7 - The War Rule
The nineteen badly mutilated columns of this manuscript first appeared in 1954 in a posthumous work by E.L. Sukenik, and were re-edited in 1955, with an English introduction, under the title The Dead Sea Scrolls of the Hebrew University (Jerusalem). The contents of the War Rule are as follows:
Proclamation of war against the Kittim (col. I)
Reorganization of Temple worship (col. II)
Programme of the forty years' war (col. II)
The trumpets (col. III)
The standards (cols, III-IV)
Disposition and weapons of the front formations (col. v)
Movements of the attacking infantry (col. VI)
Disposition and movements of the cavalry (col. VI)
Age of the soldiers (cols, VI-VII)
The camp (col. VII)
Duties of the Priests and Levites (exhortation, trumpet signals) (cols, VII-IX)
Addresses and prayers of the battle liturgy (cols, X-XII)
Prayer recited at the moment of victory (col. XIII)
Thanksgiving ceremony (col. XIV)
Battle against the Kittim (cols, XV-XIX)
Since the five last columns are more or less repetitious there has been some doubt concerning the unity of the composition. Those who consider all nineteen columns to be the work of one writer find in column i an introduction, in columns II-XIV general rules, and in columns xv-xix a 'prophetic' description of the final battle fought according to those rules. Other experts explain that columns xv-xix are a Rule annexe dependent on the principal Rule (cols, II-XIV).
I am myself inclined to follow the theory first advanced by J. van der Ploeg (Le Rouleau de la guerre, Leiden, 1959, pp. 11-22). The primitive work, represented in the present composition by columns I and xv-xix, draws its inspiration from Daniel 11:40-12,3, and describes the final battle against the Kittim. This account was later combined with the concept of a holy forty years' war against the entire Gentile world, and was extended by the addition of a long series of Rules concerned with the military and religious preparation and with the conduct of the fighting (cols, ii-xiv). This appears to me to offer a more satisfactory explanation of the literary complexities of the manuscript than do the previous hypotheses.
The only certain pointer to the date of the compilation of the War Rule is that, since the author made use of the book of Daniel written in about 160 B.C., his own work must have been started after that time. But a more accurate dating may be attempted by studying the military strategy and tactics described in the Scroll. Scholars are divided in their opinion as to whether the sons of light modelled them on Greek or Roman custom, or whether they merely drew their ideas from the Bible. Scripture doubtless exercised a definite influence on the author of this Rule, but there is nevertheless a great deal of material completely foreign to it, and he must have possessed, in addition, at least some acquaintance with contemporary warfare.
With Y. Yadin and other archaeologists and historians, I believe that both the weapons and the tactics of the War Rule correspond to the art of war practised by the Roman legion rather than by the Greek phalanx. In particular, the square shield (scutum) of the foot-soldier, and the buckler of the horseman (parma or clipeus), the battle array of three lines (acies triplex), the openings between the units, viz. the 'gates of war' (intervalla), seem to be characteristically Roman. In addition, only the cavalry were to wear greaves -a custom introduced into the Roman army during the time of Julius Caesar in the middle of the first century B.C.
This and similar details, as well as the general representation of the Kittim as masters of the world, lead one to conclude that the War Rule was written some time after the middle of the first century B.C., and as the reference to the' king' of the Kittim points to the Imperial epoch (after 27 B.C.), the date of its composition should probably be placed in the last decades of the first century B.C. or at the beginning of the first century A.D.
This work should not be mistaken for a manual of military warfare pure and simple. It is a theological writing, and the war of which it treats symbolizes the eternal struggle between the spirits of Light and Darkness. The phases of its battle are fixed in advance, its plan established, and its duration predetermined. The opposing forces are equally matched and only by the intervention of ' the mighty hand of God' is the balance between them to be disturbed when He deals an 'everlasting blow' to 'Satan and all the host of his kingdom".
<<I>> For the M[aster. The Rule of] War on the unleashing of the attack of the sons of light against the company of the sons of darkness, the army of Satan: against the band of Edom, Moab, and the sons of Ammon, and [against the army of the sons of the East and] the Philistines, and against the bands of the Kittim of Assyria and their allies the ungodly of the Covenant
The sons of Levi, Judah, and Benjamin, the exiles in the desert, shall battle against them in ... all their bands when the exiled sons of light return from the Desert of the Peoples to camp in the Desert of Jerusalem; and after the battle they shall go up from there (to Jerusalem?).
[The king] of the Kittim [shall enter] into Egypt, and in his time he shall set out in great wrath to wage war against the kings of the north, that his fury may destroy and cut off the horn of [the nations].
This shall be a time of salvation for the people of God, an age of dominion for all the members of His company, and of everlasting destruction for all the company of Satan. The confusion of the sons of Japheth shall be [great] and Assyria shall fall unsuccoured. The dominion of the Kittim shall come to an end and iniquity shall be vanquished, leaving no remnant; [for the sons] of darkness there shall be no escape.
[The seasons of righteous] ness shall shine over all the ends of the earth; they shall go on shining until all the seasons of darkness are consumed and, at the season appointed by God, His exalted greatness shall shine eternally to the peace, blessing, glory, joy, and long life of all the sons of light.
