The War Scroll
Dead Sea Scrolls ñ 1QM
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Introduction to the War Scroll
The first lines of the scroll (1QM 1:1-7) lay the framework for a three-stage conflict between the Sons of Light, that is, members of the Yahad (see 1QM 3:13) and the Sons of Darkness. The first battle finds the adversaries led by the Kittim of Assyria, (although the name Kittim is often used in the scrolls as reference to the Romans, its basic sense seems to have been archetypal bad guys.) The Kittim of Asshur come in alliance with the biblical enemies Edom, Moab, Ammon, and Philistia. Cooperating with this unholy alliance are the "violators of the covenant": Jews who had spurned the message of the Yahad and in so doing aligned themselves with the Sons of Darkness. The second stage expands the warís influence to the Kittim who dwelt in Egypt, and then finally to the Kings of the North.
Although this war is said to extend over forty years, the writer of the scroll was particularly concerned with the details of the very final day of battle. After six bloody engagements during this last battle, the Sons of Light and Sons of Darkness are deadlocked in a 3-3 tie. In the seventh and final confrontation "the great hand of God shall overcome Belial and all the angels of his dominion, and all men of his forces shall be destroyed forever" (1QM 1:14-15).
Along the way, in true apocalyptic fashion, the scroll goes into elaborate detail concerning the battle trumpets (2:15-3:11), banners (3:12-5:2), and operational matters (5:3-9:16). Priestly prayers for the various phases of the conflict are corded next (9:17-15:3). Finally, the seven savage engagements of the final day battle are detailed (15:4-18:8), culminating in a ceremony of thanksgiving on the day following the victory (18:1-19:14).
As with biblical representatives of apocalyptic literature, Ezekiel 38-39 and the revelation of John as pertinent examples, one can easily lose sight of the primary purpose of the work. It is not to be found in the intricate and often mysterious tails of the text. Rather, the author was concerned with the tribulation and hopelessness that his readers were currently experiencing. He built his encouragement on a biblical theology of rescue: the defeat of Goliath at the hand of David (1QM 11:1,2), and Pharaoh and the officers of his chariots at the Red Sea (1:9-10). Coupled with this aspect was his understanding that great suffering was part of Godís will for the redeemed. Indeed, Godís crucible (17:9) was seen as a necessary component of manís existence so long as evil continued to exist in the World. Ultimately, Godís purpose was to exalt the Sons of Light and to judge the Children of Darkness. The message is one of hope. In the face of such perverse evil, the Sons of Light are encouraged to persevere to the end. God was preparing to intervene and bring a permanent solution for the problem of evil.
The scroll itself is one of the first seven texts found by the Bedouin in 1947. Nineteen columns of text are preserved, lacking only a few lines at the bottom edge and the final page or pages of the composition (see text 54). Although six additional manuscripts were found seven years later in Cave 4 (4Q491-496), they are only moderately helpful in reconstructing the missing portions of 1QM..
The Description of the Eschatological War
For the Instructor, the Rule of the War. The first attack of the Sons of Light shall be undertaken against the forces of the Sons of Darkness, the army of Belial: the troops of Edom, Moab, the sons of Ammon, the Amalekites, Philistia, and the troops of the Kittim of Asshur. Supporting them are those who have violated the covenant. The sons of Levi, the sons of Judah, and the sons of Benjamin, those exiled to the wilderness, shall fight against them with [ . . . ] against all their troops, when the exiles of the Sons of Light return from the Wilderness of the Peoples to camp in the Wilderness of Jerusalem. Then after the battle they shall go up from that place and the king of the Kittim shall enter into Egypt. In his time he shall go forth with great wrath to do battle against the kings of the north, and in his anger he shall set out to destroy and eliminate the strength of Israel. Then there shall be a time of salvation for the People of God, and a time of dominion for all the men of His forces, and eternal annihilation for all the forces of Belial. There shall be great panic among the sons of Japheth, Assyria shall fall with no one to come to his aid, and the supremacy of the Kittim shall cease that wickedness be overcome without a remnant. There shall be no survivors of all the Sons of Darkness.
Then the Sons of Righteousness shall shine to all ends of the world continuing to shine forth until end of the appointed seasons of darkness. Then at the time appointed by God, His great excellence shall shine for all the times of eternity; for peace and blessing, glory and joy, and long life for all Sons of Light. On the day when the Kittim fall there shall be a battle and horrible carnage before the God of Israel, for it is a day appointed by Him from ancient times as a battle of annihilation for the Sons of Darkness. On that day the congregation of the gods and the congregation of men shall engage one another, resulting in great carnage. The Sons of Light and the forces of Darkness shall fight together to show the strength of God with the roar of a great multitude and the shout of gods and men; a day of disaster. It is a time of distress for all the people who are redeemed by God. In all their afflictions none exists that is like it, hastening to its completion as an eternal redemption. On the day of their battle against the Kittim, they shall go forth for carnage in battle. In three lots the Sons of Light shall stand firm so as to strike a blow at wickedness, and in three the army of Belial shall strengthen themselves so as to force the retreat of the forces of Light. And when the banners of the infantry cause their hearts to melt, then the strength of God will strengthen the hearts of the Sons of Light. In the seventh lot: the great hand of God shall overcome Belial and all the angels of his dominion, and all the men of his forces shall be destroyed forever..
