Dead Sea Scrolls

The Damascus Document

From the Dead Sea Scrolls in English

Chapter 1


DD 1:1   “Hear now, all you who know righteousness, and consider the works of God; for He has a dispute with all flesh and will condemn all those who despise Him.”

DD 1:2   “For when they were unfaithful and forsook Him, He hid His face from Israel and His Sanctuary and delivered them up to the sword.  But remembering the Covenant of the forefathers, He left a remnant to Israel and did not deliver it up to be destroyed.  And in the age of wrath, three hundred and ninety years after He had given them into the hand of king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, He visited them, and He caused a plant root to spring from Israel and Aaron to inherit His Land and to prosper on the good things of His earth. And they perceived their iniquity and recognized that they were guilty men, yet for twenty years they were like blind men groping for the way.”

DD 1:3   “And God observed their deeds, that they sought Him with a whole heart, and He raised for them a Teacher of Righteousness to guide them in the way of His heart.  And he made known to the latter generations that which God had done to the latter generation, the congregation of traitors, to those who departed from the way.  This was the time of which it is written, Like a stubborn heifer thus was Israel stubborn (Hos 4:16), when the Scoffer arose who shed over Israel the waters of lies.  He caused them to wander in a pathless wilderness, laying low the everlasting heights, abolishing the ways of righteousness and removing the boundary with which the forefathers had marked out their inheritance that he might call down on them the curses of His Covenant and deliver them up to the avenging sword of the Covenant. For they sought smooth things and preferred illusions (Isa 30:10) and they watched for breaks (Isa 30:13) and chose the fair neck; and they justified the wicked and condemned the just, and they transgressed the Covenant and violated the Precept.  They banded together against the life of the righteous (Ps 94:21) and loathed all who walked in perfection; they pursued them with the sword and exulted in the strife of the people.  And the anger of God was kindled against their congregation so that He ravaged all their multitude; and their deeds were defilement before Him.”

The Community Rule (1QS)

Chapter 1

CR 1:1   I  The Master shall teach the saints to live according to the Book of the Community Rule, that they may seek God with a whole heart and soul, and do what is good and right before Him as He commanded by the hand of Moses and all His servants the Prophets; that they may love all that He has chosen and hate all that he has rejected; that they may abstain from all evil and hold fast to all good; that they may practice truth, righteousness, and justice upon earth and no longer stubbornly follow a sinful heart and lustful eyes committing all manner of evil.  He shall admit into the Covenant of Grace all those who have freely devoted themselves to the observance of God’s precepts, that they may be joined to the counsel of God and may live perfectly before Him in accordance with all that has been revealed concerning their appointed times, and that they may love all the sons of light, each according to his lot in God’s design, and hate all the sons of darkness, each according to his guilt in God’s vengeance.

CR 1:2   All those who freely devote themselves to His truth shall bring all their knowledge, powers, and possessions into the Community of God, that they may purify their knowledge in the truth of God’s precepts and order their powers according to His ways of perfection and all their possessions according to His righteous counsel.  They shall not depart from any command of God concerning their times; they shall be neither early nor late for any of their appointed times, they shall stray neither to right nor to left of any of His true precepts.  All those who embrace the Community Rule shall enter into the Covenant before God to obey all His commandments so that they may not abandon Him during the dominion of Satan because of fear or terror or affliction.

