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The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament Volume 2

Fragments of a Zadokite Work - The Damascus Document

From: The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English, vol. 2: Pseudepigrapha (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913): pp. 799-834.

Translated by
R.H. Charles



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    TABLE OF CONTENTS    

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FRAGMENTS OF A ZADOKITE WORK



also known as

The Damascus Document

Translated by
R.H, Charles
in R. H. Charles, ed., The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English, vol. 2: Pseudepigrapha (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913): pp. 799-834.


Chapter 1

1 3-4 Israel sent into Captivity, 5-8 A Root of God’s Planting made to spring forth after 200 B.C. and a Teacher of Righteousness raised up, 9-17 Description of Israel’s Wickedness in the First Century B.C. or at an earlier date

1 Now, therefore, hearken (unto me) all ye who know righteousness,

2 And have understanding in the works of God. For He hath a controversy with all flesh, And will execute judgment upon all who despise Him.

3 For because of the trespass of those who forsook Him, He hid His face from Israel and from His Sanctuary, And gave them over to the sword.

4 But when He remembered the covenant of the forefathers, He left a remnant to Israel, and gave them not over to destruction.

5 [And in the period of the wrath three hundred and ninety years after He had given them in the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon He visited them], and He made to spring forth from Israel and Aaron, A root of His planting to inherit His land, And to grow fat through the goodness of His earth.

6 And they had understanding of their iniquity, And they knew that they were guilty men, And had like the blind been groping after the way twenty years.

7 And God considered their works; for they sought Him with a perfect heart And He raised them up a Teacher of righteousness To lead them in the way of His heart.

8 And He made known to later generations what He had done [to a later generation] to a congregation of treacherous men: Those who turned aside out of the way.

9 This was the time concerning which it was written: As a stubborn heifer So hath Israel behaved himself stubbornly:

10 When there arose the scornful man, Who talked to Israel lying words, And made them go astray in the wilderness where there was no way, [to bring low the pride of the world].

11 So that they should turn aside from the paths of righteousness, And remove the landmark which the forefathers had set in their inheritance:

12 So as to make cleave unto themThe curses of His covenant, To deliver them to the sword That avengeth with the vengeance of the covenant.

13 Because they sought after smooth things, And they chose deceits, And kept watch with a view to lawless deeds.

14 And they chose the best of the neck, And justified the wicked, And condemned the righteous:

15 And transgressed the covenant, And violated the statute, And attacked the soul of the righteous.

16 And all that walked uprightly their soul abhorred, And they pursued them with the sword, And rejoiced in the strife of the people.

17 And so the wrath of God was kindled against their congregation,So that He laid waste all their multitude, And their deeds were uncleanness before Him.

Chapter 2

2 1-7 Wisdom is with God and Forgiveness of the repentant, but Wrath for the unrepentant, who are predestined to Destruction on the Ground of the Divine Foreknowledge, 9-10 But there is a Remnant whom He shall teach by the Messiah

1 And now hearken unto me all ye who have entered into the covenant, And I will disclose to you the ways of the wicked.

2 God loveth [knowledge] wisdom: And counsel He hath set before Him; Prudence and knowledge minister unto Him.

3 Longsuffering is with Him And plenteousness of forgivenesses To pardon those who repent of transgression.

4 And power and might and great fury with flames of fire [therein are all the angels of destruction] For them who turned aside out of the way, And abhorred the statute,

5 So that there should be no remnant, nor any to escape of them.

6 For God chose them not from the beginning of the world, And ere they were formed He knew their works.

7 And He abhorred their generations from of old, And hid His face from their land till they were consumed.

8 [And He knew the years of (their) office and the number and exact statement of their periods for all the things that belong to the ages and have been, moreover whatsoever shall come to pass in their periods for all the years of eternity.]

9 Yet in all of them He raised Him up men called by name, In order to leave a remnant to the earth, And to fill the face of the earth with their seed.

10 And through His Messiah He shall make them know His holy spirit. And he is true, and in the true interpretation of his name are their names: But them He hated He made to go astray.

Chapter 3

3-4 1. Exhortation to choose God’s Will and to shun the evil Inclination,1-2; through it fell the mighty Men of old, the Watchers and their Children 3-5; and all Flesh and also the Sons of Noah, 6-4

1 Now therefore, children, hearken unto me, And I will open your eyes to see, And to understand the works of God. And to choose what He approveth, And to reject what He hateth:

2 To walk uprightly in all His ways, And not to go about in the thoughts of an evil imagination And (with) eyes (full) of fornication.

3 For many were led astray by them, And mighty men of valor stumbled by them from of old [and until this day].

4 Because they walked in the stubbornness of their heart the watchers of heaven fell. By them were they caught because they kept not the commandment of God.

5 And their children whose height was like the loftiness of the cedars And whose bodies were like the mountains fell thereby.

6 All flesh that was on dry land perished thereby. And they were as though they had not been.

7 Because they did their own will, and kept not the commandment of their Maker, Until His wrath was kindled against them.

