5 - The Damascus Rule
Extensive fragments of the Damascus Rule have been recovered from three of the Qumran caves, but two incomplete medieval copies of this document had been found already many years earlier, in 1896-7, amongst a mass of discarded manuscripts in a store-room (geniza) of an old Cairo synagogue. Published in 1910 by S. Schechter (Fragments of a Zadokite work, Cambridge), they were re-edited by Chaim Rabin in 1954 under the title, The Zadokite Documents (Oxford).
Dating from the tenth and twelfth centuries respectively, the manuscripts found in Cairo - Manuscript A and Manuscript B - raise a certain number of textual problems in that they present two different versions of the original composition. I have settled the difficulty as satisfactorily as I can by following Manuscript A, to which the unpublished Qumran fragments correspond, and by inserting the Manuscript s variants in brackets or footnotes.
At a certain point, as the reader will see, Manuscript A comes to an end and we then have to rely entirely on Manuscript s. Furthermore, following the suggestion made by J.T. Milik in Ten Years of Discovery in the Wilderness of Judaea (London, 1959, pp. 151-2), I have rearranged the order of the pages and placed pages XV and XVI before page IX.
The title 'Damascus Rule' derives from the references in the Exhortation to the 'New Covenant' made 'in the land of Damascus'. The significance of this phrase is discussed in Chapter 3 together with the chronological data included in the manuscript. They suggest that the document was written in about too B.C. and this hypothesis is indirectly supported by the absence of any mention in the historical passages of the Kittim (Romans) whose invasion of the Orient did not take place until after 70 B.C.
The work is divided into an Exhortation and a list of Statutes. In the Exhortation, the preacher - probably a Guardian of the Community addresses his 'sons' on the themes of the sect's teaching, many of which appear also in the Community Rule. His aim is to encourage the sectaries to remain faithful, and with this end in view he sets out to demonstrate from the history of Israel and the Community that fidelity is always rewarded and apostasy chastised.
During the course of his argument, the author of the Damascus Rule frequently interprets biblical passages in a most unexpected way. I have mentioned two of these commentaries on the marriage laws in Chapter 2, but there is another involved exposition of Amos v, 26-7 on page VII which may not be easy to understand.
In the Bible these verses convey a divine threat: the Israelites were to take themselves and their idols into exile. 'You shall take up Sakkuth your king and Kaiwan your star-god, your images which you made for yourselves, for I will take you into exile beyond Damascus.' But the Damascus Rule transforms this threat into a promise of salvation; by changing certain words in the biblical text and omitting others its version reads: 'I will exile the tabernacle of your king and the bases of your statues from my tent to Damascus.'
In this new text, the three key phrases are interpreted symbolically as follows: 'tabernacle' = 'Books of the Law'; 'king' = 'congregation'; 'bases of statues' = 'Books of the Prophets'. Thus: 'The Books of the Law are the tabernacle of the king; as God said, I will raise up the tabernacle of David which is fallen (Amos ix, II). The king is the congregation; and the bases of the statues are the Books of the Prophets whose sayings Israel despised.'
The omission of any reference to the 'star-god' is made good by introducing a very different 'Star', the Messianic 'Interpreter of the Law' with his companion the 'Prince of the congregation'. 'The star is the Interpreter of the Law who shall come to Damascus; as it is written, A star shall come forth out of Jacob and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel (Num. 24:17). The sceptre is the Prince of the whole congregation ...'
The second part of the Damascus Rule, the Statutes, consists of a collection of laws which mostly reflect a sectarian re-interpretation of the biblical commandments relative to vows and oaths, tribunals, purification, the Sabbath, and the distinction between ritual purity and impurity. They are followed by rules concerned with the institutions and organization of the Community.
Whereas the Exhortation represents a literary genre adopted by both Jewish and Christian religious teachers (e.g. the Letter to the Hebrews), the methodical grouping of the Statutes prefigures that of the Mishnah, the oldest Jewish code extant.
The Statutes as they appear in the Qumran fragments include the form of the ritual for the Feast of the Renewal of the Covenant, so it may be assumed that the entire Damascus Rule was originally connected with that festival.
I Hear now, all you who know righteousness, and consider the works of God; for He has a dispute with all flesh and will condemn all those who despise Him.
For when they were unfaithful and forsook Him, He hid His face from Israel and His Sanctuary and delivered them up to the sword. But remembering the Covenant of the forefathers, He left a remnant to Israel and did not deliver it up to be destroyed. And in the age of wrath, three hundred and ninety years after He had given them into the hand of king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, He visited them, and He caused a root of planting to spring from Israel and Aaron to inherit His Land and to prosper on the good things of His earth. And they perceived their iniquity and recognized that they were guilty men, yet for twenty years they were like blind men groping for the way.
