The War Scroll

Dead Sea Scrolls
The War Scroll 1QM, 4Q49l-496

Armageddon: the war to end all wars. These words stir up images of inevitable conflict, the final focus on the dark side of human nature, the ultimate catharsis that ushers in an age of peace. Al1 of these issues come to a head in th War Scroll, a text that describes the eschatological last battle in gory detail a righteousness is fully victorious and evil is forever destroyed. This vivid account gives us insight into how, at about the time of Jesus. some Jews conceived of Armageddon.
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 1Q’ 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 Òarchetypical bac 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 expand~ the war’s 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 al]l the angels of his dominion, and all men of [his forces shall be destroyed forever]” (1QM 1:14-15).

Moab 1737 Hase 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 God’s will for the redeemed. Indeed, God’s crucible (17:9) was seen as a necessary component of man’s existence so long as evil continued to exist in the World. Ultimately, God’s 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 dditional 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.
Col. 1

For the In[structor, 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 3with [ . . . ] 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 4a[nd tile 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 I[srael. Then the]re 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 g[reat] 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 shal1 be no survivors of [all the Sons of] Darkness.

Table of Nations
Then [the Sons of Righteousness shall shine to all ends ofthe 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 e[ternity;] 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 i¡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 fo[r al]1 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 g[o 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 i4[of Light. And when the] banners of the infantry cause their hearts to melt, then the strength of God will strengthen the he[arts of the Sons of Light.] In the seventh lot : the great hand of God shall overcome [Belial and al]l 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.
|6[, . . ] the holy ones shall shine forth in support of [ . . . ] the truth for the annihilation of the Sons of Darkness. Then [ . . . ] 17[ . . . ] a great [r]oar [ . . . ] they took hold of the implement[s of war . ] 18[,, . ] 19[ . . . chiefs of the tribes . . . and the priests, 1 20[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] Col. 2 the congregation’s clans, fifty-two. They shal1 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 6at 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 congregation’s clans shall choose for themselves men of war for all the lands of the nations. From ail 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 90f rest for Israel.
During the thirty-five years of service the war shal1 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 shal1 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 shal1 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 i4according to [their] c[lans and] their lterri]tories. During the remaining ten years the war shall be divided against all [sons of Japhe]th according to their territories.
The description of the trumpets.
~6[The Rule of the Trumpets: the trumpets] of alarm for all their service for the [ . . . ] for their commissioned men, i7[by tens of thousands and thousands and hundreds and fifties] and tens. Upon the t[rumpets . . . ]
[ . . . ] )8[ . . . ] 19[ . . . which ] 20[,, . they shall write . . . the trumpets of Col. 3 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 2the ambush, the trumpets of pursuit when the enemy is defeated, and the trumpets of reassembly wben the battle returns. On the trumpets for the assembly of the congregation they shall write, “The called of God.”
30n the trumpets for the assembly of the chiefs they shall write, “The princes of God.” On the trumpets of the formaons they shall write, “The rule of God.” On the trumpets of the men of renown [they shall write],”The heads of the congregation’s clans.” Then when they are assembled at the house of meeting, they shal1 write, “The testimonies of God for a holy congregation.” On the trumpets of the camps Sthey 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 6justice 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.” 70n 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 80f 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, 9″Mysteries of God to wipe out wickedness.” On the trumpets of pursuit they shall write,”God has struck all Sons of Dark~ness, He shal1 not abate His anger until they are annihilated.” i¡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.
13Rule 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 ~4″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 i5they shall write, “the Spirit [of God,” and the names of three tribes. O]n the banner of each tribe they shall write, “Standard of God,” and the name of the leader of the t[ribe ] ~60f its clans. [ . . . and] the name of the leader of the ten thousand and the names of the chief[s of . . . ] i7[ . . . ] his hundreds. On the banner [ ] 18 20[,, . ] Col. 4 ~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 tho[us]and they shall write, “The Anger of God is loosed against 2Belial 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- ~ fiesh,” arid 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 4iS 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.
6.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. 7When 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. 3When 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.
9The 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, i¡”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, ~2″The battle of God,””The recompense of God,””The cause of God,” “The reprisal of God,””The pov`.Ter of God,””The retribution of ~od,””The …ight of God,” “The annihilation by God of all the vainglorious nations.” And ‘3their 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,” ~4″The joy of God,” “The thanksgivings of God,””The praise of God,” and “The peace of God.”
15. [The Length of the Banners. The banner of the whole congregation shall be fourteen cubits long; the banner of th[ree tribes’ thir]teen cubits [long;] 16[the banner of a tribe,] twelve cubits; the banner of ten thousand, eleve[n cubits; the banner of a thousand, ten cubits; the banner of a hu]ndred, [n]ine cubits; i7[the banner of a fifty, ei]ght cubits; the banner of a ten, sev[en cubits . . . ].
The description of the shields.
18-20[ . . . ] Col. 5 and on the sh[ie]ld 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, 2and the names of the twelve chiefs of their tribes.