Chapter 4

4 2-9 Abraham, Isaac and Jacob walked not after the evil Inclination of the Heart, 2-3; but the Sons of Israel did in Egypt and in the Wilderness and were punished accordingly, 4-9.

1 By them went astray the sons of Noah and their families: Because of them they were cut off.

2 Abraham did not walk in them, And he was (recorded) friend because he kept the commandments of God, And chose not the will of his own spirit.

3 And he delivered (the commandment) to Isaac and Jacob, And they observed (it) and were recorded as friends of God, And members of the covenant forever.

4 The sons of Jacob went astray through them, And they were punished according to their error.

5 And their children in Egypt walked in the stubbornness of their heart, So that they took counsel against the commandments of God, And every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

6 [And they eat blood], and He cut off their males in the desert (when He said) to them in Kadesh: Go up and possess (the land, but they hardened) their spirit:

7 And they hearkened not unto the voice of their Maker [The commandments of their Teacher] but murmured in their tents, And so the wrath of God was kindled against their congregation

8 And their children [perished by it And their kings] were cut off by it, And their mighty men perished by it, And their land was made desolate by it.

9 By it the first that entered into the covenant incurred guilt, And they were delivered unto the sword, Because they forsook the covenant of God:

10 And they chose their own will, And went about after the stubbornness of their heart, Every man doing his own will.

Chapter5

5 God confirms the Covenant with the faithful through fresh Revelations, 1-3; when Israel transgressed again God forgave them, 4-6; and confirmed His Covenant with them through Ezekiel, 6-7.

1 But with them that held fast by the commandments of God, [who were left of them], God confirmed the covenant of Israel forever, Revealing unto them the hidden things Wherein all Israel had erred:

2 His holy Sabbaths and His glorious festivals, His righteous testimonies and His true ways, And the desires of His will [the which if a man do, he shall live by them] He opened before them.

3 And they digged a well of many waters: And he that despises them shall not live.

4 But they wallowed in the transgression of man, And in the ways of the unclean woman, And they said that it belongs to us.

5 But God wondrously pardoned their sins, And forgave their transgression, And He built them a sure house in Israel [the like of which never arose from of old nor until this day].

6 They who hold fast to him are for the life of eternity, And all the glory of man is for them; As God confirmed it to them through Ezekiel the prophet, saying:

7 ‘The priests and the Levites and the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of My Sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from them, they shall bring near unto Me fat and blood.’

Chapter 6

6 Migration of the Penitents to Damascus. Sons of Zadok hold office in the end of the Days, 1-3. Law to be obeyed and relations with Judah broken of in the Period in which Belial is let loose. 4-12.

1 The priests are the penitents of Israel who went forth out of the land of Judah:

2 and (the Levites are) they who joined them. And the sons of Zadok are the elect of Israel called by

3 the name, that are holding office in the end of the days. Behold the statement of their names according to their generations, and the period of their office, and the number of their afflictions, and the years of their sojournings, and the statement of their works.

4 The first saints whom God pardoned, Both justified the righteous, and condemned the wicked.

5 And all they who come after them must do according to the interpretation of the Law,In which the forefathers were instructed until the consummation of the period of these years.

6 In accordance with the covenant which God established with the forefathers in order to pardon their sins, so shall God make atonement for them.

7 And on the consummation of the period [of the number] of these years they shall no more join themselves to the house of Judah. But shall every one stand up against his net.

8 The wall shall have been built, the boundary been far removed.

9 And during all these years Belial shall be let loose against Israel, as God spake through Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amos, saying: ‘Fear and the pit and the snare are upon thee, O inhabitant of the land.’

10 This means the three nets of Belial, concerning which Levi the son of Jacob spake, by which he caught Israel and directed their faces to three kinds of righteousness.

11 The first is fornication, the second is the wealth (of wickedness), the third is the pollution of the Sanctuary.

12 He that cometh up from this shall be caught by that, and he that escapeth from this shall be caught by that.

Chapter 7

7 1-7. The Sin of Fornication. Divorce forbidden.

1 The builders of the wall who walk after law-the law it is which talks, of which He said: Assuredly they shall talk-are caught [by two] by fornication in taking two wives during their lifetime.

2,3 But the fundamental principle of the creation ‘Male and Female created He them.’

4 And they who went into the Ark, ‘Two and two went into the Ark.’ And as to the prince it is written,

5 ‘He shall not multiply wives unto himself.’ But David read not in the Book of the Law that was sealed, which was in the Ark; for it was not opened in Israel from the day of the death of Eleazar and

6 Joshua, and the Elders who served Ashtaroth. And it was hidden (and was not) discovered until

7 Zadok arose: Now they glorified the deeds of David save only the blood of Uriah, and God abandoned them to him.

8-18. The Sin of polluting the Sanctuary.

8 And they also pollute the Sanctuary since they separate not according to the Law, and lie with

9 her who sees the blood of her issue. And they take (to wife) each his brother’s daughter or his

10 sister’s daughter. But Moses said ‘Thou shalt not approach thy mother’s sister: she is thy is mother’s near kin’.

