from ExtraBiblicalWritings Website
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Of God’s vengeance and providence
Now listen, all right-minded men, and take note how God acts: He has a case against all flesh and exacts satisfaction from all who spurn Him.
Whenever Israel broke faith and renounced Him, He hid His face both from it and from His sanctuary and con-signed them to the sword. But whenever He called to mind the covenant which He had made with their forbears, He spared them a remnant and did not consign them to utter extinction.
So, in the Era of Anger, that era of the three hundred and ninety years,1 when He delivered them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, He took care of them and brought to blossom alike out of the priesthood and out of the laity that root which had been planted of old, allowing it once more to possess the land and to grow fat in the richness of its soil. Then they realized their iniquity
* From earlier copies found at Qumran it is now known that when this document was first published, in 1910, from medieval copies discovered in the Cairo Genaaah, the pages were arranged in the wrong order. The correct sequence is here added in square brackets after the numeration of each major part. Parts I, III and V of the original text are missing from the Cairo manuscripts, but are preserved in fragments from Qumran These, however, have not yet been fully published.
and knew that they had been at fault. For twenty years, however, they remained like blind men groping their way,2 until at last God took note of their deeds, how that they were seeking Him sincerely, and He raised up for them one who would teach the Law correctly,8 to guide them in the way of His heart and to demonstrate to future ages what He does to a generation that incurs His anger, that is, to the congregation of those that betray Him and turn aside from His way.
The period in question was that whereof it is written, like a stubborn heifer, Israel was stubborn’ [Hos. 4.16J. It was the time when a certain scoffer arose to distil upon Israel the waters deceptive4 and to lead them astray in a trackless waste, bringing low whatsoever had once been high, diverting them from the proper paths and removing the landmarks which their forbears had set up, to the end that through his efforts those curses cleaved to them which had been prescribed when the Covenant was concluded, and they were delivered to the sword. Thus was avenged that breach of the Covenant which they had committed in seeking smooth things and in preferring delusion and in being constantly on the watch to breach the faith and in choosing to walk proudly and in justifying the wicked and condemning the righteous, and in abrogating the Covenant and annulling the pact, and in assailing the life of the righteous and abhorring all whose conduct was blameless, and in pursuing them with the sword, and in raising a general clamor against them. God then grew angry with their horde and utterly destroyed all their throng and treated all their works as an abominable thing unclean.
Of God’s judgment on the wicked and His clemency to the righteous (ii, 2-13)
And now, listen to me, all who have entered the Covenant, and I will open your ears to the fate which attends the wicked.
God loves knowledge. Wisdom and sound sense has He posted before Him. Prudence and knowledge minister to Him.5 Patience attends on him and abundant forgiveness, so that He may shrive the repentant But also with Him are might and power and great wrath, along with flames of fire and all the angels of destruction8-appointed for them that turn aside from His way and treat His ordinance as a thing to be shunned, to the end that they shall be left without remnant or survival.
Never, from the very beginning of the world, has God approved such men. He has always known what their actions would be, even before the foundations of them were laid. He has anathematized whole generations on account of bloodshed, hiding His face from the land. Their end has always been pre-determined. He has always foreknown how long they would endure and the exact and precise extent of their continuance; yea, all that has happened in their several epochs throughout history, and likewise all that was to befall them.
Nevertheless, in all of their generations He has ever raised up for Himself duly designated men, so that He might provide survival for the earth and fill the face of the world with their seed. And to these has He ever revealed His holy spirit at the hands of His anointed7 and has ever disclosed the truth; and He has clearly specified who they were. But those whom He hated He has always left to wander astray.
Of ancient sinners (ii, l4-iii, 12)
And now, children, listen to me, and I will open your eyes to see and understand how God acts, so that you may choose what He has desired and reject what He has hated, walking blamelessly in all His ways and not straying after thoughts of guilty lust or after whoring eyes. For many there be that have strayed thereby from olden times until now, and even strong heroes have stumbled thereby.
Because they walked in the stubbornness of their hearts, the Watchers of heaven fell;8 yea, they were caught thereby because they kept not the commandments of God.
So too their sons, whose height was like the lofty cedars and whose bodies were as mountains.9 They also fell.
So too ‘all flesh that was upon the dry land’.10 They also perished These became as though they had never been, because they did their own pleasure and kept not the commandments of their Maker. In the end His anger was kindled against them In the same way, too, the sons of Noah went astray,11 and thereby they and their families were cut off.
Abraham, however, did not walk in this way. Therefore, because he kept the commandments of God and did not prefer the desires of his own spirit, he was accounted the Friend of God12 and transmitted this status in turn to Isaac and Jacob. They too kept the commandments, and they too were recorded as Friends of God and as partners in His everlasting Covenant
But the sons of Jacob strayed in that way and they were punished for their aberration.
