CD (Cairo Geniza) Damascus Document

trans. E. Cook

Col. I

1.   vac So listen, all you who recognize righteousness, and consider the deeds of

2.   God; for He has a suit against every mortal and He executes judgement upon all who despise him.

3.   When in their treachery they abandoned him He turned away from Israel and from His sanctuary

4.   and gave them up to the sword; but when He remembered the covenant of the forefathers, He left a remnant

5.   to Israel and did not allow them to be totally destroyed, but in a time of wrath three hundred

6.   and ninety years when He put them into the power of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon

7.   he took care of them and caused to grow from Israel and from Aaron a root of planting to inherit

8.   His land and to grow fat on the good produce of His soil. They considered their iniquity and they knew that

9.   they were guilty men, and had been like the blind and like those groping for the way

10.   twenty years. But God considered their deeds, that they had sought Him with a whole heart.

11.   So He raised up for them a teacher of righteousness to guide them in the way of His heart. vac He taught

12.   to later generations what God did to the generation deserving wrath, a company of traitors.

13.   They are the ones who depart from the proper way. That is the time of which it was written, ‘Like a rebellious cow,

14.   so rebelled Israel’ (Hos 4:16). When the Man of Mockery appeared, who sprayed on Israel

15.   lying waters, ‘he led them to wander in the trackless wasteland’ (Ps 107:40; Job 12:24). He brought down the lofty heights of old, turned aside

16.   from paths of righteousness, and shifted the boundary marks that the forefathers had set up to mark their inheritance, so that

17.   the curses of His covenant took hold on them. Because of this they were handed over ‘to the sword that avenges the breach of

18.   His covenant’ (Lev 26:25). For they had sought flattery, choosing travesties of true religion; they looked for

19.   ways to break the law; they favoured the fine neck. They called the guilty innocent, and the innocent guilty.

20.   They overstepped covenant, violated law; and ‘they conspired together to kill the innocent (Ps 94:21), for all those who lived

21.   pure lives they loathed from the bottom of their heart. So they persecuted them violently, and were happy to see the people quarrel. Because of all this God became very angry


Col. II

1.   with their company. He annihilated the lot of them, because all their deeds were uncleanness to him.

2.   vac So now listen to me, all members of the covenant, so I can make plain to you the ways

3.   of the wicked. vac God, who loves true knowledge, has positioned Wisdom and Cleverness in front of him;

4.   Cunning and True Knowledge wait on him. He is very patient and forgiving,

5.   covering the sin of those who repent of wrongdoing. But Strength, Might, and great Wrath in the flames of fire

6.   <with> all the angels of destruction shall come against all who rebel against the proper way and who despise the law, until they are without remnant

7.   or survivor, for God had not chosen them from ancient eternity. Before they were created, He knew

8.   what they would do. So He rejected the generations of old and turned away from the land

9.   until they were gone. He knows the times of appearance and the number and exact times of everything

10.   that has ever existed and ever will exist before it happens in the proper time, for all eternity.

11.   And in all of these times, He has arranged that there should be for himself people called by name, so that there would always be survivors on the earth, replenishing

12.   the surface of the earth with their descendants. vac He taught them through <those> anointed by the holy spirit, the seers of

13.   truth. He explicitly called them by <name> name. But whoever He had rejected He caused to stray.

14.   vac So now, my children, listen to me that I may uncover your eyes to see and to understand the deeds of

15.   God, choosing what pleases him and hating what He rejects, living perfectly

16.   in all His ways, not turning away through thoughts caused by the sinful urge and lecherous eyes. For many

17.   have gone astray by such thoughts, even strong and doughty men of old faltered through them, and still do. When they went about in their willful

18.   heart, the <Guardian Angels> of Heaven fell and were ensnared by it, for they did not observe the commandments of God.

19.   Their sons, who were as tall as cedars, and whose bodies were as big as mountains fell by it.

20.   Everything mortal on dry land expired and became as if they had never existed, because they did

21.   their own will, and did not keep the commandments of their Maker, until finally His anger was aroused against them.


Col. III

1.   vac By it the sons of Noah and their families <went astray>, and by it they were exterminated.

2.   Abraham did not live by it and was considered God’s friend, because he observed the commandments of God and he did not choose to follow

3.   the will of his own spirit; and he passed them on to Isaac and to Jacob and they too observed them. They too were recorded as friends

4.   of God and eternal partners in the covenant. vac But the sons of Jacob went astray by them and were punished for

5.   their errors. In Egypt their descendants lived by their willful heart, too obstinate to consult

6.   the commandments of God, each one doing what was right in his own eyes. They even ate blood; and the men were exterminated

7.   in the wilderness. (God commanded) them at Kadesh ‘Go up and possess (the land’; but they chose to follow the will of) their spirit; and they did not listen

8.   to their Maker’s voice or the commandments of their teacher; instead they grumbled in their tents. So God became angry

9.   with their company. Their sons perished because of it. Their kings were exterminated because of it. Their heroes

10.   perished because of it. Their land was devastated because of it, and because of it the members of the forefathers’ covenant committed sin, and so were handed over

11.   to the sword because they abandoned the covenant of God, and chose their own will, and followed their own willful

12.   heart, each man doing his own will. vac But when those of them who were left held firm to the commandments of God

13.   he instituted His covenant with Israel for ever, revealing

14.   to them things hidden, in which all Israel had gone wrong: vac His holy Sabbaths, His glorious festivals,

15.   His righteous laws, His reliable ways. The desires of His will, ‘which Man should carry out

16.   and so have life in them’ (cf. Lev 18:5; Neh 9:29), vac He opened up to them. So they ‘dug a well,’ yielding much water.