11 So the law of intercourse for males is written, and the same law holds for females; and let not the daughter of the brother uncover the nakedness of the brother of her father: he is near of kin.

12 They also polluted their holy spirit and with a tongue of blasphemies they opened the mouth

13 against the statutes of the covenant of God, saying: They are not established. But abominations they speak regarding them.

14 They are all ‘kindlers of fire and setters aflame of firebrands’:

15 ‘The webs of spiders’ are their weavings and ‘the eggs of cockatrices’ are their eggs:

16 He who comes near them shall not be innocent: He that chooseth them shall be held guilty [unless he was forced].

17 Aforetime God visited their works, and His wrath was kindled because of their devices.

18 For ‘it is a people of no understanding’: ‘They are a nation void of counsel,’ (Because there is no understanding in them).

19 For aforetime arose Moses and Aaron through the prince of the Lights. But Belial raised Jochanneh and his brother with his evil device when the former delivered Israel.

Chapter 8

8 When the Land was laid desolate God would raise up wise men who would restudy the Law and go in Exile to Damascus, 1-5; and according to its Precepts the repentant ones should walk tilI the Teacher of Righteousness arose (i.e. after 176 B.C.), 7-10.

1 And during the period of the destruction of the land there arose those who removed the landmark

2 and led Israel astray. And the land became desolate because they spake rebellion against the commandments of God through Moses [and also through His holy anointed one], and they prophesied a lie to turn away Israel from God.

3 But God remembered the covenant with the forefathers: And He raised up from Aaron men of understanding. And from Israel wise men

4 And He made them to hearken, And they digged the well

5 ‘A well the princes digged, The nobles of the people delved it By the order of the Lawgiver.’

6 The well is the Law, and they who digged it are the penitents of Israel who went forth out of the land of Judah and sojourned in the land of Damascus, all of whom God called princes.

7, 8 For they sought Him and His glory was not turned back in the mouth of one (of them). And the Lawgiver is he who studies the Law, in regard to whom Isaiah said,’ He bringeth forth an instrument for his work.’

9 And the nobles of the people are those who came to dig the well by the precepts in the which the Lawgiver ordained that they should walk throughout the full period of the wickedness.

10 And save them they shall get nothing until there arises the Teacher of Righteousness in the end of the days.

8 11-20 Conditions under which they can act as Priests in the Sanctuary.

11 And none who have entered into the covenant shall enter into the Sanctuary to kindle His altar but they shall shut the doors concerning whom God said,

‘0 that there was one among you to shut the doors,
So that ye might not vainly kindle the tire upon My altar,’

12 Unless they observe to do according to the true meaning of the Law until the period of the wickedness, and to sever themselves from the children of the pit, and to hold aloof from the polluted wealth of wickedness under a vow and a curse, and from the wealth of the Sanctuary:

13And in respect to robbing the pool of His people, So that widows may be their spoil. And they may murder the fatherless:

14 And to make a difference between the clean and the unclean and to make men discern between, the holy and the profane:

15 And to observe the Sabbath according to its true meaning and the feasts and the day of the Fast according to the utterances of them who entered into the New Covenant in the land of Damascus:

16 To contribute their holy things according to the true interpretation:

17 To love every one his brother as himself, and to strengthen the hand of the poor and the needy and the stranger, and to seek every one the peace of his brother

18 To hold aloof from harlots according to the law: and that no man should commit a trespass against his next of kin:

19 To rebuke every one his brother according to the commandment, and not to bear a grudge from day to day, and to separate from all the pollutions according to their judgments

20 And no man shall make abominable (with these) his holy spirit, according as God separated (these) from them.

21 As for all those who walk in these things in the perfection of holiness according to all the ordinances, the covenant of God

A

B

Standeth fast unto them to preserve them to a thousand generations

Standeth fast unto them to preserve them for thousand s of generations. As it is written. ‘Who keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations.

Chapter 9

9 1 The Law as to binding and loosing

A

B

1 And if they settle in camps according to the order of the land and take wives and beget children, they shall walk according to the Law, and according to the judgments of the ordinances according to the order of the Law as He spake, ‘between a man and his wife, and between a father and his son’.

1 And if they settle in camps according to the statues of the land which were from of old and take wives according to the custom of the Law and beget children, they shall walk according to the judgments of the ordinances according to the order of the Law as He spake, 'between a man and his wife, and between a father and his son.’

9 2-3 Threatened Judgment on those who rejected the Statues

A

B

2 But as for all them that reject . . . when God will bring a visitation upon the land they shall be requited with the recompense of the wicked; when there shall come to pass the word which is written in the words of Isaiah the son of Amos 3 the prophet, who said : ‘He will bring upon thee and upon thy people and upon thy father’s house days that have (not) come from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah.’

2 But as for all them that reject the commandments and the statutes they shall be requited with the recompense of the wicked; when God will bring a visitation upon the land, when there shall come to pass the word which is written by the hand of Zechariah the prophet: ‘0 sword, awake against My shepherd and against the man that is My fellow, saith God; smite the shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered, and I will turn Mine hand against the little ones.’

