Dead Sea Scrolls, Community Rule, Music For Jubilee

For the season of Jubilee: (My) Iyre (and) my harp shall sound and I will tune the pipe of my lips to His right measure.

Serekh ha-Yahad Originally known as The Manual of Discipline

Frome The Dead Sea Scrolls, G. Vermes, p. 74-80. K. Sublett

These are the precepts in which the Master shall walk in his commerce with all the living according to the rule proper to every season and according to the worth of evey man.

He shall do the will of God according to all that has been revealed from age to age.

He shall measure out all knowledge discovered throughout the ages, together with the Precept of the age.

He shall separate and weigh the sons of righteousness according to their spirit.

He shall hold firmly to the elect of the time according to His will, as He has commanded.

He shall judge every man according to his spirit. He shall admit him in accordance with the cleanness of his hands and advance him in accordance with his understanding. And he shall love and hate likewise.

He shall not rebuke the men of the Pit nor dispute with them.

He shall conceal the teaching of the Law from men of falsehood, but shall impart true knowledge and righteous judgement to those who have chosen the Way. He shall guide them all in knowledge according to the spirit of each and according to the rule of the age, and shall thus instruct them in the mysteries of marvellous truth that in the midst of the men of the Community they may walk perfectly together in all that has been revealed to them. This is the time for the preparation of the way into the wilderness, and he shall teach them to do all that is required at that time and to separate from all those who have not turned aside from all ungodliness.

These are the rules of conduct for the Master in those times with respect to his loving and hating

Everlasting hatred in a spirit of secrecy for the men of perdition! He shall leave to them wealth and earnings like a slave to his lord and like a poor man to his master.

He shall be a man zealous for the Precept whose time is for the Day of Revenge. He shall perform the will of God in all his deeds, and in all his dominion as He has commanded. He shall freely delight in all that befalls him and nothing shall please him save God's will. He shall delight in all the words of His mouth and shall desire nothing except His command. He shall watch always [for ] the judgement of God, and shall bless his Maker [for all His goodlless] and declare [His mercies] in all that befalls.

He shall bless the [with the offering] of the lips at the times ordained by Him: at the beginning of the dominion ot light, and at its end when it retires to its appointed place; at the beginning of the watches of darkness when He unlocks their storehouse and spreads them out, and also at their end when they retire before the light; when the heavenly lights shine out from the dwelling-place of Holiness, and also when they retire to the place of Glory; at the entry of the (monthly) seasons on the days of the new moon and also at their end when they succeed of one another. Their renewal is a great day for the Holy of Holies and a sign for the unlocking of everlasting mercies at the beginning of seasons in all times to come.

