4 - The Community Rule

Discovered in cave I, the eleven relatively well preserved columns of this manuscript were first published in 1951 by M. Burrows under the title, The Manual of Discipline (The Dead Sea Scrolls of St Mark's Monastery II, New Haven). Important fragments of eleven other manuscripts of the Rule containing a certain number of variant readings were also found in caves iv and v. A list of these has been drawn up by J.T. Milik (Revue Biblique, 1960, pp, 412-15) and some of them have been adopted in the present translation.

The principal manuscript bears the stamp of editorial modification. For instance, in column x the original 'I will conceal knowledge with discretion' is corrected to 'I will impart knowledge with discretion'. The section covered by columns VIII-IX was particularly subject to alteration and is considerably abridged in one of the fragmentary manuscripts.

The Community Rule is probably one of the oldest documents of the sect; its original composition may date from the latter part of the second century B.C. It seems to have been intended for the Community's teachers, for its Masters or Guardians, and contains extracts from liturgical ceremonies, an outline of a model sermon on the spirits of truth and falsehood, statutes concerned with initiation into the sect and with its common life, organization and discipline, a penal code, and finally a poetic dissertation on the fundamental religious duties of the Master and his disciples, and on the sacred seasons proper to the Community.

There are, to my knowledge, no writings in ancient Jewish sources parallel to the Community Rule, but a similar type of literature flourished among Christians between the second and fourth centuries. the so-called 'Church Orders' represented by the Didache, the Didascalia, the Apostolic Constitution, etc.

The contents may be divided into three main sections, but further sub-headings appear in the text itself:

• 1. Entry into the Covenant, followed by an instruction on the two spirits (I-IV).
• 2. Statutes relating to the Council of the Community (V-IX).
• 3. Directives addressed to the Master, and the Master's Hymn (IX-XI).

<<I>> [The Master shall teach the sai]nts to live [according to] the Book of the Community Rule that they may seek God with a whole heart and soul, and do what is good and right before Him as He commanded by the hand of Moses and all His servants the Prophets; that they may love all that He has chosen and hate all that He has rejected that they may abstain from all evil and hold fast to all good; that they may practise truth, righteousness, and justice upon earth and no longer stubbornly follow a sinful heart and lustful eyes committing all manner of evil.

He shall admit into the Covenant of Grace all those who have freely devoted themselves to the observance of God's precepts at they may be joined to the counsel of Go and may live a perfectly before Him in accordance with al that has been revealed concerning their appointed times, and that they may love all the sons of light, each according to his lot in God's design, and hate all the sons of darkness, each according to his guilt in God's vengeance.

All those who freely devote themselves to His truth shall bring all their knowledge, powers, and possessions into the Community of God, that they may purify their knowledge in the truth of God's precepts and order their powers according to His ways of perfection and all their possessions according to His righteous counsel.

They shall not depart from any command of God concerning their times; they shall be neither early nor late for any of their appointed times, they shall stray neither to right nor to left of any of His true precepts. All those who embrace the Community Rule shall enter into the Covenant before God to obey all His commandments and not to abandon Him during the dominion of Satan because of fear or terror or affliction.

On entering the Covenant, the Priests and Levites shall bless the God of salvation and all His faithfulness, and all -hose entering the Covenant shall say after them, 'Amen, Amen!'

Then the Priests shall recite the favours of God manifested in His mighty deeds and shall declare all His merciful grace o Israel, and the Levites shall recite the iniquities of the children of Israel, all their guilty rebellions and sins during the dominion of Satan. And after them, all those entering lie Covenant shall confess and say: ' We have strayed ! We have [disobeyed!] We and our fathers before us have sinned and done wickedly in walking [counter to the precepts] of Ruth and righteousness.

[And God has] judged us and our fathers also; <<II>> but He has bestowed His bountiful mercy on us from everlasting to everlasting.' And the Priests shall bless all the men of the lot of God who walk perfectly in all His ways, saying: "May He bless you with all good and ,reserve you from all evil! May He lighten your heart with life-giving wisdom and grant you eternal knowledge! May He raise His merciful face towards you for everlasting bliss!"