The description of the arming and deployment of the divisions.
3. 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 4to each battle line, arranged in order; the stahon of each man behind his fellow. All of them shall bear shields of bronze, polished like 5a 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 6and 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 ch~n hold a lance 7and 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 8work; of gold, silver, and COppe~ bound together like an artistically designed work. And in the loops of the de sign, on both sides of the band 9all 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 10a column, artist) cally 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, purlfied in the furnace and polished like a face mirror, the work of a skillful workman, artistically done, with figures of ears of grain i7Of 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 i3and a half and its width four fingers. The scabbard shall be four thumbs wide’ end four handbreadths up to the scabbard. The scabba~d shall be tied on either ~4side 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.
16And when the [ . . . take their] stand, they shall arrange seven battle lines, one behind the otherj ~7and there shall be a space [between . . . t]hirty cubits, where the infan[try] shall stand i8[,, . ] forward [ . . . ] i9-20[ . . . they shall sling]
Col. 6 is even 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 2the enemy battle line seven battle darts. On the blade of the first dart they shal1 write, “Flash of a spear for the strength of God.” On the second weapon they shall write, 3″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.” 4Each 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, 5the 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 6Of 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.
8Seven rows of horsemen shall also take position at the right and at the 1eft 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 i¡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; iififty 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 i2to battle with the infantry shall ride stallions; swift, responsive, unrelenting, mature, trained for battle, i3and 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 ~4Of their age from thirty to forty-five years. The horsemen of the army shall be from forty to fifty years old, and they i5[ . . . ], helmets and greaves, carrying in their hands round shields and a lance eig[ht cubits long, . . . ] 16[ .,, ] and a bow and arrows and battle darts, all of them prepared in [ . . . ] i7[ . . . ] and to shed the blood of their guilty slain. These are the [ . . . ]
The recruitment and age of the soldiers.
18-20[ . . . ] Col. 7 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 2shall-also be from forty to fifty years old. All those who strip the slain, plunder the spoil, cleanse the land, guard the arms, 3and 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 4Jerusalem 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 shis flesh; none of these shall go vvith them to battle.

All of them shall be volunteers for battle, pure of spirit and flesh, and prepared for the day of vengeance. Any 6man who is not ritually clean in respect to his genitals on the day of battle shal1 not go down with them into battle, for holy angels are present with their army. There shall be a distance 7between 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.
9When the battle lines are arrayed against the enemy in battle line  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 1inen 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 t3the 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 i4into the gap between the battle lines, seven Levites shall go out with them. In their hands shall be seven trumpets of rams’ horns.
Three officers from among the Levites shall walk before ~5the priests and the Levites. The priests shall blow the two trumpets of assem[bly . . . of ba]ttle upon fifty shields, ~6and fifty infantrymen shall go out from the one gate and [ . . . ] Levites, officers. With 7each battle line they shall go out according to all [this] o[rder…. men of the] infantry from the gates i8[and they shall take positi]on between the two battle lines, and [ . . . ] the bat[tle ] ~9 20[,, . ] Col. 8 the trumpets shall blow continually to direct the slingmen until they have completed hurling seven 2times. Afterwards the priests shall blow on the trumpets of return, and they shall go along the side of the first battle line 3to take their position.

The priests shall blow on the trumpets of assembly, and 4the 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. 6And the columns shall be deployed into their formations, each to his position.
When they have positioned themselves in three formations, 7the priests shall blow for them a second signal, a low legato note, signals for advance, until they draw near to 8the battle line of the enemy and take hold of their weapons. Then the priests shall blow on the six trumpets 90f the slain a sharp staccato note to direct the battle, and the Levites and all the people with rams’ horns shall blow ‘¡a great battle alarm together in order to melt the heart of the enemy.With the sound of the alarm, i~the battle darts shall fly out to bring down the slain. Then the sound of the rams’ horns shall quiet, but on the tru[m]pets the priests shall continue to blow a sharp staccato note to direct the signals of battle until they have hurled into the battle line ~30f the enemy seven times. Afterwards, the priests shall blow for them the trumpets of retreat, ~4a 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 rams’] horns shall blow a great alarm ~6to direct the bat[tle until they have hurled seven times. Afterwards,] the priestS [shall blow] for them ~70n the tn~mpe[ts of retreat . . . and they shall take their stand  in their positions in the battle line, i8[ . ] and shall take up position ‘9[ . . . the slain, 20[and all the people with rams’ horns shall blow a very loud battle alarm, and as the sound goes out] Col. 9 in their hands shall begin to bring down the slain, and all the people quiet the sound of alarm, but the priests shall continue sounding on the trumpets of 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 God’s 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 8into 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 90f 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 [t]wo sides of the battle line [that] ‘2the enemy might become discouraged. The shields of the soldiers of the towers shall be three cubits long, and their lances eight cubits l[on]g. The towers ‘3shall go out from the battle line with one hundred shields on a side. F[or] they shall surround the tower on the three frontal sides, i4three 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 ‘5they shall write: on the first, “Mi[chae]l,” [on the second,”Gabriel,” on the third,] “Sariel,” and on the fourth “Raphael.” i6″Michael” and”Gabriel” on [the right, and “Raphael” and”Raphael” on the 1eft.