9 4-9. Foundation of the Zadokite Party and its Expectations: the Law, the Prophets, and the Messiah.

4 When the two houses of Israel separated, [Ephraim departed from Judah, and] all who proved faithless were delivered to the sword, and those who held fast escaped into the land of the North.

5 As He said, ‘And I will cause to go into captivity Siccuth your King and Chiun your images,

6 (the star of your god which ye made for yourselves) beyond Damascus.’ The books of the Law are the tabernacle of the King, as He said, ‘And I will raise up the tabernacle of David that is

7 fallen.’ The King is the congregation and Chiun the images are the books of the Prophets, whose

8 words Israel has despised. And the Star is he who studied the Law, who came to Damascus, as it is written, ‘There shall come forth a star out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel.’ The

9 scepter is the prince of all the congregation.

9 10-20. The Messiah will destroy those who were faithless to the New Covenant: their moral Derelictions through Hellenizing Influences.

A

B

10 And when ‘he shall destroy all the sons of (battle) din’….These shall escape during the period of the (first) visitation, but those who proved faithless shall be delivered to the sword.


11 [Lost]






12 And this also shall be the judgment of all them who have entered into His covenant, who will not hold fast to these (statues): they shall be visited for destruction through the hand

13 of Belial. This is the day on which God shall visit (as He hath spoken)" ‘The princes of Judah were (like them that removed the landmark): Upon them will I pour out (My) wrath (like water).’

14 For they are too sick to be healed And they have been at the head of all the rebels.

15 Because they have not turned from the way or traitors, But have wallowed in the ways of harlots, And in the wealth of wickedness and (in) revenge.

16 And every man beareth a grudge against his Brother, And every man hateth his neighbor.

17 And the committed trespass every man against his next of kin. And drew near to unchastity: And exalted themselves with a view to wealth and unjust gain And every man did that which was right in his own eyes

18 And they chose every man the stubbornness of his heart, And they separated not from the people.

19 And they cast off restraint with a high hand To walk in the way of the wicked, concerning whom God said: ‘Their wine is the poison of dragons And the cruel venom of asps’.

20 The dragons are the kings of the Gentiles and their wine is their ways, and the venom of asps is the head of the kings of Javan, who came to execute vengeance upon them.

10 And they that give heed unto Him are the poor of the flock’. These shall escape during the period of the visitation, but the rest shall be handed over to the sword when the Messiah comes from Aaron and Israel:

11 Just as it was during the period of the first visitation, concerning which He spake through Ezekiel’ to set a mark upon the foreheads of them that sigh and cry’, but the rest were delivered to ‘the sword that avengeth with the vengeance of the covenant’.

12 And this also shall be the judgment of all them that have entered into His covenant, who will not hold fast to these statutes: they shall be visited for destruction through the hand of belial.

13 This is the day on which God shall visit, as He hath spoken; The princes of Judah were like them that remove the landmark: Upon them will I pour out (My) wrath like water.’

15 Because they entered into the covenant of repentance and yet have not turned from the way of traitors: But have dealt wantonly in the ways of fornication, In the wealth of wickedness and in revenge.

16 And every man beareth a grudge against his brother, And every man hateth his neighbor

17 And they committed trespass every man against his next of kin, And drew near to unchastity: And they made themselves strong with a view to wealth and unjust gain, And every man did that which was right in his own eyes

18 And they chose every man the stubborness of his heart, And they separated not from the people and their sins.

19And they cast off restraint with a high hand To walk in the ways of the wicked; concerning whom God said: ‘Their wine is the poison of dragons and the cruel venom of asps.’

20 The dragons are the kings of the Gentiles and their wine is their ways, and the venom of asps is the head of the kings of Javen, who came to execute vengeance upon them.

9 21-23 Neither to these things nor to Moses did the Builders of the Wall give heed.

A

B

21 But despite all these things they who builded the wall and daubed it with untempered mortar percieved not-

22 For one who was perturbed of spirit and talked lies talked to them- that the wrath of God was kindled against all His congregation:

23 Nor that Moses said, ‘Not for they righteousness or for the uprightness of thine heart dost thou go in to inherit these nations, but because He loved they fathes and because He would keep the oath.’

21 But despite all these things they who builded the wall and daubed it with untempered mortar perceived not-

22 For one who walked in wind and weighed storms, and talked lies to man (talked)-. That the wrath of God was kindled against all His congregation:

23 Nor Moses said to Israel,’Not for thy righteousness nor for the uprightness of thine heart dost thou go into inherit these nations, but because He loved they fathers and because He would keep the oath.

9 24-27 The Penitents like the Forefathers were loved of God for their Faithfulness to the Covenant, but as He judged the Builders of the Wall, so shall those faithless to the New Covenant be judged

A

B

24 And such is the case of the penitents of Israel (who) turned aside from the way of the people.

25 Owing to the love of God for the forefathers who stirred up (the people to follow after Him, He loved them that came after them; for theirs is the covenant of the fathers.