Their sons, too, when they were in Egypt, walked in the stubbornness of their hearts, plotting against the commandments of God and doing each what was right in his own eyes. Because they ate blood all their males were cut off in the wilderness. God said to them at Kadesh: ‘Go up and possess the land’ [Deut. 9.23), (but they followed the desire of] their own spirits and hearkened not to the voice of their Maker neither to the orders of their leader, but kept murmuring in their tents. So the anger of God was kindled against their horde.13
Their sons too perished by such conduct. Their kings were cut off through it, and their heroes perished through it, and their land was laid waste through it.
Thus, whenever in ancient times those who had entered the Covenant became guilty on this account, forsaking that Covenant of God, preferring their own pleasure and going astray after the stubbornness of their hearts, doing each man as he pleased, they were invariably delivered to the sword.
Of the righteous remnant (iii, 12-iv, 6)
Howbeit, with the rest of them-that is, with those that held fast to His commandments-God ever made good His everlasting Covenant with Israel, revealing to them the hidden things concerning which Israel in general had gone astray-even His holy sabbaths and His glorious festivals, His righteous ordinances, the ways of His truth and the purposes of His will, ‘the which, if a man do, he shall live’ [Lev. 18.5]. He opened for them a well with water abounding,14 which they might dig. But them that spurned those waters He did not permit to live. And though they kept sullying themselves with human transgression and with filthy ways, and kept saying, “Tis our own concern’, yet did God with His mysterious power shrive their iniquity and forgive their transgression and build for them in Israel a firmly established House the like of which has not existed from ancient times until this day.
They that hold fast unto Him are destined for life eternal, and theirs is all mortal glory, even as God has sworn unto them by the hand of the prophet Ezekiel, saying: vibe priests and the levites and the sons of Zadok that kept the charge of My sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from Me, these it is that shall offer unto Me the fat and the blood’ [Ezek. 44.15]. By ‘priests’ is meant those in Israel that repented and departed from the land of Judah. [By ‘levites’] is meant those that associated themselves15 with them. By ‘sons of Zadok’ is meant those elect of Israel that have been designated by name and that shall go on functioning in the last days. Behold, their names have been specified, the families into which they are to be born, the epochs in which they are to function, the full tale of their tribulations, the length of their sojourn in exile, and the precise nature of their deeds.
Of the reward of the faithful (iv, 612)
These were the ‘holy men’16 of former times-the men whose sins God pardoned, who knew right for right and wrong for wrong. But all who up to the present time have succeeded them in carrying out explicitly the Law from which those ancients drew their lessons, them too will God forgive, in accordance with the Covenant which He made with those ancients to forgive their iniquities. And when the present era is completed, there will be no more express affiliation with the house of Judah; every man will ‘mount guard’ for himself. ‘The fence will be rebuilt, and the bounds be far-flung’ [cf. Mic. 7.11]17 .
Of the works of Belial (iv, 12-v, 17)
Meanwhile, however, Belial will be rampant in Israel, even as God has said through the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz: ‘Terror and the pit and the trap shall be upon thee, 0 inhabitant of the land!’ [Isa. 24.17]. The reference is to those three snares, viz. (a) whoredom, (b) lucre, and (c) desecration, concerning which Levi the son of Jacob sald18 that by making them look like three kinds of righteousness Belial ensnares Israel in them. He who escapes the one gets caught in the other, and he who escapes the other gets caught in the third.
Such men may be described as ‘builders of a rickety wall’ [Ezek. 13.10], or as persons that have ‘walked after filth’ [Hos. 5.11]. The ‘filth’ in question is the babbling preacher of whom God said, ‘Babble-babble shall they preach’ [Mic. 2.6]; while the fact that two words [viz. ‘pit’ and ‘trap’] are used to describe the net in which they will be caught alludes to the whorish practice of taking two wives at the same time, the true basis of nature being the pairing of one male with one female, even as it is said (of Adam and Eve), ‘A male and a female created He them’ [Gen. 1.27], and of those that went into the ark, ‘In pairs they entered’ [Gen. 7.9]. Similarly, too, it is said concerning a prince: ‘He shall not take more than one wife’ [Deut 17.17].* 19.
* David, however, had never read the Book of Law, for it was sealed up in the ark and remained unopened in Israel from the day when Eleazar and Joshua and the Elders were gathered to their rest. The people worshiped Ashtoreth, while the ark remained hidden and unopened until indeed a Zadokite entered into office [in the person of Hilkiah the priest]. Accordingly, David’s actions were not punished, save the spilling of the blood of Urian, but God remitted the penalty for them.
This is part of the original text, but is here relegated to a footnote, as it would have been in a modern work, in order not to interrupt the sequence of thought.
Such persons commit [desecration] inasmuch as they lie with women in their periods and do not put them aside, as enjoined in the Law.20 Moreover, they marry the daughters of their brothers and sisters, whereas Moses has said:
‘Thou shalt not enter into intimate relations with the sister of thy mother; she is thy mother’s kin’ [cf. Lev. 18.13]. (The laws of forbidden degrees are written, to be sure, with reference to males, but they hold good equally for females. A niece, for instance, who indulges in carnal intercourse with her paternal uncle is equally to be regarded as his kin.)