And God observed their deeds, that they sought Him with a whole heart, and He raised for them a Teacher of Righteousness to guide them in the way of His heart. And he made known to the latter generations that which God had done to the latter generation, the congregation of traitors, to those who departed from the way. This was the time of which it is written, Like a stubborn heifer thus was Israel stubborn (Hos. iv, 16), when the Scoffer arose who shed over Israel the waters of lies.
He led them astray in a wilderness without way by bringing low the everlasting hills, and by causing them to depart from the paths of righteousness, and by removing the bound with which the forefathers had marked out their inheritance, that he might call down on them the curses of His Covenant and deliver them up to the avenging sword of the Covenant. For they sought smooth things and preferred illusions (Isa. xxx, 10) and they watched for breaks (Isa. xxx, 13) and chose the fair neck; and they justified the wicked and condemned the just, and they transgressed the Covenant and violated the Precept.
They banded together against the life of the righteous (Ps. xciv, 21) and loathed all who walked in perfection; they pursued them with the sword and exulted in the strife of the people. And the anger of God was kindled against <<II>> their congregation so that He ravaged all their multitude; and their deeds were defilement before Him.
Hear now, all you who enter the Covenant, and I will unstop your ears concerning the ways of the wicked.
God loves knowledge. Wisdom and understanding He has set before Him, and prudence and knowledge serve Him. Patience and much forgiveness are with Him towards those who turn from transgression; but power, might, and great naming wrath by the hand of all the Angels of Destruction towards those who depart from the way and abhor the Precept. They shall have no remnant or survivor. For from the beginning God chose them not; He knew their deeds before ever they were created and He hated their generations, and He hid His face from the Land until they were consumed.
For He knew the years of their coming and the length and exact duration of their times for all ages to come and throughout eternity. He knew the happenings of their times throughout all the everlasting years. And in all of them He raised for Himself men called by name, that a remnant might be left to the Land, and that the face of the earth might be filled with their seed. And He made known His Holy Spirit to them by the hand of His anointed ones, and He proclaimed the truth (to them). But those whom He hated He led astray.
Hear now, my sons, and I will uncover your eyes that you may see and understand the works of God, that you choose that which pleases Him and reject that which He hates, that you may walk perfectly in all His ways and not follow after thoughts of the guilty inclination and after eyes of lust. For through them, great men have gone astray and mighty heroes have stumbled from former times till now.
Because they walked in the stubbornness of their heart the Heavenly Watchers fell; they were caught because they did not keep the commandments of God. And their sons also fell who were tall as cedar trees and whose bodies were like mountains. All flesh on dry land perished; they were as though they had never been because they did their own will and did not keep the commandment of their Maker so that His wrath was kindled against them. Ill Through it, the children of Noah went astray, together with their kin, and were cut off.
Abraham did not walk in it, and he was accounted friend of God because he kept the commandments of God and did not choose his own will. And he handed them down to Isaac and Jacob, who kept them, and were recorded as friends of God and party to the Covenant for ever.
The children of Jacob strayed through them and were punished in accordance with their error. And their sons in Egypt walked in the stubbornness of their hearts, conspiring against the commandments of God and each of them doing that which seemed right in his own eyes. They ate blood, and He cut off their males in the wilderness.
And at Kadesh He said to them, Go up and possess the land (Deut. ix, 23). But they chose their own will and did not heed the voice of their Maker, the commands of their Teacher, but murmured in their tents; and the anger of God was kindled against their congregation. Through it their sons perished, and through it their kings were cut off; through it their mighty heroes perished and through it their land was ravaged. Through it the first members of the Covenant sinned and were delivered up to the sword, because they forsook the Covenant of God and chose their own will and walked in the stubbornness of their hearts, each of them doing his own will.
But with the remnant which held fast to the commandments of God, He made His Covenant with Israel for ever, revealing to them the hidden things in which all Israel had gone astray. He unfolded before them His holy Sabbaths and His glorious feasts, the testimonies of His righteousness and the ways of His truth, and the desires of His will which a man must do in order to live. And they dug a well rich in water; and he who despises it shall not live.
