War Scroll (4QM / 4Q491)

A variant of the blessings of the war recited by all the leaders in the morning before the battle. Compare 1QM.

4Q491 Manuscript A

Frag. 10
Col. 2
(8)in the Kitti[m ...]
(9)the infantrymen shall begin [to bring down the casualties of the Kittim ... And the]
(10)battle [shall prevail] against the Kittim [...] the corpses of the place of refining [shall begin] to fall by [the mysteries] of God.
(11)And the p[riests shall sound the trumpets of assembly ...]
(12)battle 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 shall strengthen their hands by recounting His wondrous deeds. Then he shall sa[y] in response [... fire of]
(15)vengeance, to consume among gods and men. For [He shall] not [...]
(16)flesh, except dust (?). For now [...]
(17)and [tne fire] shall consume as far as Sheol. And the council of wickedness [...]
Frag. 11
Frags. 11-15 represent a variant of 1QM cols. See 1-17 above.
Col. 2
(14)[... He is] faithful, and the relief which His redemption [...]
(15)[... son]s oftruth 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 ...]
(19)And.after these words the priests shall blow to order the second battle with the Kit[tim. And when each man has taken]
(20)his 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,]
(21)each man [shall ra]ise his hand with his battle weapon. Then the priests shall b[lo]w on the tr[umpets 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 [...]
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 shall blow a second blast on the trumpets for]
(5)[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 direct
(6)[the battle, on the trumpets 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 behind 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 [...]
(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 ...]
(10)[...] and all the spirits of [his] lot [...]
(11)[...] eternal, together wi[th ...]
(13)[...] war [...]

4Q491 Manuscript B

Manuscript B presents a much shorter version of the War Scroll than the one discovered in Cave 1.

Frag. 1-3
(1)Korah and his congregation [...] judgment [...]
(2)before the whole congregation of [... jud]gment as sign[s ...]
(3)and the chief of his angels with their [forces,] to direct their hand [in] battle. [...] for the chariotry and the hor[semen ...]
(4)The hand of God shall strike [...] for eternal annihilation [...] they shall atone for you [...] all the princes [...]
(5)His holiness in eternal jo]y [...] And after [...] the congregation and all] the prince[s ...] shall not go to the enemy battle lines [...]
(6)This is the rule when they camp and [... and in] their divisions [...] around, outside [...] and women, young boys, and any man who is afflicted 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]
(8)no 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.
(9)That 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 shall pass before [them] there [...]
(10)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 [...]
(11)[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.
(12)[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 ...]
(13)[...] 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 [...]
(14)The 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]
(15)together. 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 . ]
(16)The sec[ond foray ...] when the battle is arrayed. When the second battle formation shall have completed their period, they shall return and t[ake their position.]
(17)And 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 [...]
(18)A 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,] f[or] they are garments for bat[tle.]
(19)According to all [this] rule [...] chiefs of the camp [...]
(20)for [...] all [...] they will completely annihilate [...]

4Q491 Manuscript C

This manuscript, mistakenly labeled as a copy of the War Scroll, is instead a copy of a hymn similar to the Thanksgiving Psalms.

Frag. 11 Col I
(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
(10)[...] and the society of the oppressed as an eternal congregation [...] perfect of
(12)[...] 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
(13)[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
(14)[...]. 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
(15)[of] 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
(16)[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
(17)[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
(13)[... 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
(20)[...] righteous ones among the gods of [...] in the holy habitation. Praise Him in song [...]
(21)[... 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 [...]



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(Text) words not contained in the original text, but added to the translation for better understanding.
(?) uncertain reading
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