Furthermore, such men have desecrated the holy spirit within them, and with mocking tongue have opened their mouths against the statutes of God’s Covenant, declaring, ‘They have no foundation’. They have spoken disgracefully about them.
All such men may be described as persons that ‘kindle a fire and set firebrands alight’ [Isa. 50.11]. Of them it may be said that ‘their webs are spiders’ webs and their eggs basilisks’ eggs’ [Isa. 59.5]. None that have contact with them shall go unscathed; the more one does so, the more guilty he becomes-unless, of course, he does so under compulsion.
Throughout antiquity, however, God has always taken note of the deeds of such men, and His anger has always been kindled against their acts. Always, in fact, they have proved to be ‘a witless folk’ [Isa. 27.11), ‘a nation void of sense’ [Deut. 32.28] in that they lacked discernment.
Of the Remnant (v, 17-vi, 11)
When, in antiquity, Israel was first delivered, Moses and Aaron still continued in their charge, through the help of the Angel of Lights *, even though Belial in his cunning had set up Jannes and his brother in opposition to them.21
Similarly, at the time when the land was destroyed, men arose who removed the ancient landmarks and led Israel
* Heb. Urim. See Manual of Discipline, iii.20.
astray; and it was, indeed, because they uttered sedition against the commandments of God which He had given through Moses and through His holy anointed priest Aaron, and because they gave forth false prophecies in order to subvert Israel from God, that the land was laid utterly waste. Nevertheless, God still remembered the Covenant which He had made with their forbears and raised from the priesthood men of discernment and from the laity men of wisdom, and He made them hearken to Him. And these men ‘dug the well’-that well whereof it is written, ‘Princes digged it, nobles of the people delved it, with the aid of amehoqeq’ [Num. 21.18]. The ‘well’ in question is the Law. They that ‘digged’ are those of Israel who repented and departed from the land of Judah to sojourn in the land of Damascus’. * God called them all ‘princes’ because they went in search of Him, and their glory was never gainsaid (?) by any man’s mouth.22 The termmehoqeq [which can mean ‘lawgiver’ as well as ‘stave’) refers to the man who expounds the Law. Isaiah has employed an analogous piece of imagery when in allusion to the Law he has spoken of God’s ‘producing a tool for His work’ [cf. ISL 54.16). As for the ‘nobles of the people’, these are the men that come, throughout the Era of Wickedness, to delve the well, using as their staves [Heb. mehoqeq) the statutes [Heb. huq4m) which the Law-giver prescribed [Heb. haqaq ha-mehoqeq) for them to walk in. Without such ‘implements’, they would, indeed, never achieve their goal until such time as the true Expositor arises at the end of days.
Of the obligation of the Covenant (vi, 1 1-vii, 6a)
All that enter the covenant with no intention of going into the sanctuary to keep the flame alive on the altar do so in vain. They have as good as shut the door. Of them God has said: ‘Who is there among you that would shut
* Scarcely to be taken literally. See above, pp.5, 27.
the door, and who of you would not keep alive the flame upon Mine altar?’ In vain [Mal. 1.10] [are all their deeds] if, in an era of wickedness, they do not take heed to act in accordance with the explicit injunctions of tile Law;
to keep away from men of rn-repute; to hold themselves aloof from rn-gotten gain;
not to defile themselves by laying hands on that which has been vowed or devoted to God or on the property of the sanctuary;
not to rob the poor of God’s people;
not to make widows their prey or murder the fatherless; to distinguish between unclean and clean and to recognize holy from profane;
to keep the sabbath in its every detail, and the festivals and fasts in accordance with the practice laid down originally by the men who entered the new covenant in ‘the land of Damascus’;23
to pay their required dues in conformity with the detailed rules thereof;
to love each man his neighbor like himself; to grasp the hand of the poor, the needy and the stranger; to seek each man the welfare of his fellow; to cheat not his own kin;
to abstain from whoredom, as is meet;
to bring no charge against his neighbor except by due process, and not to nurse grudges from day to day; to keep away from all unclean things, in accordance with what has been prescribed in each case and with the distinctions which God Himself has drawn for them; not to sully any man the holy spirit within him. 24
Howbeit, for all that perform these rules in holiness unimpaired, according to all the instruction that has been given them-for them will God’s Covenant be made good, that they shall be preserved for a thousand generations, even as it is written: ‘He keepeth Covenant and loyalty with them that love Him and keep His commandments, even unto a thousand generations’ [Deut. 7.9].