And the Levites shall curse all the men of the lot of Satan, saying: 'Be cursed because of all your guilty wickedness! May He deliver you up for torture at the hands of the vengeful Avengers! May He Visit you with destruction by the hand of all the Wreakers of Revenge! Be cursed without mercy because of the darkness of your deeds! Be damned in the shadowy place of everlasting fire! May God not heed when you call on Him, nor pardon you by blotting out your sin ! May He raise His angry face towards you for vengeance! May there be no "Peace" for you in the mouth of those who hold fast to the Fathers!' And after the blessing and the cursing, all those entering the Covenant shall say, 'Amen, Amen!'

And the Priests and Levites shall continue, saying: 'Cursed be the man who enters this Covenant while walking among the idols of his heart, who sets up before himself his stumbling-block of sin so that he may backslide! Hearing the words of this Covenant, he blesses himself in his heart and says, "Peace be with me, even though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart" (Deut. 29:18-19), whereas his spirit, parched (for lack of truth) and watered (with lies), shall be destroyed without pardon.

God's wrath and His zeal for His precepts shall consume him in everlasting destruction. All the curses of the Covenant shall cling to him and God will set him apart for evil. He shall be cut off from the midst of all the sons of light, and because he has turned aside from God on account of his idols and his stumbling block of sin, his lot shall be among those who are cursed for ever.' And after them, all those entering the Covenant shall answer and say, 'Amen, Amen!'

Thus shall they do, year by year, for as long as the dominion of Satan endures. The Priests shall enter first, ranked one after another according to the perfection of their spirit; then the Levites; and thirdly, all the people one after another, in their Thousands, Hundreds, Fifties, and Tens, that every Israelite may know his place in the Community of God according to the everlasting design. No man shall move down from his place nor move up from his allotted position. For according to the holy design, they shall all of them be in a Community of truth and Virtuous humility, of loving kindness and good intent one towards the other, and (they shall all of them be) sons of the everlasting Company.

No man [shall remain in the] Community of His truth who refuses to enter [the ways of] God so that he may walk in the stubbornness of his heart, for <<III>> his soul detests the wise teaching of just laws. He shall not be counted among the upright for he has not confirmed the conversion of his life. His knowledge, powers, and possessions shall not enter the Council of the Community, for whoever ploughs the mud of wickedness returns defiled.

He shall not be justified by that which his stubborn heart declares lawful, for seeking the ways of light he looks towards darkness. He shall not be reckoned among the perfect; he shall neither be purified by atonement, nor cleansed by purifying waters, nor sanctified by seas and rivers, nor washed clean with any ablution. Unclean, unclean shall he be. For as long as he despises the precepts of God he shall receive no instruction in the Community of His counsel.

For it is through the spirit of true counsel concerning the ways of man that all his sins shall be expiated that he may contemplate the light of life. He shall be cleansed from all his sins by the spirit of holiness uniting him to His truth, and his iniquity shall be expiated by the spirit of uprightness and humility. And when his flesh is sprinkled with purifying water and sanctified by cleansing water, it shall be made clean by the humble submission of his soul to all the precepts of God.

Let him then order his steps to walk perfectly in all the ways commanded by God concerning the times appointed for him, straying neither to right nor to left and transgressing none of His words, and he shall be accepted by Virtue of pleasing atonement before God and it shall be to him a Covenant of the everlasting Community.

The Master shall instruct all the sons of light and shall teach them the nature of all the children of men according to the kind of spirit which they possess, the signs identifying their works during their lifetime, their Visitation for chastisement, and the time of their reward.

From the God of Knowledge comes all that is and shall be. Before ever they existed He established their whole design, and when, as ordained for them, they come into being, it is in accord with His glorious design that they fulfil their work. The laws of all things are unchanging in His hand and He provides them with all their needs.

He has created man to govern the world, and has appointed for him two spirits in which to walk until the time of His Visitation: the spirits of truth and falsehood. Those born of truth spring from a fountain of light, but those born of falsehood spring from a source of darkness. All the children of righteousness are ruled by the Prince of Light and walk in the ways of light; but all the children of falsehood are ruled by the Angel of Darkness and walk in the ways of darkness.

The Angel of Darkness leads all the children of righteousness astray, and until his end, all their sin, iniquities, wickedness, and all their unlawful deeds are caused by his dominion in accordance with the mysteries of God. Every one of their chastisements, and every one of the seasons of their distress, shall be brought about by the rule of his persecution; for all his allotted spirits seek the overthrow of the sons of light.

But the God of Israel and His Angel of Truth will succour all the sons of light. For it is He who created the spirits of Light and Darkness and founded every action upon them and established every deed [upon] their [ways. And He loves the one <<IV>> everlastingly and delights in its works for ever; but the counsel of the other He loathes and for ever hates its ways.

