“‘Woe to the obstinate children,’  declares the L-rd, ‘to those who carry out plans

that are not mine.’” (Isaiah 30:1)


The Community


Also Known as “The Manual of Discipline”

     The Community Rule Scroll found in several caves at Qumran is a manifesto for the group of separatists described in the Damascus Document. The scroll seems to be divided into four parts:

  1.  Description of how a person enters into the Covenant

  2.  Rules for being a member of the Council of the Community

       and how it is organized

  3.  Rules of conduct for the Master of the group and his duties

  4.  Lengthy ode to G-d written by the Master of the group

     The opening of the Community Rule Scroll explains how the “Master of the Community” shall teach members how to “seek G-d with a whole heart and soul, and do what is good and right” as commanded by Moses and the prophets.1 It further explains how G-d created two spirits that rule over man, the spirit of the “Prince of Light” and the spirit of the “Angel of Darkness.”2 The scroll states that the “G-d of Knowledge” created mankind to govern the world and walk with these two spirits until the time of “His visitation.”  All those who chose to do right and follow the teachings of the Teacher were the “Children of the Light.” Those who were not members of the community were “born of injustice that sprang from a source of darkness” and were “ruled by the Angel of Darkness and walked in his ways.”3

     The Community Rule Scroll spells out the characteristics of both the “Children of Light” and the “Children of Darkness.”

The Children of Light were filled with:

a spirit of humility, patience, abundant charity, unending goodness, understanding, and intelligence; mighty wisdom which trusts in all the deeds of G-d and leans on His great loving-kindness; a spirit of discernment in every purpose, of zeal for just laws, of holy intent of admirable purity which detests all unclean idols, of humble conduct sprung from an understanding of all things, and of faithful concealment of the mysteries of truth.4

The Children of Darkness were filled with:

the spirit of falsehood, greed, and slackness in search of righteousness, wickedness and lies, haughtiness and pride, falseness and deceit, cruelty and abundant evil, ill-temper and much folly and brazen insolence, abominable deeds in a spirit of lust, and ways of lewdness in the service of uncleanness, a blaspheming tongue, blindness of eye and dullness of ear, stiffness of neck and heaviness of heart, so that the man walks in all the ways of darkness and guile.5