Of family life (vii, 6a-9)
if members of the community happen to be living in encampments,25 in accordance with a usage which obtains in this country, and if they marry and beget children,26 they are [in such matters] to follow the precepts of the Law [Torah] and the disciplinary regulations therein prescribed for the relationship of husband to wife and of father to child.*
Of the future requital of the disobedient (vil, 9-vili, 21)
All that reject these things shall be doomed to extinction when God visits the world to requite the wicked-that is, when that ensues which is described by the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz in the words: ‘He will bring upon thee and upon thy kindred and upon thy father’s house days the like of which have not come since the time that Ephraim departed from Judah’ [Isa. 7.17]. In other words, the same situation will then obtain as obtained at the time of the great schism between the two houses of Israel, when Ephraim departed from Judah. At that time all who turned back were delivered to the sword, whereas all who stood fast were vouchsafed escape to ‘the land of the north’.27 .
It is to this that allusion is also made in the statement: ‘I will exile Sikkuth your king and Kiyyun your image, the star of your God. . . beyond Damascus’ [cf. Amos 5.26).
The expression ‘Sikkuth your king’ refers to the Books of the Law, [for the word ‘Sikkuth’ is to be explained from the like-sounding sukkah, ‘tabernacle’)** as in the passage of Scripture which says: ‘I will raise up the fallen sukkah [tabernacle] of David’ [Amos 9.11].
* Heb. even as God has said: ‘Between a man and his wife and between a father and his son’-a loose quotation from Num. 30.17.
** These words have here been inserted in order to bring out the word-play in the Hebrew original.
The expression ‘king’ denotes the congregation;28 and the expression ‘Kiyyun your image’ refers to the books of the prophets29 whose words the House of Israel has de-spised.80
As for the ‘star’, that refers to every such interpreter of the Law as indeed repairs to ‘Damascus’,31 even as it is written: ‘There shall step forth a star out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel’ [Num. 24.17].82 The ‘sceptre’, it may be added, is the leader of the community, for in the exercise of his office he shall ‘batter all the sons of pride’,88 as the Scripture says.
In the former visitation, these faithful men escaped, while those that turned back were delivered to the sword. Such will be the fate also of those who in the latter days will have entered God’s Covenant but not held fast to these things. Them will God punish unto extinction by the hand of Belial.
The day on which God will carry out the punishment will be that to which the prophet alluded when he said: ‘The princes of Judah have become like them that remove landmarks; I will pour out My wrath upon them like water’ [Hos. 5.10]. They shall hope for healing, but the blem<ish> shall cl<i>ng to them. They are all of them apostates in that they have not turned from the way of the treacherous but have sullied themselves with wantonness and with wicked lucre and with the nursing of grudges against their fellows and with hatred of their neighbors. They have cheated their own kin and have had contact with lewdness and have been overbearing by virtue of wealth and possession and have done every man of them what was right in his own eyes, and have preferred the stubbornness of their own hearts, and have not kept aloof from the rabble, but have behaved lawlessly and highhandedly, walking in the way of the wicked.
Concerning them has God said: ‘Their wine shall prove the poison of serpents and the cruel venom of asps’ [Deut 32.33]. The wine’ in question is their conduct; the ‘serpents’ are the kings of the nations; and the ‘venom [Heb. ro’sh] of asps’ is the chief [Heb. ro’sh] of the Grecian kings who will come to wreak vengeance upon them.
Those that have been ‘builders of the rickety wall’ and ‘daubers of veneer upon it’34 have never considered all this, because the man who walks in wind, who raises whirl-winds, who spouts lies-the kind of man against all of whose ilk God’s wrath has always been kindled-has kept spouting at them.
Howbeit, what Moses said of old, ‘Not for thy righteousness nor for the uprightness of thy heart art thou going in to possess these nations but because of His love wherewith He loved thy forefathers and because He would keep the oath’ [cf. Deut. 9.5],85 applies equally to those in Israel who in those latter days show repentance and eschew the way of the rabble. The same love which God showed to the men of old who pledged themselves to follow Him will He show also to their successors. The ancestral Covenant shall stand good for them.
But inasmuch as He hates and abominates all that ‘build a rickety wall’, His anger has been kindled against them; and all who reject His commandments and forsake them and go on walking in the stubbornness of their own hearts will be visited with such judgment as has been described. It is to this that Jeremiah was referring when he spoke to Baruch the son of Neriah,36 and Elisha when he spoke to his servant Gehazi.87
All those that entered into the new covenant in ‘the land of Damascus’ but subsequently relapsed and played false and turned away from the well of living waters shall not be reckoned as of the communion of the people nor inscribed in the roster of it throughout the period from the time the teacher of the community is gathered to his rest until that in which the lay and the priestly messiah [anointed] assume their office.88
The same applies also to all that entered the company of the ‘specially holy and blameless’39 but were loath to carry out the rules imposed upon the upright Every such man is, as it were, like ‘one molten in the furnace’ [Ezek. 22.22]. When his deeds come clearly to light, he shall be cast out of that company as being one who has no share
among the disciples of God. Men of knowledge shall reprove him according to his perfidy until he repent and thereby resume his place among the specially holy and blameless-that is, until it become clear that his actions are again in accordance with the interpretation of the Law adopted by the specially holy and blameless. Meanwhile, no man shall have commerce with him in matters either of property or of employment, for he has been cursed by all the holy ones of God on high.
