Chapter 7 - Hymns and Mysteries

This Chapter contains some of the most splendid and beautiful texts in the whole corpus. We have grouped them together because of 1) their liturgical quality and 2) because of their relationship to the whole theme of ‘Hidden Mysteries’ referred to in the last texts of Chapter 5, and evoked variously in the Chariots of Glory, the Hymns of the Poor, and the Sons of Salvation (Yesha’) and the Mystery of Existence below.


This last text could just as easily have been placed in Chapter 5 under Admonitions, where it typologically belongs, but because of its clear affinities in vocabulary and content with these other texts, we place it here.

The Baptismal Hymns are interesting in themselves, particularly because of the importance of the subject which they treat. The period of the Dead Sea Scrolls was apparently a time of extensive development in the area of liturgy, as these examples and the published Hymns from Cave 1 suggest. This was probably also true of Rabbinic tradition, which was beginning its development in this period as well. Certainly, too, the Eighteen Benedictions, referred to above in connection with the Messiah of Heaven and Earth text, and other elements of Jewish community worship arose during these years.


Unfortunately the extant evidence on these matters is slim. For instance, we did not even know whether it was common in this period to pray together from a set text, that is until the appearance of these materials from Qumran. Now, however, we can certainly be sure that it was common to curse together or, at least to expel someone from a set text recited in unison, as we have seen above and will see again below.


The ‘amen, amen’s attached to this process, as well as to blessing in the texts in this volume and in Column 2 of the Community Rule, are illustrative in this regard. In this section the Hymns of the Poor are related both to the already published Hymns from Cave 1 and their prototype, the Psalms from the Bible. The Paean to King Jonathan in the last Chapter is another similar genre. The parchment on which it was found also seems to have contained some additional Hymns known from the Qumran Psalms Scroll as well as compilations in Syriac.


Nor are these Hymns to be dissociated from the literature of Admonitions above. There is at best a fine line between them, and other material, as for instance in the cryptic Sons of Dawn or the Demons of Death (Beatitudes) texts.

The reference to ‘Miraculous’ or ‘Secret Mysteries’, and the study of the seemingly forbidden subject of ‘Being’ or ‘Existence’, including the Sons of Dawn text in cryptic script apparently related to these, relate to a whole genre of literature of this kind like the Sefer ha-Razim (Book of Mysteries) and other magical texts from the first few centuries AD with a mystic tendency so frowned upon by the Rabbis and yet so much related to Kabbalah and the development of medieval and modern Jewish mysticism.


The materials in this Chapter are a rich source for studies such as these, as well as for Secret Mysteries, as the previously published Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice already are. As the examples in this Chapter illustrate, the sentiments they express are of the most lofty and sublime nature.


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41. The Chariots Of Glory (4Q286-287) (Plate 21)

We call this text, which contains some of the most beautiful and emotive vocabulary in the entire Qumran repertoire, the Chariots of Glory to emphasize its connections with Ezekiel’s visions and Merkabah mysticism. It is a work of such dazzling faith and ecstatic vision that it fairly overwhelms the reader. Of course, it completely gainsays anyone who would challenge the literary audacity, virtuosity and creativity of those responsible for the Qumran corpus.


This work, which has obvious affinities with the already published Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice, found at both Qumran and Masada, is a work of what goes by the name in Judaism and Kabbalah of the Mysticism of the Heavenly ‘Chariot’ or ‘Throne’ - so cultivated in the Middle Ages and beyond. If it is not the starting point of this genre, it is certainly one of the earliest extant exemplars of it.


Not surprisingly, Line 5 of Manuscript A Fragment 1, as we have arranged the text, also alludes, whether by accident or design, to the word ‘Splendour’, (Zohar), and a plural variation in Line 3 earlier, ‘the Splendours of Nobility’. These in turn are obviously to be equated with ‘all Your Secrets’ in Line 2. The name Zohar, of course, is the title of the best known work of thirteenth-century medieval Jewish mysticism in Spain.

In Lines 3-5, these ‘Secrets’ are equated, in an explosion of ecstatic imagery, with ‘the feet of Your Glory’, ‘the Foundations of fire’, ‘the flames of Your Lamp’, ‘the fires of Light’ and ‘the Highness of the Beauty of the Fountain’. This is just a sampling of the vocabulary of this text, one of the most ecstatic visionary recitals of any period, ancient or modern.

The text also operates within the Hesed / Zedek dichotomy discussed earlier. These twin concepts, as we have seen, are the equivalent of the two ‘love’ commandments enunciated in the New Testament as the basis of Jesus’ teaching, namely ‘loving God’ (Hesed) and ‘loving your neighbour’ (Zedek). Early Church literature also associates them unmistakably with the figure of James.


They are also the two ‘Ways’ of early Church documents like The Didache and cornerstones of Kabbalistic thinking. Here the text makes allusions, too, to ‘the sons of Righteousness’, a usage we have already expounded at length in relation to the document by that name. We have delineated it as indistinguishable from and a variation of ‘the sons of Zadok’ terminology so much discussed in relation to the published corpus. In Lines 7-9 the phrase is used, not surprisingly, in conjunction with wording like ‘the Pious Ones’ (Hassidim) and ‘the Congregation of Goodness’ - also ‘the Pious Ones of Truth’, ‘the Eternal Merciful Ones’ and ‘Miraculous Mysteries’.

Calendrical notations, like sabbaths, festivals and jubilees, which Paul in Gal. 4:9-10 refers to as ‘beggarly elements’, are referred to by ecstatic-sounding titles such as ‘the weeks of Holiness’, ‘monthly flags’, ‘festivals of Glory’ and ‘eternal Jubilees’. This fragment ends in Line 13 with the ‘Light’ and ‘Dark’ imagery familiar in numerous contexts already mentioned, not least of which is the prologue to the Gospel of John.

A second text, Manuscript B Fragment 1, continues and increases the richness of this vocabulary with allusions like ‘the doors of their Wonders’, ‘the Angels of fire’, ‘the Spirits of cloud’, ‘the embroidered Radiance of the Spirits of the Holy of Holies’, ‘the firmament of the Holy of Holies’, ‘their wondrous palaces’, ‘the servants of Holiness’ and ‘the Perfection of their works’ (3-10).

The last two of these are of particular interest. The first echoes a phrase in 2 Cor. 11:15 (also echoed in Rom. 6:22), which we have already noted above and in which Paul complains about Hebrew ‘archapostles’ who call themselves ‘apostles of Christ’, but whom he rather calls ‘lying workmen’.


These, like ‘Satan disguising himself as an Angel of Light’, disguise themselves as ‘servants of Righteousness’. He ends in a parody of the presumed ‘works Righteousness’ of ‘those proclaiming another Jesus’ of the kind we have seen above with regard to ‘cursing’, namely their ‘end shall be according to their works’ (11:16).

The second allusion, ‘the Perfection of their works’ recapitulates one of the most important doctrines at Qumran, ‘Perfection’. This term is used in the Damascus Document, viii. 28-30, as it is in 2 Cor. 7:11, in conjunction with ‘Holiness’: ‘Perfect Holiness’ or ‘the Perfection of Holiness’. It is also used, as in the numerous allusions to ‘Perfection of the Way’ or ‘the Perfect of the Way’, as a term of self-designation.


As such, it resonates with similar allusions in Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount. Here, it is combined with the ‘works’ ideology in a new and different way (10).

Manuscript A Fragment 2 should perhaps be referred to as the Ecology Hymn. It is a veritable Hymn to Nature, one of the most beautiful pieces of nature poetry found at Qumran. On the whole the Qumran literature we have seen thus far has been interested either in Eternal Holy Things or worldly problems related to approaching Eternal Holy Things.