On the day when the Kittim fall, there shall be battle and terrible carnage before the God of Israel, for that shall be the day appointed from ancient times for the battle of destruction of the sons of darkness. At that time, the assembly of gods and the hosts of men shall battle, causing great carnage; on the day of calamity, the sons of light shall battle with the company of darkness amid the shouts of a mighty multitude and the clamour of gods and men to (make manifest) the might of God. And it shall be a time of [great] tribulation for the people which God shall redeem; of all its afflictions none shall be as this, from its sudden beginning until its end in eternal redemption.
On the day of their battle against the Kittim [they shall set out for] carnage. In three lots shall the sons of light brace themselves in battle to strike down iniquity, and in three lots shall Satan's host gird itself to thrust back the company [of God. And when the hearts of the detach]ments of foot soldiers faint, then shall the might of God fortify [the heart of the sons of light]. And with the seventh lot, the mighty hand of God shall bring down [the army of Satan, and all] the angels of his kingdom, and all the members [of his company in everlasting destruction] ...
<<II>> the fifty-two heads of family in the congregation.
They shall rank the chief Priests below the High Priest and his vicar. And the twelve chief Priests shall minister at the daily sacrifice before God, whereas the twenty-six leaders of the priestly divisions shall minister in their divisions.
Below them, in perpetual ministry, shall be the chiefs of the Levites to the number of twelve, one for each tribe. The leaders of their divisions shall minister each in his place.
Below them shall be the chiefs of the tribes together with the heads of family of the congregation. They shall attend daily at the gates of the Sanctuary, whereas the leaders of their divisions, with their numbered men, shall attend at their appointed times, on new moons and on Sabbaths and on all the days of the year, their age being fifty years and over.
These are the men who shall attend at holocausts and sacrifices to prepare sweet-smelling incense for the good pleasure of God, to atone for all His congregation, and to satisfy themselves perpetually before Him at the table of glory. They shall arrange all these things during the season of the year of Release.
During the remaining thirty-three years of the war, the men of renown, those summoned to the Assembly, together with all the heads of family of the congregation, shall choose for themselves fighting-men for all the lands of the nations. They shall arm for themselves warriors from all the tribes of Israel to enter the army year by year when they are summoned to war. But they shall arm no man for entry into the army during the years of Release, for they are Sabbaths of rest for Israel. In the thirty-five years of service, the war shall be prepared during six; the whole congregation shall prepare for it together.
And during the remaining twenty-nine years the war shall be divided. During the first year they shall fight against Aram-Naharaim; during the second, against the sons of Lud; during the third, against the remnant of the sons of Aram, against Uz and Hul and Togar and Mesha beyond the Euphrates; during the fourth and fifth, they shall fight against the sons of Arphakshad; during the sixth and seventh, against all the sons of Assyria and Persia and the East as far as the Great Desert; during the eighth year they shall fight against the sons of Elam; during the ninth, against the sons of Ishmael and Keturah. In the ten years which follow, the war shall be divided against all the sons of Ham according to [their clans and in their habitations; and during the ten years which remain, the war shall be divided against all [the sons of Japheth in] their habitations.
[The Rule for the trumpets of Summons and the trumpe]ts of Alarm according to all their duties
... [the trumpets of Summons shall sound for disposal in] <<III>> battle formations and to summon the foot-soldiers to advance when the gates of war shall open; and the trumpets of Alarm shall sound for massacre, and for ambush, and for pursuit when the enemy shall be smitten, and for withdrawal from battle.
On the trumpets calling the congregation they shall write, The Called of God.
On the trumpets calling the chiefs they shall write, The Princes of God.
On the trumpets of the levies they shall write, The Army of God.
On the trumpets of the men of renown and of the heads of family of the congregation gathered in the house of Assembly they shall write, Summoned by God to the Council of Holiness.
On the trumpets of the camps they shall write, The Peace of God in the Camps of His Saints.
And on the trumpets for breaking camp they shall write, The mighty Deeds of God shall crush the Enemy, putting to Flight all those who hate Righteousness and bringing Shame on those who hate Him.
On the trumpets for battle formations they shall write, Formations of the Divisions of God for the Vengeance of His Wrath on the Sons of Darkness.
On the trumpets summoning the foot-soldiers to advance towards the enemy formations when the gates of war are opened they shall write, Reminder of Vengeance in God's appointed Time.
On the trumpets of massacre they shall write, The mighty Hand of God in War shall cause all the ungodly Slain to fall.
On the trumpets of ambush they shall write, The Mysteries of God shall undo Wickedness.
On the trumpets of pursuit they shall write, God has smitten all the Sons of Darkness; His Fury shall not end until they are utterly consumed.
On the trumpets of withdrawal, when they withdraw from battle to the formation, they shall write, God has reassembled.
On the trumpets of return from battle against the enemy when they journey to the congregation in Jerusalem they shall write, Rejoicings of God in the peaceful Return.
The Rule for the standards of the whole congregation according to their levies
On the Great Standard at the head of the people they shall write, The People of God, together with the names of Israel and Aaron, and the names of the twelve [tribes of Israel] according to the order of their precedence.
On the standards of the camp columns formed by three tribes they shall write, ... of God, together with the name of the leader of the camp ...
On the standard of the tribe they shall write, Banner of God, together with the name of the leader of [the tribe and the names of the chiefs of its clans].
[On the standard of the Myriad they shall write, ... of God, together with] the name of the chief of the Myriad and the names of the [leaders of its Thousands].
