that makes retaliation for covenant violations.

Pesherim on Various Prophetic Texts

And such is the verdict on all members of the covenant who do not hold firm to these ordinances: they are condemned to destruction by Belial. That is the day on which Elohim will judge as He has said, "The princes of Judah were those like Boundary-Shifters on whom I will pour out wrath like water."[32] Truly they were too sick to be healed; every kind of galling wound adhered to them because they did not turn away from traitorous practices; they relished the customs of fornication and filthy lucre. Each of them vengefully bore a grudge against his brother, each hating his fellow; each of them kept away from nearest kin but grew close to indecency; they vaunted themselves in riches and in ill-gotten gains; each of them did just what he pleased; each chose to follow his own willful heart. They did not separate from the people and their sin, but arrogantly threw off all restraint, living by despicable customs, of which Elohim had said, "Their wine is the venom of snakes, the cruel poison of vipers."[33]

The snakes" are the kings of the Gentiles, and "their wine" is their customs and "the poison of vipers" is the chief of the kings of Greece, who comes to wreak vengeance on them. But the "Shoddy-Wall-Builders" and "Whitewashers" understood none of these things, for one who deals in mere wind, a spitter of lies, had spit on them, on whose entire company Elohims anger had burned hot. But as Moses said to Israel, "It is not for your righteousness or the integrity of your heart that you are going to dispossess these nations, but because He loved your ancestors and because He has kept his promise.[34] Such is the verdict on the captivity of Israel, those who turn away from the usages of the common people. Because Elohim loved the ancients who bore witness to the people following Him, so too He loves those who follow them, for to such truly belongs the covenant of the fathers. But against His enemies, the Shoddy-Wall-Builders, His anger burns.

The Return of the Teacher at the Eschaton

So it is with all the men who entered the new covenant in the land of Damascus, but then turned back and traitorously turned away from the fountain of living water. They will not be reckoned among the council of the people, and their names will not be written in their book from the day the Beloved Teacher dies until the Messiah from Aaron and from Israel appears. Such is the fate for all who join the company of the men of sacred perfection and then become sick of obeying virtuous rules. This is the type of person who "melts in the crucible."[35] When his actions become evident he will be sent away from the company as if his lot had never fallen among the disciples of Elohim. In keeping with his wrongdoing the most knowledgeable men will punish him until he returns to take his place among the men of sacred perfection. When his actions become evident, according to the interpretation of the Torah that the men of sacred perfection live by, no one is allowed to share either wealth or work with such a one, for all the qadoshim of the Almighty have cursed him.

Such is the fate for all who reject the commandments, whether old or new, who have turned their thoughts to false gods and who have lived by their willful hearts: they have no part in the household of Torah. They will be condemned along with their companions who have gone back to the Men of Mockery, because they have uttered lies against the correct laws and rejected the sure covenant that they made in the land of Damascus, that is, the New Covenant. Neither they nor their families will have any part in the Household of Torah.

When the Judgment

Now from the day the Beloved Teacher passed away to the destruction of all the warriors who went back to the Man of the Lie will be about forty years. Now at that time Elohims anger will burn against Israel, as He said, "Neither king nor prince"[36] nor judge nor one who exhorts to do what is right will be left. But those who repent of the sin of Jacob have kept Elohims covenant. Then each will speak to his fellow, vindicating his brother, helping him walk in Elohims way, and Elohim will listen to what they say and "write a record-book of those who fear Elohim and honor His name"[37] until salvation and righteousness are revealed for those who fear Elohim. "And you will again know the innocent from the guilty, those who serve Elohim and those who do not."[38] "He keeps faith to those who love Him "and to those who keep Him for a thousand generations."[39]

As for those separatists who left the city of the sanctuary and relied on Elohim in the time of Israels unfaithfulness, when the nation defiled the Temple, but returned once more to the way of the people in a few matters each of them will be judged in the set-apart council according to his spirit. But all of the members of the covenant who breached the restrictions of the Torah, when the Shekinah of Elohim appears to Israel they will be excluded from the midst of the camp, and with them all who did evil in Judah when it was undergoing trial.

The Prayer of Teshuvah

But all who hold fast to these rules, going out and coming in according to the Torah, always obeying the Teacher and confessing to Elohim as follows: "We have cruelly sinned, we and our ancestors by living contrary to the covenant rules; just and true are Your judgments against us" and do not act arrogantly against His sacred rules and His righteous ordinances and His reliable declarations and who discipline themselves by the old rules by which the members of the Yahad were governed and listen attentively to the Teacher of Righteousness, not abandoning the correct ordinances when they hear them they will rejoice and be happy and exultant. They will rule over all the inhabitants of the earth. Then Elohim will make atonement for them and they will experience His deliverance because they have trusted in His sacred name. {Amein}

Years ago Otto Betz wrote an intriguing article titled "Jesus and the Temple Scroll". This article was published in a book titled Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls. But this book is not widely available and the article is therefore virtually unknown among people in the pew.

The suggestions made by Betz deserve wider attention, however, as they shed a great deal of light on a central event of the New Testament, if not the central event of human existence.

Betz begins his article by suggesting that what the New Testament calls "Herodians" are in fact the Essenes of Qumran. He maintains that the Essenes were the favorite religious group of Herod, and that they enjoyed special status among the people during the reign of Herod (31- 4 BC). Because of this he suggests that the common people called the Essenes "Herodians".

Betz also suggests that these "Herodians" (which were in fact the Essenes) were violently opposed to the religious practices of Jesus. As an example he points to Mark 3, which reads in part,

Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, "Come forward." Then he said to them, "Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent. He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

That they conspired to kill Jesus for this act will be discussed shortly. For now we will look at another example of why the Essenes were so violently opposed to Jesus. Mark 2:23-28 relates that

One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?" And he said to them, "Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions." Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath; so the Son of Man is master even of the Sabbath."

These actions of Jesus, wandering through the field on the Sabbath and plucking grain, are opposed to the practices of the Essenes as we learn from the Damascus Document 10.20-21, which says :

Let no man walk in the field to do his workday business on the Sabbath. Let him not walk outside his town more than a 1000 cubits.

Now what is significant about these actions of Jesus in regards to the Sabbath is that, according to the Essene (and Pharisaic) interpretation of Exodus 31:14, these actions are worthy of death. Exodus 31:14 says,

You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you; everyone who profanes it shall be put to death; whoever does any work on it shall be cut off from among the people.

Betz now proceeds to show that the Temple Scroll is evidence that the Jews practiced crucifixion against their own people during the period of Jesus' lifetime. In particular, column 64 describes in some detail the Essene understanding of Deuteronomy 21:22-23 which says:

When someone is convicted of a crime punishable by death and is executed, and you hang him on a tree, fall night upon the tree; you shall bury him that same day, for anyone hung on a tree is under God's curse. You must not defile the land that the Lord your God is giving you for possession.

The Essene interpretation of this passage is found in the Damascus Document 64.6-12

Thus you shall eradicate all evil in your midst, and all the children of Israel shall hear it and fear. If there were to be a spy against his people who betrays his people to a foreign nation or causes evil against his people, you shall crucify him and he will die. On the evidence of two witnesses and on the evidence of three witnesses shall he be executed and they shall crucify him. If there were a man with a sin punishable by death and he escapes amongst the nations and curses his people, the children of Israel, he also you shall crucify and he shall die. Their corpses shall not spend the night on the tree; instead you shall bury them that day because they are cursed by God and man, those crucified; thus you shall not defile the land which I give you.

Perhaps the question has arisen in the reader's mind at this point, "what does this have to do with Jesus?" Well, the New Testament bears witness to the fact that Jesus was executed primarily because the Jews were angry at him because of his Sabbath practices. This Qumran text bears witness to the fact that crucifixion was used against those who "defiled" the land; and Sabbath breaking was defilement! Such defilers are cursed by God!

While it is clear that the Romans in fact crucified Jesus, that the Jewish leadership participated is also undeniable. Of course the actual order was reserved for the Roman prefect. But Jesus was handed over for execution after the Jews had decided that he must be executed.

And why was he handed over? For both his Sabbath activities and his claim to be the Son of God. John 19:7 records that the Jews told Pilate (the prefect):

"We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God."

The Jews were concerned that a false claim to messiahship would result in Roman intervention and the ultimate loss of their land - and thus the ultimate defilement of the land by the Gentiles. In short, the 64th column of the Temple Scroll demonstrates that, in the first century A.D., Sabbath breaking was punishable by death. It was for this reason that the "Herodians" (i.e., the Essenes) and the Pharisees consulted together and decided to have Jesus killed.


