The Rule of the Blessing


The Rule of the Blessing

The Rule of the Blessing is a very fragmentary text once thought to be part of the Dead Sea Scrolls book known as the Community Rule. It is added as one of two appendices (including the equally eschatological Rule of the Congregation) following the book of the Community Rule, on one of the first seven scrolls discovered at the Qumran site. The Rule of the Blessing includes three benedictions for use during the eschaton: one for the general assembly of the eschatological Tribe of Israel, which describes a sort of “living water” bringing them into a new covenant with God, one concerning the Sons of Zadok, priests chosen by God who will act “like angels” and lead Israel after the War. The third prayer is that for the messianic meal, to bless the “Prince,” or Davidic messiah, who has come to deliver Israel. These blessings are meant to praise the sect who inhabitted Qumran and its leaders, for the ultimate perfection had dawned, and they had been its harbingers. Similar prayers are found elsewhere in the scrolls, and some believe that this particular manuscript many be a collection of prayers for general, daily use.

Bibliography

*Phillip R. Davies, George J. Brooke and Phillip R. Callaway. "The Complete World of the Dead Sea Scrolls," London: Thames and Hudson, 2002.
*Michael O. Wise, Martin G. Abegg Jr., and Edward M. Cook. "The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation," San Francisco: HaperSanFrancisco, 2005.
*Lawrence H. Schiffman, The Eschatological Community of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Atlanta: Scholar’s Press, 1989.
*Lawrence H. Schiffman, “Rule of the Congregation.” The Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Ed. Lawrence H. Schiffman and James C. Vanderkam. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. 797-798.


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