The Annihilation of the Sons of Darkness and Service to God during the War Years
The holy ones shall shine forth in support of [ . . . ] the truth for the annihilation of the Sons of Darkness. Then [ . . . ] a great roar [ . . . ] they took hold of the implements of war. [ . . . ] chiefs of the tribes, and the priests, the Levites, the chiefs of the tribes, the fathers of the congregation [ . . . ] the priests and thus for the Levites and the courses of the heads of the congregationís clans, fifty-two. They shall rank the chiefs of the priests after the Chief Priest and his deputy; twelve chief priests to serve in the regular offering before God. The chiefs of the courses, twenty-six, shall serve in their courses. After them the chiefs of the Levites serve continually, twelve in all, one to a tribe. The chiefs of their courses shall serve each man in his office. The chiefs of the tribes and fathers of the congregation shall support them, taking their stand continually at the gates of the sanctuary. The chiefs of their courses, from the age of fifty upwards, shall take their stand with their commissioners on their festivals, new moons and Sabbaths, and on every day of the year. These shall take their stand at the burnt offerings and sacrifices, to arrange the sweet smelling incense according to the will of God, to atone for all His congregation, and to satisfy themselves before Him continually at the table of glory. All of these they shall arrange at the time of the year of remission. During the remaining thirty-three years of the war the men of renown, those called of the Congregation, and all the heads of the congregationís clans shall choose for themselves men of war for all the lands of the nations. From all tribes of Israel, they shall prepare capable men for themselves to go out for battle according to the summons of the war, year by year. But during the years of remission they shall not ready men to go out for battle, for it is a Sabbath of rest for Israel. During the thirty-five years of service the war shall be waged. For six years the whole congregation shall wage it together, and a war of divisions shall be waged during the twenty-nine remaining years. In the first year they shall fight against Mesopotamia, in the second against the sons of Lud, in the third they shall fight against the rest of the sons of Aram: Uz, Hul, Togar, and Mesha, who are beyond the Euphrates. In the fourth and fifth they shall fight against the sons of Arpachshad, in the sixth and seventh they shall fight against all the sons of Assyria and Persia and the easterners up to the Great Desert. In the eighth year they shall fight against the sons of Elam, in the ninth year they shall fight against the sons of Ishmael and Keturah, and during the following ten years the war shall be divided against all the sons of Ham according to their clans and their territories. During the remaining ten years the war shall be divided against all sons of Japheth according to their territories..
The Description of the Trumpets
The Rule of the Trumpets: the trumpets of alarm for all their service for the [ . . . ] for their commissioned men, by tens of thousands and thousands and hundreds and fifties and tens. Upon the trumpets [ . . . ] which they shall write [ . . . ] the trumpets of the battle formations, and the trumpets for assembling them when the gates of the war are opened so that the infantry might advance, the trumpets for the signal of the slain, the trumpets of the ambush, the trumpets of pursuit when the enemy is defeated, and the trumpets of reassembly when the battle returns. On the trumpets for the assembly of the congregation they shall write, "The called of God." On the trumpets for the assembly of the chiefs they shall write, "The princes of God." On the trumpets of the formations they shall write, "The rule of God." On the trumpets of the men of renown they shall write, "The heads of the congregationís clans." Then when they are assembled at the house of meeting, they shall write, "The testimonies of God for a holy congregation." On the trumpets of the camps they shall write, "The peace of God in the camps of His saints." On the trumpets for their campaigns they shall write, "The mighty deeds of God to scatter the enemy and to put all those who hate justice to flight and a withdrawal of mercy from all who hate God." On the trumpets of the battle formations they shall write, "Formations of the divisions of God to avenge His anger on all Sons of Darkness." On the trumpets for assembling the infantry when the gates of war open that they might go out against the battle line of the enemy, they shall write, "A remembrance of requital at the appointed time of God." On the trumpets of the slain they shall write, "The hand of the might of God in battle so as to bring down all the slain because of unfaithfulness." On the trumpets of ambush they shall write, "Mysteries of God to wipe out wickedness." On the trumpets of pursuit they shall write, "God has struck all Sons of Darkness, He shall not abate His anger until they are annihilated." When they return from battle to enter the formation, they shall write on the trumpets of retreat, "God has gathered." On the trumpets for the way of return from battle with the enemy to enter the congregation in Jerusalem, they shall write, "Rejoicings of God in a peaceful return.".
The Description of the Banners
Rule of the banners of the whole congregation according to their formations. On the grand banner which is at the head of all the people they shall write, "People of God," the names "Israel" and "Aaron," and the names of the twelve tribes of Israel according to their order of birth. On the banners of the heads of the "camps" of three tribes they shall write, "the Spirit of God," and the names of three tribes. On the banner of each tribe they shall write, "Standard of God," and the name of the leader of the tribe and of its clans, and the name of the leader of the ten thousand and the names of the chiefs of his hundreds. On the banner of Merari they shall write, "The Offering of God," and the name of the leader of Merari and the names of the chiefs of his thousands. On the banner of the thousand they shall write, "The Anger of God is loosed against Belial and all the men of his forces without remnant," and the name of the chief of the thousand and the names of the chiefs of his hundreds. And on the banner of the hundred they shall write, "Hundred of God, the power of war against a sinful flesh," and the name of the chief of the hundred and the names of the chiefs of his tens. And on the banner of the fifty they shall write, "Ended is the stand of the wicked by the might of God," and the name of the chief of the fifty and the names of the chiefs of his tens. And on the banner of the ten they shall write, "Songs of joy for God on the ten-stringed harp," and the name of the chief of the ten and the names of the nine men in his command.