And [ . . . ] for to the four [ . . . They] shall establish an ambush for the [battle line] Of [ . . . ] i8and [ . . . they shall fal]1 on the s[lain . . . ]
The address of the chief priest.
19-20[ . , ] Col. 10 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 befo[re u]s. He taught us from of old through a,, out generations, saying, whhen you approach the battle, the priest shall stand and speak unto the people, 3saying,’Hear O Israel, you are approaching the battle against your enemies today. Do not be afraid nor fainthearted. 4Do not trem[ble, no]r be terrified because of them, for your God goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, and to save syou”‘ (:Deut. 20:2-4) Our [oflficers 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 slpoke] by the hand of Moses, say ing:”And when there is a war 7in your land against the adversary who attacks you, then yo[u] shall sound an alarm with the trumpets that you might be remembered before your God 8and be saved from your enemies (Num. 10:9)
The prayer of the chief priest.
Who is like You, O God of Israel, in he[av]en and on earth, that he can perform in accordance with Your great works 9and Your great strength.Who is like Your people Israel, whom You have chosen for Yourself from all the peoples of the lands; orthe people of the covenant, learned in the statutes, enlightened in understan[ding . . . ] those who hear the glorious voice and see iithe holy angels, whose ears are open; hearing deep things. [O God, You have created] the expanse of the skies, the host of luminaries, 2the task of spirits and the dominion of holy ones, the treasures of [Your] gl[ory . . . ] clouds. He who created the earth and the limits of her divisions into wilderness and plain, and a~, her o~~spring, `.vith fhe fru[its = . ] 7 the circle of the seas, the sources of the rivets, and the rift of the deeps, ‘4wild beasts and winged creatures, the form of man and the gener[ations of I his [see]d, the confusion of language and the separation of peoples, the abode of clans ‘Sand the inheritance of the lands, [ . . . and] holy festivals, courses of years and times of ~6eternity. [ . . . ] these we know from Your understanding which [ ., . ] 17[ . . . ] Your [ears] to our cry, for [ . . ] 18[ . ] his house [ . . . ] 9 2[ . . . ]
Col. 11 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.Jus[t 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 a~ sons of Sheth, and he shan desceIld ‘o~ 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 ti[mes] 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 9vainglorious nations, at the hand of the oppressed whom You have redeemed [with powe]r 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 app]ointed time for Your hand a 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) . 
13For into the hand of the oppressed You will deliver the [ene]mies 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. ‘s[ . . . ] and  wars,  to show Yourself great and holy before the remnant of the nations, so that [they] may know [that] ‘6You are God . . . when You] carry out judgments on (fog and on all his company that are as[semb]led [abou]t ,us . . . ] 17[ . . . ], for You will do battle against them from the heave[ns . ] 18[,, . ] upon them for confusion [ ] i9 20[ . ] Col. 12 For You have a multitude of holy ones in the heavens and hosts of angels in Your exalted dwelling to pr[aise] Your [name].

The chosen ones of the holy people You have established for Yourself in a [community.
The nu]mber (or The book) of the names of all their host is with You in Your holy dwelling, and the n[umber of the holy one]s 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 o[ver them]: for all time, commissioning the hos[ts of  Your elect  by their thousands and tens of thousands together with Your holy ones [and] Your angels, and directing them into  battle [so as to condemn] the earthly adversaries by trial with Your judgments. With the elect of heaven [they] shall prevail.

You, O God, are awe[some] in the glory of Your dominion, and the company of Your holy ones is in our midst for etern[al] support.We [shall direc3t our contempt at kings, derision 9and disdain at mighty men. For the Lord is holy, and the King of Glory is with us together with the holy ones. Migh[ty men and] a host of angels are with our commissioned forces. 9The Hero of Wa[r] is with our company, and the host of His spirits is with our steps Our horser^lien are [as] ~he 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 ~7devour guilty flesh. Fill Your land with glory, and Your inheritance with blessing. An abundance of cattle in Your fields; silver and gold and precious 13stones in Your palaces. O Zion, rejoice greatly, and shine with joyful songs, O Jerusalem. Rejoice, all you cities of Judah, open your gate[s] 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 15[of your feet they shall lick. O daughter]s of my people shout out with a voice of joy, adorn yourselves with ornaments of glory Rule over the kingdom of the ],16[,, . and I]srael to reign eternally.
17[ . . . ] them the mighty men of war, O Jerusalem [ . . . ] 18~3e exalt]ed above the heavens, O Lord, [and let Your glory be above all the earth . . . ]
19[ . . . ]
The blessings of the war recited by all the leaders after the victory.