The Damascus Document

Translated by
R. H Charles
in R. H. Charles, ed., The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English, vol. 2: Pseudepigrapha (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913): pp. 799-834.


Israel sent into Captivity,
3-4. A Root of God

s Planting made to spring forth after 200 B.C. and a Teacher of Righteousness raised up, 5-8. Description of Israels Wickedness in the First Century B.C. or at an earlier date, 9-17.


1 Now, therefore, hearken (unto me) all ye who know righteousness,

2 And have understanding in the works of God.

For He hath a controversy with all flesh,

And will execute judgment upon all who despise Him.

3 For because of the trespass of those who forsook Him,

He hid His face from Israel and from His Sanctuary,

And gave them over to the sword.

4 But when He remembered the covenant of the forefathers,

He left a remnant to Israel, and gave them not over to destruction.

5 [And in the period of the wrath three hundred and ninety years after He had given them in the hand of

Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon He visited them],

and He made to spring forth from Israel and Aaron,

A root of His planting to inherit His land,

And to grow fat through the goodness of His earth.

6 And they had understanding of their iniquity,

And they knew that they were guilty men,

And had like the blind been groping after the way twenty years.

7 And God considered their works; for they sought Him with a perfect heart

And He raised them up a Teacher of righteousness

To lead them in the way of His heart.

8 And He made known to later generations

what He had done [to a later generation] to a congregation of treacherous men:

Those who turned aside out of the way.

9 This was the time concerning which it was written:

As a stubborn heifer

So hath Israel behaved himself stubbornly:

10 When there arose the scornful man,

Who talked to Israel lying words,

And made them go astray in the wilderness where there was no way,

[to bring low the pride of the world].

11 So that they should turn aside from the paths of righteousness,

And remove the landmark which the forefathers had set in their inheritance:

12 So as to make cleave unto them

The curses of His covenant,

To deliver them to the sword

That avengeth with the vengeance of the covenant.

13 Because they sought after smooth things,

And they chose deceits,

And kept watch with a view to lawless deeds.

14 And they chose the best of the neck,

And justified the wicked,

And condemned the righteous:

15 And transgressed the covenant,

And violated the statute,

And attacked the soul of the righteous.

16 And all that walked uprightly their soul abhorred,

And they pursued them with the sword,

And rejoiced in the strife of the people.

17 And so the wrath of God was kindled against their congregation,

So that He laid waste all their multitude,

And their deeds were uncleanness before Him.

2 Wisdom is with God and Forgiveness of the repentant, but Wrath for the unrepentant, who are predestined
to Destruction on the Ground of the Divine Foreknowledge, 1-7. But there is a Remnant whom He shall teach by the Messiah, 9-10.


1 And now hearken unto me all ye who have entered into the covenant,

And I will disclose to you the ways of the wicked.

2 God loveth [knowledge] wisdom:

And counsel He hath set before Him;

Prudence and knowledge minister unto Him.

3 Longsuffering is with Him

And plenteousness of forgivenesses

To pardon those who repent of transgression.

4 And power and might and great fury with flames of fire [therein are all the angels of destruction]

For them who turned aside out of the way,

And abhorred the statute,

5 So that there should be no remnant,

nor any to escape of them.

6 For God chose them not from the beginning of the world,

And ere they were formed He knew their works.

7 And He abhorred their generations from of old,

And hid His face from their land till they were consumed.

8 [And He knew the years of (their) office and the number and exact statement of their periods for all the things that belong to the ages and have been, moreover whatsoever shall come to pass in their periods for all the years of eternity.]

9 Yet in all of them He raised Him up men called by name,

In order to leave a remnant to the earth,

And to fill the face of the earth with their seed.

10 And through His Messiah He shall make them know His holy spirit.

And he is true, and in the true interpretation of his name are their names:

But them He hated He made to go astray.

3-4 1. Exhortation to choose God

s Will and to shun the evil Inclination,1-2; through it fell the

mighty Men of old, the Watchers and their Children 3-5; and all Flesh and also the Sons of Noah, 6-4


1 Now therefore, children, hearken unto me,

And I will open your eyes to see,

And to understand the works of God.

And to choose what He approveth,

And to reject what He hateth:

2 To walk uprightly in all His ways,

And not to go about in the thoughts of an evil imagination

And (with) eyes (full) of fornication.

3 For many were led astray by them,

And mighty men of valor stumbled by them from of old [and until this day].

4 Because they walked in the stubbornness of their heart the watchers of heaven fell.

By them were they caught because they kept not the commandment of God.

5 And their children whose height was like the loftiness of the cedars

And whose bodies were like the mountains fell thereby.

6 All flesh that was on dry land perished thereby.

And they were as though they had not been.

7 Because they did their own will,

and kept not the commandment of their Maker,

Until His wrath was kindled against them.


1 By them went astray the sons of Noah and their families:

Because of them they were cut off.

4 2-9 Abraham, Isaac and Jacob walked not after the evil Inclination of the Heart, 2-3; but

the Sons of Israel did in Egypt and in the Wilderness and were punished accordingly, 4-9.

2 Abraham did not walk in them,

And he was (recorded) friend because he kept the commandments of God,

And chose not the will of his own spirit.

3 And he delivered (the commandment) to Isaac and Jacob,

And they observed (it) and were recorded as friends of God,

And members of the covenant forever.

4 The sons of Jacob went astray through them,

And they were punished according to their error.

5 And their children in Egypt walked in the stubbornness of their heart,

So that they took counsel against the commandments of God,

And every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

6 [And they eat blood], and He cut off their males in the desert (when He said) to them in Kadesh:

Go up and possess (the land, but they hardened) their spirit:

7 And they hearkened not unto the voice of their Maker

[The commandments of their Teacher] but murmured in their tents,

And so the wrath of God was kindled against their congregation

8 And their children [perished by it

And their kings] were cut off by it,

And their mighty men perished by it,

And their land was made desolate by it.

9 By it the first that entered into the covenant incurred guilt,

And they were delivered unto the sword,

Because they forsook the covenant of God:

10 And they chose their own will,

And went about after the stubbornness of their heart,

Every man doing his own will.

5 God confirms the Covenant with the faithful through fresh Revelations, 1-3; when Israel transgressed again God forgave them, 4-6; and confirmed His Covenant with them through Ezekiel, 6-7.


1 But with them that held fast by the commandments of God,

[who were left of them],

God confirmed the covenant of Israel forever,

Revealing unto them the hidden things

Wherein all Israel had erred:

2 His holy Sabbaths and His glorious festivals,

His righteous testimonies and His true ways,

And the desires of His will [the which if a man do, he shall live by them] He opened before them.

3 And they digged a well of many waters:

And he that despises them shall not live.

4 But they wallowed in the transgression of man,

And in the ways of the unclean woman,

And they said that it belongs to us.

5 But God wondrously pardoned their sins,

And forgave their transgression,

And He built them a sure house in Israel [the like of which never arose from of old nor until this day].

6 They who hold fast to him are for the life of eternity,

And all the glory of man is for them;

As God confirmed it to them through Ezekiel the prophet, saying:

The priests and the Levites and the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of My Sanctuary when

the children of Israel went astray from them, they shall bring near unto Me fat and blood.

6 Migration of the Penitents to Damascus. Sons of Zadok hold office in the end of the Days,
1-3. Law to be obeyed and relations with Judah broken of in the Period in which Belial is let loose. 4-12.


1 The priests are the penitents of Israel who went forth out of the land of Judah: 2 and (the Levites are) they who joined them. And the sons of Zadok are the elect of Israel called by 3 the name, that are holding office in the end of the days. Behold the statement of their names according to their generations, and the period of their office, and the number of their afflictions, and the years of their sojournings, and the statement of their works.

4 The first saints whom God pardoned,

Both justified the righteous,

and condemned the wicked.

5 And all they who come after them must do according to the interpretation of the Law,

In which the forefathers were instructed

until the consummation of the period of these years.

6 In accordance with the covenant which God established with the forefathers

in order to pardon their sins,

so shall God make atonement for them.

7 And on the consummation of the period [of the number] of these years

they shall no more join themselves to the house of Judah.

But shall every one stand up against his net.

8 The wall shall have been built,

the boundary been far removed.

9 And during all these years Belial shall be let loose against Israel, as God spake through Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amos, saying:
Fear and the pit and the snare are upon thee, O inhabitant of the land. 10 This means the three nets of Belial, concerning which Levi the son of Jacob spake, by which he caught Israel and directed their faces to three kinds of righteousness. 11 The first is fornication, the second is the wealth (of wickedness), the third is the pollution of the Sanctuary. 12 He that cometh up from this shall be caught by that, and he that escapeth from this shall be caught by that.