When they go to battle they shall write on their banners, "The truth of God," "The righteousness of God," "The glory of God," "The justice of God," and after these the list of their names in full. When they draw near for battle they shall write on their banners, "The right hand of God," "The appointed time of God," "The tumult of God," "The slain of God"; after these their names in full. When they return from battle they shall write on their banners," "The exaltation of God," "The greatness of God," "The praise of God," "The glory of God," with their names in full.
The Rule of the banners of the congregation: When they set out to battle they shall write on the first banner, "The congregation of God," on the second banner, "The camps of God," on the third, "The tribes of God," on the fourth, "The clans of God," on the fifth, "The divisions of God," on the sixth, "The congregation of God," on the seventh, "Those called by God," and on the eighth, "The army of God." They shall write their names in full with all their order. When they draw near for battle they shall write on their banners, "The battle of God," "The recompense of God," "The cause of God," "The reprisal of God," "The power of God," "The retribution of God," "The might of God," "The annihilation by God of all the vainglorious nations." And their names in full they shall write upon them. When they return from battle they shall write on their banners, "The deliverance of God," "The victory of God," "The help of God," "The support of God," "The joy of God," "The thanksgivings of God," "The praise of God," and "The peace of God."
The Length of the Banners. The banner of the whole congregation shall be fourteen cubits long; the banner of three tribesí thirteen cubits long; the banner of a tribe, twelve cubits; the banner of ten thousand, eleven cubits; the banner of a thousand, ten cubits; the banner of a hundred, nine cubits; the banner of a fifty, eight cubits; the banner of a ten, seven cubits..
The Description of the Shields
And on the shield of the Leader of the whole nation they shall write his name, the names "Israel," "Levi," and "Aaron," and the names of the twelve tribes of Israel according to their order of birth, and the names of the twelve chiefs of their tribes..
The Description of the Arming and Deployment of the Divisions
The rule for arranging the divisions for war when their army is complete to make a forward battle line: the battle line shall be formed of one thousand men. There shall be seven forward rows to each battle line, arranged in order; the station of each man behind his fellow. All of them shall bear shields of bronze, polished like a face mirror. The shield shall be bound with a border of plaited work and a design of loops, the work of a skillful workman; gold, silver, and bronze bound together and jewels; a multicolored brocade. It is the work of a skillful workman, artistically done. The length of the shield shall be two and a half cubits, and its breadth a cubit and a half. In their hands they shall hold a lance and a sword. The length of the lance shall be seven cubits, of which the socket and the blade constitute half a cubit. On the socket there she be three bands engraved as a border of plaited work; of gold, silver, and copper bound together like an artistically designed work. And in the loops of the design, on both sides of the band all around, shall be precious stones, a multicolored brocade, the work of a skillful workman, artistically done, and an ear of grain. The socket shall be grooved between the bands like a column, artistically done. The blade shall be of shining white iron, the work of a skillful workman, artistically done, and an ear of grain of pure gold inlaid in the blade; tapered towards the point. The swords shall be of refined iron, purified in the furnace and polished like a face mirror, the work of a skillful workman, artistically done, with figures of ears of grain of pure gold embossed on both sides. The borders shall go straight to the point, two on each side. The length of the sword shall be a cubit and a half and its width four fingers. The scabbard shall be four thumbs wideí end four handbreadths up to the scabbard. The scabbard shall be tied on either side with thongs of five handbreadths. The handle of the sword shall be of choice horn, the work of a skillful workman, a varicolored design with gold and silver and precious stones.
And when the [ . . . ] take their stand, they shall arrange seven battle lines, one behind the other and there shall be a space between [ . . . ] thirty cubits, where the infantry shall stand [ . . . ] forward [ . . . ] they shall sling seven times, and return to their position. After them, three divisions of infantry shall advance and stand between the battle lines. The first division shall heave into the enemy battle line seven battle darts. On the blade of the first dart they shall write, "Flash of a spear for the strength of God." On the second weapon they shall write, "Missiles of blood to fell the slain by the wrath of God." On the third dart they shall write, "The blade of a sword devours the slain of wickedness by the judgment of God." Each of these they shall throw seven times and then return to their position. After these, two divisions of infantry shall march forth and stand between the two battle lines, the first division equipped with a spear and a shield and the second division with a shield and a sword; to bring down the slain by the judgment of God, to subdue the battle line of the enemy by the power of God, and to render recompense for their evil for all the vainglorious nations. So the Kingship shall belong to the God of Israel, and by the holy ones of His people He shall act powerfully..
