FRAGMENTS OF A ZADOKITE WORK
also known as
The Damascus Document
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.
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
Israel’s Wickedness in the First Century B.C. or at an earlier date,
1 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
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
7 And God considered their works; for they sought Him with a
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
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
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
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,
2 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
And he is true, and in the true interpretation of his name are
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
3 1 Now therefore, children, hearken
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
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
5 And their children whose height was like the loftiness of the
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.
4 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
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
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
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.
5 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,
7 ‘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.
6 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
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
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
7 1-7. The Sin of Fornication. Divorce
7 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 sister’s daughter.
But Moses said ‘Thou shalt not approach thy mother’s sister: she is thy is
mother’s 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’:
15 ‘The webs of spiders’ are their weavings
and ‘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
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.
8 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
5 ‘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
8 11-20 Conditions under which they can act as
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
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:
in respect to robbing the pool of His people,
that widows may be their spoil.
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
fast unto them to preserve them to a thousand generations
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
9 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’.
9 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
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 father’s house
days that have (not) come from the day that Ephraim departed from
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
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:
moral Derelictions through Hellenizing
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
Upon them will I pour out (My) wrath (like
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
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
And every man did that which was right in his own eyes
18 And they chose every man the stubbornness of his
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.
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
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
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
And every man did that which was right in his own eyes
18 And they chose every man the stubborness of his
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 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.’
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
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
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
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 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.
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.
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)
51 ‘We have done wickedly, we and our fathers,
Because we have walked contrary to the statutes of the
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
They shall rejoice and be glad,
And their heart shall exult,
And they shall make themselves strong against all the children of
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.
10 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
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
11 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.
12 1 As to being cleansed in water. No
man shall wash in water (that is) filthy or insufficient for a man’s
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
13 1-11 Laws regarding the Sabbath.
13 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 sun’s 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.
14 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
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
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
14 12- 16. Laws as to unclean Foods and Causes
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
15 1-3. Summary
Reference to Laws of Uncleanness.
15 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
15 4-6. The Ruler to be a Priest or a
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
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
16 The Duties of
16 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
17 1-5. The Four Orders of the Community.
17 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
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.
18 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.
19 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.
20 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.
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…
Edited by Diane
for Applied Theology
at Northwest Nazarene University
© Copyright 2000 by the
Wesley Center for Applied Theology
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