20[,, . And then the Chief Priest shall stand] Col. 13 land his brothers the [pr]iests, 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 6[eterna]1.
7Y[o]u are the God of our fathers. We bless Your name forever, for we are an [eter]na[l] people. You made a covenant with our fathers, and will establish it for their seed 8throughout 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 9and to re[count] 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 l¡in accordance with Your truth. You appointed the Prince of Light from of old to assist us, for in [His] l[ot are all sons of righteous]ness and all spirits of truth are in his dominion. You yourself Belial for the pit, an angel of malevolence, his [dominio]n is in darkne[ss] and his counsel is to condemn and convict. All the spirits 120f his lot — the angels of destruction– walk in accord with the rule of darkness, for it is their only [des]ire.

But we, in the lot of Your truth, rejoice in 13Your mighty hand.
We rejoice in Your salvation, and revel in [Your] hel[p and] Your [p]eace. Who is like You in strength, O God of Israel, and yet 14Your mighty hand is with the oppressed. What angel or prince is like You for [Your] effe[ctual] support, [fo]r of old You appointed for Yourself a day of gre[at battle [ . . . ] 13[ . . . ] to [sup]port truth and to destroy iniquity, to bring darkness low and to lend might to light, and to [ . . . ] 16[ . . ] for an eterna1 stand, and to annihilate all the Sons of Darkness and bring joy to [al]l [the Sons of Light….] 17[ . . . ]
18[ . . f]or You Yourself designated us for an app[ointed time . . . ]
19-20[,,, ] Col. 14 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.
7After 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 30f 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 4the 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 50f salvation for the people He redeems.

He has called those who stumble unto wondrous [accomplishment]s, and He has gathered a congregation of nations for annihilation without remnant in order to raise up in judgment 6he whose heart has melted, to open a mouth for the dumb to sing [God’s] mighty deeds, and to teach feeble [hands] warfare. He gives those whose knees shake strength to stand, 7and 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; 9there will be no place for all their mighty men. But we are the remn[ant of Your people. Blessed is]

Your name, O God of loving-kindness, the One who kept the covenant for our forefathers. Throughout 9all our generations You have made Your mercies wondrous for the rem[nant of the people] during the dominion of Belial.With all the mysteries of his hatred they have not led us astray l¡from Your covenant. His spirits of destruction You have driven [away from us. And when the me]n of his dominion [condemned themselves], You have preserved the lives of Your redeemed. You raised up lithe fallen by Your strength, but those who are great in height You will cut dow[n 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 12You will return shame, and all [their] vain existence [shall be as not]hing. But we, Your holy people, shall praise Your name for Your works of truth. 13Because of Your mighty deeds we shall exalt your] splendor in ~] epochs and appointed times of eternity, at the beginning of day, at night i4and at dawn and dusk. For Your [glorio]us p[urpose] is great and Your wondrous mysteries are in [Your] high heavens, to [raise u]p those for Yourself from the dust 15and to humble those of the gods.
16Rise up, rise up, O God of gods, and raise Yourself in power, [O King of Kings . . . ] t71et all the Sons of Darkness [scatter from before You.] Let the light of Your majesty shi[ne forever upon gods and men, as a fire burning in the dark places of the damned] ~8Let it burn [the damned of Sh]eol, as an [eternal] burning [among the transgressors . . . in all the appointed times of eternity.”]
19[They shall repeat all the thanksgiving hymns of battle there and then return to their camps ] 20[,, . ] Col. 15 For it is a time of distress for Isra[el, a fixed gime of battle against all the nations. The purpose of God is eternal redemption, 2but annihilation for al1 nations of wickedness. All those pr[epared] for battle shall set out and camp opposite the king of the Kittim and all the forces 3Of Belial that are assembled with him for a day [of vengeance] by the sword of God.
The final battle the first engagement.
4Then the Chief Priest shall stand, and with him his brothers the p[riests], the Levites, and all the men of the army. He shall read aloud Sthe prayer for the appointed time of batt~e, as is written in the boo]k SereLh Itto (The Rule of His Time), including all the words of their thanksgivings. Then he shall form there 6all the battle lines, as writ[ten in the Book of the Wair. Then the priest appointed for the time of vengeance by 7all his brothers shall walk about and encourage [them for the battl]e, and he shall say in response:”Be strong and courageous as warriors. 9Fear not, nor be discoura[ged and let not y]our [heart be faint.] Do not panic, neither be alarmed because of them. Do not 9turn back nor [flee from the]m. For they are a wicked congregation, all their deeds are in darkness; i¡it is [their] desire. [They have established al]l their refuge [in a lie], their strength is as smoke that vanishes, and all litheir vast assembly [is as chaff which blows away . . . de]solation, and shall not be found.