The Description of the Deployment of the Cavalry
Seven rows of horsemen shall also take position at the right and at the left of the battle line. Their ranks shall be positioned on both sides, seven hundred horsemen on one side and seven hundred on the other. Two hundred horsemen shall go out with one thousand men of the battle line of the infantry, and thus they shall take position on all sides of the camp. The total being four thousand six hundred men, and one thousand four hundred cavalry for the entire army arranged for the battle line; fifty for each battle line. The horsemen with the cavalry of the men of the entire army, will be six thousand; five hundred to a tribe. All the cavalry that go out into battle with the infantry shall ride stallions; swift, responsive, unrelenting, mature, trained for battle, and accustomed to hearing noises and seeing all kinds of scenes. Those who ride them shall be men capable in battle, trained in horsemanship, the range of their age from thirty to forty-five years. The horsemen of the army shall be from forty to fifty years old, and they [ . . . ], helmets and greaves, carrying in their hands round shields and a lance eight cubits long, [ . . . ] and a bow and arrows and battle darts, all of them prepared in [ . . . ] and to shed the blood of their guilty slain. These are the [ . . . ].
The Recruitment and Age of the Soldiers
And the men of the army shall be from forty to fifty years old. The commissioners of the camps shall be from fifty to sixty years old. The officers shall also be from forty to fifty years old. All those who strip the slain, plunder the spoil, cleanse the land, guard the arms, and he who prepares the provisions, all these shall be from twenty-five to thirty years old. No youth nor woman shall enter their encampments from the time they leave Jerusalem to go to battle until their return. No one crippled, blind, or lame, nor a man who has a permanent blemish on his skin, or a man affected with ritual uncleanness of his flesh; none of these shall go with them to battle. All of them shall be volunteers for battle, pure of spirit and flesh, and prepared for the day of vengeance. Any man who is not ritually clean in respect to his genitals on the day of battle shall not go down with them into battle, for holy angels are present with their army. There shall be a distance between all their camps and the latrine of about two thousand cubits, and no shameful nakedness shall be seen in the environs of all their camps..
The Ministry of the Priests and Levites
When the battle lines are arrayed against the enemy and ñ battle line against battle line ñ there shall go forth from the middle opening into the gap between the battle lines seven priests of the sons of Aaron, dressed in fine white linen garments: a linen tunic and linen breeches, and girded with a linen sash of twined, fine linen, violet, purple, and crimson, and a varicolored design, the work of a skillful workman, and decorated caps on their heads; the garments for battle, and they shall not take them into the sanctuary. The one priest shall walk before all the men of the battle line to encourage them for battle. In the hands of the remaining six shall be the trumpets of assembly the trumpets of memorial, the trumpets of the alarm, the trumpets of pursuit, and the trumpets of reassembly. When the priests go out into the gap between the battle lines, seven Levites shall go out with them. In their hands shall be seven trumpets of ramsí horns. Three officers from among the Levites shall walk before the priests and the Levites. The priests shall blow the two trumpets of assembly [ . . . ] of battle upon fifty shields, and fifty infantrymen shall go out from the one gate and [ . . . ] Levites, officers. With each battle line they shall go out according to all this order [ . . . ] men of the infantry from the gates and they shall take position between the two battle lines, and [ . . . ] the battle [ . . . ] the trumpets shall blow continually to direct the slingmen until they have completed hurling seven times. Afterwards the priests shall blow on the trumpets of return, and they shall go along the side of the first battle line to take their position. The priests shall blow on the trumpets of assembly, and the three divisions of infantry shall go out from the gates and stand between the battle lines, and beside them the cavalrymen, sat the right and at the left. The priests shall blow on their trumpets a level note, signals for the order of battle. And the columns shall be deployed into their formations, each to his position. When they have positioned themselves in three formations, the priests shall blow for them a second signal, a low legato note, signals for advance, until they draw near to the battle line of the enemy and take hold of their weapons. Then the priests shall blow on the six trumpets of the slain a sharp staccato note to direct the battle, and the Levites and all the people with ramsí horns shall blow a great battle alarm together in order to melt the heart of the enemy. With the sound of the alarm, the battle darts shall fly out to bring down the slain. Then the sound of the ramsí horns shall quiet, but on the trumpets the priests shall continue to blow a sharp staccato note to direct the signals of battle until they have hurled into the battle line of the enemy seven times. Afterwards, the priests shall blow for them the trumpets of retreat, a low note, level and legato. According to this rule the priests shall blow for the three divisions. When the first division throws, the priests and the Levites and all the people with ramsí horns shall blow a great alarm to direct the battle until they have hurled seven times. Afterwards, the priests shall blow for them the trumpets of retreat [ . . . ] and they shall take their stand in their positions in the battle line, [ . . . ] and shall take up position [ . . . ] the slain, and all the people with ramsí horns shall blow a very loud battle alarm, and as the sound goes out their hands shall begin to bring down the slain, and all the people shall quiet the sound of alarm, but the priests shall continue sounding on the trumpets the slain to direct the fighting, until the enemy is defeated and turns in retreat. The priests shall blow the alarm to direct the battle, and when they have been defeated before them, the priests shall blow the trumpets of assembly, and all the infantry shall go out to them from the midst of the front battle lines and stand, six divisions in addition to the division which is engaged in battle: altogether, seven battle lines, twenty-eight thousand soldiers, and six thousand horsemen. All these shall pursue in order to destroy the enemy in Godís battle; a total annihilation The priests shall blow for them the trumpets of pursuit, and they shall divide themselves for a pursuit of annihilation against all the enemy. The cavalry shall push the enemy back at the flanks of the battle until they are destroyed. When the slain have fallen, the priests shall continue blowing from afar and shall not enter into the midst of the slain so as to be defiled by their unclean blood, for they are holy. They shall not allow the oil of their priestly anointment to be profaned with the blood of the vainglorious nations..