17.   Those who reject this water He will not allow to live. And although they had wallowed in the sin of humanity and in impure ways

18.   and said, ‘Surely this is our business,’ God in His mysterious ways atoned for their iniquity and forgave their transgression.

19.   So He built for them a faithful house in Israel, like none that had ever appeared before; and even

20.   at this day, those who hold firm to it shall receive everlasting life, and all human honour is rightly theirs, as

21.   God promised them by Ezekiel the prophet, saying, ‘The priests and the Levites and the sons of


Col. IV

1.   Zadok who have kept the courses of My sanctuary when the children of Israel strayed

2.   from Me, they shall bring Me fat and blood’ (Ezek 44:15). vac The priests’: they are the repentant of Israel,

3.   who go out of the land of Judah and the Levites are those accompanying them; vac and the sons of Zadok’: they are the chosen of

4.   Israel, the ones called by name, who are to appear in the last days. This is the full list

5.   of their names by their generations, and the time they appeared, the number of their troubles and the years of

6.   their sojourn and the full list of their deeds. <   > holiness <   > whom God atoned

7.   for, acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty as well as all who came after them

8.   who act according to the interpretation of the Law by which the forefathers were taught, until the age is over,

9.   that is, the present time. Like the covenant God made with the forefathers to atone

10.   for their sin, so shall God atone for them. When the total years of this present age are complete,

11.   there will be no further need to be connected to the house of Judah, but instead each will stand on

12.   his own tower; the wall is built, the boundary removed (Mic 7:11). But in the present age

13.   Belial is unrestrained in Israel, just as God said by Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz,

14.   saying, ‘Fear and pit and snare are upon thee, dweller in the land’ (Isa 24:17). vac The true meaning of this verse

15.   concerns the three traps of Belial about which Levi son of Jacob said

16.   that Belial would catch Israel in, so he directed them towards three kinds of

17.   righteousness. The first is fornication; the second is wealth; the third is

18.   defiling the sanctuary. Who escapes from one is caught in the next; and whoever escapes from that is caught

19.   in the other. vac The ‘Shoddy-Wall-Builders’ who went after ‘Precept’-Precept is a Raver

20.   of whom it says, ‘they shall surely rave’ (Mic 2:6) -they are caught in two: fornication, by taking

21.   two wives in their lifetimes although the principle of creation is ‘male and female He created them’ (Gen 1:27)


Col. V

1.   and those who went into the ark ‘went into the ark two by two’ (Gen 7:9). vac Concerning the Leader it is written

2.   ‘he shall not multiply wives to himself’ (Deut 17:17); but David had not read the sealed book of the Law

3.   in the Ark; for it was not {  } opened in Israel from the day of the death of Eleazar

4.   and Joshua and the elders who served the goddess Ashtoret. It lay buried

5.   (and was not) revealed until the appearance of Zadok. Nevertheless the deeds of David were all excellent, except the murder of Uriah

6.   and God forgave him for that. They also defile the sanctuary, for they do not

7.   separate clean from unclean according to the Law, and lie with a woman during her menstrual period. Furthermore they marry

8.   each man the daughter of his brothers and the daughter of his sister, vac although Moses said, ‘Unto

9.   the sister of your mother you shall not draw near; she is the flesh of your mother’ (cf. Lev 18:13). But the law of consanguinity is written for males

10.   and females alike, so if the brother’s daughter uncovers the nakedness of the brother of

11.   her father, she is the flesh (of her father). vac Also they have corrupted their holy spirit, and with blasphemous language

12.   they have reviled the statutes of God’s covenant, saying, ‘They are not well-founded.’