Yet they wallowed in the sin of man and in ways of uncleanness, and they said, 'This is our (way).' But God, in His wonderful mysteries, forgave them their sin and pardoned their wickedness; and He built them a sure house in Israel whose like has never existed from former times till now. Those who hold fast to it are destined to live for ever and all the glory of Adam shall be theirs. As God ordained for them by the hand of the Prophet Ezekiel, saying, The Priests, the Levites, and the sons IV of Zadok who kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel strayed from me, they shall offer me fat and blood (Ezek. xliv, 15).
The Priests are the converts of Israel who departed from the land of Judah, and (the Levites are) those who joined them. The sons of Zadok are the elect of Israel, the men called by name who shall stand at the end of days. Behold the exact list of their names according to their generations, and the time when they lived, and the number of their trials, and the years of their sojourn, and the exact list of their deeds...
(They were the first men) of holiness whom God forgave, and who justified the righteous and condemned the wicked. And until the age is completed, according to the number of those years, all who enter after them shall do according to that interpretation of the Law in which the first were instructed. According to the Covenant which God made with the forefathers, forgiving their sins, so shall He forgive their sins also. But when the age is completed, according to the number of those years, there shall be no more joining the house of Judah, but each man shall stand on his watchtower: The wall is built, the boundary far removed (Mic. vii, II).
During all those years Satan shall be unleashed against Israel, as He spoke by the hand of Isaiah, son of Amoz, ' saying, Terror and the pit and the snare are upon you, 0 inhabitant of the land (Isa. xxiv, 17). Interpreted, these are the three nets of Satan with which Levi son of Jacob said that he catches Israel by setting them up as three kinds of righteousness. The first is riches, the second is fornication, and the third is profanation of the Temple. Whoever escapes the first is caught in the second, and whoever saves himself from the second is caught in the third (Isa. xxiv, 18).
The builders of the wall (Ezek. 13:10) who have followed after ' Precept' - 'Precept' was a spouter of whom it is written, They shall surely spout (Mic. 2:6) - shall be caught in fornication twice by taking a second wife while the first is alive, whereas the principle of creation is, Male and female created He them (Gen. 1:27). V Also, those who entered the Ark went in two by two.
And concerning the prince it is written, He shall not multiply wives to himself (Deut. 17:17); but David had not read the sealed book of the Law which was in the ark (of the Covenant), for it was not opened in Israel from the death of Eleazar and Joshua, and the elders who worshipped Ashtoreth. It was hidden and (was not) revealed until the coming of Zadok. And the deeds of David rose up, except for the murder of Uriah, and God left them to him.
Moreover, they profane the Temple because they do not observe the distinction (between clean and unclean) in accordance with the Law, but lie with a woman who sees her bloody discharge.
And each man marries the daughter of his brother or sister, whereas Moses said, You shall not approach your mothers sister; she is your mother's near kin (Lev. 18:13). But although the laws against incest are written for men, they also apply to women. When, therefore, a brother's daughter uncovers the nakedness of her father's brother, she is (also his) near kin.
Furthermore, they defile their holy spirit and open their mouth with a blaspheming tongue against the laws of the Covenant of God saying, ' They are not sure.' They speak abominations concerning them; they are all kindlers of fire and lighters of brands (Isa. 1:11), their webs are spiders' webs and their eggs are vipers' eggs (Isa. lix, 5). No man that approaches them shall be free from guilt; the more he does so, the guiltier shall he be, unless he is pressed.
For (already) in ancient times God visited their deeds and His anger was kindled against their works; for it is a people of no discernment (Isa. 27:2), it is a nation void of counsel inasmuch as there is no discernment in them (Deut. 32:28). For in ancient times, Moses and Aaron arose by the hand of the Prince of Lights and Satan in his cunning raised up Jannes and his brother when Israel was first delivered.
And at the time of the desolation of the Land there arose removers of the bound who led Israel astray. And the land was ravaged because they preached rebellion against the commandments of God given by the hand of Moses and VI of His holy anointed ones, and because they prophesied lies to turn Israel away from following God. But God remembered the Covenant with the forefathers, and He raised from Aaron men of discernment and from Israel men of wisdom, and He caused them to hear. And they dug the Well: the well which the princes dug, which the nobles of the people delved with the stave (Num. 21:18).
The Well is the Law, and those who dug it were the converts of Israel who went out of the land of Judah to sojourn in the land of Damascus. God called them all princes because they sought Him, and their renown was disputed by no man. The Stave is the Interpreter of the Law of whom Isaiah said, He makes a tool for His work (Isa. liv, 16); and the nobles of the people are those who come to dig the Well with the staves with which the Stave ordained that they should walk in all the age of wickedness - and without them they shall find nothing - until he comes who shall teach righteousness at the end of days.