[On the standard of the Thousand they shall write, ... of God, together with the name of the chief of the Thousand and the names of the leaders of its Hundreds],
[On the standard of the Hundred] ...
<<IV>> On the standard of Merari they shall write, The Votive-Offering of God, together with the name of the chief of Merari and the names of the leaders of its Thousands.
On the standard of the Thousand they shall write, The Wrath of God is kindled against Satan and against the Men of his Company, leaving no Remnant, together with the name of the chief of the Thousand and the names of the leaders of its Hundreds.
On the standard of the Hundred they shall write, From God comes the Might of War against all sinful Flesh, together with the name of the chief of the Hundred and the names of the leaders of its Fifties.
On the standard of the Fifty they shall write, The Stand of the Ungodly is ended by the Power of God, together with the name of the chief of the Fifty and the names of the leaders of its Tens.
On the standard of the Ten they shall write, Praised be God on the ten-stringed Harp, together with the name of the chief of the Ten and the names of the nine men under his command.
When they march out to battle they shall write on their standards, Truth of God, Justice of God, Glory of God, Judgement of God, followed by the whole ordered list of their names.
When they approach for battle they shall write on their standards, Right Hand of God, Appointed Time of God, Tumult of God, Slain of God, followed by the whole list of their names.
When they return from battle they shall write on their standards, Honour of God, Majesty of God, Splendour of God, Glory of God, together with the whole list of their names.
The Rule for the standards of the congregation
When they set out for battle they shall write, on the first standard Congregation of God, on the second standard Camps of God, on the third standard Tribes of God, on the fourth standard Clans of God, on the fifth standard Divisions of God, on the sixth standard Assembly of God, on the seventh standard The Called of God, on the eighth standard Hosts of God; and they shall write the list of their names with all their order.
When they approach for battle they shall write on their standards, War of God, Vengeance of God, Trial of God, Reward of God, Power of God, Retributions of God, Might of God, Extermination of God for all the Nations of Vanity; and they shall write on them the whole list of their names.
When they return from battle they shall write on their standards, Salvation of God, Victory of God, Help of God, Support of God, Joy of God, Thanksgivings of God, Praise of God, Peace of God.
[The measurements of the standards.] The standard of the whole congregation shall be fourteen cubits long; the standard [of the three tribes,] thirteen cubits long; [the standard of the tribe,] twelve cubits; [the standard of the Myriad,] eleven cubits; [the standard of the Thousand, ten cubits; the standard of the Hundred,] nine cubits; [the standard of the Fifty, eight] cubits; the standard of the Ten, s[even cubits] ...
<<V>> And on the sh[ield of] the Prince of the congregation they shall write his name, together with the names of Israel, Levi, and Aaron, and the names of the twelve tribes of Israel according to the order of their precedence, with the names of their twelve chiefs.
The Rule for the ordering of the battle divisions to complete a front formation when their host has reached its full number
The formation shall consist of one thousand men ranked seven lines deep, each man standing behind the other.
They shall all hold shields of bronze burnished like mirrors. The shield shall be edged with an interlaced border and with inlaid ornament, a work of art in pure gold and silver and bronze and precious stones, a many-coloured design worked by a craftsman. The length of the shield shall be two and a half cubits and its width one and a half cubits.
In their hands they shall hold a spear and a sword. The length of the spear shall be seven cubits, of which the socket and spike shall measure half a cubit. The socket shall be edged with three embossed interlaced rings of pure gold and silver and bronze, a work of art. The inlaid ornaments on both edges of the ring shall be bordered with precious stones - a many-coloured design worked by a craftsman -and (embossed) with ears of corn. Between the rings, the socket shall be embossed with artistry like a pillar. The spike shall be made of brilliant white iron, the work of a craftsman; in its centre, pointing towards the tip, shall be ears of corn in pure gold.
The swords shall be made of pure iron refined by the smelter and blanched to resemble a mirror, the work of a craftsman; on both sides (of their blades) pointing towards the tip, figured ears of corn shall be embossed in pure gold, and they shall have two straight borders on each side. The length of the sword shall be one and a half cubits and its width four fingers. The width of the scabbard shall be four thumbs. There shall be four palms to the scabbard (from the girdle), and it shall be attached (to the girdle) on both sides for a length of five palms (?). The hilt of the sword shall be of pure horn worked by a craftsman, with a many-coloured design in gold and silver and precious stones. ...
<<VI>> seven times and shall return to their positions.
And after them, three divisions of foot-soldiers shall advance and shall station themselves between the formations, and the first division shall hurl seven javelins of war towards the enemy formation. On the point of the javelins they shall write, Shining Javelin of the Power of God; and on the darts of the second division they shall write, Bloody Spikes to bring down the Slain by the Wrath of God; and on the javelins of the third division they shall write, Flaming Blade to devour the Wicked struck down by the Judgement of God. All these shall hurl their javelins seven times and shall afterwards return to their positions.
Then two divisions of foot-soldiers shall advance and shall station themselves between the two formations. The first division shall be armed with a spear and a shield, and the second with a shield and a sword, to bring down the slain by the judgement of God, and to bend the enemy formation by the power of God, to pay the reward of their wickedness to all the nations of vanity. And sovereignty shall be to the God of Israel, and He shall accomplish mighty deeds by the saints of His people.