In this little fragment, we have one of the first expressions of a sensitivity to nature hitherto missing from the literature. Here the ‘hills’, ‘valleys’ and ‘streams’, ‘the land of beauty’, ‘the depths of forests’, ‘the wilderness of the desert’, ‘its wilds’ and ‘deep wells’, ‘the highland woods and the cedars of Lebanon’ are praised together with ‘all their produce’ - in a manner one felt had to be present at Qumran, but up to now was not.


We have entitled Fragment 3.2 ‘The Community Council Curses Belial’. It is an almost perfect excommunication text of the kind at the end of the Damascus Document encountered in Chapter 6. Though that text was assigned, as we have seen, to ‘the priest commanding over the Many’ (presumably the high priest designate of the Community) and possibly the Mebakker / Bishop, this text is actually assigned to the Community Council.


Once again the homogeneity of the literature at Qumran is demonstrated, i.e. this must be the very same Community Council so lovingly detailed in the Community Rule and other texts. It is to be recited by the Community Council in unison, but this Council according to other work is commanded by the Mebakker. If the latter is to be equated with ‘the priest commanding the Many’, then once again all our allusions have come full circle. Like the last column of the Damascus Document, the vehemence and militancy of this text is quite startling.


These are no peaceful Essenes, nor do the practitioners of this kind of hatred love their enemies; rather in the style of 1QS,ix.21-2 and CD,vi.l4-15, they hate ‘the sons of the Pit’. There is the usual vocabulary of ‘Belial’ and ‘the sons of Belial’, ‘cursing’, ‘Darkness’, ‘the Pit’, ‘Evil’, all punctuated, as in 1QS,ii, by repetitions of ‘Amen, Amen’. In addition one gets new formulations, like ‘the Angel of the Pit’, ‘the Spirit of Destruction’, ‘the abominations of Sheol’.


An allusion to mastemato also occurs in 3.2.2, here descriptive of Belial, further confirming the basic circularity of these references to Satan, Belial and Mastemoth. Nor is there any sense of forgiveness here, but rather ‘the fury of God’s wrath’ will last forever (3.2.10).

Throughout the document as we have reconstructed it, one encounters additional familiar vocabulary like ‘the Way’ imagery, ‘Glory’, ‘the Holy Names’, ‘the Glorious Names of God’, ‘mighty works’, ‘healing’ and ‘miraculous works’. These last are particularly interesting where the history of Christianity is concerned. But in addition, one has the paraphernalia of Jewish mysticism: ‘wondrous Palaces’, ‘their Secrets’, ‘secret Truth’, ‘Treasure house of Understanding’, and ‘Miraculous Mysteries’.


There are also ‘the Fountain of Understanding’ and ‘the Fountain of Discovery’, which have interesting reverberations with allusions in medieval Jewish poetry, as well as with the title of a treatise, the Fons Vitae (The Living Fountain) by its most celebrated practitioner, the famous eleventh-century Judeo-Arabic mystic poet of Spain, Solomon Ibn Gabirol.

We have already seen a variation of this imagery in the Demons of Death (Beatitudes) in Chapter 5. This ‘Living Fountain’ imagery will recur later in this Chapter in further hymns, this time ‘to the Poor’, terminology also important for early Christian history in Palestine. It will be developed to its fullest degree in the Children of Salvation (Yerha’) and the Mystery of Existence, with which we close this Chapter.

The use of the word ‘Glory’ in texts such as these is not only interesting because of parallel New Testament usages, but also because of allusions like those in Josephus’ description of the beginnings of the Zealot movement. He describes two Rabbis in the disturbance of 4 BC, just preceding the death of Herod, who encourage their followers to strike a blow against Rome and the Herodian family by pulling down the Roman eagle Herod had erected in defiance of all tradition over the entrance to the Temple. They do so in terms of the glory and immortality such zealous acts will gain for their practitioners (War 1.650).

Finally the first line of this manuscript begins with allusions to ‘the footstools of the feet of your Glory’ from Gen. 49:10. The reader will recall this as the Shiloh Prophecy. It was subjected to exegesis in the Genesis Florilegium in Chapter 3, which interpreted the ‘Shiloh’ in terms of ‘the Messiah of Righteousness who would arise at the end of days’. Between these same ‘feet’ (those of ‘the Shiloh’) is the Mehokkek or ‘Law-giver’, not to mention ‘the Sceptre’, which were also interpreted in this context.


This ‘footstools’/’feet’ imagery is carried further in A. 1.1 to ‘standing’ and ‘walkway’ allusions. The image of ‘standing’ to great heights is known in Pseudo-clementine tradition - those fourth-century Jewish Christian novellas. One of these, called the Recognitions (in which a figure meant to represent Paul attacks James in the Temple) describes someone it calls ‘the Standing One’, a great redeemer figure which ‘stands’ to a fantastic height.

But the one surviving line from Manuscript A Fragment 3, which refers to ‘the Holy Spirit settling upon His Messiah’ has truly remarkable implications, particularly in the setting of the text’s rapturous imagery previously. By quoting Isa. 11:2, ‘the Spirit of the Lord would settle on him’, which it rephrases slightly, it recalls the Messianic Leader (Nasi) text from Chapter 1 which quoted Isa. 11:1. The rephrasing, however slight, is worth noting.


‘Him’ is now transmuted into ‘His Messiah’. But this was the term we encountered in the first line of the first text from Chapter 1, the Messiah of Heaven and Earth. Lest anyone doubted it, Isa. 11:2’s ‘the Spirit of the Lord’ now becomes the more imposing ‘the Holy Spirit’. A text of this kind, paralleling the scriptural presentation of Jesus’ baptism in the Gospels and related discussions in Hebrews, while at the same time binding all these texts together into a homogeneous whole, reconfirms the basically single, Davidic Messiah ideology at Qumran.


It also once more confirms - if such confirmation were by now necessary - the total Messianic thrust of the entire corpus.




Foundations of Fire

Manuscript A

Fragment 1

(1) the seat of Your Honor and the footstools of the feet of Your Glory, in the Heights of Your standing and the ru[ng] (2) of Your Holiness and the chariots of Your Glory with their [mu]ltitudes and wheel-angels, and all [Your] Secrets, (3) Foundations of fire, flames of Your lamp, Splendors of honor, fi[re]s of lights and miraculous brilliances, (4) [hon]or and virtue and highness of Glory, holy Secret and pla[ce of Splendor and the highness of the beauty of the Fountain], (5) [majes]ty and the gathering-place of power, honor, praise and mighty wonders and healing[s], (6) and miraculous works, Secret Wisdom and image of Knowledge and Fountain of Understanding, Fountain of Discovery (7) and counsel of Holiness and Secret Truth, treasurehouse of Understanding from the sons of Righteousness, and dwelling places of Upright[ness...] (8) Pious O[nes] and congregation of Goodness and Pious Ones of Truth and Eternal Merciful Ones and miraculous Myst[eries] (9) when th[ey app]ear, and weeks of Holiness in their rightful order and monthly flags... (10) in their seasons and festivals of Glory in [their] times... (11) and sabbaths of the earth in their divi[sions and appointed] times of jub[ilee...] (12) [and] Eternal [Jub]ilees... (13) [Li]ght and Dark[ness...]

Ecology Hymn
Fragment 2

(1) (Let us praise)... the land and all who [dwe]ll... who inhabit it, earth and all the[ir] equipment (2) [and al]1 its subsistance... [and al]1 hills, valleys and all streams, land of beau[ty...] (3) [Let us] praise the dept[hs] of forests and the wildernesses of Hor[eb...] (4) and its wilds and foundations of..., islands and... (5) [the]ir fruits, highland woods and all the cedars of Leba[non...] (6) [new] wine and oil and all the produce of... (7) and all the offerings of the land in (the) tw[elve] months... (8) Your word. Amen. Amen. (9)... and fortress and water, deep wells... (10) every stream, de[ep] rivers... (11) water... (12) [al]1 their Secrets...