26 But since He hated the builders of the wall His wrath was kindled.

27 And such (will be) the case of all who reject the commandments of God, and forsake them and turn away in the stubbornness of their heart.

24 Such is the case of the penitents of Israel (who) turned aside from the way of the people.

25 Owing to the love of God for the forefathers who admonished the people (to follow) after God, He loved them that came after them, for theirs is the covenant of the fathers.

26 But God hates and abhors the builders of the wall and His wrath was kindled against them and against all who follow after them.

27 And such (will be) the case of all who reject the commandments of God, and forsake them and turn away in the stubbornness of their heart.

9 28-39. Excommunication of those who fall away from the New Covenant.

28 This is the word which Jeremiah spake to Baruch the son of Neriah, and Elisha to his servant Gehazi. All the men who entered into the New Covenant in the land of Damascus.

28 So are all the men who entered into the New Covenant in the land of Damascus and yet turned backward and acted treacherously and departed from the spring of living waters.

B

29 They shall not be reckoned in the assembly of the people, and in its register they shall not be written, from the day when there was gathered in the Unique Teacher until there shall arise the Messiah from Aaron and from Israel.

30 And such is the case for all that enter into the congregation of the men of the perfection of holiness.

31 And as for him who abhors doing precepts of upright men [he is the man who is melted in the furnace], when his deeds become known he shalt be expelled from the congregation, as though his lot had not fallen among them that are taught of God.

32 According to his trespass they shall record him as a perverted man until he come back to stand in the office of the men of the perfection of holiness.

33 And when his deeds become known in accordance with the midrash of the Law in which walk the men of the perfection of holiness, no man shall consent (to be) with him in wealth and labor; for all the saints of the Most High have cursed him.

34 And such shall be the case of every one who rejects the first and the last, who have placed idols upon their hearts and walked in the stubbornness of their hearts.

35 They have no share in the House of the Law.

36 With a judgment like unto that of their neighbors who turned away with the scornful men, they shall be judged.

37 For they spake error against the statutes of righteousness, and rejected the covenant and the pledge of faith, which they had affirmed in the land of Damascus; and this is the New Covenant.

38 And there shall not be unto them nor unto their families a share in the House of the Law.

39 And from the day when there was gathered in the Unique Teacher until all the men of war were consumed who walked with the man of lies about forty years,

40 [And during this period there shall be kindled the wrath of God against Israel as He said, ‘there is no king and no prince’ and no judge, and none that rebuketh in righteousness.]

41 Those who repented of transgression (in Jacob) observed the covenant of God.

42 Then they spake each man with his neighbor (to strengthen one) another ‘Let our steps hold fast to the way of God.’

43 And God hearkened to their words and heard, and a book of remembrance was written (before Him) for them that feared God (and) that thought upon His name until salvation and righteousness be revealed for (them that fear God.

44 Then shall ye return and discern) between the righteous and wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not.

45 And He showeth mercy (unto thousands) of them that love Him and keep (His commandments) for a thousand generations.

46 From the house of Peleg that have gone out from the holy city.

47 And they trusted in God throughout the period that Israel trespassed and polluted the Sanctuary and returned again to molten images.

48 The people with few words shall all be judged, each according to his spirit in the counsel of holiness.

49 And as for all those who have broken down the landmark of the Law amongst those who entered into the covenant, when there shall shine forth the glory of God to Israel, they shall be cut off from the midst of the camp, and with all those who do wickedly of Judah in the days of its testing.

9 50-54. The faithful shall confess their sins and be forgiven and blessed.

50 But all they who hold fast by these judgments in going out and coming in according to the Law, and listen to the voice of the Teacher and confess before God (saying)

51 ‘We have done wickedly, we and our fathers, Because we have walked contrary to the statutes of the covenant, And true is thy judgment against us:’

52 And (who) lift not the hand against His holy statutes, His righteous judgment, and the testimony of His truth;

53 and are chastised by the first judgments with which the children of men were judged: and give ear to the voice of the Unique Teacher of Righteousness: and reject not the statutes of righteousness when they hear them

54 They shall rejoice and be glad, And their heart shall exult, And they shall make themselves strong against all the children of the world, And God will pardon them And they shall see His salvation; For they trust in His holy name.


A

Chapter 10

10 1-6 A man is not to avenge himself or bear a Grudge.

1 Every man who puts under the ban a man [amongst men] according to the ordinances of the Gentiles is to be put to death:

2 And as for that which He hath said: ‘Thou shalt not take vengeance nor bear a grudge against the children of thy people,’ every man of those who have entered into the covenant, who brings a charge against his neighbor whom he had not rebuked before witnesses, and yet brings it in his fierce wrath or recounts (it) to his elders in order to bring him into contempt, is taking vengeance and bearing a grudge.

3 But naught is written save that, ‘He taketh vengeance on His adversaries, and He beareth a grudge against His enemies.’