7 1-7. The Sin of Fornication. Divorce forbidden.


1 The builders of the wall who walk after law-the law it is which talks, of which He said: Assuredly they shall talk-are caught [by two] by fornication in taking two wives during their lifetime. 2,3 But the fundamental principle of the creation Male and Female created He them. 4 And they who went into the Ark, Two and two went into the Ark. And as to the prince it is written, 5 He shall not multiply wives unto himself. But David read not in the Book of the Law that was sealed, which was in the Ark; for it was not opened in Israel from the day of the death of Eleazar and 6 Joshua, and the Elders who served Ashtaroth. And it was hidden (and was not) discovered until 7 Zadok arose: Now they glorified the deeds of David save only the blood of Uriah, and God abandoned them to him


8-18. The Sin of polluting the Sanctuary.

8 And they also pollute the Sanctuary since they separate not according to the Law, and lie with 9 her who sees the blood of her issue. And they take (to wife) each his brother
s daughter or his 10 sisters daughter. But Moses said Thou shalt not approach thy mothers sister: she is thy is mothers near kin. So the law of intercourse for males is written, and the same law holds for females; and let not the daughter of the brother uncover the nakedness of the brother of her father: he is near of kin. 12 They also polluted their holy spirit and with a tongue of blasphemies they opened the mouth 13 against the statutes of the covenant of God, saying: They are not established. But abominations they speak regarding them.

14 They are all
kindlers of fire

and setters aflame of firebrands

The webs of spiders are their weavings

the eggs of cockatrices are their eggs:

16 He who comes near them shall not be innocent:

He that chooseth them
shall be held guilty [unless he was forced].

17 Aforetime God visited their works,

and His wrath was kindled because of their devices.

18 For
it is a people of no understanding:

They are a nation void of counsel,

(Because there is no understanding in them).

19 For aforetime arose Moses and Aaron through the prince of the Lights. But Belial raised Jochanneh and his brother

with his evil device when the former delivered Israel.

8 When the Land was laid desolate God would raise up wise men who would restudy the Law and go in Exile to Damascus,
1-5; and according to its Precepts the repentant ones should walk tilI the Teacher of Righteousness arose (i.e. after 176 B.C.), 7-10.


1 And during the period of the destruction of the land there arose those who removed the landmark 2 and led Israel astray. And the land became desolate because they spake rebellion against the commandments of God through Moses [and also through His holy anointed one], and they prophesied a lie to turn away Israel from God.

3 But God remembered the covenant with the forefathers:

And He raised up from Aaron men of understanding.

And from Israel wise men

4 And He made them to hearken,

And they digged the well

A well the princes digged,

The nobles of the people delved it

By the order of the Lawgiver.

6 The well is the Law, and they who digged it are the penitents of Israel who went forth out of the land of Judah and sojourned in the land of Damascus, all of whom God called princes. 7, 8 For they sought Him and His glory was not turned back in the mouth of one (of them). And the Lawgiver is he who studies the Law, in regard to whom Isaiah said,
He bringeth forth an instrument for his work. And the nobles of the people are those who came to dig the well by the precepts in the which the Lawgiver ordained that they should walk throughout the full period of the wickedness. 10 And save them they shall get nothing until there arises the Teacher of Righteousness in the end of the days.

8 11-20 Conditions under which they can act as Priests
in the Sanctuary.

11 And none who have entered into the covenant shall enter into the Sanctuary to kindle His altar but they shall shut the doors concerning whom God said,
0 that there was one among you to shut the doors,
So that ye might not vainly kindle the tire upon My altar,

12 Unless they observe to do according to the true meaning of the Law until the period of the wickedness, and to sever themselves from the children of the pit, and to hold aloof from the polluted wealth of wickedness under a vow and a curse, and from the wealth of the Sanctuary:

13And in respect to robbing the pool of His people,

So that widows may be their spoil.

And they may murder the fatherless:

14 And to make a difference between the clean and the unclean and to make men discern between, the holy and the profane: 15 And to observe the Sabbath according to its true meaning and the feasts and the day of the Fast according to the utterances of them who entered into the New Covenant in the land of Damascus: 16 To contribute their holy things according to the true interpretation: 17 To love every one his brother as himself, and to strengthen the hand of the poor and the needy and the stranger, and to seek every one the peace of his brother 18 To hold aloof from harlots according to the law: and that no man should commit a trespass against his next of kin: 19 To rebuke every one his brother according to the commandment, and not to bear a grudge from day to day, and to separate from all the pollutions according to their judgments 20 And no man shall make abominable (with these) his holy spirit, according as God separated (these) from them. 21 As for all those who walk in these things in the perfection of holiness according to all the ordinances, the covenant of God


Standeth fast unto them to preserve them for thousand s of generations. As it is written.
Who keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations.

9 1 The Law as to binding and loosing


1 And if they settle in camps according to the statues of the land which were from of old and take wives according to the custom of the Law and beget children, they shall walk according to the judgments of the ordinances according to the order of the Law as He spake, 'between a man and his wife, and between a father and his son.

9 2-3 Threatened Judgment on those who rejected the Statues

2 But as for all them that reject the commandments and the statutes they shall be requited with the recompense of the wicked; when God will bring a visitation upon the land, when there shall come to pass the word which is written by the hand of Zechariah the prophet:
0 sword, awake against My shepherd and against the man that is My fellow, saith God; smite the shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered, and I will turn Mine hand against the little ones.

9 4-9. Foundation of the Zadokite Party and its Expectations: the Law, the Prophets,

and the Messiah.

4 When the two houses of Israel separated, [Ephraim departed from Judah, and] all who proved faithless were delivered to the sword, and those who held fast escaped into the land of the North. 5 As He said,
And I will cause to go into captivity Siccuth your King and Chiun your images, 6 (the star of your god which ye made for yourselves) beyond Damascus. The books of the Law are the tabernacle of the King, as He said, And I will raise up the tabernacle of David that is 7 fallen. The King is the congregation and Chiun the images are the books of the Prophets, whose 8 words Israel has despised. And the Star is he who studied the Law, who came to Damascus, as it is written, There shall come forth a star out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel. The 9 scepter is the prince of all the congregation.

9 10-20. The Messiah will destroy those who were faithless to the New Covenant: their

moral Derelictions through Hellenizing Influences.

10 And they that give heed unto Him are the poor of the flock
. These shall escape during the period of the visitation, but the rest shall be handed over to the sword when the Messiah comes from Aaron and Israel: 11 Just as it was during the period of the first visitation, concerning which He spake through Ezekiel to set a mark upon the foreheads of them that sigh and cry, but the rest were delivered to the sword that avengeth with the vengeance of the covenant. 12 And this also shall be the judgment of all them that have entered into His covenant, who will not hold fast to these statutes: they shall be visited for destruction through the hand of belial. 13 This is the day on which God shall visit, as He hath spoken;
The princes of Judah were like them that remove the landmark:
Upon them will I pour out (My) wrath like water.
15 Because they entered into the covenant of repentance
and yet have not turned from the way of traitors: But have dealt wantonly in the ways of fornication, In the wealth of wickedness and in revenge.
16 And every man beareth a grudge against his brother,
And every man hateth his neighbor
17 And they committed trespass every man against his next of kin, And drew near to unchastity:
And they made themselves strong with a view to wealth and unjust gain,
And every man did that which was right in his own eyes
18 And they chose every man the stubborness of his heart,
And they separated not from the people and their sins.
19And they cast off restraint with a high hand
To walk in the ways of the wicked; concerning whom God said:
Their wine is the poison of dragons and the cruel venom of asps.
20 The dragons are the kings of the Gentiles and their wine is their ways, and the venom of asps is the head of the kings of Javen, who came to execute vengeance upon them.

9 21-23 Neither to these things nor to Moses did the Builders of the Wall give heed.

21 But despite all these things they who builded the wall and daubed it with untempered mortar perceived not- 22 For one who walked in wind and weighed storms, and talked lies to man (talked)-. That the wrath of God was kindled against all His congregation:
23 Nor Moses said to Israel,
Not for thy righteousness nor for the uprightness of thine heart dost thou go into inherit these nations, but because He loved they fathers and because He would keep the oath.

9 24-27 The Penitents like the Forefathers were loved of God for their Faithfulness to the Covenant, but as He judged the Builders of the Wall, so shall those faithless to the New Covenant be judged

24 Such is the case of the penitents of Israel (who) turned aside from the way of the people. 25 Owing to the love of God for the forefathers who admonished the people (to follow) after God, He loved them that came after them, for theirs is the covenant of the fathers. 26 But God hates and abhors the builders of the wall and His wrath was kindled against them and against all who follow after them. 27 And such (will be) the case of all who reject the commandments of God, and forsake them and turn away in the stubbornness of their heart.