The same applies again-in the future as it did in the past-to all who commit their hearts to idolatry and walk in the stubbornness of their hearts. All such have no portion in the household of the Law [Torah].
The same applies, once again, to all of their fellows that relapse in the company of scoffers. These too shall be judged; for they will have spoken error against the righteous ordinances and have rejected the Covenant of God and the pledge which they swore in ‘the land of Damascus’
-that is, the new covenant.40 Neither they nor their families shall have a portion in the household of the Law [Torah].
About forty years will elapse from the death of the teacher of the community until all the men who take up arms and relapse in the company of the Man of Falsehood are brought to an end.41 At that time, the wrath of God will be kindled against Israel, and that will ensue which is described by the prophet when he says: ‘No king shall there be nor priest nor judge nor any that reproves aright’ [cf. Hos. 3.4].
But they of Jacob that have repented, that have kept the Covenant of God, shall then speak each to his neighbor to bring him to righteousness, to direct his steps upon the way. And God will pay heed to their words and hearken, and He will draw up a record of those that fear Him and esteem His name,42 to the end that salvation shall be revealed for all God-fearing men. Then ye shall again distinguish the righteous from the wicked, him that serves God from him that serves Him not. And God will ‘show mercy unto thousands, unto them that love Him and keep His commandments’-yea, even unto a thousand generations.
As for those schismatics43 who, during the era when Israel was behaving perfidiously and defiling the sanctuary, indeed departed from the Holy City, relying (solely) on God, but who subsequently, without much [ad]o,* reverted to the popular [tre]nd-all of those shall be subjected to judgment by the sacred council,44each according to his character.
Those too who indeed entered the Covenant but subsequently broke through the bounds of the Law-all of those shall be ‘cut off from the midst of the camp’ at the time when God’s glory is made manifest to Israel. And along with them shall go those that sought to turn Judah to wickedness in the days when it was being put to the test.
Of the future reward of the faithful (B. xx, 27-34)
Howbeit, all that hold fast to these enactment’s, going and coming in accordance with the Law; that hearken to the voice of the Teacher; that make confession before God, saying: Just and truthful are Thy judgments against us, for we have done wickedly, both we and our fathers, in that we have gone contrary to the statutes of the Covenant; all who raise not their hands against His holy statutes or His righteous judgments or His truthful ordinances; all who learn the lessons of the former judgments wherewith the men of the community were adjudged in time past; all who give ear to him who imparts the true interpretation of the Law and who do not controvert the right ordinances when they hear them-all of these shall rejoice and their hearts shall be strong, and they shall prevail over all that dwell in the world. And God will accept their atonement, and because they took refuge in His holy name they shall indeed see salvation at His hand.
* Literally, with fe[w] words.
* * *
II [IV cont.]
A. CODE FOR URBAN COMMUNITIES
Of laying capital charges (ix, 1)
The law which says that no person under doom from men shall be bought off, but must be put to death [cf. Lev. 27.29], is to be understood in the sense that any man who, as the result of a private vow, gets a fellow human being doomed to death under the laws of the Gentiles is himself to be put to death.45
Of grudges (ix, 2-8)
And as to the law which says, Thou shalt not take vengeance nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people’ [Lev. 19.18]-if any of those that have entered the Covenant bring charges against his neighbor without proving them by witnesses, or if he bring such charges merely through temper, or if he tell tales to his superiors simply to bring his neighbor into contempt, he ranks as one who takes vengeance and bears a grudge. Scripture says of God Himself that it is only upon His adversaries that He takes vengeance, and only against His enemies that He bears a grudge [Nah. 1.2]. Accordingly, if a man keep silent from day to day and then bring a charge against his neighbor in the heat of anger, it is as if he were laying capital charges against him, for he has not carried out the commandment of God Who said to him, ‘Thou shalt surely reprove thy neighbor lest thou incur sin on his account’ [Lev. 19.17].
Of involuntary oaths (ix, 810)
Now regarding oaths. The principle that ‘thou art not to take the law into thine own hands’46 implies that a man
who compels another to take an oath in the open field and not in the presence of judges or at their order has taken the law into his own hands.
Of lost property (ix, 1~15)
In the case of a loss, if it is not known who stole the particular article from the property of the camp in which the theft occurs, the owner is to be required to make a solemn deposition on oath. Anyone who hears it, knows the culprit and does not tell, is then to be considered culpable.
If a man makes restitution for expropriated property and brings the required guilt~ffering, but there are no claimants to that property, he is to make his confession to the priest, and everything except the actual ram of the sin-offering is to go to the latter.
Lost property that is found but unclaimed is to be en-trusted to the priests, because the man who retrieved it may not know the law about it. If the owners cannot be discovered [at the time], the priests are to take it into custody.