4 If he held his peace with regard to him from day to day, but in his fierce wrath spake against him in a matter of death, he hath testified against himself because he did not give effect to the commandment of God, Who said to him,

5 ‘Thou shalt surely rebuke thy neighbor and not bear sin because of him.’

6 As regards the oath, touching that which He said ‘Thou shalt not avenge thee with thine own hand’, the man who makes (another man) swear in the open field-that is, not in the presence of the judges, or owing to their commands-hath avenged himself with his own hand.

10 7-9 The law as to lost property.

7 And as for anything that is lost, should it not be known who has stolen it from the property of the camp in which the thing has been stolen, its owner shall proclaim (it) by the oath of cursing and whoso hears, if he knows and declares it not, shall be held guilty.

8 As for any restitution made by him who returns that which has [not] an owner, he who returns (it) shall confess to the priest, and (that which was lost) shall be given back to him, besides the ram of the guilt-offering to the priest;

9 and so everything (that was) lost (and) found and has no owner shall be given to the priests for he who found it knows not its law. If its owner is not found they shall take charge (of it).

10 10-17. The Number of witnesses necessary in the case of Capital and other Offenses. The character of the Witnesses.

10 If a man in any matter trespasses against the Law and his neighbor and none but he sees it, if it be a matter of death, he shall make it known to the Censor in the presence of the accused in discharging the duty of reproof: and the Censor shall write it down with his own hand:

11 If he do it again before another, he shall return and make it known to the Censor.

12 If he shall be caught again before another, his judgment shall be executed.

13 And if they are two and they witness against him (each) on a different thing the man shall be only excluded from the Purity, provided that they are trustworthy, and that on the day on which they have seen the man they make it known to the Censor.

14 And according to the statute (they shall) accept two trustworthy witnesses, and not one to exclude the Purity.

15 And there shall arise no witness before the judges to cause a man to be put to death at his mouth, whose days have not been fulfilled so as to pass over unto those that are numbered (and who is not) a man who fears God.

16 None shall be believed as a witness against his neighbor who transgresses a word of the commandment with a high hand until they are cleansed through repentance.

Chapter 11

11 Regulations as to the Judges of the Zadokite Party.

1 And this is the order in reference to the judges of the congregation.

2 (They shall amount) to ten men selected from the congregation according to the time (defined); four of the tribe of Levi and Aaron, and six of Israel learned in the Book of the Hagu and in the Ordinances of the Covenant, from five and twenty years old even unto sixty years old.

3 But none shall be appointed when he is sixty years old and upward to judge the congregation.

4 For through the trespasses of man his days were minished, and when the wrath of God was kindled against the inhabitants of the earth, He commanded their intelligence to depart from them before they completed their days.

Chapter 12

12 Levitical Law as to Bathing.

1 As to being cleansed in water. No man shall wash in water (that is) filthy or insufficient for a man’s bath.

2 None shall cleanse himself in the waters of a vessel. And every pool in a rock in which there is not sufficient (water) for a bath, which an unclean person has touched, its waters shall be unclean like the waters of the vessel.

Chapter 13

13 1-11 Laws regarding the Sabbath.

1 As to the Sabbath, to observe it according to its law, no man shall do work on the sixth day from the time when the sun’s orb in its fullness is still without the gate, for it is He who has said, ‘Observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’

2 And on the Sabbath day no man shall utter a word of folly and vanity.

3 No man shall lend aught, to his neighbor.

4 None shall dispute on matters of wealth and gain.

5 None shall speak on matters of work and labor to be done on the following morning.

6 No man shall walk in the field to do the work of his business.

7 On the Sabbath none shall walk outside his city more than a thousand cubits.

8 No man shall eat on the Sabbath day aught save that which is prepared or perishing (in the field).

9 Nor shall one eat or drink unless in the camp.

10 (If he was) on the way and went down to wash he may drink where he stands, but he shall not draw into any vessel.

11 No man shall send the son of a stranger to do his business on the Sabbath day.

13 12 Laws as to unclean Garments.

12 No man shall put on garments that are filthy or were brought by a Gentile unless they were washed in water or rubbed with frankincense.

13 13-27 Laws regarding the Sabbath.

13 No man shall fast of his own will on the Sabbath.

14 No man shall walk after the animal to pasture it outside his city more than two thousand cubits.

15 None shall lift his hand to smite it with (his) fist.

16 If it be stubborn he shall not remove it out of his house. No man shall carry anything from the house to the outside or from the outside into the house, and if he be in the vestibule he shall not carry anything out of it or bring in anything into it.

17 None shall open the cover of a vessel that is pasted on the Sabbath.

18 No man shall carry on him spices to go out or come in on the Sabbath.

19 None shall lift up in his dwelling house rock or earth.

20 Let not the nursing father take the sucking child to go out or to come in on the Sabbath.

21 No man shall provoke his manservant or his maid-servant or his hireling on the Sabbath.

22 No man shall help an animal in its delivery on the Sabbath day.

23 And if it falls into a pit or ditch, he shall not raise it on the Sabbath.

24 No man shall rest in a place near to the Gentiles on the Sabbath.

25 No man shall suffer himself to be polluted [the Sabbath] for the sake of wealth or gain on the Sabbath.

26 And if any person falls into a place of water or into a place of… he shall not bring him up by a ladder or a cord or instrument.