9 28-39. Excommunication of those who fall away from the New Covenant.

28 So are all the men who entered into the New Covenant in the land of Damascus and yet turned backward and acted treacherously and departed from the spring of living waters.


Standeth fast unto them to preserve them to a thousand generations


1 And if they settle in camps according to the order of the land and take wives and beget children, they shall walk according to the Law, and according to the judgments of the ordinances according to the order of the Law as He spake, between a man and his wife, and between a father and his son.

2 But as for all them that reject . . . when God will bring a visitation upon the land they shall be requited with the recompense of the wicked; when there shall come to pass the word which is written in the words of Isaiah the son of Amos 3 the prophet, who said :
He will bring upon thee and upon thy people and upon thy fathers house days that have (not) come from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah.

9 4-9. Foundation of the Zadokite Party and its Expectations: the Law, the Prophets,

and the Messiah.

4 When the two houses of Israel separated, [Ephraim departed from Judah, and] all who proved faithless were delivered to the sword, and those who held fast escaped into the land of the North. 5 As He said,
And I will cause to go into captivity Siccuth your King and Chiun your images, 6 (the star of your god which ye made for yourselves) beyond Damascus. The books of the Law are the tabernacle of the King, as He said, And I will raise up the tabernacle of David that is 7 fallen. The King is the congregation and Chiun the images are the books of the Prophets, whose 8 words Israel has despised. And the Star is he who studied the Law, who came to Damascus, as it is written, There shall come forth a star out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel. The 9 scepter is the prince of all the congregation.

9 10-20. The Messiah will destroy those who were faithless to the New Covenant: their

moral Derelictions through Hellenizing Influences.

And when
he shall destroy all the sons of (battle) din….These shall escape during the period of the (first) visitation, but those who proved faithless shall be delivered to the sword. 11 [Lost]

12 And this also shall be the judgment of all them who have entered into His covenant, who will not hold fast to these (statues): they shall be visited for destruction through the hand 13 of Belial. This is the day on which God shall visit (as He hath spoken)"

The princes of Judah were (like them that removed the landmark):

Upon them will I pour out (My) wrath (like water).

14 For they are too sick to be healed

And they have been at the head of all the rebels.

15 Because they have not turned from the way or traitors,

But have wallowed in the ways of harlots,

And in the wealth of wickedness and (in) revenge.

16 And every man beareth a grudge against his


And every man hateth his neighbor.

17 And the committed trespass every man against his next of kin.

And drew near to unchastity:

And exalted themselves with a view to wealth and unjust gain

And every man did that which was right in his own eyes

18 And they chose every man the stubbornness of his heart,

And they separated not from the people.

19 And they cast off restraint with a high hand

To walk in the way of the wicked, concerning whom God said:
Their wine is the poison of dragons

And the cruel venom of asps

20 The dragons are the kings of the Gentiles and their wine is their ways, and the venom of asps is the head of the kings of Javan, who came to execute vengeance upon them.

21 But despite all these things they who builded the wall and daubed it with untempered mortar percieved not- 22 For one who was perturbed of spirit and talked lies talked to them- that the wrath of God was kindled against all His congregation: 23 Nor that Moses said,
Not for they righteousness or for the uprightness of thine heart dost thou go in to inherit these nations, but because He loved they fathes and because He would keep the oath.

24 And such is the case of the penitents of Israel (who) turned aside from the way of the people. 25 Owing to the love of God for the forefathers who stirred up (the people to follow after Him, He loved them that came after them; for theirs is the covenant of the fathers. But since He hated the builders of the wall His wrath was kindled.

27 And such (will be) the case of all who reject the commandments of God, and forsake them and turn away in the stubbornness of their heart.

28 This is the word which Jeremiah spake to Baruch the son of Neriah, and Elisha to his servant Gehazi. All the men who entered into the New Covenant in the land of Damascus.


29 They shall not be reckoned in the assembly of the people, and in its register they shall not be written, from the day when there was gathered in the Unique Teacher until there shall arise the Messiah from Aaron and from Israel. 30 And such is the case for all that enter into the congregation of the men of the perfection of holiness. 31 And as for him who abhors doing precepts of upright men [he is the man who is melted in the furnace], when his deeds become known he shalt be expelled from the congregation, as though his lot had not fallen among them that are taught of God. 32 According to his trespass they shall record him as a perverted man until he come back to stand in the office of the men of the perfection of holiness. 33 And when his deeds become known in accordance with the midrash of the Law in which walk the men of the perfection of holiness, no man shall consent (to be) with him in wealth and labor; for all the saints of the Most High have cursed him. 34 And such shall be the case of every one who rejects the first and the last, who have placed idols upon their hearts and walked in the stubbornness of their hearts. 35 They have no share in the House of the Law. 36 With a judgment like unto that of their neighbors who turned away with the scornful men, they shall be judged. 37 For they spake error against the statutes of righteousness, and rejected the covenant and the pledge of faith, which they had affirmed in the land of Damascus; and this is the New Covenant. 38 And there shall not be unto them nor unto their families a share in the House of the Law. 39And from the day when there was gathered in the Unique Teacher until all the men of war were consumed who walked with the man of lies about forty years, 40 [And during this period there shall be kindled the wrath of God against Israel as He said,
there is no king and no prince and no judge, and none that rebuketh in righteousness.] 41 Those who repented of transgression (in Jacob) observed the covenant of God. 42 Then they spake each man with his neighbor (to strengthen one) another Let our steps hold fast to the way of God. 43 And God hearkened to their words and heard, and a book of remembrance was written (before Him) for them that feared God (and) that thought upon His name until salvation and righteousness be revealed for (them that fear God. 44 Then shall ye return and discern) between the righteous and wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not. 45 And He showeth mercy (unto thousands) of them that love Him and keep (His commandments) for a thousand generations. 46 From the house of Peleg that have gone out from the holy city. 47 And they trusted in God throughout the period that Israel trespassed and polluted the Sanctuary and returned again to molten images. 48 The people with few words shall all be judged, each according to his spirit in the counsel of holiness. 49 And as for all those who have broken down the landmark of the Law amongst those who entered into the covenant, when there shall shine forth the glory of God to Israel, they shall be cut off from the midst of the camp, and with all those who do wickedly of Judah in the days of its testing.

9 50-54. The faithful shall confess their sins and be forgiven and blessed.

50 But all they who hold fast by these judgments in going out and coming in according to the Law, and listen to the voice of the Teacher and confess before God (saying)

We have done wickedly, we and our fathers,

Because we have walked contrary to the statutes of the covenant,

And true is thy judgment against us:

52 And (who) lift not the hand against His holy statutes, His righteous judgment, and the testimony of His truth; 53 and are chastised by the first judgments with which the children of men were judged: and give ear to the voice of the Unique Teacher of Righteousness: and reject not the statutes of righteousness when they hear them

53 They shall rejoice and be glad,

And their heart shall exult,

And they shall make themselves strong against all the children of the world,

And God will pardon them

And they shall see His salvation;

For they trust in His holy name.


10 1-6

A man is not to avenge himself or bear a Grudge.


1 Every man who puts under the ban a man [amongst men] according to the ordinances of the Gentiles is to be put to death:

2 And as for that which He hath said:
Thou shalt not take vengeance nor bear a grudge against the children of thy people, every man of those who have entered into the covenant, who brings a charge against his neighbor whom he had not rebuked before witnesses, and yet brings it in his fierce wrath or recounts (it) to his elders in order to bring him into contempt, is taking vengeance and bearing a grudge. 3 But naught is written save that, He taketh vengeance on His adversaries, and He beareth a grudge against His enemies. 4 If he held his peace with regard to him from day to day, but in his fierce wrath spake against him in a matter of death, he hath testified against himself because he did not give effect to the commandment of God, Who said to him, 5 Thou shalt surely rebuke thy neighbor and not bear sin because of him. 6 As regards the oath, touching that which He said Thou shalt not avenge thee with thine own hand, the man who makes (another man) swear in the open field-that is, not in the presence of the judges, or owing to their commands-hath avenged himself with his own hand.

10 7-9 The law as to lost property.

7 And as for anything that is lost, should it not be known who has stolen it from the property of the camp in which the thing has been stolen, its owner shall proclaim (it) by the oath of cursing and whoso hears, if he knows and declares it not, shall be held guilty. 8 As for any restitution made by him who returns that which has [not] an owner, he who returns (it) shall confess to the priest, and (that which was lost) shall be given back to him, besides the ram of the guilt-offering to the priest; and so everything (that was) lost (and) found and has no owner shall be given to the priests for he who found it knows not its law. If its owner is not found they shall take charge (of it).