These are their ways in the world for the enlightenment of the heart of man, and that all the paths of true righteousness may be made straight before him, and that fear of the laws of God may be instilled in his heart: a spirit of humility, patience, abundant charity, unending goodness, understanding, and intelligence; (a spirit of) mighty wisdom which trusts in all the deeds of God and leans on His great loving kindness; a spirit of discernment in every purpose, of zeal for just laws, of holy intent with steadfastness of heart, of great charity towards all the sons of truth, of admirable purity which detests all unclean idols, of humble conduct sprung from an understanding of all things, and of faithful concealment of the mysteries of God. These are the counsels of the spirit to the sons of truth in this world.

And as for the Visitation of all who walk in this spirit, it shall be healing, great peace in a long life, and fruitfulness, together with every everlasting blessing and eternal joy in life without end, a crown of glory and a garment of majesty in unending light.

But the ways of the spirit of falsehood are these: greed, and slackness in the search for righteousness, wickedness and lies, haughtiness and pride, falseness and deceit, cruelty and abundant evil, ill-temper and much folly and brazen insolence, abominable deeds (committed) in a spirit of lust, and ways of lewdness in the service of uncleanness, a blaspheming tongue, blindness of eye and dullness of ear, stiffness of neck and heaviness of heart, so that man walks in all the ways of darkness and guile.

And the Visitation of all who walk in this spirit shall be a multitude of plagues by the hand of all the destroying angels, everlasting damnation by the avenging wrath of the fury of God, eternal torment and endless disgrace together with shameful extinction in the fire of the dark regions. The times of all their generations shall be spent in sorrowful mourning and in bitter misery and in calamities of darkness until they are destroyed without remnant or survivor.

The nature of all the children of men is ruled by these (two spirits), and during their life all the hosts of men have a portion in their divisions and walk in (both) their ways. And the whole reward for their deeds shall be, for everlasting ages, according to whether each man's portion in their two divisions is great or small. For God has established the spirits in equal measure until the final age, and has set everlasting hatred between their divisions. Truth abhors the works of falsehood, and falsehood hates all the ways of truth. And their struggle is fierce for they do not walk together.

But in the mysteries of His understanding, and in His glorious wisdom, God has ordained an end for falsehood, and at the time of the Visitation He will destroy it for ever. Then truth, which has wallowed in the ways of wickedness during the dominion of falsehood until the appointed time of judgment, shall arise in the world for ever. God will then purify every deed of Man with his truth; He will refine for Himself the human frame by-rooting out all spirit of falsehood from the bounds of his flesh.

He will cleanse him of all wicked deeds with the spirit of holiness; like purifying waters He will shed upon him the spirit of truth (to cleanse him,) of all abomination and falsehood. And he shall be plunged into the spirit of purification that he may instruct the upright in the knowledge of the Most High and teach the wisdom of the sons of heaven to the perfect of way. For God has chosen them for an everlasting Covenant and all the glory of Adam shall be theirs. There shall be no more lies and all the works of falsehood shall be put to shame.

Until now the spirits of truth and falsehood struggle in the hearts of men and they walk in both wisdom and folly. According to his portion of truth so does a man hate falsehood, and according to his inheritance in the realm of falsehood so is he wicked and so hates truth. For God has established the two spirits in equal measure until the determined end, and until the Renewal, and He knows the reward of their deeds from all eternity. He has allotted them to the children of men that they may know good [and evil, and] that the destiny of all the living may be according to the spirit within [them at the time] of the Visitation.

<<V>> And this is the Rule, for the men of the Community who have freely pledged themselves to be converted from all evil and to cling to all His commandments according to His will.

They shall separate from the congregation of the men of falsehood and shall unite, with respect to the Law and possessions, under the authority of the sons of Zadok, the Priests who keep the Covenant, and of the multitude of the men of the Community who hold fast to the Covenant. Every decision concerning doctrine, property, and justice shall be determined by them.

They shall practice truth and humility in common, and justice and uprightness and charity and modesty in all their ways. No man shall walk in the stubbornness of his heart so that he strays after his heart and eyes and evil inclination, but he shall circumcise in the Community the foreskin of evil inclination and of stiffness of neck that they may lay a foundation of truth for Israel, for the Community of the everlasting Covenant.