At the beginning of the months of the (yearly) seasons
and on the holy days appointed fat remembrance,
in their seasons I will bless Him
with the offering of the lips
according to the Precept engraved for ever:
at the beginning ol the years
and at the end of their seasons
when their appointed law is fulfilled,
on the day decreed by Him
that they should pass fron1 one to the other-
the season of early harvest to the summer time
the season of sowing to the season of grass,
the seasons of years to their weeks (of years) -
and at the beginning of their weeks
for the season of Jubilee.
All my life the engraved precepts shall be on my tongue
as the fruit of praise
and the portion of my lips.
I will sing with hlowledge and all my music
shall be for the glory of God
(My) Iyre (and) my harp shall sound
for His holy order
and I will tune the pipe of my lips
to His right measure.
With the coming of day and night
I will enter the (Covenant of God and
when evening and morning depart
I will recite His decrees.
I will place in them my bounds without return.
I will declare His judgement concerning my sins,
and my transgressions shall be before my eyes
as an engraved Precept.
I will say to God, 'My Righteousness'
and 'Author of my Goodness' to the Most High,
'Fountain of Knowledget and Source of Holiness',
'Summit of Clory' and 'Almighty Eternal Majesty'.
I will choose that which He teaches me
and will delight in His judgement of me.
Before I move my hands and feet
I will bless His Name.
I will praise Him before I go out or enter,
or sit or rise,
and whilst I lie on the couch of my bed.
I will bless Him with the offering
of that which proceeds from my lips
from the midst of the ranks of men,
and before I lift my hands
to eat of the pleasant fruits of the earth.
I will bless Him for His exceeding wonderful deeds
at the beginning of fear and dread
and in the abode of distress and desolation.
I will meditate on His power
and will lean on His mercies all day long.
I know that judgment of all the living
is in His hand and that all His deeds are truth.
I will praise Him when distress is unleashed
and will magnify Him also because of His salvation.
I will pay to no man the reward of evil;
I will pursue him with goodness.
For judgement of all the living is with God
and it is He who will render to man his reward.
I will not envy in a spirit of wickedness,
my soul shall not desire the riches of violence.
I will not grapple with the men of perdition
until the Day of Revenge,
but my wrath shall not turn
from the men of falsehood
and I will not rejoice until judgement is made.
I will bear no rancour against them
that turn from transgression,
but will have no pity
on all who depart from the way.
I will offer no comfort to the smitten
until their way becomes perfect.
I will not keep Satan within my heart,
and in my mouth shall be heart
no folly or sinful deceit,
no cunning or lies shall be found on my lips.
The fruit of holiness shall be on my tongue
and no abominations shall be found upon it.
I will open my mouth in
songs of thanksgivinng,
and my tongue shall always proclaim
The goodness of God and the sin of men
Until their transgressions end.
I will cause vanities to cease from my lips,
uncleanness and crookedness
from the knowledge of my heart.
I will impart/conceal knowledge with discretion
and will prudently hedge it within a firm bound
to preserve faith and strong judgement
in accordance with the justice of God.
I will distribute the Precept
by the measuring-cord of the times,
and . . . righteousness and lovingkindness
towards the oppressed,
encouragement to the troubled heart
and discernment to the erring spirit,
teaching understanding to them that murmur
that they may answer meekly before the haughty of spirit
and humblv before men of injustice who point the finger
and speak of iniquity and who are zealous for wealth.
As for me, my justification is with God.
In His hand are the perfection of my way
and the uprightness of my heart.
He will wipe out my transgression
through His righteousness.
For my light has sprung
from the source of His knowledge;
my eyes have beheld His marvellous deeds,
and the light of my heart, the mystery to come.
He that is everlasting is the support of my right hand;
the way of my steps is over stout rock
which nothing shall shake;
for the rock of my steps is the truth of God
and His might is the support of my right hand.
From the source of His righteousness
is my justification,
and from His marvellous mysteries
is the light in my heart.
My eyes have gazed on that which is eternal,
on wisdom concealed from men,
on knowledge and wise design
(hidden) from the sons of men;
on a fountain of righteousness and on a storehouse of power,
on a spring of glory (hidden) from the assembly of flesh.
God has given them to His Chosen ones
as an everlasting possession,
and has caused them
to inherit the lot of the Holy Ones.
He has joined their asssemhly
to the Sons of Heaven
to be a (council of the Community,
a foundation of the Building of Holiness,
and eternal Plantation
throughout all ages to come.
As for me, I belong to wicked mankind,
to the company of ungodiy flesh.
My iniquities, rebellions, and sins,
together with the perversity ot my heart,
belong to the comparny ot worms
and to those who walk in darkness.
For mankind has no way,
and man is unable to establish his steps
since justification is with God
and perfection of way is out of His hand.
All things come to pass by His knowledge;
He establishes all things by His design
and without Him nothing is done.
As tor me, if I stumble,
the mercies ot (God shall be my etetnal salvation.
If I stagger because of the sin of flesh,
my justification shall be
by the righteousness of God
which endures for ever.
When my distress is unleashed
He will deliver my soul
from the pit
and will direct my steps to the way.
He will draw me near by His grace,
and by His mercy will He bring my justification.
He will judge me
in the righteousness of His truth
and in the greatness of His goodness
He will pardon all my sins.
Through His righteousness
he will cleanse me of the uncleanness of man
and ot the sins of the children of men,
that I may confess to God His righteousness,
and His majesty to the Most High.
Blessed art Thou, my God,
who openest the heart of Thy servant to know.
Establish all his deeds in righteousness,
and as it pleases Thee
to do for the elect of man
grant that the son of Thy handmaid
may stand before Thee for ever.
For without Thee no way is perfect,
and without Thy will nothing is done.
It is Thou who hast taught all knowledge
and all things come to pass by Thy will.
There is none beside Thee
to dispute Thy counsel,
or to understand all hy holy design,
or to contemplate the depth of Thy mysteries
and the power of Thy might.
Who can endure Thy glory,
and what is the son of man
in the midst of Thy wonderful deeds?
What shall one born of woman be accounted before Thee?
Kneaded from the dust,
his abode is the nourishmerit of worms.
He is but a shape,
but moulded clay, and inclines towards dust.
What shall hand-moulded clay reply?
What counsel shall it understand?
Dead Sea Scrolls Index