Every creature of greed shall wither quickly away 2[1ike a flow]er at ha[rvest time…. Come,] strengthen yourselves for the battle of God, for this day is an appointed time of battle 13[for~G]od against all the n[ations, . . . judgm]ent upon all flesh. The God of Israel is raising His hand in His wondrous [streng]th 14[againsq all the spirits of wick[edness…. m]ighty ones of the gods are girding themselves for battl[e, and] the formation[s of the3 h[o]ly ones is[are rea]dying themselves for a day of [vengeance . . . ] 16the God of I[srae]l [ . . . ] i7to remove Bel[ial . . . ] 15in his hell [ ] 19-20[ . . ] Col. 16 [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.”
3They 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 4Of remembrance. The gates of w[ar] shall open, [and] the infantry shall go out and stand in columns between the battle lines. The priests shall blow for them Sa signal for the formation and the columns [shall deplo]y at the sound of the trumpets until each man has taken his station. Then the priests shall blow for them 6a second signal: [signs for confron]tation.When they stand near the battle line of the Kittim, within throwing range, each man shall raise his hand with his weapon of 7war. Then the six [priests shall blow on the tr]umpets of the slain a sharp staccato note to direct the fighting. The Levites and the all the people with 8rams’ horns shall blow [a battle signa]l, a loud noise. As the sound goes forth, the infantry shall begin to bring down the slain of the Kittim, and all 9the people shall cease the signal, [but the priest]s shall continue blowing on the trumpets of the slain and the battle shall prevail against the Kittim.
The final battle the second engagement.
ÒWhen [Belial] prepares himself to assist the Sons of Darkness, and the slain among the infantry begin to fall by God’s mysteries and to test by these mysteries all those appointed for battle, 12the 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. ~3For 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 ~4their heart by [the wondrous might of God and] fortify their hands for His battle.
I5And he shall say in response: [“Blessed is God, for] He tests the he[ar]t of His people in the crucible. And not [ . . . ] have your slain [ . . . ]. For you have obeyed from of old i6the mysteries of God. [Now as for you, take courage and stand in the gap, do not fear when God strengthens . . . ] 17-20[ . . ] Col. 17 land 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 ofl wickedness [come to an end]. 2But, as for you, remember the judgment [of Nadab and Abi]hu, the sons of Aaron, by whose judgment God showed Himself holy before [all the people. But Eleazar] 3and Ithamar He preserved for Himself for an eternal covenant [ofpriesthood].
4But, as for you, take courage and do not fear them [ . . . for] their end is emptine and their desire is for the void. Their support is without st[rength] 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 sof 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 7He shall joyfully light up the covenant of Israel peace and blessing for the lot of GodÑto exalt the authority of Michael among the gods and the dominion 8Of Israel among all flesh. Righteousness shall rejoice on high, and al1 sons of His truth shall rejOice in eternal knowledge. But as for you, O sons of His covenant, 9take courage in God’s 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 i2the infa[ntry] has approached [the battle] line of the Kitt[im], within throwing range, each man shall raise his hand with his weapon. Then the priests shall blow on the trumpets i30f the slain [and the Levites and the al]1 the people with rams’ horns shal1 sound a signal for battle. The infantry shall attack the army ~40f the Kittim, [and as the soun]d [of the si]gnal [goes forth], they shall begin to bring down their slain. Then all the people shall still the sound of the signal, while the priests iScontinuously blow on [the trumpets of the slain], and the bat[tl]e p[revail]s against the K[ittim, and the troops of Belia]l are defeated before them. ~6Thus in the th[ird] 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.
Col. 18 [and in the seven]th [log, when the great hand of God shall be lifted up against Belial and against all the fo[rc]es of his dominion for an eternal slaughter 2[,, . ] and the shout of the holy ones when they pursue Assyria. Then the sons of Japheth shall fall, never to rise again, and the Kitum shall be crushed without 3[remnant and survivor. So] the God of Israel shal1 raise His hand agcunst the whole multitude of Belial. At that time the priests shall sound a signal 4[on the six trumpegs of remembrance, and all the battle formations shall be gathered to them and divide against all the ca[mps of the Ki]ttim Sto completely destroy them. [And] when the sun hastens to set on that day, the Chief Priest and the priests and the [Levites] who are 6with 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 god]s, for 7You 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 8for the sak[e of ~ Your [co]venant. [And You provided flor our affliction in accord with Your goodness toward us. You, O God of righteousness, have acted for the sake of Your name.
Thanksgiving for final victory.
[ . . . ] You have idone w]onders upon wonders with us, but f om of old there has been nothing like it, for You have known our appointed time. Today [Your] power has shined forth i~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. ‘7In bat[tle You shall show Yourself strong aga]inst our enemies for an absolute slaughter. Now the day is pressing upon us [to] pursue their multitude, for You ~3[ . . . ] 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 i4[God like You . . . ] Your [ . . . ] and the appointed times of Your will, and reprisal [ . -. . ] Your [enemie]s, and You will cut offfrom [ . . . ] is i9[,,, ] 20[,, . And we shall direct our contempt at kings,] Col. 19 i[derision and disdain at mi]ghty men. For our Majestic One is holy. The King of Glory is with us and the h[ost of His spirits is with our steps. Our horsemen are] 7[as the clouds and as the rnis]t covering the earth; as a steady downpour shedding judgment on ap1 her offspring.]