Seven troops of horsemen shall also station themselves to right and to left of the formation; their troops shall stand on this (side) and on that, seven hundred horsemen on one flank and seven hundred horsemen on the other. Two hundred horsemen shall advance with the thousand men of the formation of foot-soldiers; and they shall likewise station themselves on both [flanks] of the camp. Altogether there shall be four thousand six hundred (men), and one thousand cavalrymen with the men of the army formations, fifty to each formation. The horsemen, together with the cavalry of the army, shall number six thousand: five hundred to each tribe.
The horses advancing into battle with the foot-soldiers shall all be stallions; they shall be swift, sensitive of mouth, and sound of wind, and of the required age, trained for war, and accustomed to noise and to every (kind of) sight. Their riders shall be gallant fighting men and skilled horsemen, and their age shall be from thirty to forty-five years. The horsemen of the army shall be from forty to fifty years old. They [and their mounts shall wear breast-plates,] helmets, and greaves; they shall carry in their hands bucklers, and a spear [eight cubits] long. [The horsemen advancing with the foot-soldiers shall carry] bows and arrows and javelins of war. They shall all hold themselves prepared ... of God and to spill the blood of the wicked ...
<<VII>> The men of the army shall be from forty to fifty years old.
The inspectors of the camps shall be from fifty to sixty years old.
The officers shall be from forty to fifty years old.
The despoilers of the slain, the plunderers of booty, the cleansers of the land, the keepers of the baggage, and those who furnish the provisions shall be from twenty-five to thirty years old.
No boy or woman shall enter their camps, from the time they leave Jerusalem and march out to war until they return. No man who is lame, or blind, or crippled, or afflicted with a lasting bodily blemish, or smitten with a bodily impurity, none of these shall march out to war with them. They shall all be freely enlisted for war, perfect in spirit and body and prepared for the Day of Vengeance.
And no man shall go down with them on the day of battle who is impure because of his 'fount', for the holy angels shall be with their hosts. And there shall be a space of about two thousand cubits between all their camps and the place serving as a latrine, so that no indecent nakedness may be seen in the surroundings of their camps.
When the battle formations are marshaled facing the enemy, 'formation facing formation, seven Priests of the sons of Aaron shall advance from the middle gates to the place between the formations. They shall be clothed in vestments of white cloth of flax, in a fine linen tunic and fine linen breeches; and they shall be girdled with fine cloth of flax embroidered with blue, purple, and scarlet thread, a many-coloured design worked by a craftsman. And on their heads they shall wear mitred turbans. These shall be battle raiment ; they shall not take them into the Sanctuary.
The first Priest shall advance before the men of the formation to strengthen their hand for battle, and the six other Priests shall hold in their hands the trumpets of Summons, and the trumpets of the Reminder, and the trumpets of Alarm (for massacre), and the trumpets of Pursuit, and the trumpets of Withdrawal. And when the Priests advance to the place between the formations, seven Levites shall accompany them bearing in their hands seven rams' horns; and three officers of the Levites shall walk before the Priests and Levites.
The Priests shall sound the two trumpets of Sum[mons for the gates of] war to open fifty shields (wide) and the foot-soldiers shall advance, fifty from one gate [and fifty from the other. With them shall advance] the officers of the Levites, and they shall advance with every formation according to all this R[ule].
[The Priests shall sound the trumpets, and two divisions of foot-] soldiers [shall advance] from the gates [and shall] station [themselves] between the two [formations] ... <<VIII>> the trumpets shall sound to direct the slingers until they have cast seven times. Afterwards, the Priests shall sound for them the trumpets of Withdrawal and they shall return to the flank of the first formation to take up their position.
Then the Priests shall sound the trumpets of Summons and three divisions of foot-soldiers shall advance from the gates and shall station themselves between the formations; the horsemen shall be on their flanks, to right and to left. The Priests shall sound a sustained blast on the trumpets for battle array, and the columns shall move to their (battle) array, each man to his place. And when they have taken up their stand in three arrays, the Priests shall sound a second signal, soft and sustained, for them to advance until they are close to the enemy formation.
They shall seize their weapons, and the Priests shall then blow a shrill staccato blast on the six trumpets of Massacre to direct the battle, and the Levites and all the blowers of rams' horns shall sound a mighty alarm to terrify the heart of the enemy, and therewith the javelins shall fly out to bring down the slain. Then the sound of the horns shall cease, but the Priests shall continue to blow a shrill staccato blast on the trumpets to direct the battle until they have thrown seven times against the enemy formation. And then they shall sound a soft, a sustained, and a shrill sound on the trumpets of Withdrawal.
It is according to this Rule that the Priests shall sound the trumpets for the three divisions. With the first throw, the [Priests] shall sound [on the trumpets] a mighty alarm to direct the ba[ttle until they have thrown seven times. Then] the Priests [shall sound] for them on the trumpets [of Withdrawal a soft, sustained, and a shrill sound, and they shall return] to their positions in the formation.
[Then the Priests shall blow the trumpets of Summons and the two divisions of foot-soldiers shall advance from the gates] and shall stand [between the formations. And the Priests shall then blow the trumpets of] Massacre, [and the Levites and all the blowers of rams' horns shall sound an alarm, a mighty blast, and therewith] <<IX>> they shall set about to bring down the slain with their hands. All the people shall cease their clamour but the Priests shall continue to blow the trumpets of Massacre to direct the battle until the enemy is smitten and put to flight; and the Priests shall blow to direct the battle.
