War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness

War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness

"The War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness" is a manual for military organization and strategy that was discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is also known by the names "War Rule", "Rule of War", and "War Scroll". The document is made up of various scrolls and fragments including 1QM, 4Q491-496. More recent study suggests that 4Q491 is three separate documents all describing the same events.

These scrolls contain an apocalyptic prophecy of a war between the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness. The war is first described as an attack by the Sons of Light against Edom, Moab, the sons of Ammon, the Amalekites, Philistia, and the Kittim of Asshur (referred to as the army of Belial), supported by those who "violated the covenant" including the sons of Levi, the sons of Judah, and the sons of Benjamin. In the end, all of Darkness is to be destroyed and Light will live in peace for all eternity

The war is then described again as a conflict between the congregation of the gods and the congregation of men.

The rest of the document is a detailed description of the events of the war and the ways in which it should be conducted.

Further reading

Collins, John Joseph. 1998. "The Apocalyptic Imagination: An Introduction to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature." Grand Rapids, Mich: William B. Eerdmans.

Segal, Alan F. 1986. "Rebecca's Children: Judaism and Christianity in the Roman World." Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

External links


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  • WAR SCROLL — WAR SCROLL, manuscript comprising 18 columns found among the manuscripts in Qumran Cave 1 in 1947 and acquired by for the Hebrew University; it is now in the Shrine of the Book, Jerusalem. Two fragments of the scroll were discovered when the cave …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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