[Rise up, O Hero,] 3[Take Your captives, O Glorious One, and ta]ke Your plunder, O YouWho do valiantly. Lay Your hand upon the neck of Your enemies, and Your fo[o]t [upon the backs of 1 4[the slain. Crush the nations, Yo]ur [adversaries,] and let Your sword devour flesh. Fill Your land with glory, and Your inheritance with blessing. An ab[undance of cattle is] s[in Your fields, silver and gold] in Your palaces. O Zion, rejoice greatly, and rejoice, all you cities of Ju[dah. Open] 6[your gates forever, so thag 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, 7[and they shall lick the dust of your feet. O dau]ghters of my [peo]ple, burst out with a voice of joy. Adorn yourselves with ornaments of glory, and r[ule] over the ki[ngdom of the . . . ] 8[,, . ] Your [ . . . ]. and Israel for an [egernal dominion.
Ceremony after the final battle.
9[Then they shall gather] in the camp that n[ig]ht for rest until the morning. In the morning they shall come to the p[La]ce of the battle line, i¡[where the mi]ghty men ofthe 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 mu]ltitude of slain [are dead] ~~[with none to bury them; those who] fell there by the sword of God. And the Hi[gh] Priest shall approach there [with] his [depu]ty, his brothers [the priests,] ~2[and the Levites with the Leader] of the battle, and all the chiefs of the battle lines and [their officers . . . ] i3[ . . . together.When they stand before the s]lain of the Kitt[im, they shall pr]aise there the God [of Israel. And they shall say in response: . . . ] 14[ . . . to God most high and . . . ]
4Q491 (4Q Milhamah)
In the publication by the original editors, the fragments of 4Q491 were considered to be the remains of a single work. This work was thought to be a form of the War Scroll, one with extensive portions that found no exact match in the Cave 1 copy. A recent thorough study of the evidence, however, suggests that 4Q491 is instead three distinct manuscripts. The original editors had been deceived by the similar appearance of these manuscripts and had mistakenly grouped three texts together.
Thus reorganized, the manuscripts can now be characterized as follows. Manuscript A represents a text that is similar to the Cave 1 copy, but with a fuller representation of the seven engagements of the troops in the final battle. Manuscript B appears to be a shorter, “Reader’s Digest” form of the Cave 1 composition. Manuscript C comprises a hymn that is not even related to the War Scroll. Rather, it is related to the Thanksgiving Psalms (text 3).
The original publication of Manuscript C’s poem suggested that it was spoken by the Archangel Michael (cf. Dan. 10:13; Rev. 12:7), who features prominently in the War Scroll (lQM 17:6-7). The recently available manuscripts from Cave 4, however, now show that this notion is mistaken. Instead, the identity of the speaker here must be directly connected to that of the speaker in the Thanksgiving Psalms. Col. 26 of those psalms contains the same key elements we find here in Manuscript C. The first-person account, so characteristic of the Thanksgiving Psalms, is the form of address in both places. Moreover, in both poems the author makes the fantastic claim that none can be compared to him, because he is on equal footing with the heavenly beings (probably to be understood as angels)! If it is concluded that the Teacher of Righteousness wrote the Thanksgiving Psalms, he penned Manuscript C’s text as well.
A variant of the blessings of the war recited by all the leaders in the morning before the battle. Compare 1QM. 14:4419 above.
4Q491 Manuscript A Frag. 10 Col. 2 7[ ]8 in the Kitti[m . . . ] 9the infantrymen shall begin [to bring down the casualties of the Kittim . . . And the] I battle [shall prevail] against the Kittim [ . . . ] the corpses of the place of refining [shall begin] to fall by [the mysteries] of God. And the p[riests shall sound the trumpets of assembly . . . ] 12battle among the Kittim. And to the first battle formation . . . ]13 And the priest designated for the battle shall draw near and stand [be]fore [the battle formation . . . ]14 and he shal1 strengthen their hands by recounting His wondrous deeds. Then he shall sa[y] in response [ . . . fire of I vengeance, to consume among gods and men. For [He shai3] not [ . . . ] 16 flesh, except dust (?). For now [ . . . ] 37and [tne fire] shall consume as far as Sheol. And the council of wickedness [ . . . ]
Frags. 11-15 represent a variant of 1QM cols. 1~17 above.