13.   They continually speak abhorrent things against them. ‘All of them are kindlers and lighters of brands’ (cf. Isa 50:11); ‘the webs of

14.   a spider’ are their webs and ‘the eggs of vipers’ are their eggs (cf. Isa 59:5). Whoever touches them

15.   shall not be clean. The more he does so, <the more> he is guilty, unless he is forced. For in times past, God punished

16.   their deeds and His wrath burned against their misdeeds, ‘for they are a people without insight’ (Isa 27:11);

17.   they are a people wandering in counsel, ‘for there is no insight in them’ (Deut 32:28). For in times past

18.   Moses and Aaron stood in the power of the Prince of Lights and Belial raised up Yannes and

19.   his brother in his cunning <when seeking to do evil> to Israel the first time. vac

20.   vac In the time of destruction of the land the Boundary-Shifters appeared and led Israel astray

21.   and the land was devastated, for they had spoken rebellion against the commandments of God through Moses and also


Col. VI

1.   by the <anointed> of the spirit; and they prophesied falsehood to turn Israel from following

2.   God. But God remembered the covenant of the forefathers; vac and He raised up from Aaron insightful men and from Israel

3.   wise men and He taught them and they dug the well: ‘the well the princes dug, the nobility of the people

4.   dug it with a rod (Num 21:18). The Well is the Law, and its ‘diggers’ are

5.   the captives of Israel who went out of the land of Judah and dwelt in the land of Damascus;

6.   because God had called them all princes, for they sought him and

7.   their honour was not denied by a single mouth. vac And the ‘rod’ is the interpreter of the Law of whom

8.   Isaiah said, ‘he brings out a tool for his work’ (Isa 54:16). vac The ‘nobility of the people’ are

9.   those who come to ‘dig the well’ by following rules that the Rod made

10.   to live by during the whole era of wickedness, and without these rules they shall obtain nothing until the appearance of

11.   one who teaches righteousness in the last days. vac None who have been brought into the covenant

12.   shall enter into the sanctuary to light up His altar in vain; they shall ‘close

13.   the door,’ for God said, ‘Who of them shall close My door?vac And they shall not light up My altar in vain’ (Mal 1:10), that is,

14.   if they are not careful to act according to the specifications of the Law for the era of wickedness and to separate

15.   from corrupt people and to avoid filthy wicked lucre gained by vow or by consecration

16.   or by embezzling temple wealth and to refrain from ‘robbing the poor of his people, making widows’ wealth their booty

17.   and killing orphans’ (cf. Isa 10:2) and to distinguish between defiled and pure and to explain the difference

18.   between holy and profane and to keep the sabbath day according to specification and the holidays

19.   and the fast day according to the commandments of those entering the new covenant in the land of Damascus

20.   to offer the holy things according to their specifications; to love each his brother

21.   as himself, and to grasp the hand of poor and needy vac and alien and to seek each the welfare of


Col. VII

1.   his fellow, never betraying a family member; keeping away from fornication

2.   according to the ordinance; reproving each his fellow according to the command, but not bearing a grudge

3.   day after day; separating from all kinds of ritual impurity according to their ordinance, not befouling

4.   each his holy spirit, just as God has told them so to do. In short, for all who conduct their lives

5.   by these laws, in perfect holiness, according to all the instructions, God’s covenant stands firm

6.   to give them life for thousands of generations. vac But if they live in camps according to the rule of the land and marry

7.   women and beget children, then let them live in accordance with the Law, vac and by the ordinance

8.   of vows according to the rule of the Law, just as it says, ‘Between a man and his wife, and between a father and his

9.   sons’ (cf. Num 30:17). But those who reject the commandments and the rules (shall perish). When God judged the land bringing the just deserts of the wicked

10.   to them that is when the oracle of the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came true,

11.   which says, ‘Days are coming upon you and upon your people and upon your father’s house that

12.   have never come before, since the departure of Ephraim from Judah (Isa 7:17), that is, when the two houses of Israel separated,

13.   Ephraim departing from Judah. All who backslid were handed over to the sword, but all who held fast

14.   escaped to the land of the north, vac as it says, ‘I will exile the tents of your king

15.   and the foundation of your images beyond the tents of Damascus’ (cf. Amos 5:26-27). vac The books of Law are the ‘tents of

16.   the king’ (cf. Amos 5:26), as it says, ‘I will re-erect the fallen tent of David’ (cf. Amos 9:11). vac The king’ (cf. Amos 5:26) is

17.   <Leader of> the nation and the <? of your images> ‘foundation of your images’ (cf. Amos 5:26) is the books of the prophets

18.   whose words Israel despised. vac The star’ (Amos 5:26) is the interpreter of the Law

19.   who comes to Damascus, as it is written, ‘A star has left Jacob, a staff has risen

20.   from Israel’ (Num 24:17). The latter is the leader of the whole nation; when he appears, he will shatter

21.   all the sons of Sheth (Num 24:17). They escaped in the first period of God’s judgement,



1.   but those who held back were handed over to the sword. And such is the verdict on all members of the covenant who

2.   do not hold firm to these laws: they are condemned to destruction by Belial, that is the day

3.   on which God shall judge, ‘The princes of Judah were those on whom I shall pour out wrath (Hos 5:10).