Of testimony (ix, 16x, 3)
In the case of offenses against the Torah, if a man sees such an offense committed but is alone at the time, and if the matter be one of a capital nature, he is to disclose it to the overseer by bringing a charge in the presence of the alleged culprit. The overseer is then to make a record of it If the man repeat the offense, this time also in the presence of one man only, and if the latter come in turn and inform the overseer-in that case, i.e., if the offender do it again and be again caught by only one person-the case against him is to be regarded as complete.
However, if there be two witnesses, and they concur in their statements, the culprit is to be excluded from his customary degree of purity only if those witnesses are trust-
worthy and if they lay information before the overseer on the very day when they saw the man [committing the offense].
In cases involving property, two trustworthy witnesses are required.47 In those, however, that involve [no question of restitution but simply of] exclusion from the degree of purity, one alone is sufficient.
No man who has not yet completed his probationary period with the community and has not yet passed the statutory examination as a truly God-fearing person48is to be permitted as a witness before its judges in a capita’ case.
No man who has flagrantly transgressed the commandment is to be deemed a trustworthy witness against his neighbor until he has succeeded in winning re-acceptance into the community.
Of judges (x, 4-1O)
This is the rule concerning the judges of the community.
Periodically, a complement of ten men shall be selected from the community. Four of them shall belong to the tribe of Levi and Aaron, and six shall be laymen.49They shall be men versed in the Book of Study50 and in the fundamentals of the Covenant. Their minimum age shall be twenty-five, and their maximum sixty. No man over sixty shall occupy judicial office in the community; for through the perfidy of man the potential span of human life has been reduced, and in the heat of His anger against the inhabitants of the earth, God decreed of old that their mental powers should recede before they complete their days.
Of ritual ablutions (x, 10-13)
Now concerning purification by water. No one is to bathe in dirty water or in water which is too scant to fill a pail (?).51
No man is to purify himself with water drawn in a vessel or in a rock-pool where there is insufficient to fill a pail (?). If an unclean person come in contact with such water, he merely renders it unclean; and the same is true of water drawn in a vessel.
Of the Sabbath (x, 1~xi, 18)
Now concerning the proper observance of the Sabbath.
No one is to do any work on Friday from the moment that the sun’s disk stands distant from the gate by the length of its own diameter; for this is what Scripture implies when it says explicitly, Observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy.52
On the Sabbath day, no one is to indulge in ribald or empty talk. No one is to claim repayment of debts. No one is to engage in lawsuits concerning property and gain. No one is to talk about labor or work to be done the next day. No one is to go out into the field while it is still Sabbath with the intention of resuming his work immediately the Sabbath ends. No one is to walk more than a thousand cubits outside his city.58 No one is to eat on the Sabbath day anything that has not been prepared in advance. He is not to eat anything that happens to be lying about in the field, neither is he to drink of anything that was not [previously) in the camp. If, however, he is travelling, he may go down to bathe and may drink wherever he happens to be.
No one is to commission a Gentile to transact business for him on the Sabbath day. No one is to wear soiled clothes or clothes that have been put in storage unless they first be laundered and rubbed with frankincense. No one is to observe a voluntary fast on the Sabbath. No one is to follow his beast to pasture for a distance of more than two thousand cubits from his city. No one is to raise his hand to strike it with his fist. If the beast be stubborn, he is not to take it outdoors. No one is to take anything out of his house, or bring anything in from outside. If he is [lodging] in a booth, he is likewise to take nothing out nor bring anything in. No one is to break open a pitch-sealed vessel on the Sabbath. No one is to carry ointments upon his person or walk around with them* on the Sabbath. No one is to pick up rock or dust in a dwelling place. Nurses are not to carry babies around on the Sabbath. No one is to put pressure on his male or female servant or on his hired help on the Sabbath. No one is to foal a beast on the Sabbath day. Even if it drop its young into a cistern or a pit, he is not to lift it out on the Sabbath.
No one is to stop for the Sabbath in a place near the heathen. No one is to desecrate the Sabbath for the sake of wealth or gain.
If a human being falls into a place where there is water or fire,54 one may bring him up by means of a ladder or a rope or some other instrument. No one is to present any offering upon the altar on the Sabbath except the statutory Sabbath burnt offering-as the Scripture puts it, your Sabbath-offerings exclusively’ [Lev. 23.38].55
Of the defilement of holy places (xi, 1~xii, 2)
No one is to send to the altar either burnt~ffering or meal-offering or frankincense or wood by the hand of one suffering from any of the proscribed impurities, thus permitting him to render the altar impure; for Scripture says, ‘The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, but the mere prayer of the righteous is like an acceptable offering’ [Prov. 15.8].
As for those who come to the house of worship, no one is to come in a state of uncleanness requiring ablution Such a man is either to anticipate the sounding of the trumpets of assembly or else to stay behind, so that [the rest] will not have to stop the entire service.
[ ]; it is holy.
* Literally, ‘go or come’.