None of those brought into the Covenant shall enter the Temple to light His altar in vain. They shall bar the door, forasmuch as God said, Who among you will bar its door? And, You shall not light my altar in vain (Mal. 1:10). They shall take care to act according to the exact interpretation of the Law during the age of wickedness.
They shall separate from the sons of the Pit, and shall keep away from the unclean riches of wickedness acquired by vow or anathema or from the Temple treasure; they shall not rob the poor of His people, to make of widows their prey and of the fatherless their victim (Isa. 10:2). They shall distinguish between clean and unclean, and shall proclaim the difference between holy and profane.
They shall keep the Sabbath day according to its exact interpretation, and the feasts and the Day of Fasting according to the finding of the members of the New Covenant in the land of Damascus. They shall set aside the holy things according to the exact teaching concerning them. They shall love each man his brother as himself; they shall succour the poor, the needy, and the stranger.
A man shall seek his brother's well-being VII and shall not sin against his near kin. They shall keep from fornication according to the statute. They shall rebuke each man his brother according to the commandment and shall bear no rancour from one day to the next. They shall keep apart from every uncleanness according to the statutes relating to each one, and no man shall defile his holy spirit since God has set them apart.
For all who walk in these (precepts) in perfect holiness, according to all the teaching of God, the Covenant of God shall be an assurance that they shall live for thousands of generations (Ms. B: as it is written, Keeping the Covenant and grace with those who love me and keep my commandments, to a thousand generations, Deut. 7:9).
And if they live in camps according to the rule of the Land (Ms. B: as it was from ancient times), marrying (Ms. B: according to the custom of the Law) and begetting children, they shall walk according to the Law and according to the statute concerning binding vows, according to the rule of the Law which says, Between a man and his wife and between a father and his son (Num. xxx, 17).
And all those who despise (Ms. B: the commandments and the statutes) shall be rewarded with the retribution of the wicked when God shall visit the Land, when the saying shall come to pass which is written (*) among the words of the Prophet Isaiah son of Amoz: He will bring upon you, and upon your people, and upon your father's house, days such as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah (Isa. vii, 17).
When the two houses of Israel were divided, Ephraim departed from Judah. And all the apostates were given up to the sword, but those who held fast escaped to the land of the north; as God said, I will exile the tabernacle of your king and the bases of your statues from my tent to Damascus (Amos v, 26-7).
[*] Ms. B continues: by the hand of the prophet Zechariah: Awake, 0 Sword, against my shepherd, against my companion, says Cod. Strike the shepherd that the flock may be scattered and I will stretch my hand over the little ones (Zech. xiii, 7). The humble of the flock are those who watch for Him.
They shall be saved at the time of the Visitation whereas the others shall be delivered up to the sword when the Anointed of Aaron and Israel shall come, as it came to pass at the time of the former Visitation concerning which God said by the hand of Ezekiel: They shall put a mark on the foreheads of those who sigh and groan (Ezek. 9:4). But the others were delivered up to the avenging sword of the Covenant.
The Books of the Law are the tabernacle of the king; as God said, I will raise up the tabernacle of David which is fallen (Amos ix, II). The king is the congregation; and the bases of the statues are the Books of the Prophets whose sayings Israel despised. The star is the Interpreter of the Law who shall come to Damascus; as it is written, A star shall come forth out of Jacob and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel (Num. 24:17). The sceptre is the Prince of the whole congregation, and when he comes he shall smite all the children of Seth (Num. 24:17).
At the time of the former Visitation they were saved, whereas the apostates VIII were given up to the sword; and so shall it be for all the members of His Covenant who do not hold steadfastly to these (Ms. B: to the curse of the precepts). They shall be visited for destruction by the hand of Satan. That shall be the day when God will visit. (Ms. B: As He said,) The princes of Judah have become (Ms. B: like those who remove the bound); wrath shall be poured upon them (Hos. v, 10). For they shall hope for healing but He will crush them. They are all of them rebels, for they (*) have not turned from the way of traitors but have wallowed in the ways of whoredom and wicked wealth.
They have taken revenge and borne malice, every man against his brother, and every man has hated his fellow, and every man has sinned against his near kin, and has approached for un-chastity, and has acted arrogantly for the sake of riches and gain. And every man has done that which seemed right in his eyes and has chosen the stubbornness of his heart. They have not kept apart from the people (Ms. B: and their sin) and have wilfully rebelled by walking in the ways of the wicked of whom God said, Their wine is the venom of serpents, the cruel poison (or head) of asps (Deut. 32:33).