They shall atone for all those in Aaron who have freely pledged themselves to holiness, and for those in Israel who have freely pledged themselves to the House of Truth, and for those who join them to live in community and to take part in the trial and judgment and condemnation of all those who transgress the precepts.


On joining the Community, this shall be their code of behaviour with respect to all these precepts

Whoever approaches the Council of the Community shall enter the Covenant of God in the presence of all who have freely pledged themselves. He shall undertake by a binding oath to return with all his heart and soul to every commandment of the Law of Moses in accordance with all that has been revealed of it to the sons of Zadok, the Keepers of the Covenant and Seekers of His will, and to the multitude of the men of their Covenant who together have freely pledged themselves to His truth and to walking in the way of His delight. And he shall undertake by the Covenant to separate from all the men of falsehood who walk in the way of wickedness.

For they are not reckoned in His Covenant. They have neither inquired nor sought after Him concerning His laws that they might know the hidden things in which they have sinfully erred; and matters revealed they have treated with insolence. Therefore Wrath shall rise up to condemn, and Vengeance shall be executed by the curses of the Covenant, and great chastisements of eternal destruction shall be Visited on them, leaving no remnant. They shall not enter the water to partake of the pure Meal of the saints, for they shall not be cleansed unless they turn from their wickedness: for all who transgress His word are unclean.

Likewise, no man shall mix with him with regard to his work or property lest he be burdened with the guilt of his sin. He shall indeed keep away from him in all things; as it is written, Keep away from all that is false (Exod. 23:7). No member of the Community shall follow them in matters of doctrine and justice, or eat or drink anything of theirs, or take anything from them except for a price; as it is written, Keep away from the man in whose nostrils is breath, for wherein is he counted? (Isa. 2:22).

For all those not reckoned in His Covenant are to be set apart, together with all that is theirs. None of the saints shall lean upon works of vanity: for they are all vanity who know not His Covenant, and He will blot from the earth all them that despise His word. All their deeds are defilement before Him, and all their possessions unclean.

But when a man enters the Covenant to walk according to all these precepts that he may join the holy congregation, they shall examine his spirit in community with respect to his understanding and practice of the Law, under the authority of the sons of Aaron who have freely pledged themselves in the Community to restore His Covenant and to heed all the precepts commanded by Him, and of the multitude of Israel who have freely pledged themselves in the Community to return to His Covenant.

They shall inscribe them in the order, one after another, according to their understanding and their deeds, that every one may obey his companion, the man of lesser rank obeying his superior. And they shall examine their spirit and deeds yearly, so that each man may be advanced in accordance with his understanding and perfection of way, or moved down in accordance with the offences committed by him.

They shall rebuke one another in truth, humility, and charity. Let no man address his companion with anger, or ill-temper, or obduracy, or with envy prompted by the spirit of wickedness. Let him not hate him [in the wickedness of an uncircumcised] heart, but let him rebuke him on the very same day lest <<VI>> he incur guilt because of him. And furthermore, let no man accuse his companion before the Congregation without having first admonished him in the presence of witnesses.

These are the ways in which all of them shall walk, each man with his companion, wherever they dwell.

The man of lesser rank shall obey the greater in matters of work and money.

They shall eat in common and pray in common and deliberate in common.

Wherever there are ten men of the Council of the Community there shall not lack a Priest among them. And they shall all sit before him according to their rank and shall be asked their counsel in all things in that order. And when the table has been prepared for eating, and the new wine for drinking, the Priest shall be the first to stretch out his hand to bless the first-fruits of the bread and new wine.

And where the ten are, there shall never lack a man among them who shall study the Law continually, day and night, concerning the right conduct of a man with his companion. And the Congregation shall watch in community for a third of every night of the year, to read the Book and to study Law and to pray together.


This is the Rule for an Assembly of the Congregation

Each man shall sit in his place: the Priests shall sit first, and the elders second, and all the rest of the people according to their rank. And thus shall they be questioned concerning the Law, and concerning any counsel or matter coming before the Congregation, each man bringing his knowledge to the Council of the Community.

No man shall interrupt a companion before his speech has ended, nor speak before a man of higher rank; each man shall speak in his turn. And in an Assembly of the Congregation no man shall speak without the consent of the Congregation, nor indeed of the Guardian of the Congregation. Should any man wish to speak to the Congregation, yet not be in a position to question the Council of the Community, let him rise to his feet and say: 'I have something to say to the Congregation.' If they command him to speak, he shall speak.

