THE HISTORICAL ESSENE DOCUMENT*
The History of the White Brotherhood on Earth and Its Teachings
I. And now listen, all you who know righteousness and under- stand the works of God. For He has a controversy with all flesh, and will execute judgment upon all who despise Him. For when those who forsook Him trespassed, He hid His face from Israel and from His sanctuary and gave them up to the sword; but when He remembered the covenant of the ancients, He left a remnant to Israel and did not give them up to destruction. And in the period of the wrath -- three hundred and ninety years, when He gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzer, king of Babylon -- He visited them and caused to sprout from Israel and Aaron a root of planting to inherit His land and to grow fat in the goodness of His soil. Then they perceived their iniquity and knew that they were guilty men; yet they were like men blind and groping for the way for twenty years. And God observed their works, that they sought Him with a perfect heart; and He raised up for them a teacher of righteousness to lead them in the way of His heart. And He made known to later generations what He did to a later generation, to a congregation of treacherous men, those who turned aside out of the way.
This was the time concerning which it was written, "Like a stubborn heifer, Israel was stubborn," when arose the man of scorn, who preached to Israel lying words and led them astray in a trackless wilderness, so that He brought low their iniquitous pride, so that they turned aside from the paths of righteousness and removed the landmark which the forefathers had fixed in their inheritance, so making the curses of His covenant cleave to them, delivering them to the sword that wreaks the vengeance of the covenant. For they sought smooth things, and chose illusions, and looked for breaches and chose the fair neck; and they justified the wicked and condemned the righteous, transgressed the covenant and violated the stature. And they banded together against the life of the righteous, and all who walked uprightly their soul abhorred, and they pursued them with the sword and exulted in the strife of the people. Then was kindled the wrath of God against their congregation, laying waste all their multitude; and their deeds were uncleanness before Him
II. And now listen to me, all you who have entered the covenant, and I will uncover your ears as to the ways of the wicked. God loves the knowledge of wisdom; and sound wisdom He has set before Him; prudence and knowledge minister to Him. Long-suffering is with Him and abundance of pardon to forgive those who turn from transgression, but power and might and great wrath with flames of fire by all the angels of destruction upon those who turn aside from the way and abhor the statute, so that they shall have no remnant or survival.
For God did not choose them from the beginning of the world, but before they were established He knew their works and abhorred their generation from of old, and He hid His face from the land and from His people until they were consumed; for He knew the years of abiding and the number and explanation of their periods for all who exist in the ages, and the things that come to pass even to what will come in their periods for all the years of eternity.
But in all of them He raised up for Himself men called by name, in order to leave a remnant to the land, and to fill the face of the world with their seed. And he caused them to know by His anointed, His Holy Spirit, and a revelation of truth and in the explanations of His name are their names. But those He hated He caused to go astray.
III. And now, my sons, listen to me, and I will uncover your eyes to see and understand the works of God, and to choose what He likes and reject what He hates; to walk perfectly in all His ways, and not to go about with thoughts of a guilty impulse and eyes of fornication, for many went astray in them, and mighty men of valor stumbled in them formerly and until now. In their walking in the rebelliousness of their hearts, the watchers of heaven fell in it; they were caught who did not keep the commandment of God; and their children, whose height was like the loftiness of the cedars, and whose bodies were like the mountains, fell thereby. Yea, all flesh that was on the dry land fell; yea, it perished; and they were as though they had not been, because they did their own will and did not keep the commandment of their Maker, until His anger was kindled against them.
IV. In it, the sons of Noah and their families went astray; in it they were cut off. Abraham did not walk in it, and he was accounted as God's friend because he kept the commandments of God and did not choose the will of his own spirit. And he passed on the commandment to Isaac and Jacob, and they kept it and were recorded as friends of God and possessors of the covenant forever.
The sons of Jacob went astray in them and were punished according to their error, and their sons in Egypt walked in the stubbornness of their hearts, taking counsel against the commandments of God and doing each what was right in his own eyes. They ate blood, and He cut off their males in the desert. And He said to them in Kadesh, "Go up and take possession of the land," but they hardened their spirit and did not listen to the voice of their Maker, the commandments of their Teacher, but murmured in their tents.
Then the anger of God was kindled against their congregation and their children perished by it, their kings were cut off by it, and their mighty men perished by it and their land was made desolate by it. By it the first that entered the covenant became guilty, and they were delivered to the sword because they forsook the covenant of God and chose their own will and went about after the stubbornness of their heart, each doing his own will.