And when they are smitten before them, the Priests shall sound the trumpets of Summons and all the footsoldiers shall rally to them from the midst of the front formations, and the six divisions, together with the fighting division, shall take up their stations. Altogether, they shall be seven formations: twenty-eight thousand fighting men and six thousand horsemen.
All these shall pursue the enemy to destroy him in an everlasting destruction in the battle of God. The Priests shall sound for them the trumpets of Pursuit, and they shall deploy against all the enemy in a pursuit to destruction; and the horsemen shall thrust them back on the flanks of the battle until they are utterly destroyed.
And as the slain men fall, the Priests shall trumpet from afar; they shall not approach the slain lest they be defiled with unclean blood. For they are holy, and they shall not profane the anointing of their priesthood with the blood of nations of vanity.
The Rule for changes in battle order to form the position of a squa[re with towers,] a concave line with towers, a convex line with towers, a shallow convex line obtained by the advance of the centre, or [by the advance of] both flanks to terrify the enemy
The shields of the towers shall be three cubits long and their spears eight cubits. The tower shall advance from the formation and shall have one hundred shields to each side; in this [manner,] the tower shall be surrounded on three sides by three hundred shields. And it shall also have two gates, [one to the right] and one to the left.
They shall write on all the shields of the towers: on the first, Michael, [on the second, Gabriel, on the third,] Sariel, and on the fourth, Raphael. Michael and Gabriel [shall stand on the right, and Sariel and Raphael on the left] ... they shall set an ambush to ...
... <<X>> our camps and to keep us from all that is indecent and evil.
Furthermore, (Moses) taught us, 'Thou art in the midst of us, a mighty God and terrible, causing all our enemies to flee before [us].' He taught our generations in former times saying, 'When you draw near to battle, the Priest shall rise and speak to the people saying, "Hear, O Israel! You draw near to battle this day against your enemies. Do not fear! Do not let your hearts be afraid! Do not be [terrified], and have no fear! For your God goes with you to fight for you against your enemies that He may deliver you"' (Deut, xx, 2-4).
Our officers shall speak to all those prepared for battle. They shall strengthen by the power of God the freely devoted of heart, and shall make all the fearful of heart withdraw; they shall fortify all the mighty men of war. They shall recount that which Thou [saidst] through Moses: ' When you go to war in your land against the oppressor who oppresses you, [you] shall blow the trumpets, and you shall be remembered before your God and shall be saved from your enemies' (Num. x, 9).
O God of Israel, who is like Thee
in heaven or on earth?
Who accomplishes deeds and mighty works like Thine?
Who is like Thy people Israel
which Thou hast chosen for Thyself
from all the peoples of the lands;
the people of the saints of the Covenant,
instructed in the laws
and learned in wisdom ...
who have heard the voice of Majesty
and have seen the Angels of Holiness,
whose ear has been unstopped,
and who have heard profound things?
[Thou, O God, hast created] the expanse of the heavens
and the host of heavenly lights,
the tasks of the spirits
and the dominion of the Holy Ones,
the treasury of glory
[and the canopy of the] clouds.
(Thou art Creator of) the earth
and of the laws dividing it into desert and grassland;
of all that it brings forth
and of all its fruits [according to their kinds;]
of the circle of the seas
and of the gathering-place of the rivers
and of the divisions of the deeps;
of the beasts and birds
and of the shape of Adam
and of the gene [rations of] his [seed];
of the confusion of tongues
and of the scattering of the peoples,
of the dwelling in clans
and of the inheritance of lands;
... of the sacred seasons
and of the cycles of the years
and of time everlasting.
<<XI>> Truly, the battle is Thine! Their bodies are crushed by the might of Thy hand and there is no man to bury them.
Thou didst deliver Goliath of Gath, the mighty warrior, into the hands of David Thy servant, because in place of the sword and in place of the spear he put his trust in Thy great Name; for Thine is the battle. Many times, by Thy great Name, did he triumph over the Philistines. Many times hast Thou also delivered us by the hand of our kings through Thy loving-kindness, and not in accordance with our works by which we have done evil, nor according to our rebellious deeds.
Truly the battle is Thine and the power from Thee! It is not ours. Our strength and the power of our hands accomplish no mighty deeds except by Thy power and by the might of Thy great valour. This Thou hast taught us from ancient times, saying, A star shall come out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel. He shall smite the temples of-Moab and destroy all the children of Sheth. He shall rule out of Jacob and shall cause the survivors of the city to perish. The enemy shall be his possession and Israel shall accomplish mighty deeds (Num. 24:17-19).
By the hand of Thine anointed, who discerned Thy testimonies, Thou hast revealed to us the [times] of the battles of Thy hands that Thou mayest glorify Thyself in our enemies by levelling the hordes of Satan, the seven nations of vanity, by the hand of Thy poor whom Thou hast redeemed [by Thy might] and by the fulness of Thy marvellous power. (Thou hast opened) the door of hope to the melting heart: Thou wilt do to them as Thou didst to Pharaoh, and to the captains of his chariots in the Red Sea. Thou wilt kindle the downcast of spirit and they shall be a flaming torch in the straw to consume ungodliness and never to cease till iniquity is destroyed.