4.   Truly they were too sick to be healed; every kind of galling wound <adhered to them> because they did not turn away from traitorous practises;

5.   they relished the customs of <fornication> and filthy lucre. Each of them vengefully bore a grudge

6.   against his brother, each hating his fellow; each of them kept away from nearest kin

7.   but grew close to indecency; they vaunted themselves in riches and in ill-gotten gains; each of them did just what he pleased;

8.   each chose to follow his own willful heart. They did not separate from the people, but arrogantly threw off all restraint,

9.   living by wicked customs, of which God had said, ‘Their wine is venom of snakes,

10.   the cruel poison of vipers’ (Deut 32:33). vac The ‘snakes’ are the kings of the Gentiles, vac and ‘their wine’ is

11.   their customs and ‘the poison of vipers’ is the chief of the kings of Greece, who comes to wreak

12.   vengeance on them. But the ‘Shoddy-Wall-Builders’ and ‘White-washers’ understood none of these things, for

13.   one who deals in mere wind, a spewer of lies, had spewed on them, one on whose entire company God’s anger had burned hot.

14.   But as Moses said, ‘It is not for your righteousness or the integrity of your heart that you are going to dispossess

15.   these nations, but because he loved your ancestors and because he has kept his promise (Deut 9:5, 7:8).

16.   Such is the verdict on the captivity of Israel, those who turn away from the usages of the common people. Because God loved

17.   the ancients who bore witness following him, so too He loves those who follow them, for to such truly belongs

18.   the covenant of the fathers. vac But against <His> enemies, the ‘Shoddy-Wall-Builders’, His anger burns. vac So there is one fate for

19.   everyone who rejects the commandments of God and abandons them to follow their own willful heart.

20.   vac This is the word that Jeremiah spoke to Baruch son of Neriah, and Elisha

21.   to Gehazi his servant. vac So it is with all the men who entered the new covenant in the land of Damascus.


Col. IX

1.   Any human being that any other human being is under a religious obligation to kill shall be put to death by the laws of the Gentiles.

2.   As for the passage that says, ‘Take no vengeance and bear no grudge against your kin folk’ (Lev 19:18) any covenant member

3.   who brings against his fellow an accusation not sworn to before witnesses

4.   or who makes an accusation in the heat of anger or who tells it to his elders to bring his fellow into disrepute, the same is a vengeance-taker and a grudge-bearer.

5.   vac It says only, ‘On his enemies God takes vengeance, against his foes he bears a grudge’ (Nah 1:2).

6.   If he kept silent day by day and then in anger against his fellow spoke against him in a capital case,

7.   this testifies against him that he did not fulfill the commandment of God which says to him, ‘You

8.   shall reprove your fellow and not bear the sin yourself’ (Lev 19:17). vac About oaths. The passage

9.   that says, ‘You may not seek a remedy by your own power’ a man who makes someone take an oath out in the countryside

10.   and not <before> judges or at their bidding: such a one has ‘sought a remedy by his own power.’ Everything that is lost

11.   and it is not known which of the men of the camp stole it, its owner shall pronounce a malediction

12.   by the covenant oath and whoever hears it, if he knows and does not tell, is guilty.

13.   vac Every sin for which restitution is to be made in the absence of an owner to whom it is to be paid, the one making restitution <shall confess> to the priest

14.   and it shall belong to the priest alone, aside from the ram of expiation. vac {  } So also every lost item that is found with no

15.   owner present shall belong to the priests, if the one who found it does not know the proper thing to do with it.

16.   If no owner is found, they shall have custody of it. vac Anything in which a man shall violate

17.   the Law and his fellow sees it, he alone, if it is a capital case, he shall tell him of it

18.   to his face in a denunciation to the Overseer, who shall then personally make a written note of it, until he does it

19.   again in the presence of a sole witness, who again makes it known to the Overseer. If he is caught doing it yet again by one

20.   witness, his fate is sealed. vac But if there are only two witnesses, who yet agree

21.   about the offense, then the man should be banned only from the community meal, vac if they are reliable, and if

22.   the day the man saw the offense, he tells the Overseer. Two

23.   reliable witnesses vac may bring charges in a property case; only one is required for a ban from the community meal. A witness is not to be accepted


Col. X

1.   by the judges to declare the death penalty on his word, if he has not fulfilled his days so as to join

2.   the recruits, those who fear God. vac No one may be trusted against his fellow

3.   as a witness who has arrogantly transgressed a matter of the commandment, until his purification of repentance.

4.   vac This is the rule for the judges of the nation. They shall be ten men in all chosen

5.   from the nation at the proper time: four from the tribe of Levi and Aaron, and from Israel

6.   six men learned in the Book of Meditation and in the basic covenant principles, from the age of

7.   twenty-five to sixty. No one above the age

8.   of sixty shall hold the office of judge of the nation, because when Adam broke faith,

9.   his life was shortened, and in the heat of anger against the earth’s inhabitants, God commanded

10.   their minds to regress before their life was over. About purification by water. A man may not

11.   wash himself in water that is filthy and too shallow to make a ripple.

12.   vac A man may not purify any dish in such water or in any stone cistern that does not have enough water in it

13.   to make a ripple and that something unclean has touched, for its water will defile the water of the vessel.