The Description of the Maneuvers of the Battle Divisions
Rule for changing the order of the battle divisions, in order to arrange their position against [ . . . ] a pincer movement and towers, lien arc and towers, and as it draws slowly forward, then the columns and the flanks go out from the two sides of the battle line that the enemy might become discouraged. The shields of the soldiers of the towers shall be three cubits long, and their lances eight cubits long. The towers shall go out from the battle line with one hundred shields on a side. For they shall surround the tower on the three frontal sides, three hundred shields in all. There shall be three gates to a tower, one on the right and one on the left. Upon all the shields of the tower soldiers they shall write: on the first, "Michael," on the second, "Gabriel," on the third, "Sariel," and on the fourth "Raguel." "Michael" and "Gabriel" on the right, and "Sariel" and "Raguel" on the left.
And [ . . . ] for to the four [ . . . ] They shall establish an ambush for the battle line of [ . . . ] and [ . . .] they shall fall on the slain [ . . . ].
The Address of the Chief Priest
Of our camps, and to keep ourselves from any shameful nakedness, and he (Moses) told us that You are in our midst, a great and awesome God, plundering all of our enemies before us. He taught us from of old through a, out generations, saying, when you approach the battle, the priest shall stand and speak unto the people, saying, "Hear O Israel, you are approaching the battle against your enemies today. Do not be afraid nor fainthearted. Do not tremble, nor be terrified because of them, for your God goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, and to save you" (Deut. 20:2-4) Our officers shall speak to all those prepared for battle, those willing of heart, to strengthen them by the might of God, to turn back all who have who have lost heart, and to strengthen all the valiant warriors together. They shall recount that which You spoke by the hand of Moses, saying: "And when there is a war in your land against the adversary who attacks you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets that you might be remembered before your God and be saved from your enemies" (Num. 10:9)..
The Prayer of the Chief Priest
Who is like You, O God of Israel, in heaven and on earth, that he can perform in accordance with Your great works and Your great strength. Who is like Your people Israel, whom You have chosen for Yourself from all the peoples of the lands; the people of the saints of the covenant, learned in the statutes, enlightened in understanding [ . . . ] those who hear the glorious voice and see the holy angels, whose ears are open; hearing deep things. O God, You have created the expanse of the skies, the host of luminaries, the task of spirits and the dominion of holy ones, the treasures of Your glory [ . . . ] clouds. He who created the earth and the limits of her divisions into wilderness and plain, and her offspring, with the fruits, the circle of the seas, the sources of the rivets, and the rift of the deeps, wild beasts and winged creatures, the form of man and the generations of his seed, the confusion of language and the separation of peoples, the abode of clans and the inheritance of the lands, [ . . . ] and holy festivals, courses of years and times of eternity [ . . . ] these we know from Your understanding which [ . . . ] Your ears to our cry, for [ . . . ] his house [ . . . ] Truly the battle is Yours, and by the strength of Your hand their corpses have been broken to pieces, without anyone to bury them. Indeed, Goliath the Gittite a mighty man of valor, You delivered into the hand of David, Your servant, because he trusted in Your great name and not in sword and spear. For the battle is Yours. He subdued the Philistines many times by Your holy name. Also by the hand of our kings You rescued us many times because of Your mercy; not according to our works, for we have acted wickedly, nor for the acts of our rebelliousness. The battle is Yours, the strength is from You, sit is not our own. Neither our power nor the strength of our hand have done valiantly, but rather by Your power and the strength of Your great valor. Just as You told us in time past, saying: "There shall come forth a star out of Jacob, a scepter shall rite out of Israel, and shall crush the forehead of Moab and tear down the sons of Sheth, and he shall be a descendent of Jacob and shall destroy the remnant from the city, and the enemy shall be a possession, and Israel shall do valiantly (Num. 24:17-19). By the hand of Your anointed ones, seers of things appointed, You have told us about the times of the wars of Your hands in order that You may glorify Yourself [fight] among our enemies, to bring down the hordes of Belial, the seven vainglorious nations, at the hand of the oppressed whom You have redeemed with power and retribution; a wondrous strength. A heart that melts shall be as a door of hope. You will do to them as You did to Pharaoh and the officers of his chariots in the Red Sea. You will ignite the humble of spirit like a fiery torch of fire in a sheaf, consuming the wicked. You shall not turn back until the annihilation of the guilty. In time past You foretold the appointed time for Your hand is powerful work against the Kittim, saying: And Assyria shall fall by a sword not of man, and a sword, not of men, shall consume him (Isa. 31: 8).