Every man, born of Israel, who freely pledges himself to join the Council of the Community, shall be examined by the Guardian at the head of the Congregation concerning his understanding and his deeds. If he is fitted to the discipline, he shall admit him into the Covenant that he may be converted to -the truth and depart from all falsehood; and he shall instruct him in all the rules of the Community.

And later, when he comes to stand before the Congregation, they shall all deliberate his case, and according to the decision of the Council of the Congregation he shall either enter or depart. After he has entered the Council of the Community he shall not touch the pure Meal of the Congregation until one full year is completed, and until he has been examined concerning his spirit and deeds; nor shall his property be mingled with that of the Congregation.

Then when he has completed one year within the Community, the Congregation shall deliberate his case with regard to his understanding and observance of the Law. And if it be his destiny, according to the judgement of the Priests and the multitude of the men of their Covenant, to enter the company of the Community, his property and earnings shall be handed over to the Bursar of the Congregation who shall register it to his account and shall not spend it for the Congregation.

He shall not touch the Drink of the Congregation until he has completed a second year among the men of the Community. But when the second year has passed, he shall be examined, and if it be his destiny, according to the judgement of the Congregation, to enter the Community, then he shall be inscribed among his brethren in the order of his rank for the Law, and for justice, and for the pure Meal; his property shall be mingled and he shall offer his counsel and judgement to the Community.


These are the Rules by which they shall judge at a Community (Court of) Inquiry

If one of them has lied deliberately in matters of property, he shall be excluded from the pure Meal of the Congregation for one year and shall do penance with respect to one quarter of his food.

Whoever has answered his companion with obstinacy, or has addressed him impatiently, going so far as to take no account of the dignity of his fellow by disobeying the order of a brother inscribed before him, he has taken the law into his own hand; therefore he shall do penance for one year [and shall be excluded].

Whoever has uttered the Name of the [Most] Venerable Being [shall be put to death]. <<VII>> But if he has blasphemed when frightened by affliction or for any other reason whatever, while reading the Book or praying, he shall be set apart and shall return to the Council of the Community no more.

If he has spoken in anger against one of the Priests inscribed in the Book, he shall do penance for one year and shall be excluded for his soul's sake from the pure Meal of the Congregation. But if he has spoken unwittingly, he shall do penance for six months.

Whoever has deliberately lied shall do penance for six months.

Whoever has deliberately insulted his companion unjustly shall do penance for one year and shall be excluded.

Whoever has deliberately deceived his companion by word or by deed shall do penance for six months.

If he has been careless with regard to his companion, he shall do penance for three months. But if he has been careless with regard to the property of the Community, thereby causing its loss, he shall restore it in full. And if he be unable to restore it, he shall do penance for sixty days.

Whoever has borne malice against his companion unjustly shall do penance for six months/one year; and likewise, whoever has taken revenge in any matter whatever.

Whoever has spoken foolishly: three months.

Whoever has interrupted his companion whilst speaking: ten days.

Whoever has lain down to sleep during an Assembly of the Congregation: thirty days. And likewise, whoever has left, without reason, an Assembly of the Congregation as many as three times during one Assembly, shall do penance for ten days. But if he has departed whilst they were standing he shall do penance for thirty days.

Whoever has gone naked before his companion, without having been obliged to do so, he shall do penance for six months.

Whoever has spat in an Assembly of the Congregation shall do penance for thirty days.

Whoever has been so poorly dressed that when drawing his hand from beneath his garment his nakedness has been seen, he shall do penance for thirty days.

Whoever has guffawed foolishly shall do penance for thirty days.

Whoever has drawn out his left hand to gesticulate with it shall do penance for ten days.

Whoever has gone about slandering his companion shall be excluded from the pure Meal of the Congregation for one year and shall do penance. But whoever has slandered the Congregation shall be expelled from among them and shall return no more.

Whoever has murmured against the authority of the Community shall be expelled and shall not return. But if he has murmured against his companion unjustly, he shall do penance for six months.

Should a man return whose spirit has so trembled before the authority of the Community that he has betrayed the truth and walked in the stubbornness of his heart, he shall do penance for two years. During the first year he shall not touch the pure Meal of the Congregation, and during the second year he shall not touch the Drink of the Congregation and shall sit below all the men of the Community. Then when his two years are completed, the Congregation shall consider his case, and if he is admitted he shall be inscribed in his rank and may then question concerning the Law.