Eternal Knowledge
Fragment 3

Column 1

(1)... the lands (2)... their young men (3)... and all their companions in praises of (4)... and praises of Truth in the times of fe[stival] (5)... Your... and the bearer of Your Kingdom in the midst of Peo[ples] (6)... Angels of purity with all Eternal Knowledge, to... (7) [to bles]s Your glorious Name for[ever.] Amen. Amen. (8)... continue to praise the God of... [al]1 His Truth...

The Community Council Curses Belial
Fragment 3

Column 2

(1) The Community Council shall say together in unison, ‘Amen. Amen.’ Then [they] shall curse Belial (2) and all his guilty lot, and they shall answer and say, ‘Cursed be [Be]lial in his devilish (Mastematic) scheme, (3) and damned be he in his guilty rule. Cursed be all the spir[its of] his Mot in their Evil scheme. (4) And may they be damned in the schemes of their [un]clean pollution. Surely [they are the to]t of Darkness. Their punishment (5) will be the eternal Pit. Amen. Amen. And cursed be the Evi[1] One [in all] of his dominions, and damned be (6) all the sons of Bel[ial] in all their times of service until their consummation [forever. Amen. Amen.’] (7) And [they are to repeat and say, ‘Cursed be you, Angel of the Pit and Spir[it of Destruction in al[1] the schemes of [your] gu[ilty] inclination, (8) [and in all the abominable [purposes] and counsel of [your] Wick[edness. And damned be you in [your] [sinful] d[omi]n[ion] (9) [and in your wicked and guilty rule,] together with all the abom[inations of She]ol and [the reproach of the P]it, (10) [and with the humiliations of destruction, with [no remnant and no forgiveness, in the fury of [God’s] wrath [for]ever [and ever.] Amen. A[men.] (11) [And cursed be al]1 who perform their [Evil schemes,] who establish your Evil purposes [in their hearts against] (12) Go[d’s Covenant,] so as to [reject the words of those who see] his [Tru]th, and exchange the Judge[ments of the Torah...]

The Splendour of the Spirits
Manuscript B

Fragment 1

(1)... as the[ir] teachers... (2) their... their honor... (3) their Glory, the doors of their wonders... (4) the Angels of fire and the Spirits of cloud... (5) [the] embroidered [Splen]dor of the Spirits of the Holy of Hol[ies...] (6) and firmaments of the Holy [of Holies...] (7) months with all [their] festivals... (8) the Glorious Name of Yo[ur] God... (9) and all the servants of Ho[liness...] (10) in the Perfection of th[eir] works... (11) in [their] wond[rous] Temples... (12) [a]ll [their] servant[s...] (13) Your Holiness in the habitat[ion of...]


Fragment 2

(1)... them, and they shall bless Your Holy Name with blessing[s... (2) and they shall bless] You, all creatures of flesh in unison, whom [You] have creat[ed... (3) beasts and birds and reptiles and the fish of the seas, and all... (4) [Y]ou have created them all anew... Fragment 3 (13)... The Holy Spirit [sett]led upon His Messiah...

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42. Baptismal Hymn (4Q414)

On the heels of this text, we come upon a series of fragments relating to baptism. By baptism, of course, the reader should realize that the proponents of this literature did not necessarily mean anything different from traditional Jewish ritual immersion. The terminologies are synonymous, though the emphasis on baptismal procedures at Qumran is extraordinary.


This can be seen not only in texts such as the one represented by these fragments and the well-known Community Rule,iii,1-4, which in describing baptism makes reference to ‘the Holy Spirit’, but also the sheer number of ritual immersion facilities at the actual ruins of Qumran - if these can be safely associated with the movement responsible for this literature.

Once again, one is confronted with the vocabulary of ‘Glory’, this time in terms of ‘a law of Glory’ (4.3), as well as, if our reconstruction is correct, ‘the purity of Righteousness’ or ‘Justification’ (4.4). There is reference to ‘making atonement for us’, being ‘cleansed from pollution’ as one ‘enters the water’, and the usual ‘Laws of your Holiness’ and ‘Truth of Your Covenant’.


There is also an interesting allusion to a ‘Jewish woman’, which parallels the reference to ‘a Jewish man’ in the calendrical texts, and shows the extent to which the usage ‘Jew’ had already taken hold in Palestine in the first century BC and the first century AD.



Fragment 1

Column 1

(1)... in the word (2)... those purified for the appointed time (3)... of You and to atone for us (4)...those who are pure before You (5)... his time, in everything (6)... to be cleansed during (7)... You have made us


Column 2

(1) Your... for the Laws of Holine[ss...] (2) on the first [and] third and se[venth (days)...] (3) in the Tr[u]th of You[r] Covenant... (4) to be cleansed from the pollution of... (5) and after he enters the water... (6) he will answer and say, Blessed are Y[ou...] (7) for from the declaration of Your mouth... (8) men of...

Fragment 2

(1) his... in the day... (2)... will bless... (3) Israel who... (4) before You from all... (5) Your Holiness... (6) you have abandoned...

Fragment 3

(1) s[ou]l...(2) that... (3) for You as a p[use] people... (4) also, I am... (5) the day when... (6) in the appointed times of purification... (7) of the Community...(8) in the purity of [I]srael, for... (9) [and] they [will] dwell... (10) And it will come to pass in the day... (11) a Jewish woman...

Fragment 4

(1) for You have made... (2) Your... to be purified befo[re...] (3) for Him, a Law of Glory... (4) and to be in the purity of Ri[ghteousness...] (5) and w[ash]ing in water, and he will be... (6) You will... And after he returns... (7) purifying his people with cleansing water... (8) the second one in his place will sta[nd...] (9) Your purification] in the Glory of ... (10)... in the da[y...]

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43. Hymns Of The Poor (4Q434, 436)

These texts are appropriately titled. It is important to see the extent to which the terminology Ebionim (‘the Poor’) and its synonyms penetrated Qumran literature. Early commentators were aware of the significance of this usage, though later ones have been mostly insensitive to it. The use of this terminology, and its ideological parallels, ‘Am (‘Meek’) and Dal (‘Downtrodden’), as interchangeable terms of self-designation at Qumran, is of the utmost importance.


There are even examples in crucial contexts of the published corpus of an allusion like ‘the Poor in Spirit’, known from Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount in both the War Scroll, xi.10 and the Community Rule, iv.3. It is clear from the Pauline corpus that in some sense the community following the leadership of James the just (known in the literature as ‘the brother of Jesus’, whatever is meant by that designation) - the socalled Jerusalem Church or Jerusalem Community - were called ‘the Poor’ (Gal. 2:10; also Jas. 2:3-5).


Remembering ‘the Poor’, meaning in some sense bringing a proper amount of monetary contributions back to Jerusalem, is all Paul is willing to say in Galatians above about the conditions laid down on his activities by his ideological opposite James.

As tradition proceeds, it becomes clear that the Ebionim (the so-called Ebionites) or ‘the Poor’ is the name by which the community descending from James’ Jerusalem Community in Palestine goes. In all likelihood, it descends from the one we are studying in these materials as well. This movement, called by some ‘Jewish Christianity’ - the appellation is defective, but we have no other - honoured the person and teaching of this James, otherwise known as ‘the Righteous’ or ‘Just One’.