From ancient times Thou hast fore [told the hour] when the might of Thy hand (would be raised) against the Kittim, saying, Assyria shall fall by the sword of no man, the sword of no mere man shall devour him (Isa. xxxi, 8). For Thou wilt deliver into the hands of the poor the enemies from all the lands, to humble the mighty of the peoples by the hand of those bent to the dust, to bring upon the [head of Thine enemies] the reward of the wicked, and to justify Thy true judgement in the midst of all the sons of men, and to make for Thyself an everlasting Name among the people [whom Thou hast redeemed] ... of battles to be magnified and sanctified in the eyes of the remnant of the peoples, that they may know ... when Thou chastisest Gog and all his assembly gathered about him ...
For Thou wilt fight with them from heaven ... <<XII>> For the multitude of the Holy Ones [is with Thee] in heaven, and the host of the Angels is in Thy holy abode, praising Thy Name. And Thou hast established in [a community] for Thyself the elect of Thy holy people. [The list] of the names of all their host is with Thee in the abode of Thy holiness; [the reckoning of the saints] is in Thy glorious dwelling-place.
Thou hast recorded for them, with the graving-tool of life, the favours of [Thy] blessings and the Covenant of Thy peace, that Thou mayest reign [over them] for ever and ever and throughout all the eternal ages. Thou wilt muster the [hosts of] Thine [el]ect, in their Thousands and Myriads, with Thy Holy Ones [and with all] Thine Angels, that they may be mighty in battle, [and may smite] the rebels of the earth by Thy great judgements, and that [they may triumph] together with the elect of heaven.
For Thou art [terrible], O God, in the glory of Thy kingdom, and the congregation of Thy Holy Ones is among us for everlasting succour. We will despise kings, we will mock and scorn the mighty; for our Lord is holy, and the King of Glory is with us together with the Holy Ones. Valiant [warriors] of the angelic host are among our numbered men, and the Hero of war is with our congregation; the host of His spirits is with our foot-soldiers and horsemen. [They are as] clouds, as clouds of dew (covering) the earth, as a shower of rain shedding righteousness on all that grows on the earth.
Rise up, O Hero!
Lead off Thy captives, O Glorious One!
Gather up Thy spoils, O Author of mighty deeds!
Lay Thy hand on the neck of Thine enemies
and Thy feet on the pile of the slain!
Smite the nations, Thine adversaries,
and devour the flesh of the sinner with Thy sword!
Fill Thy land with glory
and Thine inheritance with blessing!
Let there be a multitude of cattle in Thy fields,
and in Thy palaces silver and gold and precious stones!
O Zion, rejoice greatly!
O Jerusalem, show thyself amidst jubilation!
Rejoice, all you cities of Judah;
keep your gates ever open
that the hosts of the nations
may be brought in!
Their kings shall serve you
and all your oppressors shall bow down before you;
[they shall lick] the dust [of your feet].
Shout for joy, [O daughters of] my people!
Deck yourselves with glorious jewels
and rule over [the kingdoms of the nations!
Sovereignty shall be to the Lord]
and everlasting dominion to Israel.
... <<XIII>> (The High Priest) shall come, and his brethren the Priests and the Levites, and all the elders of the army shall be with him; and standing, they shall bless the God of Israel and all His works of truth, and shall execrate Satan there and all the spirits of his company. Speaking, they shall say:
Blessed be the God of Israel for all His holy purpose and for His works of truth! Blessed be all those who [serve] Him in righteousness and who know Him by faith!
Cursed be Satan for his sinful purpose and may he be execrated for his wicked rule! Cursed be all the spirits of his company for their ungodly purpose and may they be execrated for all their service of uncleanness! Truly they are the company of Darkness, but the company of God is one of [eternal] Light.
[Thou art] the God of our fathers; we bless Thy Name for ever. We are the people of Thine [inheritance]; Thou didst make a Covenant with our fathers, and wilt establish it with their children throughout eternal ages. And in all Thy glorious testimonies there has been a reminder of Thy mercies among us to succour the remnant, the survivors of Thy Covenant, that they might [recount] Thy works of truth and the judgements of Thy marvellous mighty deeds.
Thou [hast redeemed us] for Thyself, [O God], that we may be an everlasting people. Thou hast decreed for us a destiny of Light according to Thy truth. And the Prince of Light Thou hast appointed from ancient times to come to our support; [all the sons of righteousness are in his hand], and all the spirits of truth are under his dominion. But Satan, the Angel of Malevolence, Thou hast created for the Pit; his [rule] is in Darkness and his purpose is to bring about wickedness and iniquity. All the spirits of his company, the Angels of Destruction, walk according to the precepts of Darkness; towards them is their [inclination].
But let us, the company of Thy truth, rejoice in Thy mighty hand and be glad for Thy salvation, and exult because of Thy suc[cour and] peace. O God of Israel, who can compare with Thee in might? Thy mighty hand is with the poor. Which angel or prince can compare with Thy [redeeming] succour? [For Thou hast appointed] the day of battle from ancient times ... [to come to the aid] of truth and to destroy iniquity, to bring Darkness low and to magnify Light ... to stand for ever, and to destroy all the sons of Darkness ...
... <<XIV>> like the fire of His wrath against the idols of Egypt.