14.   About the Sa[bb]ath, how to keep it properly. vac A man may not work on the

15.   {  } sixth day from the time that the solar orb

16.   is above the horizon by its diameter, because this is what is meant by the passage, ‘Observe the Sabbath

17.   day to keep it holy’ (Deut 5:12). On the Sabbath day, one may not speak any

18.   coarse or empty word. One is not to seek repayment of any loan from his fellow. One may not go to court about property or wealth.

19.   One may not discuss business or work to be done the next day.

20.   vac A man may not go about in the field to do his desired activity on

21.   the Sabbath. One may not travel outside his city { } more than a thousand cubits.

22.   vac A man may not eat anything on the Sabbath day except food already prepared. From whatever was lost

23.   in the field vac he may not eat, and he may not drink unless he was in the camp.


Col. XI

1.   If he was on a journey and went down to bathe, he may drink where he stands, vac but he may not draw water into any

2.   <vessel>. One may not send a Gentile to do his business on the Sabbath day.

3.   vac A man may not put on filthy clothes or clothes kept in wool unless

4.   he washes it in water or if they scrub it with spice. vac A man may not voluntarily cross Sabbath borders

5.   on the Sabbath day. vac A man may walk behind an animal to graze it outside his city

6.   up to two thousand cubits. vac One may not raise his hand to hit it with a fist. vac If it is

7.   uncooperative, he should leave it inside. vac A man may not carry anything outside his house, nor should he

8.   carry anything in. If he is in a temporary shelter, he should not take anything out of it

9.   or bring anything in. No one should open a sealed vessel on the Sabbath. vac No one should carry

10.   medicine on his person, either going out or <coming in>, on the Sabbath. vac No one should pick up stone and dust

11.   in an inhabited place. vac No caregiver should carry a baby on the Sabbath, either going out or coming in.

12.   vac No one should provoke his servant, his maid, or his <employee> on the Sabbath.

13.   {  } No one should help an animal give birth on the Sabbath; vac and if it <falls> into a well

14.   or a pit, he may not lift it out on the Sabbath. vac No one should <rest> in a place near

15.   to Gentiles on the Sabbath. vac No one should profane the Sabbath for wealth or spoil on the Sabbath.

16.   vac Any living human who falls into {water} a body of water or a cistern

17.   shall not be helped out with ladder, rope, or instrument. vac No one should offer any sacrifice on the Sabbath

18.   except the Sabbath whole-burnt-offering, for so it is written, ‘besides your Sabbaths’ (Lev 23:28). vac No one should send

19.   a whole-burnt-offering, cereal offering, incense offering, or wood offering to the altar through anyone impure by any

20.   of the impurities, thus allowing him to defile the altar; for it is written, ‘The sacrifice

21.   of the wicked is disgusting; but the prayer of the righteous is like a wished-for gift’ (Prov 15:8) No one who enters the

22.   house of worship shall enter in a state of impurity but with laundered garments. When the trumpets for assembly are blown,

23.   let him go earlier or later so that they need not stop the whole service. The Sabbath


Col. XII

1.   is holy. vac A man may not lay with a woman in the city of the Temple, defiling

2.   the city of the Temple by their uncleanness. vac Everyone who is controlled by the spirits of Belial

3.   and advises apostasy will receive the same verdict as the necromancer and the medium; but all such who go astray

4.   to defile the Sabbath and the festivals shall not be put to death, for it is the responsibility of human beings

5.   to keep him in custody. If he recovers from it, they must watch him for seven years and afterwards

6.   he may enter the assembly. vac Let no one attack any of the Gentiles with intent to kill

7.   for the sake of wealth and spoil, vac nor may anyone carry away any of their wealth so that

8.   they may not blaspheme except by the counsel of the commonwealth of Israel. vac No one may sell a clean animal

9.   or bird to the Gentiles, lest they sacrifice them to idols; vac neither from his threshing-floor

10.   or from his winepress shall he sell to them, in all his property; his servant and his maidservant he may not sell

11.   to them, who have entered with him into Abraham’s covenant. vac No one may defile himself

12.   with any creature or creeping thing by eating them: from the larvae of bees to any living

13.   creature that crawls in the water; and the fish may not be eaten unless they are split open

14.   while living and their blood poured out. All species of locust must be put in fire or water

15.   while they are alive, because that befits their nature. vac Every piece of wood or stone

16.   or dust that is desecrated by human uncleanness, by reason of oil stains: according to their

17.   uncleanness, whoever touches them will become unclean. vac Every instrument, {nail} nail, or peg in the wall of

18.   house where a corpse lies shall be unclean, with the same impurity as a work-tool.