No one is to lie with a woman in the city of the sanctuary, thereby defiling the city of the sanctuary with their impurity’
Of demoniacal possession (xii, 2-6)
Any man who is dominated by demonic spirits to the extent that he gives voice to apostasy is to be subject to the judgment upon sorcerers and wizards. If, however, a man desecrate the Sabbath or the festivals through (mental) aberration, he is not to be put to death. In that case, it is the duty of men to keep him under observation. If he recovers, they are to watch him for seven years, and only thereafter may he be readmitted to public assemblies.
Of relations with the heathen (xii, 6-11)
No one is to put forth his hand to shed the blood of a heathen for the sake of wealth or gain. Moreover, to prevent the levelling of defamatory charges, no one is to expropriate any of their goods except by the decision of an Israelite court.
No one is to sell clean beasts or fowl to the heathen, lest they use them for sacrifices. No one is to sell them any of the produce of his threshing-floor or winepress or any of his possessions. Nor is he to sell to them any of his male or female servants that may have joined him in the Covenant of Abraham.56
Of food (xii, 11-15)
No one is to defile his person by eating any unclean animal or reptile. This rule includes the larvae of bees and any living entity that creeps in water.
Fish are not to be eaten unless they are ripped open while still alive and their blood poured out.57
As for the various kinds of locust, these are to be put in fire or water while they are still alive; for that is what their nature demands.
Of contagious impurity (xii, 15-18)
When wood, stone or dust is contaminated by human uncleanness, the degree of the contamination is to be determined by the rules governing that particular form of uncleanness; and it is by this standard that all contact with them is to be gauged.
When a dead body lies in a house, every utensil-even a nail or a peg in the wall-is to be regarded as deified, just as much as implements of work.
Epilogue (xii, 19-22)
The foregoing is the rule concerning the various regulations for distinguishing clean from unclean and for recognizing holy from profane, such as it is to obtain in the urban communities of IsraeL It is by these ordinances that the enlightened man may correctly determine his human relations on this or that particular occasion; and it is in this manner that the progeny of Israel is to conduct itself in order to avoid damnation.58
B. CODE FOR CAMP-COMMUNITIES
Prologue (xii, 22-xiii, 7)
Here, however, is the rule for such camp-communities as may come into existence throughout the Era of Wickedness-that is, until the priestly and the lay ‘messiah’ again assume office.59 The people who follow these rules must consist in any given instance of a minimum of ten,60 and beyond that must be grouped by thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.
In any place where there are ten, a priest versed in the Book of Study is not to be absent; ‘by his word shall they all be ruled’ [Gen. 41.40]. If, however, he is not experienced in all these matters, the members of the camp may elect by vote one of the levites, ‘by whose orders they may come and go’.61 Nevertheless, whenever a decision has to
be rendered involving the law of bodily blemishes, the priest is to come and officiate in the camp, the overseer instructing him in the detailed interpretation of the Law. Moreover, if the priest be feeble-minded, that official must simply keep him under lock and key at all other times; or it is nonetheless by the priests that the decision in such maUers must be rendered.62
Of the overseer (xiii, 7-19)
This is the rule for the overseer of the camp.
It is his duty to enlighten the masses about the works of God, and to make them understand His wondrous powers. He is to tell them in detail the story of things that happened in the past He is to show them the same compassion as a father shows for his children. He is to bring back all of them that stray, as does a shepherd his flock.64 He is to loose all the bonds that constrain them, so that there be no one in his community who is oppressed or crushed.
He is also to examine every new adherent to his community regarding his conduct, intelligence, strength, valor and wealth, and to register him in his due status, according to his stake in the portion of Truth. No member of the camp is to have authority to introduce anyone into the community in defiance of the camp’s overseer.
No one who has entered the Covenant is to have any traffic with the ‘men of corruption’ [i.e., outsiders] except in spot cash transactions. No one is to enter into any sort of commercial partnership without informing the camp’s overseer. Moreover, if he has made an agreement, but does not . . . [Four fragmentary lines.]
Epilogue (xiii, 20xiv, 2)
Such, then, is to be the disposition of the camps throughout the Era of Wickedness. Those who do not adhere to these things shall not succeed in reoccupying their native soil [ ]. These, in fact, are the regulations for the social conduct of the ‘enlightened’ until God eventually
visits the earth, even as He has said: ‘There shall come upon thee and upon thy people and upon thy kinsfolk days the like of which have not been since Ephraim departed from Judah’ [Isa. 7.17]. With those that follow them God’s covenant will be confirmed; they will be delivered from all the snares of corruption. The foolish, however, will [ ] and be punished.
Of rank and precedence (xiv, 3-12)
This is the rule for the disposition of all camp settlements.
Everyone is to be registered by name in a census; first, the priests; second, the levites; third, the laymen; and fourth, the proselytes. Each individual is to be registered by name, one after another; first, the priests; second, the levites; third, the laymen; and fourth, the proselytes. It is in this order that they are to be seated at public sessions, and in this order that their opinions are to be invited on all matters.