If, after being in the Council of the Community for ten full years, the spirit of any man has failed so that he has betrayed the Community and departed from the Congregation to walk in the stubbornness of his heart, he shall return no more to the Council of the Community. Moreover, if any member of the Community has shared with him his food or property which ... of the Congregation, his sentence shall be the same; he shall be ex[pelled].

<VIII> In the Council of the Community there shall be twelve men and three Priests, perfectly versed in all that is revealed of the Law, whose works shall be truth, righteousness, justice, loving kindness, and humility. They shall preserve the faith in the Land with steadfastness and meekness and shall atone for sin by the practice of justice and by suffering the sorrows of affliction. They shall walk with all men according to the standard of truth and the rule of the time.

When these are in Israel, the Council of the Community shall be established in truth. It shall be an Everlasting Plantation, a House of Holiness for Israel, an Assembly of Supreme Holiness for Aaron. They shall be witnesses to the truth at the judgement, and shall be the elect of Goodwill who shall atone for the Land and pay to the wicked their reward. It shall be that tried wall, that precious corner-stone, whose foundations shall neither rock nor sway in their place (Isa. 28:16).

It shall be a Most Holy Dwelling for Aaron, with everlasting knowledge of the Covenant of justice, and shall offer up sweet fragrance. It shall be a House of Perfection and Truth in Israel that they may establish a Covenant according to the everlasting precepts. And they shall be an agreeable offering, atoning for the Land and determining the judgement of wickedness, and there shall be no more iniquity.

When they have been confirmed for two years in perfection of way by the authority of the Community, they shall be set apart as holy within the Council of the men of the Community. And the Interpreter shall not conceal from them, out of fear of the spirit of apostasy, any of those things hidden from Israel which have been discovered by him.

And when these become members of the Community in Israel according to all these rules, they shall separate from the habitation of ungodly men and shall go into the wilderness to prepare the way of Him; as it is written, Prepare in the wilderness the way of... make straight in the desert a path, for our God (Isa. XL, 3). This (path) is the study of the Law which He commanded by the hand of Moses, that they may do according to all that has been revealed from age to age, and as the Prophets have revealed by His Holy Spirit.

And no man among the members of the Covenant of the Community who deliberately, on any point whatever, turns aside from all that is commanded, shall touch the pure Meal of the men of holiness or know anything of their counsel until his deeds are purified from all falsehood and he walks in perfection of way. And then, according to the judgement of the Congregation, he shall be admitted to the Council and shall be inscribed in his rank. This rule shall apply to whoever enters the Community.


And these are the rules which the men of perfect holiness shall follow in their commerce with one another

Every man who enters the Council of Holiness, (the Council of those) who walk in the way of perfection as commanded by God, and who deliberately or through negligence transgresses one word of the Law of Moses, on any point whatever, shall be expelled from the Council of the Community and shall return no more: no man of holiness shall be associated in his property or counsel in any matter at all.

But if he has acted inadvertently, he shall be excluded from the pure Meal and the Council and they shall interpret the rule (as follows). For two years he shall take no part in judgement or be asked his counsel; but if, during that time, his way becomes perfect, then he shall return to the (Court of) Inquiry and the Council, in accordance with the judgement of the Congregation, provided that he commit no further inadvertent sin during two full years.

<<IX>> For one sin of inadvertence (alone) he shall do penance for two years. But as for him who has sinned deliberately, he shall never return; only the man who has sinned inadvertently shall be tried for two years that his way and counsel may be made perfect according to the judgement of the Congregation. And afterwards, he shall be inscribed in his rank in the Community of Holiness.

When these become members of the Community in Israel according to all these rules, they shall establish the spirit of holiness according to everlasting truth. They shall atone for guilty rebellion and for sins of unfaithfulness that they may obtain loving kindness for the Land without the flesh of holocausts and the fat of sacrifice. And prayer rightly offered shall be as an acceptable fragrance of righteousness, and perfection of way as a delectable free-will offering. At that time, the men of the Community shall be set apart as a House of Holiness for Aaron for the union of supreme holiness, and (as) a House of Community for Israel, for those who walk in perfection. The sons of Aaron alone shall command in matters of justice and property, and every rule concerning the men of the Community shall be determined according to their word.

As for the property of the men of holiness who walk in perfection, it shall not be mingled with that of the men of falsehood who have not purified their life by separating themselves from iniquity and walking in the way of perfection. They shall depart from none of the counsels of the Law to walk in the stubbornness of their hearts, but shall be ruled by the primitive precepts in which the men of the Community were first instructed until there shall come the Prophet and the Messiahs of Aaron and Israel.