[*] Ms. B inserts: they have entered the Covenant of repentance but they have not turned etc.
The serpents are the kings of the peoples and their wine is their ways. And the head of asps is the chief of the kings of Greece who came to wreak vengeance upon them. But all these things the builders of the wall and those who daub it with plaster (Ezek. xiii, 10) have not understood because a follower of the wind, one who raised storms and rained down lies, had preached to them (Mic. ii, II), against all of whose assembly the anger of God was kindled.
And as for that which Moses said, You enter to possess these nations not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your hearts (Deut. ix, 5) but because God loved your fathers and kept the oath (Deut. vii, 8), thus shall it be with the converts of Israel who depart from the way of the people. Because God loved the first who (*) testified in His favour, so will He love those who come after them, for the Covenant of the fathers is theirs.
But He hated the builders of the wall and His anger was kindled (Ms. B: against them and against all those who followed them); and so shall it be for all who reject the commandments of God and abandon them for the stubbornness of their hearts. This is the word which Jeremiah spoke to Baruch son of Neriah, and which Elisha spoke to his servant Gehazi.
[*] Ms. B adds: bore witness against the people, so will He love, etc. 106
None of the men who enter the New Covenant in the land of Damascus, (B I) and who again betray it and depart from the fountain of living waters, shall be reckoned with the Council of the people or inscribed in its Book from the day of the gathering in (B 11) of the Teacher of the Community until the coming of the Messiah out of Aaron and Israel.
And thus shall it be for every man who enters the congregation of men of perfect holiness but faints in performing the duties of the upright. He is a man who has melted in the furnace (Ezek. 22:22); when his deeds are revealed he shall be expelled from the congregation as though his lot had never fallen among the disciples of God. The men of knowledge shall rebuke him in accordance with his sin against the time when he shall stand again before the Assembly of the men of perfect holiness. But when his deeds are revealed, according to the interpretation of the Law in which the men of perfect holiness walk, let no man defer to him with regard to money or work, for all the Holy Ones of the Most High have cursed him.
And thus shall it be for all among the first and the last who reject (the precepts), who set idols upon their hearts and walk in the stubbornness of their hearts; they shall have no share in the house of the Law. They shall be judged in the same manner as their companions were judged who deserted to the Scoffers. For they have spoken wrongly against the precepts of righteousness, and have despised the Covenant and the Pact - the New Covenant - which they made in the land of Damascus. Neither they nor their kin shall have any part in the house of the Law.
From the day of the gathering in of the Teacher of the Community until the end of all the men of war who deserted to the Liar there shall pass about forty years (Deut. 2:14). And during that age the wrath of God shall be kindled against Israel; as He said, There shall be no king, no prince, no judge, no man to rebuke with justice (Hos. 3:4). But those who turn from the sin of Jacob, who keep the Covenant of God, shall then speak each man to his fellow, to justify each man his brother, that their step may take the way of God.
And God will heed their words and will hear, and a book of reminder shall be written before Him of them that fear God and worship His Name, against the time when salvation and righteousness shall be revealed to them that fear God. And then shall you distinguish once more between the just and the wicked, between one that serves God and one that serves Him not (Mal. 3:18); and He will show loving-kindness to thousands, to them that love Him and watch for Him, for a thousand generations (Exod. 20:6).
And every member of the House of Separation who went out of the Holy City and leaned on God at the time when Israel sinned and defiled the Temple, but returned again to the way of the people in small matters, shall be judged according to his spirit in the Council of Holiness. But when the glory of God is made manifest to Israel, all those members of the Covenant who have breached the bound of the Law shall be cut off from the midst of the camp, and with them all those who condemned Judah in the days of its trials.
But all those who hold fast to these precepts, going and coming in accordance with the Law, who heed the voice of the Teacher and confess before God, (saying), ' Truly we have sinned, we and our fathers, by walking counter to the precepts of the Covenant, Thy judgements upon us are justice and truth'; who do not lift their hand against His holy precepts or His righteous statutes or His true testimonies; who have learned from the former judgements by which the members of the Community were judged; who have listened to the voice of the Teacher of Righteousness and have not despised the precepts of righteousness when they heard them; they shall rejoice and their hearts shall be strong, and they shall prevail over all the sons of the earth. God will forgive them and they shall see His salvation because they took refuge in His holy Name.
... (He shall not) <<XV>> swear by (the Name), nor by Aleph and Lamed (Elohim), nor by Aleph and Daleth (Adonai), but a binding oath by the curses of the Covenant.
