THE MANUAL OF DISCIPLINE DEAD SEA SCROLL
BENEDICTIONS 5:22 - 25
MS in Hebrew on vellum, Qumran, 1st c. BC, 1 fragment of a scroll, 3,3x1,6 cm, 1 partial column, (original column 20x13 cm), part of 4 lines (originally 29 lines), in a formal Hasmonaean Hebrew book script; a fragment, 0,7x0,8 cm, with the offset of the letters Shin and Lamed; 2 uninscribed fragments, 2,0x0,7 cm and 0,5x0,5 cm.
Context: Part of the final benedictions (1QSb=1Q28b) of the scroll originally known as the Manual of Discipline (1QS), also named after its 2nd text, The Rule of the Community (1QSa) or Serekh ha-Yahad. This was one of the 7 scrolls found in Cave 1 at Qumran in June 1947. The Metropolitan, Bishop Athanasius Samuel, took 4 of these scrolls (the Manual of Discipline, the Isaiah A Scroll, the Habakkuk Commentary, and the Genesis Apocryphon), to New York in January 1949 to be sold.
They were advertised in the Wall Street Journal on 1 June 1954, bought 1 month later by Yigael Yadin on behalf of the Israeli Government and immediately taken back to Israel. They are now in the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The present fragment had either fallen off the scroll in the cave, or while in the possession of Athanasius Samuel.
A further fragment from the bottom of column 7 of 1QS, in The Sch°yen Collection, see MS 1926/3. Further Dead Sea Scroll fragments: MSS 1926/1-2 & 4, 2713 and 2861. There are 10 more fragmentary Rule of the Community scrolls from Cave 4 (4QS255-264).
Provenance: 1. Community of the Essenes, Qumran (1st c. BC-68 AD); 2. Qumran cave 1 (68-1947); 3. Muhammad Adh-Dhib of the Ta'amireh tribe, Judaean desert (1947); 4. Khalil Iskander Shakin ("Kando"), Bethlehem (1947-1948); 5. Syrian orthodox Monastery of St. Mark (Metropolitan Athanasius Samuel), Jerusalem (1948-1973); 6. Dr. William Brownlee, Claremont, California (1973-1983); 7. Louise Brownlee, Claremont, California (1983-1994).
Commentary: The Manual of Discipline/Rule of the Community scroll is one of the most important of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Manual of Discipline is one of the oldest documents of the Essenes. Originally written around 100 BC, it contains the community's liturgies, statutes, organisation, discipline, and a penal code. The 2nd text, the Rule of the Community, is also known as the Messianic Rule. It is the rule for a community adapted to the requirements of the Messianic war against the nations. The 3rd text, from which the present fragment comes, is a collection of blessings, to be recited by the Master or the Teacher of Righteousness for the ceremony of the institution of the new community. It was intended for the Messianic age. Included in the blessings are the members of the Community, the Messiah of Aaron, the sons of Zadok, the priest, and finally the Prince of the congregation, the Messiah of Israel. This text is unique, not witnessed in any other Dead Sea Scroll.