By the fourth century, the high Church historian Eusebius, previously Bishop of Caesarea, is willing to tell us about these Ebionites. Of Palestinian origin and one of the people primarily responsible for the Christian takeover in Rome, he clearly regards the Ebionites he describes as sectarian - sectarian, of course, in contradistinction to that form of Pauline Christianity that he helped promote in Constantine’s time.

He tells us in Ecclesiastical History, 3.27 that they were ‘called Ebionites by the ancients (i.e. a long time before his own era) because of the low and mean opinions they held about Christ’. By this statement he means that the Ebionites do not regard Jesus as divine. He does so, using the ‘Wicked Demon’, ‘Devil’ and ‘net’ language that is so much a cornerstone of the presentation of the charges in the Damascus Document against them. Knowing that Ebionite means ‘Poor Man in Hebrew’, he jokingly contends that they received this epithet because of ‘the poverty of intellect they exhibited’, i.e. in following such a primitive Christology.

He knows that they considered Christ born by ‘natural’ means, ‘a plain and ordinary man, who was justified by his advances in Righteousness only... They also insisted on the complete observance of the Law, nor did they think one could be saved only by faith in Christ and a corresponding life.’ Rather ‘they evinced great zeal to observe the literal sense of the Law... They observed the Sabbath and other ceremonies just like Jews.’ Paul they considered ‘an apostate from the Law’ (italics ours).


This description of the Ebionites is crucial to our understanding of these texts and the widespread use of the ‘Poor’ terminology at Qumran. Though there is more material from other sources about these Ebionites, they are certainly the community that held the memory of James in the highest regard, whereas Paul they considered ‘the Enemy’ or Anti-Christ (compare this with the terminology Mastema we are encountering in these texts). Such a stance is not unparalleled in crucial passages from the letter in James’ name in the New Testament.


We have already shown that this letter, in responding to some adversary who believes that Abraham was justified only by faith, states that by making himself ‘a friend of man’, this adversary has turned himself into ‘the Enemy of God’. This ‘Enemy’ terminology is also known in Matt. 13:25-40’s ‘parable of the tares’, perhaps the only anti-Pauline parable in the Gospels, where an ‘Enemy’ sows the ‘tares’ among the good seed. At the ‘harvest’ these will be uprooted and thrown into ‘the burning’.

The use of Ebionim as a term of self-designation at Qumran is widespread, most notably in the pesharim, but also, as we have seen, in the interpretation of the Star Prophecy in Column xi of the War Scroll. Here it is stated that by ‘the hand of the Poor Ones whom You have redeemed by Your Power and the peace of Your Mighty Wonders... by the hand of the Poor Ones and those bent in the dust, You will deliver the Enemies of all the lands and humble the mighty of the Peoples to bring upon their heads the reward of the Wicked and justify the judgement of Your Truth on all the sons of men...’ There is no need to quote further.

The terminology is also used in crucial constructions in the Habakkuk Pesher, though it does not appear in the underlying text at all. However its variation, ‘Ant (‘Meek’) does, but not until Hab. 3:14. Regardless of this, for the pesher, the Ebionim are the rank and file of the Community led by the Teacher of Righteousness, whose fate they share (xii.6ff).


Where scriptural exegesis at Qumran generally is concerned, this is one of the terms from Psalms and Prophets looked for by the exegetes. In the Qumran Hymns, v.23 the term Ebionei-Hesed (‘the Poor Ones of Piety’) occurs as a particularly telling form of self designation. It combines, as we can see, two important Qumran terminologies: the Ebionim and the Hassidim.

Found in five identifiable copies, the Hymns of the Poor are delicate poetic creations of considerable beauty. Stylistically, they are similar to the Hymns from Cave 1. They derive their name from the widespread use of the term Ebionim and its variants ‘Anavim and Dal, ‘the Meek’ and ‘the Downtrodden’ throughout. The familiar vocabulary of ‘Knowledge’, ‘Glory’, ‘Piety’, ‘the judgements of the Way’, ‘the Ways of Truth’, ‘the Way of His heart’, ‘zeal’, ‘anger’, ‘Light’, ‘Darkness’, ‘Gentiles’ and ‘Violent Ones’ again appears.

The interchangeability of the usages ‘the Poor’, ‘the Meek’ and ‘the Downtrodden’ is paralleled in the published Hymns from Cave 1 by the use of nephesh Ebion (‘soul of the Poor One’ - also used here in Line 2.1.1), and nephesh—‘Ani (‘soul of the Meek’), used repeatedly throughout. A parallel, Nephesh- Zaddik (‘soul of the Righteous One’), is to be found in a context of some import at the end of Column i of the Cairo recension of the Damascus Document.


Evoking another familiar phrase, ‘the Way of His heart’, used in these Hymns to the Poor as well, the passage describes a particularly violent attack on ‘the soul of the Righteous One’ (presumably the Righteous Teacher) and some of his colleagues. These it refers to also as ‘walkers in Perfection’.

Line 4 of Fragment 1 of the present text actually uses an allusion hinted at in compilations of Messianic proof texts like the published Messianic Florilegium: ‘tinzor Toratecha’ (‘to keep Your Torah’). The use of this expression as a synonym for the Shomrei ha-Brit (‘the Keepers of the Covenant’), the definition in the Community Rule, v.2 and v.9 of ‘the sons of Zadok’, once more confirms the basic circularity of all these usages. It is but a short step from here to the ‘Nazoraean’ terminology often used as a synonym for Jewish Christians in other sources, and perhaps the root of Matt. 2:23’s tantalizing ‘Nazarene’ epithet.

From 2.1.5-9, one is completely in the context and atmosphere of the Habakkuk Pesher, xii, where the Wicked Priest ‘plotted to destroy the Poor Ones’. Beginning with the allusion to ‘circumcizing the foreskin of their hearts’ (4) which the Habakkuk Pesher, xi. 13 applies in a negative manner to disqualify the Wicked Priest presumably from Temple service, it is quite clear that a judgement of sorts, similar to that being evoked in the Habakkuk Pesher, v, viii, and xii is being described.


The ‘Violent Ones’, prominent in both the Habakkuk and the Ps. 37 Peshers are alluded to (5). In the last-mentioned text, they are referred to as ‘the Violent Ones of the Gentiles’- and take ‘vengeance’ on the Wicked Priest for what he did to the Righteous Teacher, i.e. ‘swallowed him’ or ‘destroyed him’. In Hymns of the Poor, Line 6, this allusion and one to the ‘Wicked’ that precedes it are followed immediately by a reference to divine ‘wrath’ and ‘hot anger’.


These are used repeatedly by the Habakkuk Pesher in the same context and with the same sense. Not only do they describe how the Wicked Priest pursued the Righteous Teacher to ‘swallow’ or ‘consume’ him (xi. 4-5) - in return for which he too would be ultimately swallowed or consumed (xi.14-15), but they also describe this vengeance as the vengeance of God. The parallels are so exact that it is quite clear the two texts are using the same vocabulary and concepts, to discuss the same events.


They are also quite possibly by the .came author. The link between them is that close. Because of their mutual regard for their subject, ‘the Poor’, both of them could be described as ‘Hymns to the Poor’, though the Habakkuk Pesher is much more than this.

In Lines 1 and 8 of 2.1, the same word, hizillhizilam (‘He saved’ / ‘He saved them’) is also being used that the Habakkuk Pesher uses to describe how ‘the Righteous’ are saved from ‘the House of judgement’ or the ‘Last judgement’ (viii. 2 and xii. 14). The latter’s eschatological exegesis of the all-important Hab. 2:4, that ‘the Righteous shall live by his faith’, hinges on the condition that those to whom it applies be both ‘Torah-Doers’ and ‘Jews’ (viii.l-2). Hab. 2:4, with Gen. 15:6 concerning Abraham’s faith is, as we have seen, the key scriptural foundation piece of Paul’s absolutely fundamental presentations in Rom. 1:17 and Gal. 3:11.