19.   vac The regulations above are the rule for those who live in the cities of Israel, dealing with these regulations to separate

20.   unclean from clean and to discriminate between holy and profane. vac These are the rules

21.   for the sage to live by with all that is living, according to the regulation for every occasion. If

22.   the seed of Israel lives according to this law, they shall never know condemnation. vac This is the rule for those who live in

23.   c[am]ps, who live by these rules in the era of wickedness, until the appearance of the Messiah of Aaron



1.   and of Israel: up to ten men at least, for thousands, and hundreds, and fifties,

2.   and tens. A priest knowledgeable in the Bible should always be present; by

3.   his command all shall be ruled (Gen 41:40). vac If he is not qualified in these rules and a Levite is qualified in

4.   them, then the membership shall proceed in all its ways at his command, all the members of the camp. vac But if

5.   it is a case of the law of skin-diseases, then the priest must come and be present in the camp, and the overseer

6.   shall instruct him in the details of the Law, vac and even if the priest is ignorant, it is he who must isolate the one suffering from skin-disease, because that duty

7.   is the priests’ alone. vac This is the rule for the overseer of a camp. He must teach the general membership about the works

8.   of God, instruct them in His mighty miracles, relate to them the future events coming to the world with their interpretations;

9.   he should care for them as a father does his children, taking care of all their problems as a shepherd does for his flock.

10.   He should loosen all their knots, that there be no one oppressed or crushed in his congregation.

11.   vac He shall observe everyone who is added to his group as to his actions, his intelligence, his ability, his strength, and his wealth

12.   and write him down by his place according to his share in the allotment of Light. vac No members of the camp are allowed

13.   to bring anyone into the group except by permission of the overseer of the camp;

14.   vac and none of the members of God’s covenant should buy or sell to corrupt people,

15.   except hand to hand. vac No one should do any buying or selling unless he has informed

16.   the overseer who is in the camp, and he shall do [   ] marries a woman

17.   and [   ] counsel and so to a divorced man and he shall inst[ruct    ]

18.   [   ] in the love of mercy. He must not bear against them [a grudge    ]

19.   [   ] their sins. And that which is not bound [   ]

20.   vac This is the (rule for) those living in camps, all [   ]

21.   [If any have broken] these rules, they will not prosper when they live in the land [   ]

22.   These are the     for the instructor [   ]

23.   [according to the regulation for every occasion. As it says, ‘There shall come upon you and upon your people and your father’s house days]


Col. XIV

1.   that have not been seen since the day Ephraim separated from Judah’ (Isa 7:17) But as for all who live by these rules,

2.   God’s covenant stands firm for them, delivering them from all the traps of Hell; but the <ignorant> shall pass away and be punished.

3.   vac The rule for those who live in all the camps. All shall be mustered by their names: the priests first,

4.   the Levites second, the children of Israel third, the proselyte fourth. Then they shall be recorded by name,

5.   one after the other: the priests first, the Levites second, the children of Israel

6.   third, the proselyte fourth. In the same order they shall sit, and in the same order they will inquire of all. The priest who presides

7.   <at the head> of the general membership must be between 30 to 60 years old, learned in the Book of Meditation

8.   and in all the regulations of the Law, speaking them in the proper way. vac The Overseer of

9.   all the camps must be between 30 and 50 years old, master of every

10.   secret of men and of every deceptive utterance. At his command the members of the congregation shall enter,

11.   each in his turn. Anything that any man might have to say to the Overseer, let him say it, including

12.   any kind of dispute or legal matter. vac This is the rule of the general membership for meeting all their needs: a wage of

13.   two days every month at least shall be given to the Overseer. Then the judges

14.   will give some of it for their [w]ounded, with some of it they will support the poor and needy, and the [sickly] elder,

15.   the man with a skin-disease, whoever is taken captive by a foreign nation, the girl

16.   with[out] a near kin[sm]an, the boy without an advocate; and the rest for the business of the entire community, so that

17.   [the family of the community should not be exclud]ed. vac This is the exposition for those who live in the ca[mps, [and these are the fundamental rules of]

18.   [the fundaments of the assem]bly. vac And this is the exposition of the regulations by which [they shall be governed in the age of]

19.   [wickedness until the appearance of the Messi]ah of Aaron and of Israel, so that their iniquity may be atoned for. Cereal [offering and sin-offering    ]

20.       Whoever lie[s] knowingly in a matter of money shall be ex[pelled    ]

21.   [    and pun]ished six days; and whoever spea[ks    ]

22.   [and whoever bears a grudge against his neighbour, which] is not lawful, [shall suffe]r [reduced rations    ]

23.   [   ] [  ]  [  ]


Col. XV

1.   [A man must not] swear either by Aleph and Lamedh (Elohim) or by Aleph and Daleth (Adonai), but rather by the oath of those who enter

2.   into the covenant vows. vac He must not make mention of the Law of Moses, because the Name of God is written out fully in it,

3.   vac and if he swears by it, and then commits a sin, he will have defiled the Name. vac But if he has sworn by the covenant vow[s in front of]

4.   the judges, vac if he has violated them, he is guilty; he should then confess his sin and make restitution and then he will not bear the burden of sin

5.   [and d]ie. vac Whoever enters the covenant for all Israel, this is a perpetual observance: any children who reach

6.   the age to be included in the registrants, they shall impose the covenant oath upon them. vac This

7.   is the rule during all the era of wickedness for all who repent of their wicked ways: On the day he speaks

8.   to the Overseer of the general membership, they shall register him by the oath of the covenant that