10 10-17. The Number of witnesses necessary in the case of Capital and other Offenses.

The character
of the Witnesses.

10 If a man in any matter trespasses against the Law and his neighbor and none but he sees it, if it be a matter of death, he shall make it known to the Censor in the presence of the accused in discharging the duty of reproof: and the Censor shall write it down with his own hand: 11 If he do it again before another, he shall return and make it known to the Censor. 12 If he shall be caught again before another, his judgment shall be executed. 13 And if they are two and they witness against him (each) on a different thing the man shall be only excluded from the Purity, provided that they are trustworthy, and that on the day on which they have seen the man they make it known to the Censor. 14 And according to the statute (they shall) accept two trustworthy witnesses, and not one to exclude the Purity. 15 And there shall arise no witness before the judges to cause a man to be put to death at his mouth, whose days have not been fulfilled so as to pass over unto those that are numbered (and who is not) a man who fears God. 16None shall be believed as a witness against his neighbor who transgresses a word of the commandment with a high hand until they are cleansed through repentance.

11 Regulations as to the Judges of the Zadokite Party.


1 And this is the order in reference to the judges of the congregation. 2 (They shall amount) to ten men selected from the congregation according to the time (defined); four of the tribe of Levi and Aaron, and six of Israel learned in the Book of the Hagu and in the Ordinances of the Covenant, from five and twenty years old even unto sixty years old. 3 But none shall be appointed when he is sixty years old and upward to judge the congregation. 4 For through the trespasses of man his days were minished, and when the wrath of God was kindled against the inhabitants of the earth, He commanded their intelligence to depart from them before they completed their days.

12 Levitical Law as to Bathing.


1 As to being cleansed in water. No man shall wash in water (that is) filthy or insufficient for a mans bath. 2 None shall cleanse himself in the waters of a vessel. And every pool in a rock in which there is not sufficient (water) for a bath, which an unclean person has touched, its waters shall be unclean like the waters of the vessel.

13 1-11 Laws regarding the Sabbath.


1 As to the Sabbath, to observe it according to its law, no man shall do work on the sixth day from the time when the suns orb in its fullness is still without the gate, for it is He who has said, Observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

2 And on the Sabbath day no man shall utter a word of folly and vanity. 3 No man shall lend aught, to his neighbor. 4 None shall dispute on matters of wealth and gain. 5 None shall speak on matters of work and labor to be done on the following morning. 6 No man shall walk in the field to do the work of his business. 7 On the Sabbath none shall walk outside his city more than a thousand cubits. 8 No man shall eat on the Sabbath day aught save that which is prepared or perishing (in the field). 9 Nor shall one eat or drink unless in the camp. 10 (If he was) on the way and went down to wash he may drink where he stands, but he shall not draw into any vessel. 11 No man shall send the son of a stranger to do his business on the Sabbath day.

13 12 Laws as to unclean Garments.

12 No man shall put on garments that are filthy or were brought by a Gentile unless they were washed in water or rubbed with frankincense.

13 13-27 Laws regarding the Sabbath.

13 No man shall fast of his own will on the Sabbath. 14 No man shall walk after the animal to pasture it outside his city more than two thousand cubits. 15 None shall lift his hand to smite it with (his) fist. 16 If it be stubborn he shall not remove it out of his house. No man shall carry anything from the house to the outside or from the outside into the house, and if he be in the vestibule he shall not carry anything out of it or bring in anything into it. 17 None shall open the cover of a vessel that is pasted on the Sabbath. 18 No man shall carry on him spices to go out or come in on the Sabbath. 19 None shall lift up in his dwelling house rock or earth. 20 Let not the nursing father take the sucking child to go out or to come in on the Sabbath. 21 No man shall provoke his manservant or his maid-servant or his hireling on the Sabbath. 22 No man shall help an animal in its delivery on the Sabbath day. 23 And if it falls into a pit or ditch, he shall not raise it on the Sabbath. 24 No man shall rest in a place near to the Gentiles on the Sabbath. 25 No man shall suffer himself to be polluted [the Sabbath] for the sake of wealth or gain on the Sabbath. 26 And if any person falls into a place of water or into a place of… he shall not bring him up by a ladder or a cord or instrument. 27 No man shall offer anything on the altar on the Sabbath, save the burnt-offering of the Sabbath, for so it is written
Excepting your Sabbaths.

14 1-4. Levitical Laws as to Uncleanness.


1 No man shall send to the altar burnt-offering or meat-offering or frankincense or wood through the hand of a man (that is) unclean through any of the uncleannesses allowing him to defile the altar, for it is written: The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, but the prayer of the righteous is like an offering of delight. 2 And none of those who enter into the house of worship shall enter when he is unclean even though washed. 3 And when the trumpets of the Congregation sound, it shall he (done) before or after, and they shall not put an end to the whole service: (the Sabbath) is holy. 4 No man shall lie with a woman in the city of the Sanctuary to defile the city of the Sanctuary by their impurity.

14 5. Law as to Necromancy.

5 Any man who is ruled by the spirits of Belial and speaks rebellion shall be judged by the judgement of the necromancer and wizard.

14 6. Law as to the Sabbath.

6 And he whom he leads astray into profaning the Sabbath and the Feasts shall not be put to death; but it shall be the duty of the sons of man to watch him; and should he be healed of it, they shall watch him seven years and then he shall come into the Congregation.

14 7-11. Laws as to Intercourse with the Gentiles.

7 None shall stretch out his hand to shed the blood of any man from among the Gentiles for the sake of wealth or gain. 8 Nor shall he take aught of their wealth lest they blaspheme, unless by the counsel of the Community of Israel. 9 No man shall sell an animal or bird that is clean to the Gentiles, lest they sacrifice them. 10 Nor shall he sell them aught from his threshing-floor or his winepress for all his property. 11 Nor shall he sell them his manservant or maidservant who entered with him into the covenant of Abraham.

14 12- 16. Laws as to unclean Foods and Causes of Uncleanness.

12 No man shall make himself abominable with any living creature or creeping thing, by eating of them: or of the defilements of bees or of any living creature that moveth in the waters. 13 Nor shall fish be eaten unless they were split alive and their blood was shed. 14 But all the locusts after their kind shall come into fire or into water whilst they are still living, for this is the manner of their creation. 15 And all wood and stones and dust which are polluted by the uncleanness of man are polluted like them. 16 According to their uncleanness shall be unclean he who toucheth them. And every instrument, nail, or peg in the wall which is with the dead in the house shall be unclean, like the uncleanness of an instrument of work.

15 1-3. Summary Reference to Laws of Uncleanness.


1 The regulation of the dwellers in the cities of Israel, according to these judgments, that a difference may be made between the unclean and the clean, and to make known (the difference) between the holy and the common. 2 And these statutes are to give instruction so that the whole nation may walk in them according to the Law always. 3 And according to this law shall walk the seed of Israel, and they shall not be cursed.

15 4-6. The Ruler to be a Priest or a Levite.

4 And this is the regulation of the dwellers (according to which they should) act during the period of the wickedness until there arises the Messiah (from) Aaron and Israel, up to ten men at least, to thousands and hundreds and fifties and tens. 5 And when there arise ten, the man who is a priest learned in the Book of the Hagu shall not depart. According to his word shall they all be ruled. 6 And if he is not expert in all these, but a man of the Levites is expert in these, the lot shall be that all those that enter into the camp shall go out and come in according to his word.

15 7-8. Law as to Leprosy.

7 And if there be a judgment regarding the law of leprosy which is in a man, then the priest shall come and stand in the camp, and the Censor shall instruct him in the true meaning of the law. 8 And (even) if he is lacking in understanding He shall shut him up; for unto them (i.e. the priests) is the judgment.

16 The Duties of the Censor.


1 And this is the regulation of the Censor of the camp. He shall instruct the many in the works of God, and shall make them understand His wondrous mighty acts, and shall narrate before them the things of the world since its creation. 2 And he shall have mercy upon them as a father upon his children, and shall for(give) all that have incurred guilt. 3 As a shepherd with his flock he shall loose all the bonds of their knots…oppressed and crushed in his congregation. And every one who joins his congregation, he shall reckon him according to his works, his understanding, his might, his strength, and his wealth. 5 And they shall record him in his place in accordance with his position in a lot of the (camp). 6 No man of the children of the camp shall have power to bring a man into the congregation (without) the word of the Censor of the camp. 7 Nor shall any man of them who have entered into the covenant of God do business (with) the children of the pit (un)less hand to hand. 8 No man shall do (a thing as buy)ing and sell(ing) un(less he has spoken) to the Censor of the camp, and he shall do (it in the ca)mp and not… and so to him who casts forth…they, and he who is not connected with…9 And this is the settlement of the camps. 10 All shall not succeed to settle in the land…11 that have not come from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah. 12And as for all who walk in these the covenant of God standeth fast unto them to save them from all the snares of the pit, for suddenly….