In the Hymns of the Poor, the Poor are ‘saved’ because of their ‘Piety’, and God’s ‘Mercy’, and because they ‘walked in the Way of His heart’. In Line 4 of 2. 1, this proposition is put as follows: ‘He saved them because of his Piety (here clearly ‘Grace’) and directed their foot to the Way.’ This exactly parallels the exegesis of Hab. 2:4 in the Habakkuk Pesher: ‘He saved them... because of their ‘aural (‘suffering works’) and their faith in the Righteous Teacher.’


Both are eschatological, the second demonstrably so. The Habakkuk Pesher also makes this clear by the reference in the previous exegesis to Hab. 2:3: ‘If it tarries, wait for it’, which it applies to what is known in early Christianity as ‘the delay of the Parousia’, i.e. the delay of the ‘End Time’.

One should also note the xenophobia inherent in Lines 7-10, and the references again paralleling the Habakkuk Pesher, to ‘peoples’, ‘Gentiles’ and the fiery ‘zeal’ with which God would judge them, i.e. God is as ‘zealous’ as these presumable ‘Zealots’. This is continued into Fragment 3, where, amid the language of ‘works’, ‘atonement’, ‘Piety’ and ‘Glory’, it is confirmed that God would comfort Jerusalem. Here the nationalist sentiments of the literature are once more completely apparent.


Throughout the judgement material in Fragment 2, it is made clear that it is from foreign ‘nations’ and ‘peoples’ that God would save ‘the Poor’, as ‘He sets His Angel round about the sons of Israel’ (12). There are splendid poetic allusions here too, such as, being ‘hidden in the shadow of His wings’ from Psalms or those who ‘walk in the Way of His heart’ singing ‘like flutes’ (7 and 10). In the end, just as in the case of Jerusalem, they would be comforted.

Line 2.6 reverses the Gospels’ ‘bride and bridegroom’ imagery. Whereas in the Gospels this imagery usually ends up in the disqualification of both Israel and the Law, here it is used to bless ‘the Torah and ‘the book of Your Laws’ (3.12). Here, too, that ‘Throne’ imagery, so much a part of Merkahah Mysticism and later medieval Jewish poetry, is once again evoked (3.7). As with the War Scroll from Cave 1, there can be no doubting the militancy of these Hymns, nor their nationalism, their zeal for the Law and their xenophobia, which it is possible to think of as becoming inverted in Gentile Christianity as it has come down to us.



Fragment 1

(1)... Understanding to strengthen the downcast heart, and to triumph over the spirit in it; to comfort the Downtrodden in the time of their distress, and as for the hands of the fallen, (2) to hold them up so they can make vessels of Knowledge, to give Knowledge to the Wise, to increase the learning of the Upright, so as to comprehend (3) Your wonders that You performed in former days, in previous generations, the Eternal Insight that (4) You [established] before (establishing) me. And You kept your Law before me, and Your Covenant You confirmed for me, strengthening (it) upon [my] heart. (5)... to walk in Your Ways. You commanded my heart, and instructed my conscience not to forget Your Laws. (6)... You have... Your Law and opened my conscience, and strengthened me to pursue the Ways of (7) [Truth...] Your... You made my mouth like a sharp sword and opened my tongue to words of Holiness. You have put (8)... instruction. Let them not meditate upon the doings of man, whose lips are in the Pit. You strengthened my legs, (9)... And by Your hand you strengthened (me) with days. You sent me in... (10) (a heart of stone?) You [re]moved from me and put a pure heart in its place, remov[ing] evil inclination


Fragment 2

Column 1

(1) Bless the Lord, 0 my soul, because of all His wonders forever. Blessed be His name, for He saved the soul of the Poor One (Ebion ). (2) He has not despised the Meek (‘Ani), nor has he forgotten the distress of the Downtrodden (Dal). (On the contrary), He opened His eyes to the Downtrodden, and, inclining His ears, hearkened to (3) the cry of orphans. In His abundant Mercy He comforted the Meek, and opened their eyes to behold His ways, and their ears, to hear (4) His teaching. And He circumcised the foreskin of their hearts, and saved them because of his Grace, and He directed their foot to the Way. He did not abandon them in their great distress, nor (5) give them into the hand of Violent Ones, nor judge them with the Wicked, nor kindle his wrath against them, nor destroy them (6) in His anger, though the wrath of His hot anger did not abate at all. But He did not judge them in fiery zeal; (7) (rather) He judged them in the abundance of His Mercy. The Judgements of His eye were to test them. In the greatness of His Mercy, He brought them (from) among the Gentiles; from the hands of (8) Man He saved them. He did not judge them in the multitude of the nations, nor scatter them among the Peoples. (Rather), He hid them in the shadow of His wings, (9) and made the dark places Light before them, and the crooked places straight, and He revealed to them abundant Peace and Truth. He made (10) their Spirit by measure, and meted out their words by weight, causing them to sing like flutes. He gave them a heart of rejoicing, and they walked in the Way of His heart. (11) But also, in the way of His heart He led them, because they... , their Spirit at rest, and raised up a testi[mony...] He commanded a plague to..., (12) And He set his Angel around the s[ons of Israel lest they be destroyed [in the land of] (13) their enemies... His wrath, to bring His anger... on them... (14) He hated... His Glory to...

Column 2

(1) in Evil... distress... (2) their works... for them against the sons of Man, and You saved them for Your own sake... (3) And they aggravated their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, but they atoned for it in... (4) Judgements, and to the Way that... (5) again, because... their... in...

Fragment 3

(1) Your... to be comforted on account of her mourning; her affliction He... (2) nations [He will destroy, and peoples cut off, and the Wicked... He fashioned (3) the works of Heaven and earth, and they met, and His Glory filled... their [Tr]uth (4) will make atonement. Goodness will multiply, and the Goodness of the... will comfort them .... to eat (5) its fruit and its Goodness. (6) Like a man whose mother comforts him, so will He comfort them in Jerusal[em... Like a bridegroom] over the bride, over her (7) . . and He will put... and He will lift a]p His Throne forever and ever. And His Glory... and all the Gentiles (8)... and there will be... desire (9)... forever the radiance of... I shall bless (10) [the Name]... blessed be the Name of the Most High... (11)... Your Piety (or ‘Grace’) upon him (12)... for the sake of the Torah You established (13)... the book of Your Laws...

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44. The Children Of Salvation (Yesha’) And The Mystery Of Existence (4Q416, 418) (Plate 22)


If we are justified in grouping all these fragments together, this is one of the longest extant manuscripts in the unpublished corpus. Strictly speaking, the work as a whole has the character of an admonition and belongs in Chapter 5, but because of its eschatological thrust, mysticism, emphasis on the Mysteries of God and parallels with the preceding works and Hymns from Cave 1, we have chosen to place it here.

Again we are in the vocabulary of ‘Knowledge’, ‘Goodness’, ‘Faithfulness’, ‘the Glory of the Holy Ones’, ‘the God of Truth’, ‘Righteousness’, ‘works’, ‘Judgement’, ‘the Lords of Evil’, ‘Lying’, ‘Unfaithfulness’, etc. As in the case of the Chariots of Glory above, which it very much resembles, we have separated out the various fragments and given each a subtitle drawn from the most striking and beautiful of these allusions.


As in the case of the Hymns of the Poor, here and there it is possible to question the sequence or whether all fragments actually belong together; however manuscript overlaps do seem to assure the sequence of most of the fragments.