The priest who holds office over the masses is to be from thirty to sixty years old, versed in the Book of Study and in all the regulations of the Torah, so as to be able to declare them on each appropriate occasion.
As for the overseer of all the camps, he is to be from thirty to fifty years old, adept in human relations and in all the varied languages of men.65 It is as he determines that those who enter the community are to be admitted, each in his assigned order. Anything that any one has to say in a matter of dispute or litigation, he is to say to the overseer.
Of the communal economy (xiv, 12-18)
This is the rule for regulating public needs.
Their wages for at least two days per month are to be handed over to the overseer. The judges are then to take thereof and give it away for the benefit of orphans. They are also to support therefrom the poor and needy, the
aged who are dying, the [ ] persons captured by foreign peoples, unprotected girls, unmarriageable virgins, general communal officials [ ].
This, in specific form, is the way [ ] is to be disposed [ ] [com]munally.
Of personal morality (xiv, 18-22)
And these, in specific form, are the regulations which they are to follow throughout the Era of Wickedness, until the priestly and lay ‘messiahs’ enter upon their office and expiate their iniquities.
No one is to practice conscious falsehood in matters of money [ ]; he is to be mulcted [of his rations] for six days.
If a man utter [ ], [or harbor an] unjustified [grudge against his neighbor, he is to be mulcted for one] year [ ].
III [IV, init.]
Of oaths (xv, 1-xvi, 20)
No one is to take the oath by EL-* or by AD-,** but only by a formula of assent which invokes the curses prescribed in the Covenant [cf. Lev. 26.14-45].66 Nor is he to make mention in this connection of the Law of Moses, for (the name of God is spelled out in that Law); so that if he swears by it and then transgresses, he commits profanation of the Holy Name; whereas if he swears before the judges by the curses of the Covenant-then, if he transgresses, he becomes liable only for a guilt-offering, confession and restitution, but does not have to pay the penalty of death.60a
It is to be a perpetual ordinance for the whole of Israel that whoever enters into the Covenant is to impose the
* The initial letters of Elohim, the Hebrew word for ‘God’.
** The initial letters of Adonai, the Hebrew word for ‘Lord’.
oath of the Covenant also upon his sons when they reach the age for the preliminary examination.
Similarly, it is to be the rule throughout the Epoch of Wickedness that anyone who repents his corrupt conduct is to be enrolled, on the day when he speaks of it to the general overseer, with an oath binding him to the Covenant which Moses made with Israel-that is, with a covenanted obligation that [in all] the varied activities of his life he will return to the Law of Moses with all his heart and soul. No one, however, is to acquaint him with the regulations of the community prior to his actually standing in the presence of the overseer, lest, when the latter examines him, he turn out to be a dolt. But once the overseer has sworn him by oath to return to the Law of Moses with all his heart and soul, he is to be liable to punishment for any breach of faith. If he fail to understand anything in the Law which is patently revealed to the normal mind, the overseer is to […..] and then issue an order concerning him that he be kept in confinement for a full year on the grounds of its having been ascertained that he is feeble-minded and deranged.
In the case of one who is a chronic imbecile or is in-sane, the judge is to come and [ ]. Such a man is not to appear in public. . . . [The next two lines are fragmentary, and four more have been lost.]
There is an ancient text which says: ‘It was by the Law of Moses that God made the covenant with you and with all Israel’.67 It is for this reason that the man [who enters the Covenant] must pledge himself ‘to return to the Law of Moses’. Therein is everything explicitly spelled out, while an exact specification of the time when Israel will be blind to all these things is spelled out with equal exactness in the Book of the Divisions of the Times into their Jubilees and Weeks.68
On the day that a man pledges himself to return to the Law of Moses, the Angel of Obstruction69 will start receding from him-that is, if he keep his word. It is in line with this that Abraham underwent circumcision on the day that he attained true knowledge.
In all cases where a man pledges himself by a binding oath to perform any precept of the Law, he is not to free himself therefrom even at the price of death. For this is what Scripture means when it says, ‘That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt observe’, ie., ‘to make good’ (Deut 23.23). On the other hand, in all cases where a man pledges himself by a binding oath to depart from the Law, he is not to confirm it even at the price of death.
Now, concerning a woman’s oath. Scripture says that it is her husband’s duty in certain cases to void her oath [cf. Num. 30.14]. He is not to do so, however, if he does not know whether it is one that ought to be made good or voided. If it involves transgression of the Covenant, he is to void it and not make it good. The same rule applies also to her father.
Now, concerning the rules for free-will offerings. No one is to vow for the altar anything acquired by violence; nor, indeed, are the priests to accept from a layman anything so acquired No one is to offer polluted food for sacred purposes. That is what Scripture means when it says, ‘They trap each man his neighbor in respect to the consecrated thing’ [Mic. 7.2]…. [Five fragmentary lines.]