These are the precepts in which the Master shall walk in his commerce with all the living, according to the rule proper to every season and according to the worth of every man.

• He shall do the will of God according to all that has been revealed from age to age.
• He shall measure out all knowledge discovered throughout the ages, together with the Precept of the age.
• He shall separate and weigh the sons of righteousness according to their spirit.
• He shall hold firmly to the elect of the time according to His will, as He has commanded.
• He shall judge every man according to his spirit.
• He shall admit him in accordance with the cleanness of his hands and advance him in accordance with his understanding. And he shall love and hate likewise.
• He shall not rebuke the men of the Pit nor dispute with them.
• He shall conceal the teaching of the Law from men of falsehood, but shall impart true knowledge and righteous judgement to those who have chosen the Way. He shall guide them all in knowledge according to the spirit of each and according to the rule of the age, and shall thus instruct them in the mysteries of marvellous truth that in the midst of the men of the Community they may walk perfectly together in all that has been revealed to them. This is the time for the preparation of the way into the wilderness, and he shall teach them to do all that is required at that time and to separate from all those who have not turned aside from all ungodliness.

These are the rules of conduct for the Master in those times with respect to his loving and hating.

Everlasting hatred in a spirit of secrecy for the men of perdition! He shall leave to them wealth and earnings like a slave to his lord and like a poor man to his master.

He shall be a man zealous for the Precept whose time is for the Day of Revenge. He shall perform the will of God in all his deeds, and in all his dominion as He has commanded. He shall freely delight in all that befalls him and nothing shall please him save God's will. He shall delight in all the words of His mouth and shall desire nothing except His command. He shall watch always [for] the judgement of God, and shall bless his Maker [for all His goodness] and declare [His mercies] in all that befalls.

He shall bless Him [with the offering] of the lips <<X>> at the times ordained by Him: at the beginning of the dominion of light, and at its end when it retires to its appointed place; at the beginning of the watches of darkness when He unlocks their storehouse and spreads them out, and also at their end when they retire before the light; when the heavenly lights shine out from the dwelling-place of Holiness, and also when they retire to the place of Glory; at the entry of the (monthly) seasons on the days of new moon, and also at their end when they succeed to one another.

Their renewal is a great day for the Holy of Holies, and a sign for the unlocking of everlasting mercies at the beginning of seasons in all times to come.

At the beginning of the months of the (yearly) seasons
and on the holy days appointed for remembrance,
in their seasons I will bless Him
with the offering of the lips
according to the Precept engraved for ever:
at the beginning of the years
and at the end of their seasons
when their appointed law is fulfilled,
on the day decreed by Him
that they should pass from one to the other -
the season of early harvest to the summer time,
the season of sowing to the season of grass,
the seasons of years to their weeks (of years) -
and at the beginning of their weeks
for the season of jubilee.
All my life the engraved Precept shall be on my tongue
as the fruit of praise
and the portion of my lips.

I will sing with knowledge and all my music
shall be for the glory of God.
(My) lyre (and) my harp shall sound
for His holy order
and I will tune the pipe of my lips
to His right measure.

With the coming of day and night
I will enter the Covenant of God,
and when evening and morning depart
I will recite His decrees.
I will place in them my bounds without return.

I will declare His judgement concerning my sins,
and my transgressions shall be before my eyes
as an engraved Precept.

I will say to God, 'My Righteousness'
and 'Author of my Goodness' to the Most High,
'Fountain of Knowledge' and 'Source of Holiness',
'Summit of Glory' and 'Almighty Eternal Majesty'.
I will choose that which He teaches me
and will delight in His judgement of me.

Before I move my hands and feet
I will bless His Name.
I will praise Him before I go out or enter,
or sit or rise,
and whilst I lie on the couch of my bed.

I will bless Him with the offering
of that which proceeds from my lips
from the midst of the ranks of men,
and before I lift my hands to eat
of the pleasant fruits of the earth.

I will bless Him for His exceeding wonderful deeds
at the beginning of fear and dread
and in the abode of distress and desolation.

I will meditate on His power
and will lean on His mercies all day long.

I know that judgement of all the living
is in His hand,
and that all His deeds are truth.

I will praise Him when distress is unleashed
and will magnify Him also because of His salvation.