He shall not mention the Law of Moses for ... were he to swear and then break (his oath) he would profane the Name.
But if he has sworn an oath by the curses of the Covenant before the judges and has transgressed it, then he is guilty and shall confess and make restitution; but he shall not be burdened with a capital sin.
And when the children of all those who have entered the Covenant, granted to all Israel for ever, reach the age of enrolment, they shall swear with an oath of the Covenant.
And thus shall it be during all the age of wickedness for every man who repents of his corrupted way. On the day that he speaks to the Guardian of the Congregation, they shall enroll him with the oath of the Covenant which Moses made with Israel, the Covenant to return to the Law of Moses with a whole heart and soul, to whatever is found should be done at that time. No man shall make known the statutes to him until he has stood before the Guardian, lest when examining him the Guardian be deceived by him.
But if he transgresses after swearing to return to the Law of Moses with a whole heart and soul, then retribution shall be exacted from him ... And all that is revealed of the Law ... the Guardian shall examine him and shall issue directions concerning him ... for a full year according to ...
No madman, or lunatic, or simpleton, or fool, no blind man, or maimed, or lame, or deaf man, and no minor, shall enter into the Community, for the Angels of Holiness are with them ...
(For God made) <<XVI>> a Covenant with you and all Israel; therefore a man shall bind himself by oath to return to the Law of Moses, for in it all things are strictly denned.
As for the exact determination of their times to which Israel turns a blind eye, behold it is strictly defined in the Book of the Divisions of the Times into their Jubilees and Weeks. And on the day that a man swears to return to the Law of Moses, the Angel of Persecution shall cease to follow him provided that he fulfils his word: for this reason Abraham circumcised himself on the day that he knew.
And concerning the saying, You shall keep your vow by fulfilling it (Deut. 23:24), let no man, even at the price of death, annul any binding oath by which he has sworn to keep a commandment of the Law.
But even at the price of death, a man shall fulfil no vow by which he has sworn to depart from the Law.
Concerning the oath of a woman
Inasmuch as He said, It is for her husband to cancel her oath (Num. 30:9), no husband shall cancel an oath without knowing whether it should be kept or not. Should it be such as to lead to transgression of the Covenant, he shall cancel it and shall not let it be kept. The rule for her father is likewise.
Concerning the Statute for free-will offerings
No man shall vow to the altar anything unlawfully acquired. Also, no Priest shall take from Israel anything unlawfully acquired.
And no man shall consecrate the food of his house to God, for it is as He said, Each hunts his brother with a net (or votive-offering: Mic. 7:2).
<<IX>> Every man who vows another to destruction by the laws of the Gentiles shall himself be put to death.
And concerning the saying, You shall not take vengeance on the children of your people, nor bear any rancour against them (Lev. 19:18), if any member of the Covenant accuses his companion without first rebuking him before witnesses; if he denounces him in the heat of his anger or reports him to his elders to make him look contemptible, he is one that takes vengeance and bears rancour, although it is expressly written, He takes vengeance upon His adversaries and bears rancour against His enemies (Nah. 1:2).
If he holds his peace towards him from one day to another, and thereafter speaks of him in the heat of his anger, he testifies against himself concerning a capital matter because he has not fulfilled the commandment of God which tells him: You shall rebuke your companion and not be burdened with sin because of him (Lev. 19:17)
Concerning the oath with reference to that which He said, You shall not take the law into your own hands (1 Sam. 25:26)
Whoever causes another to swear in the fields instead of before the Judges, or at their decree, takes the law into his own hands. When anything is lost, and it is not known who has stolen it from the property of the camp in which it was stolen, its owner shall pronounce a curse, and any man who, on hearing (it), knows but does not tell, shall himself be guilty.
When anything is returned which is without an owner, whoever returns it shall confess to the Priest, and apart from the ram of the sin-offering, it shall be his.
And likewise, everything which is found but has no owner shall go to the Priests, for the finder is ignorant of the rule concerning it. If no owners are discovered they shall keep it.
Every sin which a man commits against the Law, and which his companion witnesses, he being alone, if it is a capital matter he shall report it to the Guardian, rebuking him in his presence, and the Guardian shall record it against him in case he should commit it again before one man and he should report it to the Guardian once more. Should he repeat it and be taken in the act before one man, his case shall be complete.
And if there are two (witnesses), each testifying to a different matter, the man shall be excluded from the pure Meal provided that they are trustworthy and that each informs the Guardian on the day that they witnessed (the offence). In matters of property, they shall accept two trustworthy witnesses and shall exclude (the culprit) from the pure Meal on the word of one witness alone.