Some of the most interesting imagery revolves around the use of the term ‘Fountain’ already encountered above ‘the Eternal Fountain/the Fountain of Living Waters’ and ‘the Eternal Secrets’, the ‘obscure Mysteries’ - even ‘the Mystery of Being’ or ‘the Mystery of Existence’. There can be no mistaking that some of these same images are also being evoked in medieval Jewish mystical texts.


The famous philosophical treatise by the celebrated Avicebron (the eleventh-century Jewish mystic poet Ibn Gabirol mentioned above) is, as we have seen, given this title. His poems are even more redolent with this kind of imagery - the most famous of these, The Crown of the Kingdom, repeatedly evokes ‘Angels’, ‘the Throne’, ‘Secrets’, ‘Mysteries’, ‘Mighty Wonders’, ‘storehouses’, ‘Righteousness’, ‘the Kingdom’, etc.


The sense of the Mystery of Existence text also has overtones with the quasimagical treatise of the early centuries AD, the Book of the Mysteries (Sefer Ha-Razim), though its vocabulary is less magical.

We also encounter allusions to the ‘Eternal Planting’ (1.13), which one finds in crucial passages of the Damascus Document, the Community Rule and Hymns. In this regard, one should see the key allusion in CD,i.7 to ‘the root of Planting from Aaron and Israel’. In 1QH,vi.15 and viii.6-10, this is combined with ‘Branch’ and ‘Fountain’ imagery. In 1QS,xi, it is tied to the imagery of ‘the Fountain of Righteousness’, ‘Perfection of the Way’, ‘justification’ and the Community Council joining ‘the sons of Heaven’ as a ‘Building of Holiness’.


One should compare this ‘building’ imagery with Paul’s description of himself as the ‘architect’ in 1 Cor. 3:6-17. Using ‘planting’ and ‘husbandry’ imagery here too, he describes his community as ‘the building of God’.

In Line 1 of Fragment 1 of this text, as we have reconstructed it, the addressees are instructed, as per Community Rule and Damascus Document parameters, ‘to separate themselves’. They are compared to ‘a Fountain’ or ‘an Eternal Fountain’ (1. 13), and Paul’s spiritualized ‘Temple’ imagery that the Community Rule applies, as noted above, to the Community Council, is exemplified in the reference to the hearer here as ‘a Holy of Holies’ (1.4).


The addressees are also, it would appear, here and later, given the power of intercession: ‘He has given you authority’ (1.15; also 10.13 ‘He has given you authority over an inheritance of Glory’).

Perhaps most interestingly, directly after the command in Line 8 to ‘love Him’, God’s ‘eternal Hesed’ (‘Piety’) is called down upon all ‘the Keepers’ (1.8). We have elsewhere identified this ‘Piety’ commandment - loving God - as the first of the two ‘love’ commandments. With regard to it, one should also see James. 1:12 discussing to ‘the Crown of Life which the Lord has promised those who love him’, directly followed in the next Chapter by citation of the ‘Righteousness’ commandment, ‘love your neighbour as yourself (2:8).


This ‘the Keeper’ theme too - here ‘the Keepers of His word’ - should by now be familiar. It is also, as we have seen, a theme in the early passages in the Letter of James, where much of the language of this treatise can be paralleled, and in the definition in the Community Rule of ‘the sons of Zadok’, i.e. ‘the Keepers of the Covenant’. It is paralleled, too, in the Hymns of the Poor above, by a variant related to the terminology ‘Nazoraean’ / ‘Nazarene’.


The ‘Fountain’ imagery continues into Fragment 2, and after a reference to ‘the Righteous’ in Fragment 3, Fragment 4 launches into another splendid description of the Last Judgement. Using ‘Light’ imagery and ‘walking in Eternal Light’ to describe the lot of the ‘seekers after Truth’ - also called ‘the Elect of Truth’ paralleling similar descriptions of ‘the sons of Zadok’ in the Damascus Document - the most splendid imagery of ‘the Foundations of the Universe shouting out judgement’ is used. This powerful allusion is followed by reference to ‘the Secret of the Pillars’.


Imagery of this kind not only calls to mind characterization of ‘the Zaddik’ in Zohar, 59b on Noah, as ‘the Foundation of the universe’, but also Paul’s reference to the central leadership triad, including James the just, as ‘these Pillars’ in Gal.

2:9. The play on the Sod / Yesod, i.e. ‘Secrets’/’Foundations’, imagery here is also present, for example, in Ibn Gabirol’s eleventh century The Crown of the Kingdom mentioned above (lines 14, 112, 164 and 170). We have been following this language throughout the Qumran corpus. In later fragments, many of these themes are reiterated, and the text now shifts to an emphasis on understanding ‘all Mysteries’, with particular interest in ‘the Mystery of Being’/’the Mystery of Existence’.


It is noteworthy that these kinds of inquiries seem to have, at least in theory, been proscribed in Talmudic Judaism. Not only do we have here references to ‘the scales of Righteousness’, ‘Lying’, ‘swallowing’, and ‘Ways’, but in Fragment 7.3 the ubiquitous ‘amal (‘suffering works’) language appears again. This is to be found, as we have seen, in Isa. 53, and used in the Habakkuk Pesher to delineate how one is ‘saved’.

In Fragment 9, the most surprising allusion occurs in relation to being ‘Righteous’ and ‘works’, and that is the expression Yesha’ (‘Salvation’). It first appears in a construct Yesha’ ma’saiv (‘the Salvation of His works’) in Line 8 in relation to ‘not removing the Law of God from your heart’ (note once again the ubiquitous ‘heart’ usage here).


Then in Line 11, following another reference to ‘amal - this time expressed as a verb (10) - one comes upon the construct ‘the children of Yesha” or ‘the children of Salvation’. The text then goes on to speak of ‘inheriting Glory’ and ‘everlasting joy’. The use of the noun ‘Yesha’ or the verbal noun ‘Yeshu’ ato’ (‘His Salvation’) is fairly widespread at Qumran and much underrated.


One finds expressions such as these in two important contexts in the Damascus Document: viii.43 relating to ‘God Fearers’ - ‘until God reveals Righteousness and Salvation to those who fear His Name’- and viii. 57, relating to ‘not rejecting the Laws of Righteousness’, ‘listening to the voice of the Teacher of Righteousness’ and ‘being forgiven’ ‘and they would .see His Salvation’ (italics ours).


The verb ‘see’ here is of prime importance. These terms also crop up in several interesting contexts in the War Scroll (xiii, xiv and xviii) and another equally Messianic section preceding the ‘Planting’ section in the Qumran Hymns (vii. 19).

Some would feel that such a concept was really quite new for the people of the ancient world; nor had the Greeks yet personified it in various deities. The personification of this concept in the Gospel presentation of Messianic events in Palestine in the first century can in this light be considered a most revolutionary development and one that has not ceased exercising its influence on mankind even now. In Fragment 9.2/ 10.1, the theme of ‘keeping’ is applied to that of ‘Mysteries’ in conjunction with the parallel one of ‘not forsaking the Law’ (8).


This theme of ‘Mysteries’ is pursued to the end, particularly the single mystery, ‘the Mystery of Existence’, amid continued allusion to ‘justifying by Your judgement’ - found throughout the Qumran corpus ‘zeal’ and a new usage, ‘poverty’, another obvious variation of the ‘Poor’ theme, as opposed to ‘Riches’, in connection with which the ‘swallowing’ imagery is used again (10.9).


The expression Ebion / ‘the Poor One’ is actually used on a number of occasions, linking up with the previous work again, and leading to the final message: ‘walking in Righteousness’, ‘lying down in Truth’, and ‘inheriting eternal bliss’.