I will pay to no man the reward of evil;

I will pursue him with goodness.
For judgement of all the living is with God
and it is He who will render to man his reward.

I will not envy in a spirit of wickedness,
my soul shall not desire the riches of Violence.

I will not grapple with the men of perdition
until the Day of Revenge,
but my wrath shall not turn from the men of falsehood
and I will not rejoice until judgement is made.

I will bear no rancour
against them that turn from transgression,
but will have no pity
on all who depart from the Way.

I will offer no comfort to the smitten
until their way becomes perfect.

I will not keep satan within my heart,
and in my mouth shall be heard
no folly or sinful deceit,
no cunning or lies shall be found on my lips.

The fruit of holiness shall be on my tongue
and no abominations shall be found upon it.

I will open my mouth
in songs of thanksgiving,
and my tongue shall always proclaim
the goodness of God and the sin of men
until their transgression ends.

I will cause vanities to cease from my lips,
uncleanness and crookedness
from the knowledge of my heart.

I will impart / conceal knowledge with discretion
and will prudently hedge it within a firm bound
to preserve faith and strong judgement
in accordance with the justice of God.

I will distribute the Precept
by the measuring-cord of the times,
and ... righteousness
and loving kindness towards the oppressed,
encouragement to the troubled heart

<<XI>> and discernment to the erring spirit,
teaching understanding to them that murmur
that they may answer meekly before the haughty of spirit
and humbly before men of injustice
who point the finger and speak of iniquity
and who are zealous for wealth.

As for me,
my justification is with God.

In His hand are the perfection of my way
and the uprightness of my heart.

He will wipe out my transgression
through His righteousness.

For my light has sprung
from the source of His knowledge;

my eyes have beheld His marvellous deeds,
and the light of my heart, the mystery to come.

He that is everlasting
is the support of my right hand;

the way of my steps is over stout rock
which nothing shall shake;
for the rock of my steps is the truth of God
and His might is the support of my right hand.

From the source of His righteousness
is my justification,
and from His marvellous mysteries
is the light in my heart.

My eyes have gazed
on that which is eternal,
on wisdom concealed from men,
on knowledge and wise design
(hidden) from the sons of men;
on a fountain of righteousness
and on a storehouse of power,
on a spring of glory
(hidden) from the assembly of flesh.

God has given them to His chosen ones
as an everlasting possession,
and has caused them to inherit
the lot of the Holy Ones.

He has joined their assembly
to the Sons of Heaven
to be a Council of the Community,
a foundation of the Building of Holiness,
an eternal Plantation throughout all ages to come.

As for me,
I belong to wicked mankind,
to the company of ungodly flesh.

My iniquities, rebellions, and sins,
together with the perversity of my heart,
belong to the company of worms
and to those who walk in darkness.

For mankind has no way,
and man is unable to establish his steps
since justification is with God
and perfection of way is out of His hand.

All things come to pass by His knowledge;
He establishes all things by His design
and without Him nothing is done.

As for me,
if I stumble, the mercies of God
shall be my eternal salvation.

If I stagger because of the sin of flesh,
my justification shall be
by the righteousness of God which endures for ever.

When my distress is unleashed
He will deliver my soul from the Pit
and will direct my steps to the way.

He will draw me near by His grace,
and by His mercy will He bring my justification.

He will judge me in the righteousness of His truth
and in the greatness of His goodness He will pardon all my sins.

Through His righteousness He will cleanse me
of the uncleanness of man
and of the sins of the children of men,
that I may confess to God His righteousness,
and His majesty to the Most High.

Blessed art Thou, my God,
who opens the heart of Thy servant to knowledge!

Establish all his deeds in righteousness,
and as it pleases Thee to do for the elect of mankind,
grant that the son of Thy handmaid
may stand before Thee for ever.

For without Thee no way is perfect,
and without Thy will nothing is done.

It is Thou who hast taught all knowledge
and all things come to pass by Thy will.

There is none beside Thee
to dispute Thy counsel
or to understand all Thy holy design,
or to contemplate the depth of Thy mysteries
and the power of Thy might.

Who can contain Thy glory,
and what is the son of man
in the midst of Thy wonderful deeds?

What shall one born of woman
be accounted before Thee?

Kneaded from the dust,
his abode is the nourishment of worms.

He is but a shape, but molded clay,
and inclines towards dust.

What shall hand-molded clay reply?
What counsel shall it understand?


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