An Excerpt from Damascus Document found at Qumran (Early First Century CE)

Zadok who maintained the service of my temple when the children of Israel strayed far away from me; they shall offer me the fat and the blood». [Blank] The priests are the converts of Israel who left the land of Judah; and «the levites are» those who joined them; [Blank] and the sons of Zadok are the chosen of Israel, the men of renown, who stand (to serve) at the end of days… According to the covenant which God established with the forefathers, in order to atone for their iniquities, so will God atone for them. But when the period corresponding to the number of these years is complete, there will no longer be any joining with the house of Judah but rather each one standing up on his watchtower. The wall is built, the boundary far away. And during all these years Belial will be set loose against Israel, as God has said by means of the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, saying: Isa 24:17 «Panic, pit and net against you, earth-dweller».

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[Blank] Its explanation: They are Belial’s three nets about which Levi, son of Jacob spoke, by which he catches Israel and makes them appear before them like three types of justice. The first is fornication; the second, wealth; the third, defilement of the temple. He who eludes one is caught in another and he who is freed from that is caught in another. [Blank]The builders of the wall who go after Zaw—Zaw is the preacher of whom he said: Mic 2:6 «Assuredly they will preach»—are caught twice in fornication: by taking two wives in their lives, even though the principle of creation is Gen 1:27 «male and female he created them»… (Damascus Document, Martinez Translation – CD, Col 4/ 6Q151)

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  1. So is this saying that the sons of Zadok, were the early priests in the land, and the Levite’s, came in as priestly class, after the Exodus?
    Then following, the part about Belial, his three nets, is this simply a warning on purity, carnality?
    Or is there a deeper intimation?


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Anna Gromova
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