Frag. 11 Col. 2 14[ . . . He is] faithful, and the relief which His redemption [ . . . ] i5[ . . . son]s of truth and to remove the faint of heart and to strengthen the he[art ] 16[,, . the batt]le today, the God of Isr[ael] shall subdue him (Belial?) [ . . . ] 17[ . . . ] with no place to stand. And [the kingdo]m shall be for God and the salvatio[n] for His people [ ] 18[,,, ] like as to Belial. But God’s covenant is peace [for] Israel in all the times [of eternity . . . ] i9And.after these words the prfests shall blow to order the second battle with the Kit[tim. And when each man has taken] 20his station, then the priests shall blow a second signal for advance.When they have approached the ba[ttle line of the Kittim, within throwing range,] 2leach man [shall ra]ise his hand with his battle weapon. Then the priests shall b[lo]w on the tr[umpegs of the [slain a staccato note] 22[to direct the battle and the Levites] and the all the people with rams’ horns shall so[u]nd [a loud] n[ote . . . And when] 23[the sound of the blast is heard, they shall begin to bring do]wn the casualties of the guilty. The sound of the [ ] 24[,,, ]
Frag. 13 1[ . . . width the gods [ . . . ] 2[ . . . ] the smallest of you shall pursue a tho[usand . . . ] 3[ . . . And after] these [w]ords, [the priests] shall blow [to order the third battle with the Kittim and the columns] 4[shall deploy at the sound of the trum]pets. When each m[an] has taken [his position] by division, [the priest shal1 blow a second blast on the trumpets for] S[advance. When] they [have approached] the battle line of the Kittim, within throwing range, [each man] shall raise his hand [with his battle weapon. The priests shall blow, to direcq 6[the battle, on the (rumpets of the slain, a staccato note. Then the Levites and all [the people with rams’ horns shall sound a battle blast, and the formations] 7[shall be figh]ting one behi-nd the other with no space between them. For [ ] 8[ . . . and] all the people shall answer, raising [on]e voice, and say [ . . . ]
Frag. 15 1[ . . . ] and there is no [ ] 2[,, . ] and a processio[n behold we are taking position to advance [ . . . ] 4[ . . . ] 5[ . . . And] he shall say to them in response,”Be strong and courageous [,,, ] 6[,, . For the] outstretched [hand] of God is upon all the Gentiles, [He shall] not [ . . . ] 7[ . . . ] kingship is [for God] Almighty and salvation is for His petple. And y[ou ] 8[,, . ] his [im]purity, the gods shall advance upon you with [ . . . ] 9[ . . . ] and to cast all [their] corpse[s . . . ] i¡[ . . . ] and all the spirits of [his] lot [ . . . ] 11[ . . . ] eternal, together wi[th ] 13[ . . . ] war [ . . . ]
Manuscript B presents a much shorter version of the War Scrol1 than the one discovered in Cave 1.
4Q491 Manuscript B Frags. 1-3 1Korah and hus congregation [ . . . ] judgment [ . . . ] 2before the whole congregation of [ . . . jud]gment as sign[s . . . ] 3and the chief of his angels with their [forces,] to direct their hand [in] battle. [ . . . ] for the chariotry and the hor[semen . . . ] 4The hand of God shall strike [ . . . ] for eternal annihilation [ . . . ] they shall atone for you [ . . . ] all the princes [ . . . ] sHis holiness in eternal lio]y [ . . . ] And after [ . . . ] the congregation and apl] the prince[s . . . ] shall not go to the enemy battle lines [ . . . ]
6This is the rule when they camp and [ . . . and in] their divisions [ . . . ] around, outside [ . . . ] and women, young boys, and any man who is aff~icted with impurity in his flesh shall not come near]
7[the battle] line. The craftsmen [and blacksm]iths and those enlisted as [ . . . ] for their watches [ . . the battle line until they return.
And there shall be two thousand cubits between the [camps and the latrine, so] 8no nakedness might be seen in their surroundings. And when they set out to prepare for battle [so as to sub]due [the enemy], some of them [shall be] dismissed by lot from each tribe according to those enlisted for [each] day’s duty. 9That day, men from each tribe [shall] go out from the camps to the house of me[eting . . . and] the [priest]s, the Levites, and all the chiefs of the camps [shall] go out to them. Then they shal1 pass before [them] there [ . . . ] i¡by thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. Each man who is not [clean in regard to his genitals] that [nig]ht [shall] no[t g]o out with them to battle. For the holy angels are with their battle lines [ . . . ] ‘~[When] the formation standing ready to pass to all [ . . . ] of battle for that day [g]oes up [ . . . ], three formations shall stand one behind the other, and they shall establish a space between [each] battle formation. i2[Then they shall go out] to the battle in turn. These are the [infan]trymen and alongside them are [cavalry]men, [and they shall take their position between the battle] formations. But if they establish an ambush for a battle formation, the three ambushing formations shall [stay at a dist]ance and not ris[e up . . . ] ‘3[ . . . ] the battle.When they [h]ear the trumpets of alarm, the [infantry]men [shall begin to bring do]wn the guilty casualties. Then the ambush shall rise up from its place and also order its [battle form]ations [ . . . 3
14The reassembly: from the right and left, from be[hind and before, the f]our direction[s . . . ] in the battles of annihilation. All the battle formation[s] which engaged the en[emy] for battle [shall be gathered] :5together. The [fi]rst battle formation shall [set out-to battle] and the second shall remain standting] at their post.When their period is completed, the first shall return and s[tand . ] :6The sec[ond foray . . . ] when the battle is arrayed.When the second battle formation shal1 have completed their period, they shall return and t[ake their position.] i7And the t[hird foray . . . Then the Chief Priest shall take his stand with his brothers the priests,] the Levites, and men [of the arm]y.