And when they have risen from the slain to return to the camp, they shall all sing the Psalm of Return. And in the morning, they shall wash their garments, and shall cleanse themselves of the blood of the bodies of the ungodly. And they shall return to the positions in which they stood in battle formation before the fall of the enemy slain, and there they shall all bless the God of Israel. Rejoicing together, they shall praise His Name, and speaking they shall say:
Blessed be the God of Israel
who keeps mercy towards His Covenant,
and the appointed times of salvation
with the people He has delivered!
He has called them that staggered
to [marvellous mighty deeds],
and has gathered in the assembly of the nations
to destruction without any remnant.
He has lifted up in judgement the fearful of heart
and has opened the mouth of the dumb
that they might praise [His mighty] works.
He has taught war [to the hand] of the feeble
and steadied the trembling knee;
he has braced the back of the smitten.
By the poor in spirit
... the hard of heart,
and by the perfect of way
all the nations of wickedness have come to an end:
not one of their mighty men stands.
But we, the remnant [of Thy people,
shall praise] Thy Name, O God of mercies,
who hast kept the Covenant with our fathers.
In all our generations Thou hast bestowed
Thy wonderful favours on the remnant [of Thy people]
under the dominion of Satan.
During all the mysteries of his Malevolence
he has not made [us] stray from Thy Covenant;
Thou hast driven his spirits [of destruction]
far from [Thine elect],
Thou hast preserved the soul of Thy redeemed
[from all the snares] of his dominion.
Thou hast raised the fallen by Thy strength,
but hast cut down the great in height
[and hast brought down the lofty].
There is no rescue for all their mighty men
and no refuge for their swift men;
Thou givest to their honoured men a reward of shame,
all their empty existence [hast Thou turned to nothing].
But we, Thy holy people, will praise Thy Name
because of the works of Thy truth.
We will exalt Thy splendour because of Thy mighty deeds
[in all the] seasons and appointed times for ever,
at the coming of day and at nightfall
and at the departure of evening and morning.
For great [is the design of Thy glory]
and of Thy wonderful mysteries on high
that [Thou shouldst raise up] dust before Thee
and lay low the gods.
Rise up, rise up, O God of gods,
rise up in [Thy might] !
... all the sons of Darkness.
The light of Thy greatness [shall shine forth]
<<XV>> For this shall be a time of distress for Israel, [and of the summons] to war against all the nations. There shall be eternal deliverance for the company of God, but destruction for all the nations of wickedness.
All those [who are ready] for battle shall march out and shall pitch their camp before the king of the Kittim and before all the host of Satan gathered about him for the Day [of Revenge] by the Sword of God.
Then the High Priest shall rise, with the [Priests], his brethren, and the Levites, and all the men of the army, and he shall recite aloud the Prayer in Time of War [written in the book] of the Rule concerning this time, and also all their Hymns. He shall marshal all the formations there, as is [written in the Book of War], and the priest appointed for the Day of Revenge by the voice of all his brethren shall go forward to strengthen the [hearts of the fighting men]. Speaking, he shall say:
Be strong and valiant; be warriors! Fear not! Do not be [confused and do not let your hearts be afraid!] Do not be fearful; fear them not! Do not fall back ... for they are a congregation of wickedness and all their works are in Darkness; they tend toward Darkness. [They make for themselves] a refuge [in falsehood] and their power shall vanish like smoke. All the multitudes of their community ... shall not be found. Damned as they are, all the substance of their wickedness shall quickly fade, like a flower in [the summertime] .
[Be brave and] strong for the battle of God! For this day is [the time of the battle of] God against all the host of Satan, [and of the judgement of] all flesh. The God of Israel lifts His hand in His marvellous [might] against all the spirits of wickedness. [The hosts of] the warrior gods gird themselves for battle, [and the] formations of the Holy Ones [prepare themselves] for the Day [of Revenge] ... <<XVI>> ... For the God of Israel has called out the sword against all the nations, and He will do mighty deeds by the saints of His people.
And they shall obey all this Rule [on] the [day] when they stand before the camps of the Kittim
The Priests shall afterwards sound for them the trumpets of the Reminder, and the gates of war shall open; the footsoldiers shall advance and the columns shall station themselves between the formations. The Priests shall sound for them the signal, 'Battle Array', and at the sound of the trumpets the columns [shall deploy] until every man is in his place. The Priests shall then sound a second signal [for them to advance], and when they are within throwing distance of the formation of the Kittim, each man shall seize his weapon of war.
Then the six [Priests shall blow on] the trumpets of Massacre a shrill staccato blast to direct the battle, and the Levites and all the blowers of rams' horns shall sound [a battle alarm], a mighty clamour; and with this clamour they shall begin to bring down the slain from among the Kittim. All the people shall cease their clamour, [but the Priests shall continue to] sound the trumpets of Massacre, and battle shall be fought against the Kittim.
And when [Satan] girds himself to come to the aid of the sons of darkness, and when the slain among the foot-soldiers begin to fall by the mysteries of God, and when all the men appointed for battle are put to ordeal by them, the Priests shall sound the trumpets of Summons for another formation of the reserve to advance into battle; and they shall take up their stand between the formations. And for those engaged [in battle] they shall sound the 'Withdrawal'.