17 1-5. The Four Orders of the Community.


1 And the regulation of the dwellers of all the camps is: 2 They shall be numbered all by their names, the Priests first, the Levites second, the children of Israel third, and the proselyte fourth. 3 And they shall be recorded by their names one after another, the Priests first, the Levites second, the children of Israel third, and the proselyte fourth. 4 And so they shall be seated and so they shall ask with regard to every matter. 5 And the Priest who numbers the many (shall be) from thirty years old even unto sixty years old, learned in the Book (of the Hagu and) in all the judgements of the Law to direct them according to their judgments.

6-8. Duties of the Censor.

6 And the Censor who is over all the camps shall be from thirty years old even unto fifty years old, a master in every counsel of men, and in every tongue… 7 According to his word shall come in those who enter the congregation every man in his due order. 8 And as regards any matter on which it shall be incumbent for any man to speak, he shall speak to the Censor in regard to any suit or cause.

18 1-5 Almsgiving.


1 And this is the regulation for the many in order to provide for all their needs. 2 The wages of two days every month is the rule. And they shall give it into the hands of the Censor and the judges. 3 From it they shall give…and (from) it they shall strengthen the hand of the poor and the needy. 4 And to the aged man who…to the vagrant and him (who) was taken captive of a strange people. 5 And to the virgin who has (no dot) (and to Him whom) no man careth for: every work… and not… 6 And this is the explanation of the settlement… 7 And this is the explanation of the judgments which…8 (The Messiah from) Aaron and Israel. 9 And He will pardon our sins…in money and he shall know…punishment six days and who shall speak…10 against Mos(es)

19 Laws as to Oaths.


1 …(Shall not swe)ar either by Aleph Lamed or by Aleph Daleth, but by the oath (written) in the curses of the covenant. 2.But the Law of Moses he shall not mention, for…3 And if he swears and transgresses he profanes the Name. 4 And if by the curses of the covenant…the Judges. 5 And if he transgress he shall be held guilty but if he confess and make restitution he shall not bear (the penalty) of death. 6 And whosoever in all Israel shall enter into the covenant by a statute forever, together with their children who are (not of an age) to pass over into the number of those who are enrolled by the oath of the covenant, shall confirm it on their behalf. 7 And this is also the law throughout the entire period of the wickedness for every one who returns from his corrupt way. 8 On the day when he speaks with the Censor of the many they shall enrol him by the oath of the covenant that Moses established with Israel-10 the covenant to re(turn to the Law of M)oses…with all (his) heart…(and with all his) soul: as regards that which there is found to be done by them… 10 And no man shall make known to him the laws until he stand before the Censor (who) shall search out concerning him when he examines him. 11 And when he imposes it upon him to return to the Law of Moses with all his heart and all his soul …of him if… 12 And every thing that was revealed of the Law with regard to a suit… in him…the Censor him and shall command him…until…killed him…and the madman and all…(loss of five lines) 13 covenant with you and with the whole of Israel. 14 Therefore the man shall impose it upon himself to return to the Law of Moses; for in it everything is accurately treated.

20 1 Reference to the Book of Jubilees.


1 And as for the exact statement of their periods to put Israel in remembrance in regard to all these, behold, it is treated accurately in the Book of the Divisions of the Seasons according to their Jubilees and their Weeks.

2-12. Laws as to Oaths and Vows.

2 And on the day on which the man imposes it upon himself to return to the law of Moses the angel of Mastema will depart from him if he make good his word. 3 Therefore Abraham was circumcised on the day of his knowing it. 4 As to what he said,
That which is gone forth from thy lips thou shalt keep to make it good- 5 No binding oath, which a man imposes upon himself with a view to perform a commandment of the law, shall he cancel even at the risk of death. 6 Nothing which a man (imposes) upon himself with a view to (frustrate the la)w shall he make good even at the risk of death. 7 (As for) the oath of the woman, whose oath Mos(es sa)id should be disallowed, no man shall disa1low an oath which no man knew. 8 It is to be confirmed. And whether it be to disallow or to transgress the covenant, he shall disallow it and not confirm it. 9 And so is also the law for her father. As to the law of the of(fer)ings no man shall vow anything for the altar under compulsion. 10 Nor shall the (pr)iests take anything from the Israelites… 11 (Nor) shall a man dedicate the food…this is what he said, They hunt every man his brother with a net. 12 Nor shall de(vote)…of all…his possession…holy…shall be punished he…who takes a vow… to the judge…


The Damascus Document and the Community Rule

(Summary of a lecture by J. R. Davila on 15 February 2005)

Please note: this lecture assumes that you have already read the Damascus Document and Community Rule in translation as well as the assigned articles either from the EDSS or the ABD. Complete information on short references to other scholarly works in this lecture can be found in the annotated bibliography.

The so-called Damascus Document is unique in that it is the only Qumran sectarian work that was known before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. It had been found many years before in the famous

"Cairo Geniza." As mentioned last week, a "geniza" is a repository for worn documents that bear the name of God and therefore according to Jewish halakhah must be disposed of in a prescribed way. This particular geniza was a room adjoining a synagogue in Old Cairo, which was gradually stuffed full of papers over something like a millennium, until it was discovered by European scholars and emptied about a century ago. More than two hundred thousand fragments of manuscripts were recovered, including a few of documents of which copies would also later be discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls. These include two large, early medieval fragments of the Damascus Document (CD A and CD B), with a possible third, small parchment fragment; fragments of Aramaic Levi; and fragments of the original Hebrew of Ben Sira or Ecclesiasticus. How did copies of these documents end up both in Qumran caves and in the Cairo Geniza and how were they transmitted in between? This is a very good question, to which we do not know the answer. Two possibilities commend themselves. It may be that they were copied in an unbroken manuscript tradition in Jewish circles into the Middle Ages. Or they may have been recovered during the early Middle Ages in caves in Palestine in discoveries like those mentioned by Origen and Timothy (perhaps even in the particular discovery Timothy describes) and then copied and passed along (perhaps in quasi-heretical "Karaite" circles) until they ended up in Egypt.

Fragments of eight manuscripts of the Damascus Document were found in Qumran Cave 4 (4Q266-273), with scripts dated paleographically from the first century BCE to the first century CE. In addition small bits of the work survive in a manuscript from Cave 5 (5Q12) and another from Cave 6 (6Q15). The two Geniza manuscripts vary significantly from one another in one column (on which more below) but otherwise there are no major variations among the Qumran and Geniza manuscripts wherever they overlap with one another. The Qumran copies are very fragmentary (4Q266 is the best preserved and perhaps the earliest) but nevertheless they help us a great deal in recovering the overall structure of the work. (It is generally agreed that the Damascus Document is composite - that is, it has been redacted together out of earlier material - but there is not a great deal of agreement on the details of the redaction.) We can conveniently (following Baumgarten in his EDSS article) break the Damascus Document down into three sections:

(1) The Admonition. The Geniza manuscripts preserved this section in CD A cols. 1-8, with a parallel but significantly different text of col. 8 in the CD B manuscript, which, confusingly, is called cols. 19-20. Now 4Q266-268 preserve parts of the real beginning of the work, a first-person exhortation that came before col. 1 of CD A. The Admonition includes several accounts of the origins of the movement, each starting with a survey of some or all of biblical history. The content of CD B 20 (which extends beyond the parallel in CD A 8) fits better with the content of the Laws and it has been suggested that this passage is a secondary addition to the Admonition. The reasons for the variations in the parallel material in CD A and CD B are open to debate, and the Qumran manuscripts do not clarify the problem definitively.

(2) The Laws (CD A cols. 9-12.20a + cols. 15-16 + much 4Q material that came between cols. 11 and 12). Cols. 15-16 were placed incorrectly by the original editor (Solomon Schechter), but the Qumran manuscripts show the correct order. This is a large collection of halakhic material with some general similarities in layout and organization to the Mishnah but completely different in content and sometimes giving legal solutions contrary to those found in the Mishnah.