27 No man shall offer anything on the altar on the Sabbath, save the burnt-offering of the Sabbath, for so it is written ‘Excepting your Sabbaths’.

Chapter 14

14 1-4. Levitical Laws as to Uncleanness.

1 No man shall send to the altar burnt-offering or meat-offering or frankincense or wood through the hand of a man (that is) unclean through any of the uncleannesses allowing him to defile the altar, for it is written: ‘The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, but the prayer of the righteous’ is like an offering of delight.’

2 And none of those who enter into the house of worship shall enter when he is unclean even though washed.

3 And when the trumpets of the Congregation sound, it shall he (done) before or after, and they shall not put an end to the whole service: (the Sabbath) is holy.

4 No man shall lie with a woman in the city of the Sanctuary to defile the city of the Sanctuary by their impurity.

14 5. Law as to Necromancy.

5 Any man who is ruled by the spirits of Belial and speaks rebellion shall be judged by the judgement of the necromancer and wizard.

14 6. Law as to the Sabbath.

6 And he whom he leads astray into profaning the Sabbath and the Feasts shall not be put to death; but it shall be the duty of the sons of man to watch him; and should he be healed of it, they shall watch him seven years and then he shall come into the Congregation.

14 7-11. Laws as to Intercourse with the Gentiles.

7 None shall stretch out his hand to shed the blood of any man from among the Gentiles for the sake of wealth or gain.

8 Nor shall he take aught of their wealth lest they blaspheme, unless by the counsel of the Community of Israel.

9 No man shall sell an animal or bird that is clean to the Gentiles, lest they sacrifice them.

10 Nor shall he sell them aught from his threshing-floor or his winepress for all his property.

11 Nor shall he sell them his manservant or maidservant who entered with him into the covenant of Abraham.

14 12- 16. Laws as to unclean Foods and Causes of Uncleanness.

12 No man shall make himself abominable with any living creature or creeping thing, by eating of them: or of the defilements of bees or of any living creature that moveth in the waters.

13 Nor shall fish be eaten unless they were split alive and their blood was shed.

14 But all the locusts after their kind shall come into fire or into water whilst they are still living, for this is the manner of their creation.

15 And all wood and stones and dust which are polluted by the uncleanness of man are polluted like them.

16 According to their uncleanness shall be unclean he who toucheth them. And every instrument, nail, or peg in the wall which is with the dead in the house shall be unclean, like the uncleanness of an instrument of work.

Chapter 15

15 1-3. Summary Reference to Laws of Uncleanness.

1 The regulation of the dwellers in the cities of Israel, according to these judgments, that a difference may be made between the unclean and the clean, and to make known (the difference) between the holy and the common.

2 And these statutes are to give instruction so that the whole nation may walk in them according to the Law always.

3 And according to this law shall walk the seed of Israel, and they shall not be cursed.

15 4-6. The Ruler to be a Priest or a Levite.

4 And this is the regulation of the dwellers (according to which they should) act during the period of the wickedness until there arises the Messiah (from) Aaron and Israel, up to ten men at least, to thousands and hundreds and fifties and tens.

5 And when there arise ten, the man who is a priest learned in the Book of the Hagu shall not depart. According to his word shall they all be ruled.

6 And if he is not expert in all these, but a man of the Levites is expert in these, the lot shall be that all those that enter into the camp shall go out and come in according to his word.

15 7-8. Law as to Leprosy.

7 And if there be a judgment regarding the law of leprosy which is in a man, then the priest shall come and stand in the camp, and the Censor shall instruct him in the true meaning of the law.

8 And (even) if he is lacking in understanding He shall shut him up; for unto them (i.e. the priests) is the judgment.

Chapter 16

16 The Duties of the Censor.

1 And this is the regulation of the Censor of the camp. He shall instruct the many in the works of God, and shall make them understand His wondrous mighty acts, and shall narrate before them the things of the world since its creation.

2 And he shall have mercy upon them as a father upon his children, and shall for(give) all that have incurred guilt.

3 As a shepherd with his flock he shall loose all the bonds of their knots…oppressed and crushed in his congregation. And every one who joins his congregation, he shall reckon him according to his works, his understanding, his might, his strength, and his wealth.

5 And they shall record him in his place in accordance with his position in a lot of the (camp).

6 No man of the children of the camp shall have power to bring a man into the congregation (without) the word of the Censor of the camp.

7 Nor shall any man of them who have entered into the covenant of God do business (with) the children of the pit (un)less hand to hand.

8 No man shall do (a thing as buy)ing and sell(ing) un(less he has spoken) to the Censor of the camp, and he shall do (it in the ca)mp and not… and so to him who casts forth…they, and he who is not connected with…

9 And this is the settlement of the camps.

10 All shall not succeed to settle in the land…

11 that have not come from the day that Ephraim departed from Judah.