The Eternal Planting
Fragment 1

(1) Open your lips (as) a Fountain to bless the Holy Ones. O ye, bring forth praise as an Eternal Fountain... For He has separated you from all (2) bodily spirit. O ye, separate yourself from all that He hates, and keep yourself apart from all Abominations of... He made all (flesh), (3) and caused every man to inherit his portion. He set you apart-and your portion-among the sons of Adam... He gave you authority. O ye, (4) this was how He glorified it when you sanctified yourself to Him, when He made you a Holy of Holies... for all... (5) He decided your fate and greatly increased your Glory, and made you as a firstborn for Himself among...(6) ‘and I will give you My Goodness.’ O ye, is not His Goodness yours? So always walk in His Faithfulness in all of (7) your works. O ye, seek His judgements from every hand, and the abundance of... (8) love Him, for with everlasting Piety (Hesed) and mercies on all the Keepers of His word, and... (9) O ye, He has [op]ened up insight for you, and given you authority over His storehouse, and the accurate value for a measure (ephah) He has determined... (10) they... you. It is in your power to turn aside wrath from the Men of His Favor, and to appoint... (11) with you, before you take your portion from the hands of the Glory of His Holy Ones, and in... (12) He opened... and all who are called by His Holy Name... (13) with all the Er[as of] His sub[lime] radiance for an Eter[nal] Planting... (14) all those who inherit the land will conduct themselves, for in... (15) O ye, because of the Wisdom of your hands, He has given you authority, and [your] Knowledge... (16) a storehouse (?) for all humanity. From there you will designate your unclean food, and... (17) Seek understanding with all (your) might, and from every hand, take increased insight... (18) Bring forth what you lack for all those seeking after (their own) desire(s). Then you will understand... (19) You will be filled and satiated with abundant Goodness, and by the skill of your hands... (20) Because God has apportioned the inheritance of eve[ry living being,] and all those wise of heart have considered...

The Fountain of Living Water
Fragment 2

(1)... farmers, until all... (2) bring in your baskets, and your storehouses, all... (3) and the plain, season by season seek them out, and do not cease... (4) all of them seek in their season(s), and according to Wis[dom,] a man... (5) like a Fountain of Living Water which all me[n...] (6) and it is a hybrid like a mule, or like clo[thing made of two materials...] (7) in cattle and in... and also, your produce will be... (8) your Riches with your flesh...

All the Eras of Eternity
Fragment 3

(1)... concerning... all... (2) together with him... all who... (3) and they feared the deep, and... (4) And every sacrifice are you to offer them perpetually, and the peace (offering)... (5) in all the Eras of Eternity, because He is (the) God of Truth... (6) making the Righteous discern Good from Evil... (7) because it is the inclination of the flesh, and those who understand...

The Foundations of the Universe Shout out judgement
Fragment 4

(1)... your breath (2)... and you will understand... death with (3)... Shall they not walk in Truth? (4)... and all their joys with Knowledge. O ye foolish of heart, what is Goodness without (5) [...And how] can there be peacefulness without destruction? And how can there be judgement without establishing it, and how the dead will groan on account of al[1...] (6) you... you were created, but your backsliding leads to eternal damnation, because you walk... (7) The dark places will be made Light because of Your abundance, and Eternal Being (shall be the lot of) the Seekers of Truth and the Witnesses of Yo[ur] Judgements. (8) All the foolish of heart will be destroyed, and the sons of Wickedness will be found no more, and all those seekers after Evil will be ab[ashed...] (9) The Foundations of the Universe will shout out Your Judgement, and all the... will thunder... all the lovers of... (10) You will be the Elect of Truth, and pursuers after [insight with] Judg[ment...] those who are watchful... (11) according to all Knowledge. How can you say, ‘We have worked for insight and stayed awake pursuing Knowledge of... in all... (12) But He has not tired during all the years of Eternity. Does He not delight in Truth forever?... Knowledge ministers unto Him, and [all the Angels of] (13) Heaven-whose inheritance is eternal life-would they ever say, ‘We have grown weary in the ministries of Truth, and tir[ed in...] (14) for all ages do they not walk in Eternal Light?... again, and abundant radiance dwells with them. You... (15) in the firmaments of... the Foundation (possibly ‘Secret’) of the Pillars, all... 0 ye, in...

Eternal Glory
Fragment 5

(1) [...No]t one from all of their host will rest... (2) in Truth from the hand of all the storehouses of men... (3) Truth, and the measure of Righteousness He meted out to all... (4) [...dis]tributing them in Truth. He put them in place, and sought out their pleasures... (5) and a shelter for all, nor shall they exist without His favor and... (6) Judgement to visit repentance upon the Lords of Evil and the visitation of... (7) and to shut before the Evil Ones, and to lift up the head of the Downtrodden... (8) in Eternal Glory and peace everlasting, and the Spirit of Life to sepa[rate...] (9) all the sons of Eve, and with the power of God and the abundance of His Glory, with His Goodness... (10) and in His Faithfulness, they shall prostrate themselves continually all the day and praise His Name, and... (11) O ye, walk in Truth with all the [See]kers... (12) For His storehouse is under your authority, and whoever seeks his own aim (must do so) from your basket, and (to) them... (13) And if He does not stretch out His hand for your needs, then will His storehouse (provide) this need... (14)... and he shall not provide for his own wishes, for He shall not... (15) your hand. He will increase you[r] cattle abundantly... (16) forever...

The Scales of Righteousness
Fragment 6

(1)... your Fountain. Nor will you find what you lack, and your soul will languish for want of all Goodness, even unto death...(2) [... will be trou]bled all the day, and your soul will yearn to come into her (Wisdom’s?) gates, and a grave (?) and clo[thing...] (3) your... And it will be as food to eat and fuel for the flame against... (4) For by your conduct you have troubled those who se[ek] pleasure and also... (5) for you... because God made the pleasures of (His) storehouse, and meted them out in Truth... (6) [Fo]r in the scales of Righteousness He weighed out all their understanding, and in Truth...

The Angels of God’s Holiness
Fragment 7

(3)... its Ways are carved in suffering. You calm... (4) and there will be Lying in the heart of all the sons [of Adam...] ‘He will trust in all of My Ways... (5) Knowledge. They have not earnestly sought Under[standing, nor Knowledge] chosen. Does not God [give Knowledge of... (6) on Truth, to discern all [Mysteries, and Under]standing did He apportion to those who inherited Truth. (7)... Lying. In Tr[uth... all His works. Is not peace and tranquility... (8) [Do you not k]now? Have you not heard? Surely the Angels of Go[d]’s Holiness are in Heaven... (9) Truth. And they pursue all the roots of Understanding, and diligently... (10) [according to] their Knowledge, one man will be glorified over another, and according to his insight will his honor be magnified... (11) For a man murmurs because he is lazy, and if a son of Adam is silent, is it not (because)... (12) And they will inherit an Eternal possession. Have you not seen .?

The Mystery of Existence
Fragment 8

(1)... to the fearful. You shall teach the first... (2) in former [times], why it existed and what existed in... (3) why they were... existence in... (4) [day and] night meditate on the Mystery of Existence... (5) [al]l their Ways, with the commands... (6) concerning the Knowledge of the Secret of Truth... (7) suffering and dominion... (8) [to] walk in the inclination of [His] Un[derstanding...] (9) walk...