(3) Communal Rules (CD A 12.20b-14.22 + 4Q material). This is the last part of the work and includes rules for the Overseer/Inspector" (Hebrew Mebaqqer) of the sectarian group; rules for the punishment and expulsion of erring members; provisions for an annual meeting of Levites and "men of the camps" in the third month of the year (during the festival of Shavuot/Weeks?); and a conclusion.

Some Specific Issues Regarding the Damascus Document

(1) The Origins of the Community. Due to space limitations, my focus here will be on a single pericope near the beginning of the Admonition, CD A 1.1-2.1, which appears to give a brief summary of the origins of the sect. We are told that preexilic unfaithfulness was punished by God and was followed by the "period of wrath," dated to 390 years after the conquest by Nebuchadnezzar (the Babylonian exile, presumably 587/6 BCE). Then there came twenty years in which the people knew their own guilt and groped for the path, until God raised up a "Teacher of Righteousness" who revealed God's will. He was opposed by the "man of scoffing" who initiated the persecution of the sect. This outline appears to date the period of wrath to c. 196-97 BCE and the rise of the Teacher of Righteousness to c. 177-76 BCE. But there are two problems. First, the number 390 is suspicious. It looks to be based on the number of years decreed for the punishment of Israel in an oracle in Ezekiel 4.5. In addition the twenty years could be taken as half of the forty years of punishment for Judah decreed in the same passage. Therefore it could be a very schematic estimate that is attempting to fit the sect's history into the eschatological ten-Jubilee cycle alluded to in Daniel 9 and 11QMelchizedek (11Q13). Second, it is widely agreed that this pericope of the Damascus Document is a piece of poetry, since it can be divided very easily into couplets of parallel lines characteristic of Hebrew poetry. However, the numbers and the reference to Nebuchadnezzar do not fit the poetic structure of the passage. They are clearly secondary additions to it by a later editor. We have no idea what the basis for the numbers was or how much they are historical vs. an ideological construct. So the chronological outline of the Admonition is highly suspect.

(2) The Teacher of Righteousness. This mysterious leader is mentioned in the same passage as a figure in the past, and also in CD B 20.32 as a figure who could be taken to be in the past or in the present. There is also reference to the "unique teacher" (possibly to be emended to read "the teacher of the Yah9ad") in 20.1, who "was gathered in" according to 20.14. This phrase has been taken to mean either that he died or he gathered a group of followers. A "teacher" is mentioned again in 20.28 and there is an obscure and probably textually corrupt reference to the "gathering in" of "one who teaches" or a "teacher" in CD B 19.35. And in CD A 6.11 we are told of "one who teaches righteousness" who is to come in the future. The Teacher of Righteousness is mentioned again several times in the Pesharim and we will come back to him in the third week of this course, but for now let us just note that the evidence of the Damascus Document leaves us unsure how many teachers are in view; whether he or they come in the past, present or future; and whether the or a Teacher of Righteousness was still living at the time the work was written.

(3) "Damascus" in the Damascus Document. Our title for the work comes from some seven references in it to the activities of the group in "Damascus" or the "land of Damascus." Three broad understandings of this term have been proposed, with some combined permutations. It could be a literal reference to the city in Syria; it could refer obliquely to Babylonia; or it could be a secret code word for a completely unrelated location, generally thought to be the site of Qumran itself. The literal meaning is implied in 6.4-5, which refers to "the converts (or "returnees") of Israel who went out of the land of Judah and sojourned in the land of Damascus." But the word Damascus is explicitly derived from the prophetic oracle in Amos 5:26-27, which threatens the apostate Judeans with exile "beyond Damascus" (according to the Masoretic Text, the traditional Hebrew text used most of the time in English translations) or, according to the text quoted in CD A 7.14-15, "from (or "beyond") the tents of Damascus." This phrase in Amos is interpreted to mean "Babylon" in Acts 7:43 (reasonably, in that the foretold exile in reality turned out to be to Babylon), and one could potentially take it to have this meaning in the Damascus Document as well. Indeed, Jerome Murphy O'Connor has argued that the Qumran sect originated in the Babylonian diaspora, partly on the basis of this interpretation of the Damascus Document. The third interpretation rests on the fact that secret code names, usually based on scriptural allusions, abound in the sectarian Scrolls (e.g., the Teacher of Righteousness, the Kittim, and the Wicked Priest) and the most widely accepted view is that Damascus is a code name for the sect's headquarters now represented by the ruins at Qumran.

"The Community Rule" (Serekh Ha Yah9ad) is this work's title for itself in the best-preserved manuscript, 1QS. Early on, scholars also called it the "Manual of Discipline." It appears, at least at first glance - and even at second or third glance - to be a constitution for some sort of dissident Jewish group in the Second Temple period which called itself the " Yah9ad," literally the "together," but here used as a technical term meaning "Community." Frank Moore Cross dated the script of 1QS to c. 100-75 BCE on paleographic grounds. Another manuscript, this one written on papyrus rather than leather, has been dated paleographically to be somewhat older, copied c. 125-100 BCE. The manuscript 1QS is one of the original seven scrolls found in Cave 1. Columns 1-11 contain the Community Rule. When the cave was excavated, two more works from the same scroll were recovered: 1QSa (the Rule of the Congregation or the Messianic Rule) and 1QSb (the Rule of the Blessings). Our concern today is only with the Community Rule, of which ten more fragmentary copies were recovered from Cave 4 (4Q255-64) and one from Cave 5 (5Q11; cf. the related text 5Q13).

If we focus first on the manuscript 1QS, we find clear traces of the redaction of earlier documents into the work. For example, there are various doublets in it such as the three general statements of the aims of the community (1.1-15; 5.1-7a; 8.1-4a). It was recognized early on as a composite work but the first complete theory of redactional development was published in an article by Murphy-O'Connor in 1969, which argued for four literary strata. This theory was developed by J. Pouilly in a book in 1976 and Murphy-O'Connor now accepts Pouilly's analysis (see his article in the ABD for details and bibliography). His reconstruction is more detailed than most scholars would be willing to commit to but it is useful as a heuristic tool. Briefly, he argues that 1QS (1) contains an original core, a manifesto involving a group of twelve men and three priests who separated themselves from the ruling social structure around the Temple and went out into the desert (parts of cols. 8-10). (2) After some time, additional rules for daily life were added to the manifesto (the rest of cols. 8-9). (3) As time passed, the community increased in size and developed quasi-democratic institutions, detailed rules for entrance, and an expanded penal code (col. 7 + parts of cols. 5-6). (4) Finally, two major units were added: cols. 1-4 (an introduction, directions for a covenant renewal ceremony, and the dualistic theological statement known as the "Treatise on the Two Spirits," and the rest of cols. 10-11 (a hymn). More entrance and community regulations were also added to cols. 5-6.

The manuscripts of the Community Rule from Cave 4 confirm that the work existed in different versions but the relationship of the versions and how the work developed continue to be debated. Only three of the Cave 4 manuscripts preserve enough text to be useful from a redaction-critical perspective.

4Q256 (4QSb) has the same overall structure as 1QS (i.e., it includes cols. 1QS cols. 1-4, 10-11) but significant differences in detail, differences that seem to correspond in the middle part of the work to the recension found in 4Q258.

4Q258 (4QSd) omits 1QS cols. 1-4 but otherwise seems to be the same recension as 4Q256. The following variants from 1QS 5:1-9 are noteworthy. The rubric in 1QS 5.1, "This is the rule (Serek) for the men of the Yah9ad," takes the form "Midrash for the Sage (Maskil) concerning the men of the Torah" in 4Q258. The phrase "to become a Yah9ad" in 1QS 5.2 reads slightly differently as "to come together" in 4Q258. The phrase "Sons of Zadok" is found twice in this passage in 1QS but appears instead as, respectively "the Many" and "the council of the men of the Yah9ad" in 4Q258.

The fragments of 4Q259 (4QSe) commence with material corresponding to 1QS 7 but the opening column of the manuscript is lost and it is unclear if it contained the equivalent of 1QS cols. 1-4. It is missing 1QS 8.15b-9.11 (which consists of community precepts to be followed until the coming of the "prophet" and the "Messiahs of Israel and Aaron") and the hymn in 10.9 ff. It ended with a calendrical text (4QOtot/4Q319) rather than the two texts found at the end of 1QS.

The Cave 4 manuscripts show beyond a doubt that there is some value to the redaction-critical approach. They demonstrate, for example, that 1QS 1-4 and the final hymn in 1QS 10-11 are separable units that were not part of the work during its whole history. We find multiple recensions of the work in these manuscripts, one (1QS) which gives the priests authority where another (4Q256 and 4Q258) gives it to the Yah9ad as a democratic body. It is debatable whether the priestly recension is the more original, as argued by Philip Alexander, or the democratic recension, as argues by Sarianna Metso. The paleographic evidence would support the former position in that 1QS is an earlier copy than either 4Q256 or 4Q258.