For into the hand of the oppressed You will deliver the enemies of all the lands; into the hands of those who are prostrate in the dust, in order to bring down all mighty men of the peoples, to return the recompense of the wicked on the head of [ . . . ], to pronounce the just judgment of Your truth on all sons of man, and to make for Yourself an everlasting name among the people [ . . . ] the wars, and to show Yourself great and holy before the remnant of the nations, so that they may know that You are God [ . . . ] when You carry out judgments on Gog and on all his company that are assembled about us [ . . . ] for You will do battle against them from the heavens [ . . . ] upon them for confusion [ . . . ] For You have a multitude of holy ones in the heavens and hosts of angels in Your exalted dwelling to praise Your name. The chosen ones of the holy people You have established for Yourself in a community. The number (or The book) of the names of all their host is with You in Your holy dwelling, and the number of the holy ones is in the abode of Your glory. Mercies of blessing [ . . . ] and Your covenant of peace You engraved for them with a stylus of life in order to reign over them: for all time, commissioning the hosts of Your elect by their thousands and tens of thousands together with Your holy ones and Your angels, and directing them in battle so as to condemn the earthly adversaries by trial with Your judgments. With the elect of heaven they shall prevail.
And You, O God, are awesome in the glory of Your dominion, and the company of Your holy ones is in our midst for eternal support. We shall direct our contempt at kings, derision and disdain at mighty men. For the Lord is holy, and the King of Glory is with us together with the holy ones. Mighty men and] a host of angels are with our commissioned forces. The Hero of War is with our company, and the host of His spirits is with our steps [ . . . ] as the clouds and as the mist covering the earth, and as a steady downpour shedding judgment on all her offspring.
Rise up, O Hero, take Your captives, O Glorious One, take Your plunder, O You who do valiantly. Lay Your hand upon the neck of Your enemies, and Your foot upon the backs of the slain. Crush the nations, Your adversaries, and may Your sword devour guilty flesh. Fill Your land with glory, and Your inheritance with blessing. An abundance of cattle in Your fields; silver and gold and precious stones in Your palaces. O Zion, rejoice greatly, and shine with joyful songs, O Jerusalem. Rejoice, all you cities of Judah, open your gates forever that the wealth of the nations might be brought to you, and their kings shall serve you. All they that oppressed you shall bow down to you, and the dust of your feet they shall lick. O daughters of my people shout out with a voice of joy, adorn yourselves with ornaments of glory Rule over the kingdom of the [ . . . ] and Israel to reign eternally.
[ . . . ] them the mighty men of war, O Jerusalem [ . . . ] be exalted above the heavens, O Lord, and let Your glory be above all the earth [ . . . ].
The Blessings of the War recited by all the Leaders after the Victory
And then the Chief Priest shall stand his brothers the priests, the Levites, and all the elders of the army with him. They shall bless from their position, the God of Israel and all His works of truth, and they shall curse Belial there and all the spirits of his forces. And they shall say response: "Blessed is the God of Israel for all His holy purpose and His works of truth. And blessed are those who serve Him righteously, who know Him by faith. And cursed is Belial for his contentious purpose, and accursed for his reprehensible rule. And cursed are all the spirits of his lot for their wicked purpose. Accursed are they for all their filthy, dirty service. For they are the lot of darkness, but the lot of God is light eternal. You are the God of our fathers. We bless Your name forever, for we are an eternal people. You made a covenant with our fathers, and will establish it for their seed throughout the ages of eternity. In all the testimonies of Your glory there has been remembrance of Your kindness in our midst as an assistance to the remnant and the survivors for the sake of Your covenant and to recount Your works of truth and the judgments of Your wondrous strength. And You, O God, created us for Yourself as an eternal people, and into the lot of light You cast us in accordance with Your truth. You appointed the Prince of Light from of old to assist us, for in His lot are all sons of righteousness and all spirits of truth are in his dominion. You yourself made Belial for the pit, an angel of malevolence, his dominion is in darkness and his counsel is to condemn and convict. All the spirits of his lot ñ the angels of destruction ñ walk in accord with the rule of darkness, for it is their only desire. But we, in the lot of Your truth, rejoice in Your mighty hand. We rejoice in Your salvation, and revel in Your help and Your peace. Who is like You in strength, O God of Israel, and yet Your mighty hand is with the oppressed. What angel or prince is like You for Your effectual support, for of old You appointed for Yourself a day of great battle [ . . . ] to support truth and to destroy iniquity, to bring darkness low and to lend might to light, and to [ . . . ] for an eternal stand, and to annihilate all the Sons of Darkness and bring joy to all the Sons of Light [ . . . ] for You Yourself designated us for an appointed time [ . . . ] like the fire of His fury against the idols of Egypt..