No <<X>> Judge shall pass sentence of death on the testimony of a witness who has not yet attained the age of enrolment and who is not God-fearing.
No man who has willfully transgressed any commandment shall be declared a trustworthy witness against his companion until he is purified and able to return.
And this is the Rule for the Judges of the Congregation
They shall be elected from the congregation for a definite time, four from the tribe of Levi and Aaron, and six from Israel. (They shall be) learned in the Book of Meditation and in the constitutions of the Covenant, and aged between twenty-five and sixty years. No man over the age of sixty shall hold office as Judge of the Congregation, for 'because man sinned his days have been shortened, and in the heat of His anger against the inhabitants of the earth God ordained that their understanding should depart even before their days are completed' (Jubilees, 23:2).
Concerning purification by water
No man shall bathe in dirty water or in an amount too shallow to cover a man. He shall not purify himself with water contained in a vessel. And as for the water of every rock-pool too shallow to cover a man, if an unclean man touches it he renders its water as unclean as water contained in a vessel.
Concerning the Sabbath to observe it according to its law
No man shall work on the sixth day from the moment when the sun's orb is distant by its own fullness from the gate (wherein it sinks); for this is what He said, Observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy (Deut, 5:12). No man shall speak any vain or idle word on the Sabbath day. He shall make no loan to his companion. He shall make no decision in matters of money and gain. He shall say nothing about work or labour to be done on the morrow.
No man shall walk abroad doing his pleasure on the Sabbath. He shall not walk more than one thousand cubits beyond his town.
No man shall eat on the Sabbath day except that which is already prepared. He shall eat nothing lying in the fields. He shall not drink except in the camp. <<XI>> If he is on a journey and goes down to bathe, he shall drink where he stands, but he shall not draw water into a vessel. He shall send no stranger to do his pleasure on the Sabbath day.
No man shall wear soiled garments, or garments brought to the store, unless they have been washed with water or rubbed with incense.
No man shall willingly mingle (with others) on the Sabbath.
No man shall walk more than two thousand cubits after a beast to pasture it outside his town. He shall not raise his hand to strike it with his fist. If it is stubborn he shall not take it out of his house.
No man shall take anything out of the house or bring anything in. And if he is in a booth, let him neither take anything out nor bring anything in. He shall not open a sealed vessel on the Sabbath.
No man shall carry perfumes on himself whilst going and coming on the Sabbath. He shall lift neither sand nor dust in his dwelling. No foster-father shall carry a child whilst going and coming on the Sabbath.
No man shall chide his manservant or maidservant or labourer on the Sabbath.
No man shall assist a beast to give birth on the Sabbath day. And if it should fall into a cistern or pit, he shall not lift it out on the Sabbath.
No man shall spend the Sabbath in a place near to Gentiles on the Sabbath.
No man shall profane the Sabbath for the sake of riches or gain on the Sabbath day. But should any man fall into water or fire, let him be pulled out with the aid of a ladder or rope or (some such) tool.
No man on the Sabbath shall offer anything on the altar except the Sabbath burnt-offering; for it is written thus: Except your Sabbath offerings (Lev. 23:38).
No man shall send to the altar any burnt-offering, or cereal offering, or incense, or wood, by the hand of one smitten with any uncleanness, permitting him thus to defile the altar. For it is written, The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, but the prayer of the just is as an agreeable offering (Prov. 15:8).
No man entering the house of worship shall come unclean and in need of washing. And at the sounding of the trumpets for assembly, he shall go there before or after (the meeting), and shall not cause the whole service to stop, <<XII>> for it is a holy service.
No man shall lie with a woman in the city of the Sanctuary, to defile the city of the Sanctuary with their uncleanness.
Every man who preaches apostasy under the dominion of the spirits of Satan shall be judged according to the law relating to those possessed by a ghost or familiar spirit (Lev. 20:27). But no man who strays so as to profane the Sabbath and the feasts shall be put to death; it shall fall to men to keep him in custody. And if he is healed of his error, they shall keep him in custody for seven years and he shall afterwards approach the Assembly.
No man shall stretch out his hand to shed the blood of a Gentile for the sake of riches and gain. Nor shall he carry off anything of theirs, lest they blaspheme, unless so advised by the company of Israel.
No man shall sell clean beasts or birds to the Gentiles lest they offer them in sacrifice. He shall refuse, with all his power, to sell them anything from his granary or wine-press, and he shall not sell them his manservant or maidservant inasmuch as they have been brought by him into the Covenant of Abraham.