Then the High Priest shall draw near, and standing before the formation, he shall strengthen by the power of God their hearts [and hands] in His battle. Speaking he shall say:
... <<XVII>> He will pay their reward with burning [fire by the hand of] those tested in the crucible. He will sharpen His weapons and will not tire until all the wicked nations are destroyed. Remember the judgement [of Nadab and Ab]ihu, sons of Aaron, by whose judgement God showed Himself holy in the eyes [of Israel. But Eleazar] and Ithamar He confirmed in an everlasting [priestly] Covenant.
Be strong and fear not; [for they tend] towards chaos and confusion, and they lean on that which is not and [shall not be. To the God] of Israel belongs all that is and shall be; [He knows] all the happenings of eternity. This is the day appointed by Him for the defeat and overthrow of the Prince of the kingdom of wickedness, and He will send eternal succour to the company of His redeemed by the might of the princely Angel of the kingdom of Michael.
With everlasting light He will enlighten with joy [the children] of Israel; peace and blessing shall be with the company of God. He will raise up the kingdom of Michael in the midst of the gods, and the realm of Israel in the midst of all flesh. Righteousness shall rejoice on high, and all the children of His truth shall jubilate in eternal knowledge.
And you, the sons of His Covenant, be strong in the ordeal of God! His mysteries shall uphold you until He moves His hand for His trials to come to an end.
After these words, the Priests shall sound to marshal them into the divisions of the formation; and at the sound of the trumpets the columns shall deploy until [every man is] in his place. Then the Priests shall sound a second signal on the trumpets for them to advance, and when the [foot-] soldiers approach throwing distance of the formation of the Kittim, every man shall seize his weapon of war.
The Priests shall blow the trumpets of Massacre, [and the Levites and all] the blowers of rams' horns shall sound a battle alarm, and the foot-soldiers shall stretch out their hands against the host of the Kittim; [and at the sound of the alarm] they shall begin to bring down the slain. All the people shall cease their clamour, but the Priests shall continue to blow [the trumpets of Massacre and battle shall be fought against the Kittim.]
... and in the third lot... that the slain may fall by the mysteries of God . ..
<<XVIII>> [In the seventh lot] when the great hand of God is raised in an everlasting blow against Satan and all the hosts of his kingdom, and when Assyria is pursued [amidst the shouts of Angels] and the clamour of the Holy Ones, the sons of Japheth shall fall to rise no more. The Kittim shall be crushed without [remnant, and no man shall be saved from among them].
[At that time, on the day] when the hand of the God of Israel is raised against all the multitude of Satan, the Priests shall blow [the six trumpets] of the Reminder and all the battle formations shall rally to them and shall divide against all the [camps of the] Kittim to destroy them utterly. [And as] the sun speeds to its setting on that day, the High Priest shall stand, together [with the Levites] who are with him and the [tribal] chiefs [and the elders] of the army, and they shall bless the God of Israel there. Speaking they shall say:
Blessed be Thy Name, O God [of gods], for Thou hast worked great marvels [with Thy people]! Thou hast kept Thy Covenant with us from of old, and hast opened to us the gates of salvation many times. For the [sake of Thy Covenant Thou hast removed our misery, in accordance with] Thy [goodness] towards us. Thou hast acted for the sake of Thy Name, O God of righteousness ... [Thou hast worked a marvellous] miracle [for us], and from ancient times there never was anything like it.
For Thou didst know the time appointed for us and it has appeared [before us] this day ... [Thou hast shown] us [Thy merciful hand] in everlasting redemption by causing [the dominion of] the enemy to fall back for ever. (Thou hast shown us) Thy mighty hand in [a stroke of destruction in the war against all] our enemies.
And now the day speeds us to the pursuit of their multitude ... Thou hast delivered up the hearts of the brave so that they stand no more.
For Thine is the power, and the battle is in Thy hands! ... <<XIX>> For our Sovereign is holy and the King of Glory is with us; the [host of his spirits is with our foot-soldiers and horsemen. They are as clouds, as clouds of dew] covering the earth, and as a shower of rain shedding righteousness on [all that grows there].
[Rise up, O Hero!
Lead off Thy captives, O Glorious One!
Gather up] Thy spoils, O Author of mighty deeds!
Lay Thy hand on the neck of Thine enemies
and Thy feet [on the pile of the slain!
Smite the nations, Thine adversaries],
and devour flesh with Thy sword!
Fill Thy land with glory
and Thine inheritance with blessing!
[Let there be a multitude of cattle in Thy fields,
and in] Thy palaces
[silver and gold and precious stones]!
O Zion, rejoice greatly!
Rejoice all you cities of Judah!
[Keep your gates ever open
that the] hosts of the nations
[may be brought in]!
Their kings shall serve you
and all your oppressors shall bow down before you;
[they shall lick the dust of your feet.
Shout for joy, O daughters of] my people!
Deck yourselves with glorious jewels
[and rule over the kingdom of the nations!
Sovereignty shall be to the Lord]
and everlasting dominion to Israel.
... that night to rest until the morning. And in the morning [they shall go to the place where the formation stood before the] warriors of the Kittim fell, and the multitudes of Assyria, and the hosts of all the nations [assembled with them] ... [slain, for] they fell there under the Sword of God.
And the High Priest shall draw near, [with his vicar, and the chief Priests and the Levites] ... of battle, and all the chiefs of the formations and their numbered men; [they shall return to the positions which they held before the] slain [began to fall] from among the Kittim, and there they shall praise the God [of Israel] ...