9.   Moses made with Israel, the covenant to retu[rn ]to the Law of Moses with a whole heart, and to return with a whole

10.   spirit to that which is found therein to do during the era of <wickedness>. No one is allowed to tell him

11.   the rules until he appears before the Overseer, so that he, the Overseer, is not fooled by him when he examines him;

12.   and when he imposes upon him the oath to return to the Law of Moses with a whole heart and with a whole soul,

13.   [they are in]nocent with respect to him if he proves false. vac Everything that is revealed from the Law for the multitude of the

14.   Camp, and of which he (the postulant) is capable, the Overseer should [tell] him and command him to stu[dy]

15.   for one full year; and then according to his knowledge he may draw near. But no one who is a fool or insane may enter; and no simple[ton or ]ignoramus

16.   or one with eyes too weak to [see or lame or crippled or deaf] or m[ino]r child,

17.   non[e of these shall enter the congregation, for the holy angels are in your midst. ]

18.   [    he sai]d [to] them

19.   [   ]


Col. XVI

1.   [   ] with you a covenant, and with all Israel. Therefore let a man <take upon> himself the oath to return to

2.   the Law of Moses, for in it everything is laid out in detail. vac But the specification of the times during which all Israel is blind to

3.   all these rules is laid out in detail in the ‘Book of Time Divisions by

4.   Jubilees and Weeks.’ On the day a man promises to return

5.   to the law of Moses the Angel of Obstruction will leave him, if he keeps His words.

6.   That is why { } Abraham was circumcised on the day he gained true knowledge. vac As for the passage ‘observe what comes out of your lips’ (Deut 23:24 H),

7.   it means to abide by vac every binding oath in which a man promises

8.   to do anything f[rom the L]aw: he may not break it, even at the price of death. vac Every

9.   promise a man makes to depart from the Law he shall not keep, even at the price of death.

10.   [Con]cerning a woman’s oath: The passage that spea[ks of h]er husband annulling her oath (Num 30:9) means he should not

11.   annul an oath if he does not [k]now whether it should be allowed to stand vac or be annulled.

12.   If it violates the covenant he should annul it and not allow it to stand. vac The rule also applies to her father.

13.   Concerning the rule of freewill offerings: A man shall not vow to the altar anything stolen, nor

14.   shall the [p]riests accept it from an Israelite. [   ] A man shall not consecrate the food

15.   of his mouth [to G]od, for that is referred to by the passage, ‘Men trap each other with what is consecrated to God’ (Mic 7:2); vac nor should

16.   a man consecra[te] any [   ]        [And the rule also appli]es if he

17.   consecrates to[ God] part of a field he owns himself [     ]

18.   The one who so vows shall be punished    [money of its value        ]

19.   to the judge[s for a fair decision and to evaluate     after the thing is vowed    ]

20.   If [it is gained by extortion, the extorter shall pay, if he has not spoken the truth to his fellow    ]


Col. XIX

1.   (God’s covenant) stands firm to give them life for thousands of generations. As it is writ(ten), ‘He keeps the covenant and loyalty

2.   to those who love (me) and keep My commandments for a thousand generations’ (Deut 7:9). vac But if they live in camps according to the rule of

3.   the land, which existed in ancient times, and marry women as is the custom of the Law and beget children,

4.   then let them live in accordance with the Law, vac and by the ordinance of vows according to the rule of the Law

5.   just as it says, ‘Between a man and his wife, and between a father and his sons’ (cf. Num 30:17). But those who reject the commandments

6.   and the rules (shall perish) when God visits the land to return the just deserts of the wicked upon them.

7.   When the oracle of the prophet Zechariah comes true, ‘O sword, be lively and smite

8.   My shepherd and the man loyal to me so says God. If you strike down the shepherd, the flock will scatter.

9.   Then I will turn My power against the little ones’ (Zech 13:7). But those who give heed to God are the ‘poor of the flock’ (cf. Zech 11:7):

10.   they will escape in the time of punishment, but all the rest will be handed over to the sword when the Messiah of

11.   Aaron and of Israel comes, just as it happened during the time of the first punishment, as {Ezekiel}

12.   Ezekiel said, vac ‘{  } Make a mark on the foreheads of those who moan and lament’, (cf. Ezek 9:4)

13.   but the rest were given to the sword that makes retaliation for covenant violations. And such is the verdict on all members of

14.   His covenant who do not hold firm to these laws: they are condemned to destruction by Belial.

15.   That is the day on which God shall judge as He has said, ‘The princes of Judah were those like Boundary-Shifters

16.   on whom I shall pour out wrath like water’ (Hos 5:10). Truly they had entered {entered} the covenant repenting,

17.   but they did not turn away from traitorous practises; they relished the customs of fornication and filthy lucre.