And all the while the priests shall be sounding on the trumpets[ . . . ]
[ ] 18A lin[en] sash [of twined fine linen, violet, purple, and crimson, and a varicolored design, the work of a skillful workman, and decorated c]aps [on ‘their heads. And they shall not take them into the sanctuary,3 f [or] they are garments for bat[tle.]
According to all [this] rule i . . . ] chiefs of the camp [ . . . ] 2¡for [ . . . ] all [ . . . ] they will completely annihilate [ . . . ]
This manuscript, mistakenly labeled as a copy of the War Scroll, is instead a copy of a hymn similar to the Thanksgiving Psalms.
4Q491 Manuscript C Frag. 11 Col. 1 8[,, . ] who does wondrous things [ . . . ] 9[ . . . in the pow] er of his strength the rig[hteou]s cry out, and the holy ones rejoice [ . . . ] justly lOt . . I]srael. He established His truth from of old, and the mysteries of His cunning in eve[ry . . . ] strength ~~[ . . . ] and the society of the oppressed as an eternal congregation [ . . . ] perfect of 2[ . . . ] eternal, a mighty throne in the congregation of the gods. None of the ancient kings shall sit on it, and their nobles tshall] not [ . . . There are no]ne comparable 3[to me in] my glory, no one shall be exalted besides me; none shall associate with me. For I dwelt in the [ . . . ] in the heavens, and there is no one i4[ . . . ]. I am reckoned with the gods and my abode is in the holy congregation. [My] desi[re] is not according to the flesh, and everything precious to me is in the glory ~5[ofl the holy [habit]ation.
[Wh]om have I considered contemptible? Who is comparable to me in my glory? Who of those who sail the seas shall return telling i6[of] my [equa]l?Who shall [experience] troubles like me? And who is like me [in bearing] evil? I have not been taught, but no teaching compares i7[with my teaching].Who then shall attack me when [I] ope[n my mouth]?Who can endure the utterance of my lips? Who shall arraign me and compare with my judgment i3[ . . . Fo]r I am reck[oned] with the gods, [and] my glory with that of the sons of the King. Neither [refined go]ld, nor the gold of Ophir 19[ . . . ]
20[,, . ] righteous ones among the gods of [ . . . ] in the holy habitation. Praise Him in song [ ] 2~[ . . . P]roclaim the meditation of joy [ . . . ] joyously forever. There is not [ ] 22[,, . ] to raise up a horn Of [ ] 23[,,, ] to make known His hand in strength [ . . . ]
4Q493 (4Q Milhamahc)
This manuscript is reminiscent of 1QM 7:9-9:9, but it diverges markedly from the Cave 1 copy. Perhaps it represents another “deviant” version such as 4Q491 (Manuscripts A and B). But it is equally possible that this arragment may have been unrelated to the War Scroll literature, instead coming from a handbook on priestly duties.
The number of this fragment suggests a physical connection with frag. 1 1 col 2. The original publication proposed a join of two separate pieces of parchment that is not accepted here.
For the war: The priests, the sons of Aaron, shall take their stand before [the] battle formations 2and sound a blast on the trumpets of remembrance. Afterwards they shall open the gates for the 3infantrymen. Then the priests shall sound a blast on the trumpets of battle [to adva]nce on the battle line 40f the Gentiles. The priests shaI1 go out from among the slain and stand on [either] side of the [ . . . ], Sbeside the catapult (?) and the ballista (?). Thus they shall not profane the anointing of their priestly office [with the blood of the s]lai[n]. 6[And] they shall not approach any battle formation of the infantry. They shall sound an alarmÑwith a sharp note in order that the me[n of] battle 7might set out to advance between the battle linesÑon the trumpets [of the slain]. Then [they] shall [beg]in ato draw near to the battle.When their periods of engagement are completed, they shall sound a blast for them on the tru[mp]ets of withdrawal 9to enter the gates. Then the second formation shal1 set out.
According to this entire rule the Le[vites] i¡shall be signaling them at the proper time.When they set out, they shall blow a signal for them on the t[rumpets of assembly], iiand when [they] have comple, on the trumpets of alarm, [and when] they return, they shal1 sound a sig[nal for them on the trumpets] i20f as[sembly.] According to [this] ordin[ance] they sound the signal for ev[ery ba]ttle formation.
13[ . . . ] upon the trumpets of the Sabbaths [it is written . . . ] 14[ . . . for] the regular [grain offering] and the burnt offerings it is written, [ . . . ]

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