Any number of theories has been advanced to explain the origins of the group presented in the Community Rule and it would take far more space than I have here to survey them all. I summarize the following three as representative of the wide range of possibilities and the degree to which the old consensus (the Essene hypothesis) has been challenged.

First, it has been argued that the Community Rule describes an organization more or less equivalent to the Essenes described by the classical writers. This has been the standard interpretation of the Community Rule and most of the other sectarian texts since it was proposed by Eliezer Sukenik in the late 1940s and it still has much merit. It was applied to the original seven Scrolls, and by implication to all the Scrolls, although it is fully recognized now that not all of them are sectarian or Essene. The theory is based on the description of the Essenes by their contemporaries Philo, Josephus, and Pliny the Elder. Like the Essenes, the Community Rule teaches strict determinism rather than free will and mandates communal ownership of property. It gives similar (but not identical) rules for joining the community; prescribes an oath to be taken by new members and a common meal to be shared by ceremonially pure members; and, at least according to one interpretation, it describes a celibate group of men only. It is also argued that the location of Qumran seems to correspond to where Pliny located the Essenes on the coast of the Dead Sea.

Second, Norman Golb (especially in his book Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls?) argues that the Dead Sea Scrolls are really literary archives from Jerusalem and thus have nothing to do with any putative Essene community living at Qumran. He finds among the Scrolls a mixture of documents that include a "sectarian" set (to which, apparently, the Community Rule does not belong) but also many other things. In particular, he offers a detailed critique of the view that the Community Rule describes the Essenes. He emphasizes the unfulfilled, "visionary nature" of the Community Rule and notes that avoidance and spiritualization of animal sacrifice was characteristic of Hellenistic religion in general, such as Hermetic literature. The reference to going into the desert in 8.14 (he does not discuss 9.19-20) gives a spiritual interpretation to Isa 40:3, applying it to the study of Torah, not a literal move to the desert as in John the Baptist's interpretation. It is problematic to interpret the group behind the Community Rule as celibate in that one of the blessings promised to members is "fruitfulness of seed" (4.7), and col. 9 appears to expect that the whole Israelite society will eventually follow the teachings of the Yah9ad. He notes also that the Community Rule never says that the members sleep in the same quarters or live together.

Golb proposes an alternative reading of the Community Rule: it describes an early example (the Essenes are another) of a group of "purity-loving brethren" such as the Havurah/Friendship groups described in the Mishnah. The Havurot (plural) were concerned with ritual purity and proper tithing; they had periods of probation before members were allowed to consume the pure food and drink; and they recognized different categories of membership. But they still lived in their own homes and had wives and children. Golb argues that scholars without rabbinic training seized on the classical descriptions of the Essenes for parallels to the Community Rule when it was first discovered, without realizing that the rabbinic Havurot provided significant parallels as well.

Third, basing his research on earlier work by Moshe Weinfeld, Matthias Klinghardt has argued that the Community Rule is the code for a Jewish Palestinian association centered around a synagogue community. He maintains that 1QS (and the sectarian Scrolls in general) are best paralleled by pagan Hellenistic associations, which had similar codes and structures, rather than by cenobitic or monastic associations that appear only in Egypt and in the fourth century CE. The Hellenistic associations and the Community Rule have similar procedures for admission which include a probationary period, the examination of the candidate, an initiation oath, etc. The disciplinary regulations are similar, involving such things as rules for assembly and the order of speaking. They have similar concerns with ethical teachings and with regulations for internal jurisdiction (penalties for infractions, witnesses, reconciliation of apostates, etc.).

An enormous amount could be said here and I must limit myself to a few general observations. The Community Rule and Damascus Document share a good bit of technical terminology and some overlapping legal traditions. For example, both apply the title "sons of light" to members, and they share versions of a penal code, which is found in 1QS 7 and 4Q266 10 ii-11//4Q267 9 vi//4Q269 11 i-ii//4Q270 7 i (Baumgarten's column numbers - numbered somewhat differently in DSST). But the two works also differ significantly in both areas. The "Teacher of Righteousness" figures prominently in the Damascus Document but never appears at all in the Community Rule. And the penal codes, although evidently based on the same template, differ in many ways. Some of the laws appear in one code but not the other, and sometimes the penalty for a given infraction is different in the two codes. To complicate matters further, another manuscript, 4Q265, is a large fragment of another rule. It preserves, among other things, a version of the same penal code with parallels to both the Damascus Document and the Community Rule but one evidently redacted independently of either.

The overall feel of the groups portrayed in the two works is rather different as well. The Community Rule describes a close-knit "Community" or " Yah9ad" that holds possessions in common; it advances a harshly dualistic world view that is hostile to outsiders; it generally deals with men only; and it views the group members as a spiritual Temple and seems to reject literal sacrifices in the Jerusalem Temple. But the Damascus Document assigns its group members to "camps"; covers numerous issues pertaining to family and business; and assumes the members participate in the Temple cult.

Many explanations of the relationship between the two works are possible. I summarize four here, again, as illustrative examples rather than a comprehensive survey.

One view is that the Community Rule is a constitution for a celibate, quasi-monastic core group living at Qumran itself (a site that, on archaeological grounds, could not support more than a couple of hundred residents, if that). The Damascus Document is a constitution for a contemporary, larger group of followers with less rigorous requirements for membership: they married, had families, and conducted business with the outside world. Josephus mentions one group of celibate Essenes and another that married and had children. It is possible that the first corresponds to the group of the Community Rule and the second to the group of the Damascus Document. This interpretation requires a methodologically problematic (as per last week's lecture) harmonistic reading of the evidence and it fails to explain some of the most puzzling differences between the Community Rule and the Damascus Document (why, for example, does the Teacher of Righteousness appear in the latter but not the former?).

A second view, which I give in the form recently defended by Charlotte Hempel in The Laws of the Damascus Document, is that the Damascus Document is the constitution of a parent group that evolved over time into the group that produced the Community Rule. The Damascus Document contains a corpus of legal traditions widely accepted over the whole spectrum of Second Temple Judaism (the "halakhah stratum"), which has been adopted and incorporated into a "communal legislation stratum" by this parent group. The Community Rule is the constitution of a group that descended from the parent group and composed and redacted the Damascus Document. This theory raises the questions of why we have no variant versions of the Damascus Document if it went through a complex redaction, and how the variant versions of the Community Rule and 4Q265 can be fitted into the proposed evolutionary schema.

Third, Philip R. Davies, like Hempel, believes that a real community lies behind the Damascus Document. There may also have been a real group that called itself the Yah9ad, but the manuscripts of the Community Rule are private or library copies of a utopian document, one that reflects not a real community but an invented society inspired by antiquarian interests. Such utopian speculation is common in ancient Jewish literature. Consider, for example, Ezekiel's Temple, the Temple Scroll, the War Rule, and the Mishnah. If Davies's suggestion is true, it would require a radical rethinking of the whole field of Qumran studies.

Fourth, and with this I close this lecture, Maxine Grossman in her book Reading for History in the Damascus Document, presents a thoroughly postmodern challenge to past readings of the Damascus Document and, by implication, all the Qumran texts. She discusses the relationship between the Damascus Document and the Community Rule only tangentially, but her approach has important implications for the question. Her basic insight is that a text - any text - is open to many different readings depending on who is reading it and when. She sets out to avoid both "atomistic" and "harmonistic" scholarly readings. The former mine a literary work for nuggets of historical fact without proper attention to the place of these details in the context of the work as a whole and the work's assimilation into a specific context of particular readers and particular texts. The latter combine atomistic readings of a group of literary works (such as the Qumran sectarian texts) and harmonize the historical details to produce a "master framework" historical narrative which does not give adequate attention to contradictions and differences between the texts and the potential range of contexts in which the individual texts could be understood.

Her approach is to read the Damascus Document and other Qumran texts as would a reader in various social and chronological contexts so as to uncover variant possible original meanings and later interpretations. In her terminology, a text is "mobilized" by various audiences, who "foreground" and "background" different elements of the text to extract meaning from it. In a word, since we don't know much about the audiences - the actual people - who were reading the Dead Sea Scrolls in antiquity, we have to be satisfied with a frustratingly large range of viable reconstructions of original-audience interpretations of them. Grossman's book is a must-read for anyone doing serious work on the Dead Sea Scrolls. We are very fortunate that she has agreed to give us an online lecture on her work during the spring break.

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