The Blessings of the War recited by all the Leaders in the morning before the Battle
After they have withdrawn from the slain to enter the camp, all of them shall sing the hymn of return. In the morning they shall wash their clothes, cleanse themselves of the blood of the sinful bodies, and return to the place where they had stood, where they had formed the battle line before the slain of the enemy fell. There they shall all bless the God of Israel and joyously exalt His name together. They shall say in response: "Blessed is the God of Israel, who guards loving-kindness for His covenant and the appointed times of salvation for the people He redeems. He has called those who stumble unto wondrous accomplishments, and He has gathered a congregation of nations for annihilation without remnant in order to raise up in judgment those whose heart has melted, to open a mouth for the dumb to sing Godís mighty deeds, and to teach feeble hands warfare. He gives those whose knees shake strength to stand, and strengthens those who have been smitten from the hips to the shoulder. Among the poor in spirit [ . . . ] a hard heart, and by those whose way is perfect shall all wicked nations come to an end; there will be no place for all their mighty men. But we are the remnant of Your people. Blessed is Your name, O God of loving-kindness, the One who kept the covenant for our forefathers. Throughout all our generations You have made Your mercies wondrous for the remnant of the people during the dominion of Belial. With all the mysteries of his hatred they have not led us astray from Your covenant. His spirits of destruction You have driven away from us. And when the men of his dominion condemned themselves, You have preserved the lives of Your redeemed. You raised up the fallen by Your strength, but those who are great in height You will cut down to humble them. And there is no rescuer for all their mighty men, and no place of refuge for their swift ones. To their honored men You will return shame, and all their vain existence shall be as nothing. But we, Your holy people, shall praise Your name for Your works of truth. Because of Your mighty deeds we shall exalt your splendor in [ . . . ] appointed times of eternity, at the beginning of day, at night and at dawn and dusk. For Your glorious purpose is great and Your wondrous mysteries are in Your high heavens, to raise up those for Yourself from the dust and to humble those of the gods.
Rise up, rise up, O God of gods, and raise Yourself in power, O King of Kings [ . . . ] let all the Sons of Darkness scatter from before You. Let the light of Your majesty shine forever upon gods and men, as a fire burning in the dark places of the damned. Let it burn the damned of Sheol, as an eternal burning among the transgressors [ . . . ] in all the appointed times of eternity.
They shall repeat all the thanksgiving hymns of battle there and then return to their camps [ . . . ] For it is a time of distress for Israel, a fixed game of battle against all the nations. The purpose of God is eternal redemption, but annihilation for all nations of wickedness. All those prepared for battle shall set out and camp opposite the king of the Kittim and all the forces of Belial that are assembled with him for a day of vengeance by the sword of God..
The Final Battle the First Engagement
Then the Chief Priest shall stand, and with him his brothers the priests, the Levites, and all the men of the army. He shall read aloud the prayer for the appointed time of battle, as is written in the book Sereth Itto (The Rule of His Time), including all the words of their thanksgivings. Then he shall form there all the battle lines, as written in the Book of the War. Then the priest appointed for the time of vengeance by all his brothers shall walk about and encourage them for the battle, and he shall say in response: "Be strong and courageous as warriors. Fear not, nor be discouraged and let not your heart be faint. Do not panic, neither be alarmed because of them. Do not turn back nor flee from them. For they are a wicked congregation, all their deeds are in darkness; it is their desire. They have established all their refuge in a lie, their strength is as smoke that vanishes, and all their vast assembly is as chaff which blows away [ . . . ] desolation, and shall not be found. Every creature of greed shall wither quickly away like a flower at harvest time [ . . . ] Come, strengthen yourselves for the battle of God, for this day is an appointed time of battle for God is against all the nations [ . . . ] judgment upon all flesh. The God of Israel is raising His hand in His wondrous strength against all the spirits of wickedness.
[ . . . ] mighty ones of the gods are girding themselves for battle, and the formations of the holy ones are readying themselves for a day of vengeance [ . . . ] the God of Israel [ . . . ] to remove Belial [ . . . ] in his hell [ . . . ] until every source of [ . . . ] is come to an end. For the God of Israel has called out a sword against all the nations, and by the holy ones of His people He will do mightily.
They shall carry out all this Rule on that day at the place where they stand opposite the camps of the Kittim. Then the priests shall blow for them the trumpets of remembrance. The gates of war shall open, and the infantry shall go out and stand in columns between the battle lines. The priests shall blow for them a signal for the formation and the columns shall deploy at the sound of the trumpets until each man has taken his station. Then the priests shall blow for them a second signal: signs for confrontation. When they stand near the battle line of the Kittim, within throwing range, each man shall raise his hand with his weapon of war. Then the six priests shall blow on the trumpets of the slain a sharp staccato note to direct the fighting. The Levites and the all the people with ramsí horns shall blow a battle signal, a loud noise. As the sound goes forth, the infantry shall begin to bring down the slain of the Kittim, and all the people shall cease the signal, but the priests shall continue blowing on the trumpets of the slain and the battle shall prevail against the Kittim..
The Final Battle the Second Engagement
When Belial prepares himself to assist the Sons of Darkness, and the slain among the infantry begin to fall by Godís mysteries and to test by these mysteries all those appointed for battle, the priests shall blow the trumpets of assembly so that another battle line might go forth as a battle reserve, and they shall take up position between the battle lines. For those employed in battle they shall blow a signal to return. Then the Chief Priest shall approach and stand before the battle line, and shall encourage their heart by the wondrous might of God and fortify their hands for His battle.
And he shall say in response: "Blessed is God, for He tests the heart of His people in the crucible. And not [ . . . ] have your slain [ . . . ] For you have obeyed from of old the mysteries of God. Now as for you, take courage and stand in the gap, do not fear when God strengthens [ . . . ] hand, and He shall appoint their retribution with burning [ . . . ] those tested by the crucible. He shall sharpen the implements of war, and they shall not become blunt until all the nations of wickedness come to an end. But, as for you, remember the judgment of Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, by whose judgment God showed Himself holy before all the people. But Eleazar and Ithamar He preserved for Himself for an eternal covenant of priesthood.