The Salvation (Yesha') of His Works
Fragment 9

Column 1

(1) [...the] time, lest he hear you. And while he is alive, speak to him, lest he... (2) without appropriate reproof for his sake. Is it not bound up... (3) Furthermore, his Spirit will not be swallowed (i.e. ‘consumed’), because in silence... (4) [and] quickly take his reproof to heart, and be not proud because of your transgressions... (5) He is Righteous, like you, because he is a prince among... (6) He will do. For how is He unique? In all His work, He is without... (7) Do not consider the Evil Man as a co-worker, nor anyone who hates... (8) the Salvation (Yesha’) of His works, together with His command; therefore know how to conduct yourself with Him... (9) Do not remove [the Law of God] from your heart, and don’t go very far along by yourself... (10) For what is smaller than a man without means? Also, do not rejoice when you should be mourning, lest you suffer in your life... (11) existence; therefore, take from the children of Salvation (Yesha’), and know who will inherit Glory, for it is necessary for Him, not... (12) And instead of their mourning, (yours will be) everlasting joy, and the troublemaker will be placed at your disposal, and there will not [be...] (13) To all your young girls, spea[k] your judgements like a Righteous ruler, do not... (14) and do not take your sins lightly. Then the radiance of... will be... Judgement... (15) will He take, and then God will see, and His anger will be assuaged and He will give help against [your] sins, according to... (16) will not stand up all of its days. He will justify by His judgement, and without forgiving your... (17) Poor One. O ye, if you lack food, your need and your surplus... (18) You should leave as sustenance for His flocks according to His will, and [fr]om it, take what is coming to you, but do not add there[to...] (19) And if you lack, do not... Riches from your needs, for [His] storehouse will not be lacking. [And upon] (20) His word everything is founded, so a[at] what He gives you, but do not add to... (21) your life... If you borrow Riches from men to fill your needs, do not... (22) day and night, and do not for the peace of your soul... He will cause you to return to... Do not lie (23) to him. Why should you bear (the) sin? Also, from reproach... to his neighbor. (24)... and he will close up his hand when you are in need. According to Wisdo[m...] (25) and if affliction befalls you, and... (26) He will reveal... (27) He will not make atonement with... (28) a[gain]. Furthermore...

Your Holy Spirit
Fragment 9

Column 2


Fragment 10

Column 1

(1) He opened His Mercies... all the needs of His storehouse, and gave sustenance (2) to every living thing. There is none... [If he] closes his hand, and the Spi[rit of all] (3) flesh is withdrawn, you shall not... in it, and [with] his reproa[ch] will your face be covered, but by your arbitration (4) [he will go forth] from prison, like... And if he receives a loan, he [repays] (it) quickly in full. O ye, recompense him, for your purse (5) of treasures belongs to the one you are obliged to, (even if only) for the sake of your neighbors. You will... all of your life with him. (Therefore), quickly return (him) whatever (6) belongs to him; otherwise he will take your purse. In your affairs, do not compromise your Spirit. Do not exchange your Holy Spirit for any Riches, (7) because no price is worth [your soul.] Willingly seek the face of him who has authority over your storehouse, and in his own tongue (8) [speak with him.] In that way will you find satisfaction... Do not forsake your Laws, and keep (secret) your Mysteries. (9)... If He assigns His service to you... (don’t allow) sleep (to enter) your eyes until you have done it (10) [all... d]o not add. If th[ey] are needy... and do not be generous to him. Also, Riches without (11)... your [eye] shall see because of the abundant zeal of (12)... By His will, devote yourself to His service, and the Wisdom of His storehouse (13)... you will advise him, and become for him a firstborn son, and he shall love you as a man loves his only child. (14) Because you... [O y]e, do not rely on that... and do not stay awake at night because of your money, (15) [and during the night], continue su[ffer]ing because of it. Furthermore, do not demean your soul on account of someone who is not worth it, but rather be (16) to him... Do not strike someone who does not have your strength, lest you stumble and greatly humiliate yourself. (17)... your soul with the Goodness of Riches. You will be tilling the wind, and will serve your lord in vain; so, (18) do not sell your Glory for money, and do not transfer it as your inheritance, lest your bodily heirs be impoverished. Do not promise them (19)... If there are no cups, do not drink wine, and if there is no food, do not request delicacies. O ye, (20) [...If you] lack bread, do not glory in your poverty. You are needy... (21) [Do not] plunder to stay alive, and also, do not water down (the contents of) a vessel... [yo]ur Laws...

All the Ways of Truth
Fragment 10

Column 2

(3) So remember that you are needy... what you want (4) you shall not find. In your unfaithfulness, you will... He has appointed for you. (5) Do not reach your hand out for it, lest you be burned, [and] your body be consumed in His fire like... Thus He repaid him. (6) But there will be joy for you if you purify yourself of it. Also, do not take Riches from a man you do not know, (7) lest it only add to your poverty. If (God) has ordained that you should die in [you]r poverty, so He has appointed it; but do not corrupt your Spirit (8) because of it. Then you shall lie down with the Truth, and your sinlessness will He clearly proclai[m to th]em (the recording Angels). As your destiny, you will inherit (9) [Eternal] bliss. [For] though you are Poor, do not long for anything except your own portion; and do not be swallowed up by desire, lest you backslide (10) because of it. And if He restores you, conduct yourself honorably. And inquire among His chidren about the Mystery of Existence; then you will gain Knowledge of (11) His inheritance and walk in Righteousness, for He
will... Do not... in all your Ways. Do homage to those who give you Glory, (12) and praise His Name continually, because out of poverty has He lifted your head, seating you among nobles. (13) He has given you authority over an inheritance of Glory, so seek His favor continuously. Though you are Poor, do not say, ‘I am penniless, so I cannot (14) seek out Knowledge.’ (Rather,) bend your back to all discipline, and through al[l Wisdo]m, purify your heart, and in the abundance of your (15) intellectual potential, investigate the Mystery of Existence. And ponder all the Ways of Truth, and consider all the roots of Evil. (16) Then you will know what is bitter for a man, and what is sweet for a person. Honor your father in your poverty (17) and your mother by your behavior. For a man’s father is like his arms, and his mother is like his legs. Surely (18) they have guided you like a hand, and just as He has given them authority over you and appointed (them) over (your) Spirit, so should you serve them. And just as (19) He has opened your ears to the Mystery of Existence, (thus) should you honor them, for the sake of your own honor. Just as... revere them, (20) for the sake of your own life and to lengthen your days. Even though you are in poverty... (21) unlawfully. If you take a wife in your poverty, take her from among the daughter[s of...] (22) from the Mystery of Existence. In your companionship, go forward together. With the helpmate of your flesh...

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(41) The Chariots of Glory (4Q286-287)
Previous Discussions: J. T. Milik, MS, 130-5; P. Kobelski, Mechizedek and Melchiresha (Washington, DC: Catholic Biblical Association of America, 1981) 42-8.

Photographs: PAM 43.311, 43.312, 43.313 (Manuscript A) and 43.314 (Manuscript B), ER 1346, 1347, 1348 and 1349.


(42) Baptismal Hymn (4Q414)
Previous Discussions: None.

Photograph Numbers: PAM 43.482, ER 1432.

(43) Hymns of the Poor (4Q434, 436)
Previous Discussions: None.

Photographs: PAM 42.859, 43.513 and 43.528, ER 1048, 1463 and 1478


(44) The Children of Salvation (Yesha’) and the Mystery of Existence (4Q416, 418)

Previous Discussions: None.

Photographs: PAM 42.758, 43.479, 43.480, 43.481, 43.483, 43.589, 43.511 and 43.512, ER 1006, 1429, 1430, 1431, 1433, 1536, 1461 and 1462. The order of the fragments is certain because of overlapping manuscripts. Fragments 1-3 represent portions from 42.758 and 43.479; Fragment 4 comes from 43.580; Fragments 5-6 appear on 43.481; Fragments 7-8 appear on 43.483; Fragment 9 appears on 43.589; Fragment 10 Column 1 on 43.511 and Column 2 on 43.512.


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