No man shall defile himself by eating any live creature or creeping thing, from the larvae of bees to all creatures which creep in water. They shall eat no fish unless split alive and their blood poured out. And as for locusts, according to their various kinds they shall plunge them alive into fire or water, for this is what their nature requires.
All wood and stones and dust defiled by the impurity of a man shall be reckoned like men with regard to conveying defilement; whoever touches them shall be defiled by their defilement. And every nail or peg in the wall of a house in which a dead man lies shall become unclean as any working tool becomes unclean (Lev. 11:32).
The Rule for the assembly of the towns shall be according to these precepts that they may distinguish between unclean and clean, and discriminate between the holy and the profane.
And these are the precepts in which the Master shall walk in his commerce with all the living in accordance with the statute proper to every age. And in accordance with this statute shall the seed of Israel walk and they shall not be cursed.
This is the Rule for the assembly of the camps
Those who follow these statutes in the age of wickedness until the coming of the Messiah of Aaron <<XIII>> and Israel shall form groups of at least ten men, by Thousands, Hundreds, Fifties, and Tens (Exod. 18:25). And where the ten are, there shall never be lacking a Priest learned in the Book of Meditation; they shall all be ruled by him.
But should he not be experienced in these matters, whereas one of the Levites is experienced in them, then it shall be determined that all the members of the camp shall go and come according to the latter's word.
But should there be a case of applying the law of leprosy to a man, then the Priest shall come and shall stand in the camp and the Guardian shall instruct him in the exact interpretation of the Law.
Even if the Priest is a simpleton, it is he who shall lock up (the leper); for theirs is the judgment.
This is the Rule for the Guardian
He shall instruct the Congregation in the works of God. He shall cause them to consider His mighty deeds and shall recount all the happenings of eternity to them. ... He shall love them as a father loves his children, and shall carry them in all their distress like a shepherd his sheep. He shall loosen all the fetters which bind them that in his Congregation there may be none that are oppressed or broken.
He shall examine every man entering his Congregation with regard to his deeds, understanding, strength, ability, and possessions, and shall inscribe him in his place according to his rank in the lot of L[ight].
No member of the camp shall have authority to admit a man to the Congregation against the decision of the Guardian of the camp.
No member of the Covenant of God shall give or receive anything from the sons of the Pit except for payment.
No man shall form any association for buying and selling without informing the Guardian of the camp ...
This is the Rule for the assembly of the camps during all [the age of wickedness, and whoever does not hold fast to] these (statutes) shall not be fit to dwell in the Land [when the Messiah of Aaron and Israel shall come at the end of days].
[And] these are the [precepts] in which the Master [shall walk in his commerce with all the living until God shall visit the earth. As He said, There shall come upon you, and upon your people, and upon your father's house, days] <<XIV>> such as have not come since Ephraim departed from Judah (Isa. 7:17); but for whoever shall walk in these (precepts), the Covenant of God shall stand firm to save him from all the snares of the Pit, whereas the foolish shall be punished.
The Rule for the assembly of all the camps
They shall all be enrolled by name: first the Priests, second the Levites, third the Israelites, and fourth the proselytes. And they shall be inscribed by name, one after the other: the Priests first, the Levites second, the Israelites third, and the proselytes fourth. And thus shall they sit and thus be questioned on all matters. And the Priest who enrolls the Congregation shall be from thirty to sixty years old, learned in the Book of Meditation and in all the judgements of the Law so as to pronounce them correctly.
The Guardian of all the camps shall be from thirty to fifty years old, one who has mastered all the secrets of men and the languages of all their clans. Whoever enters the Congregation shall do so according to his word, each in his rank. And whoever has anything to say with regard to any suit or judgement, let him say it to the Guardian.
This is the Rule for the Congregation by which it shall provide for all its needs
They shall place the earnings of at least two days out of every month into the hands of the Guardian and the Judges, and from it they shall give to the fatherless, and from it they shall succour the poor and the needy, the aged sick and the homeless, the captive taken by a foreign people, the virgin with no near kin, and the ma[id for] whom no man cares ...
And this is the exact statement of the assembly...
This is the exact statement of the statutes in which [they shall walk until the coming of the Messia]h of Aaron and Israel who will pardon their iniquity
[Whoever] deliberately lies in a matter of property ... and shall do penance for six days ...
[Whoever slanders his companion or bears rancour] unjustly [shall do penance for one] year ...