18.   Each of them vengefully bore a grudge against his brother, each hating his fellow. Each of them kept away

19.   from nearest kin but grew close to indecency; they vaunted themselves in riches and in ill-gotten gains; {  }

20.   each of them did just what he pleased; each chose to follow his own willful heart. They did not separate from the people

21.   and their sin, but arrogantly threw off all restraint, living by wicked customs, of which

22.   God had said, ‘Their wine is venom of snakes, the cruel poison of vipers’ (Deut 32:33). The ‘snakes’ are

23.   the kings of the Gentiles, and ‘their wine’ is their customs and ‘the poison of vipers’ is the chief of

24.   the kings of Greece, who comes to wreak vengeance on them. But the ‘Shoddy-Wall-Builders’ and ‘White-washers’ understood none of these things,

25.   for one who walks in wind, and who deals in {  } storms, one who preaches lies to men,

26.   one on whose entire company God’s anger had burned hot. vac But as Moses said

27.   to Israel, ‘It is not for your righteousness or the integrity of your heart that you are going to dispossess these nations,

28.   but because he loved your ancestors and because he has kept his promise’ (cf. Deut 9:5, 7:8). Such is

29.   the verdict on the captivity of Israel, those who turn away from the usages of the common people. Because God loved the ancients

30.   who bore witness to the people following God, so too He loves those who follow them, for to such belongs

31.   the covenant of the fathers. But He hates and despises the ‘Shoddy-Wall-Builders’ and His anger {  } burns hot against them and all

32.   who follow them. So there is one fate for everyone who rejects the commandments of God {  }

33.   and abandons them to follow their own willful heart. vac So it is with all the men who entered the new covenant

34.   in the land of Damascus, but then turned back and traitorously turned away from the fountain of living water.

35.   They shall not be reckoned among the council of the people, and their names shall not be written in their book from the day {        }


Col. XX

1.   {  } the Teacher <of the Yahad> dies until the Messiah from Aaron and from Israel appears. vac Such is the fate for all

2.   who join the company of the men of holy perfection and then become sick of obeying virtuous rules.

3.   This is the type of person who ‘melts in the crucible’ (cf. Ezek 22:21). vac {  }  When his actions become evident he shall be sent away from the company

4.   as if his lot had never fallen among the disciples of God. In keeping with his wrongdoing

5.   the most knowledgeable men shall punish him until he returns to take his place among the men of holy perfection. {          }

6.   {       } When his actions become evident, according to the interpretation of the Law which

7.   the men of holy perfection live by, no one {  } is allowed to share either wealth or work with such a one,

8.   for all the holy ones of the Almighty have cursed him. Such is the fate for all who reject the commandments, whether old or

9.   new, who have turned their thoughts to false gods {    } and who have lived by their willful hearts:

10.   they have no part in the household of Law. vac They will be condemned along with their companions who have gone back

11.   to the Men of Mockery, because they have uttered lies against the correct laws and rejected

12.   the sure covenant {  } that they made in the land of Damascus, that is, the New Covenant.

13.   Neither they { } nor their families shall have any part in the household of Law. Now from the day

14.   the Teacher <of the Yahad> passed away to the destruction of all the warriors who went back to

15.   the Man of the Lie will be about 40 years. vac Now at that time

16.   God’s anger will burn against Israel, as He said, ‘Neither king nor prince’ (Hos 3:4) nor judge or

17.   one who exhorts to do what is right will be left. {  } But those who repent of the sin of Jacob have kept God’s covenant. Then each will speak

18.   to his fellow, vindicating his brother, helping him walk in God’s way, and God shall listen

19.   to what they say and ‘write a record-book [in front of him] of those who fear God and honour

20.   his name’ (Mal 3:16) until salvation and righteousness are revealed for those who fear God. ‘And you shall again know the innocent

21.   from the guilty, those who serve God and those who do not’ (Mal 3:18). vacHe keeps faith [for thousands] to those who love him

22.   and to those who keep him for a thousand generations’ (Exod 20:6). [   ] Now that divisive group that left the city of the sanctuary

23.   and relied on God in the time of Israel’s unfaithfulness, when the nation defiled the temple they shall return again

24.   to the way of the people in a fe[w] matters.  Each of them according to his own spirit shall be judged in the holy council.

25.   vac But all of the members of the covenant who breached the restrictions of the Law, when

26.   the glory of God appears to Israel they shall be excluded from the midst of the camp, and with them all who did evil in

27.   Judah when it was undergoing trial. vac But all who hold fast to these rules, going out

28.   and coming in according to the Law, always obeying the Teacher and confessing to God as follows: ‘We have wickedly sinned,

29.   we and our ancestors by living contrary to the covenant laws; jus[t]

30.   and true are your judgements against us’ vac and do not act arrogantly against His holy laws and

31.   His righteous ordinances and His reliable declarations vac and who discipline themselves by the old laws

32.   by which the members of the <Yahad> were governed and listen attentively to the Teacher of Righteousness, vac not abandoning

33.   the correct laws when they hear them they will rejoice and be happy and exultant. They will rule over

34.   all the inhabitants of the earth. Then God will make atonement for them and they will experience His deliverance because they have trusted in His holy name.