CR 1:3   “On entering the Covenant, the Priests and Levites shall bless the God of salvation and all His faithfulness, and all those entering the Covenant shall say after them, ‘Amen, Amen!’“

CR 1:4   “Then the Priests shall recite the favors of God manifested in His mighty deeds and shall declare all His merciful grace to Israel and the Levites shall recite the iniquities of the children of Israel all their guilty rebellions and sins during the dominion of Satan. And after them, all those entering the Covenant shall confess and say: ‘We have strayed!  We have disobeyed!  We and our fathers before us have sinned and done wickedly in walking counter to the precepts of truth and righteousness. And God has judged us and our fathers also; but He has bestowed His bountiful mercy on us from everlasting to everlasting.’  And the Priests shall bless all the men of the lot of God who walk perfectly in all His ways, saying: ‘May He bless you with all good and preserve you from all evil!  May He lighten your heart with life-giving wisdom and grant you eternal knowledge!  May he raise His merciful face towards you for everlasting bliss!’“

CR 1:5   “And the Levites shall curse all the men of the lot of Satan, saying: ‘Be cursed because of all your guilty wickedness! May He deliver you up for torture at the hands of the vengeful Avengers!  May He visit you with destruction by the hand of all the Wreakers of Revenge!  Be cursed without mercy because of the darkness of your deeds!  Be damned in the shadowy place of everlasting fire!  May God not heed when you call on Him, nor pardon you by blotting out your sin!  May He raise His angry face towards you for vengeance!  May there be no “Peace” for you in the mouth of those who hold fast to the Fathers!’  And after the blessing and the cursing, all those entering the Covenant shall say, ‘Amen, Amen!’“

CR 1:6   “And the Priests and Levites shall continue, saying: ‘Cursed be the man who enters this Covenant while walking among the idols of his heart, who sets up before himself his stumbling-block of sin so that he may backslide!  Hearing the words of this Covenant, he blesses himself in his heart and says, “Peace be with me, even though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart” (Deut. 29:18‑19), whereas his spirit, parched (for lack of truth) and watered (with lies), shall be destroyed without pardon.  God’s wrath and His zeal for His precepts shall consume him in everlasting destruction.  All the curses of the Covenant shall cling to him and God will set him apart for evil. He shall be cut off from the midst of all the sons of light, and because he has turned aside from God on account of his idols and his stumbling-block of sin, his lot shall be among those who are cursed for ever.’  And after them, all those entering the Covenant shall answer and say, ‘Amen, Amen!’

CR 1:7   Thus shall they do, year by year, for as long as the dominion of Satan endures.  The Priests shall enter first, ranked one after another according to the perfection of their spirit; then the Levites; and thirdly, all the people one after another in their Thousands, Hundreds, Fifties, and Tens, that every Israelite may know his place in the Community of God according to the everlasting design.  No man shall move down from his place nor move up from his allotted position.  For according to the holy design, they shall all of them be in a Community of truth and virtuous humility, of loving kindness and good intent one towards the other, and (they shall all of them be) sons of the everlasting Company.

CR 1:8   No man shall be in the Community of His truth who refuses to enter the Covenant of God so that he may walk in the stubbornness of his heart, for his soul detests the Wise teaching of just laws. He shall not be counted among the upright for he has not persisted in the conversion of his life.  His knowledge, powers, and possessions shall not enter the Council of the Community, for whoever ploughs the mud of wickedness returns defiled (?).  He shall not be justified by that which his stubborn heart declares lawful, for seeking the ways of light he looks towards darkness.  He shall not be reckoned among the perfect; he shall neither be purified by atonement, nor cleansed by purifying waters, nor sanctified by seas and rivers, nor washed clean with any ablution.  Unclean, unclean shall he be.  For as long as he despises the precepts of God he shall receive no instruction in the Community of His counsel.

CR 1:9   For it is through the spirit of true counsel concerning the ways of man that all his sins shall be expiated that he may contemplate the light of life.  He shall be cleansed from all his sins by the spirit of holiness uniting him to His truth, and his iniquity shall be expiated by the spirit of uprightness and humility.  And when his flesh is sprinkled with purifying water and sanctified by cleansing water, it shall be made clean by the humble submission of his soul to all the precepts of God.  Let him then order his steps to walk perfectly in all the ways commanded by God concerning the times appointed for him, straying neither to right nor to left and transgressing none of His words, and he shall be accepted by virtue of pleasing atonement before God and it shall be to him a Covenant of the everlasting Community.

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