12 And as for all who walk in these the covenant of God standeth fast unto them to save them from all the snares of the pit, for suddenly….

Chapter 17

17 1-5. The Four Orders of the Community.

1 And the regulation of the dwellers of all the camps is:

2 They shall be numbered all by their names, the Priests first, the Levites second, the children of Israel third, and the proselyte fourth.

3 And they shall be recorded by their names one after another, the Priests first,the Levites second, the children of Israel third, and the proselyte fourth.

4 And so they shall be seated and so they shall ask with regard to every matter.

5 And the Priest who numbers the many (shall be) from thirty years old even unto sixty years old, learned in the Book (of the Hagu and) in all the judgements of the Law to direct them according to their judgments.

 

17 6-8. Duties of the Censor.

6 And the Censor who is over all the camps shall be from thirty years old even unto fifty years old, a master in every counsel of men, and in every tongue…

7 According to his word shall come in those who enter the congregation every man in his due order. 8 And as regards any matter on which it shall be incumbent for any man to speak, he shall speak to the Censor in regard to any suit or cause.

Chapter 18

18 1-5 Almsgiving.

1 And this is the regulation for the many in order to provide for all their needs.

2 The wages of two days every month is the rule. And they shall give it into the hands of the Censor and the judges.

3 From it they shall give…and (from) it they shall strengthen the hand of the poor and the needy.

4 And to the aged man who…to the vagrant and him (who) was taken captive of a strange people.

5 And to the virgin who has (no dot) (and to Him whom) no man careth for: every work… and not…

6 And this is the explanation of the settlement…

7 And this is the explanation of the judgments which…

8 (The Messiah from) Aaron and Israel.

9 And He will pardon our sins…in money and he shall know…punishment six days and who shall speak…

10 against Mos(es)

Chapter 19

19 Laws as to Oaths.

1 …(Shall not swe)ar either by Aleph Lamed or by Aleph Daleth, but by the oath (written) in the curses of the covenant.

2.But the Law of Moses he shall not mention, for…

3 And if he swears and transgresses he profanes the Name.

4 And if by the curses of the covenant…the Judges.

5 And if he transgress he shall be held guilty but if he confess and make restitution he shall not bear (the penalty) of death.

6 And whosoever in all Israel shall enter into the covenant by a statute forever, together with their children who are (not of an age) to pass over into the number of those who are enrolled by the oath of the covenant, shall confirm it on their behalf.

7 And this is also the law throughout the entire period of the wickedness for every one who returns from his corrupt way.

8 On the day when he speaks with the Censor of the many they shall enrol him by the oath of the covenant that Moses established with Israel-

9 the covenant to re(turn to the Law of M)oses…with all (his) heart…(and with all his) soul: as regards that which there is found to be done by them…

10 And no man shall make known to him the laws until he stand before the Censor (who) shall search out concerning him when he examines him.

11 And when he imposes it upon him to return to the Law of Moses with all his heart and all his soul …of him if…

12 And every thing that was revealed of the Law with regard to a suit… in him…the Censor him and shall command him…until…killed him…and the madman and all…(loss of five lines)

13 covenant with you and with the whole of Israel.

14 Therefore the man shall impose it upon himself to return to the Law of Moses; for in it everything is accurately treated.

Chapter 20

20 1 Reference to the Book of Jubilees.

1 And as for the exact statement of their periods to put Israel in remembrance in regard to all these, behold, it is treated accurately in the Book of the Divisions of the Seasons according to their Jubilees and their Weeks.

20 2-12. Laws as to Oaths and Vows.

2 And on the day on which the man imposes it upon himself to return to the law of Moses the angel of Mastema will depart from him if he make good his word.

3 Therefore Abraham was circumcised on the day of his knowing it.

4 As to what he said, ‘That which is gone forth from thy lips thou shalt keep’ to make it good-

5 No binding oath, which a man imposes upon himself with a view to perform a commandment of the law, shall he cancel even at the risk of death.

6 Nothing which a man (imposes) upon himself with a view to (frustrate the la)w shall he make good even at the risk of death.

7 (As for) the oath of the woman, whose oath Mos(es sa)id should be disallowed, no man shall disa1low an oath which no man knew.

8 It is to be confirmed. And whether it be to disallow or to transgress the covenant, he shall disallow it and not confirm it.

9 And so is also the law for her father. As to the law of the of(fer)ings no man shall vow anything for the altar under compulsion.

10 Nor shall the (pr)iests take anything from the Israelites…

11 (Nor) shall a man dedicate the food…this is what he said, ‘They hunt every man his brother with a net.’

12 Nor shall de(vote)…of all…his possession…holy…shall be punished he…who takes a vow…to the judge…



Fragments of a Zadokite Work - The Damascus Document
From: The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English,
vol. 2: Pseudepigrapha (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913): pp. 799-834.
Translated by R.H. Charles



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