But, as for you, take courage and do not fear them for their end is empty and their desire is for the void. Their support is without strength and they do not know that from the God of Israel is all that is and that will be. He [ . . . ] in all which exists for eternity. Today is His appointed time to subdue and to humiliate the prince of the realm of wickedness. He will send eternal support to the company of His redeemed by the power of the majestic angel of the authority of Michael. By eternal light He shall joyfully light up the covenant of Israel peace and blessing for the lot of God; to exalt the authority of Michael among the lords and the dominion of Israel among all flesh. Righteousness shall rejoice on high, and all sons of His truth shall rejoice in eternal knowledge. But as for you, O sons of His covenant, take courage in Godís crucible, until He shall wave His hand and complete His fiery trials; His mysteries concerning your existence..
The Final Battle the Third Engagement
And after these words the priests shall blow for them a signal to form the divisions of the battle line. The columns shall be deployed at the sound of the trumpets, until each man has taken his station. Then the priests shall blow another signal on the trumpets, signs for confrontation. When the infantry has approached the battle line of the Kittim, within throwing range, each man shall raise his hand with his weapon. Then the priests shall blow on the trumpets of the slain and the Levites and all the people with ramsí horns shall sound a signal for battle. The infantry shall attack the army of the Kittim, and as the sound of the signal goes forth, they shall begin to bring down their slain. Then all the people shall still the sound of the signal, while the priests continuously blow on the trumpets of the slain, and the battle prevails against the Kittim, and the troops of Belial are defeated before them.. Thus in the third lot [ . . . ] to fall slain [ . . . ].
The final battle the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Engagements
(Nothing of these engagements is preserved.).
The Final Battle the Seventh Engagement
And in the seventh [ . . . ] , when the great hand of God shall be lifted up against Belial and against all the forces of his dominion for an eternal slaughter [ . . . ] and the shout of the holy ones when they pursue Assyria. Then the sons of Japheth shall fall, never to rise again, and the Kittim shall be crushed without remnant and survivor. So the God of Israel shall raise His hand against the whole multitude of Belial. At that time the priests shall sound a signal on the six trumpets of remembrance, and all the battle formations shall be gathered to them and divide against all the camps of the Kittim So [ . . . ] completely destroy them. And when the sun hastens to set on that day, the Chief Priest and the priests and the Levites who are with him, and the chiefs of the battle lines and the men of the army shall bless the God of Israel there. They shall say in response: "Blessed is Your name, O God of gods, for You have done wondrous things for Your people, and have kept Your covenant for us from of old. Many times You have opened the gates of salvation for us for the sake of Your covenant. And You provided for our affliction in accord with Your goodness toward us. You, O God of Righteousness, have acted for the sake of Your name.".
Ceremony after the Final Battle
Then they shall gather in the camp that night for rest until the morning. In the morning they shall come to the place of the battle line, where the mighty men of the Kittim fell, as well as the multitude of Assyria, and the forces of all the nations that were assembled unto them, to see whether the multitude of slain are dead ñ with none to bury them; those who fell there by the sword of God. And the High Priest shall approach there with his deputy, his brothers the priests, and the Levites with the leader of the battle, and all the chiefs of the battle lines and their officers [ . . . ] together. When they stand before the slain of the Kittim, they shall praise the God of Israel. And they shall say in response [ . . . ] to God most high and [ . . . ].
Thanksgiving for Final Victory
[ . . . ] You have done wonders upon wonders with us, but from of old there has been nothing like it, for You have known our appointed time. Today Your power has shined forth for us, and You have shown us the hand of Your mercies with us in eternal redemption, in order to remove the dominion of the enemy, that it might be no more; the hand of Your strength. In battle You shall show Yourself strong against our enemies for an absolute slaughter. Now the day is pressing upon us to pursue their multitude, for You [ . . . ] and the heart of warriors You have broken so that no one is able to stand. Yours is the might, and the battle is in Your hand, and there is no God like You [ . . . ] Your [ . . . ] and the appointed times of Your will, and reprisal [ . . . ] Your enemies, and You will cut off from [ . . . ] is [ . . . ] And we shall direct our contempt at kings [ . . . ] derision and disdain at mighty men. For our Majestic One is holy. The King of Glory is with us and the host of His spirits is with our steps. Our horsemen are as the clouds and as the mist covering the earth; as a steady downpour shedding judgment on all her offspring.
Rise up, O Hero! Take Your captives, O Glorious One, and take Your plunder, O You Who do valiantly. Lay Your hand upon the neck of Your enemies, and Your foot upon the backs of the slain. Crush the nations, Your adversaries, and let Your sword devour flesh. Fill Your land with glory, and Your inheritance with blessing. An abundance of cattle is in Your fields, silver and gold in Your palaces. O Zion, rejoice greatly, and rejoice, all you cities of Judah. Open your gates forever, so that the wealth of the nations might be brought to you, and their kings shall serve you. All they that oppressed you shall bow down to you, and they shall lick the dust of your feet. O daughters of my people, burst out with a voice of joy. Adorn yourselves with ornaments of glory, and rule over the kingdom of the [ . . . ] Your [ . . . ] and Israel for an eternal dominion..