War Scroll (4QM / 4Q493)

4Q493 (4Q Milhamah)

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 fragment 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.

(1)For the war: The priests, the sons of Aaron, shall take their stand before [the] battle formations
(2)and sound a blast on the trumpets of remembrance. Afterwards they shall open the gates for the
(3)infantrymen. Then the priests shall sound a blast on the trumpets of battle [to adva]nce on the battle line
(4)of the Gentiles. The priests shall go out from among the slain and stand on [either] side of the [...],
(5)beside 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 alarm with a sharp note in order that the me[n of] battle
(7)might set out to advance between the battle lines on the trumpets [of the slain]. Then [they] shall [beg]in
(8)to 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
(9)to enter the gates. Then the second formation shall set out. According to this entire rule the Le[vites]
(10)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],
(11)and when [they] have comple[ted their foray], on the trumpets of alarm, [and when] they return, they shall sound a sig[nal for them on the trumpets]
(12)of 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, [...]


[...] lost text
{Text} suggestion for improvement
(Text) words not contained in the original text, but added to the translation for better understanding.
(?) uncertain reading
[Text] added text