V. But with those who held fast to the commandments of God, those who were left of them, God established His covenant for Israel to eternity, revealing to them hidden things in which all Israel had gone astray. His Holy Sabbaths and His glorious festivals, His righteous testimonies and His true ways, and the desires of His Will by which, if a man does them he shall live, He opened up before them. And they dug a well for many waters, and he who despises them shall not live. But they defiled themselves with the transgression of man, and in the ways of the unclean woman, and they said, "That is for us." But God in His wondrous mysteries forgave their iniquity and pardoned their transgression, and He built for them a sure house in Israel, the like of which has not existed from of old until now. Those who hold fast to it are for eternal life, and all the glory of man is theirs; as God established it for them by the prophet Ezekiel saying, "The priests and the Levites and the sons of Zadok, who kept the charge of my sanctuary when the sons of Israel went astray from me, they shall offer to me fat and blood."
VI. The priests are the captivity of Israel who went forth from the land of Judah, and the Levites are those who joined them, and the sons of Zadok are the Elect of Israel, those called by name, who will abide at the end of days. Behold the explanation of their names according to their generations, and the period of their abiding, and the number of their distresses and the years of their sojourning, and the explanation of their works, the first saints whom God forgave and Who justified the righteous and condemned the wicked.
All those who come after them must do according to the explanation of the law in which the forefathers were instructed until the completion of the period of these years. According to the covenant which God established with the forefathers to forgive their sins, so God will forgive them. And at the completion of the period to the number of these years they shall no more join themselves to the house of Judah, but every one must stand up on his watchtower. The wall has been built -- the decree is far away.
And during all these years, Belial will be let loose in Israel, as God spoke by the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz, saying, "Terror and the pit and the snare are upon you, O inhabitant of the land." This means the three nets of Belial of which Levi, the son of Jacob, spoke, in which he caught Israel and set them before them as three kinds of righteousness. The first is fornication; the second is wealth; the third is the pollution of the sanctuary. He who gets out of one will be caught in another.
VII. The builders of the wall who follow a precept -- the precept is a preacher because it says, "They will surely preach -- they will be caught in two nets; in fornication by taking two wives during their lifetimes, whereas the foundation of the creation is, "male and female He created them;" and those who went into the ark, "Two by two they went into the ark." And concerning the prince it is written, "He shall not multiply wives for himself."
But David did not read the sealed book of the law which was in the ark; for it was not opened in Israel from the day of the death of Eleazar and Joshua and the elders who served the Ashtaroth, but was hidden and not disclosed until Zadok arose. The deeds of David were overlooked, except the blood of Uriah, and God left them to him.
Moreover they defile the sanctuary because they do not separate according to the law, but lie with her who sees the blood of her issue. And they take each his brother's daughter or his sister's daughter; but Moses said, "You shall not approach your mother's sister; she is your mother's near kinswoman." And the ordinance of intercourse for males is written and like them for the women. And if the brother's daughter uncovers the nakedness of the brother or her father, she is a near kinswoman.
Moreover, they defiled their holy spirit, and with a tongue of blasphemies they opened the mouth against the statutes of God's covenant, saying, "They are not established." And abominations they speak concerning them. They "all kindle fire and set brands alight!" "The webs of spiders" are their webs, and "adders' eggs" are their eggs. He who is near them shall not be counted innocent; the more he does it, the more shall he be held guilty, unless he was forced.
But of old God punished their works, and His anger was kindled because of their doings. For "it is not a people of understanding;" "they are a nation void of counsel," because there is no understanding in them. For of old arose Moses and Aaron through the prince of lights, and Belial raised Jannes and his brother with his evil device, when Israel was delivered the first time.
VIII. In the period of the destruction of the land arose the removers of the landmark and led Israel astray. And the land became desolate because they spoke rebellion against the commandments of God by Moses, and also by the holy anointed ones; and they prophesied falsehood to turn away Israel from following God.
But God remembered the covenant of the forefathers and raised up from Aaron men of understanding, and from Israel wise men. And He made them listen, and they dug the well.
"A well which princes dug, which the nobles of the people delved with the staff." The well is the law, and those who dug it are the captivity of Israel, who went out from the land of Judah and sojourned in the land of Damascus, all of whom God called princes because they sought Him, and their glory was not rejected in the mouth of anyone. And the staff (or legislator) is he who studies the law, as Isaiah said, "He produces an instrument for His work." And the nobles of the people are those who come to dig the well with the staves (or rules) which the staff (or legislator) prescribed to walk in during the whole period of wickedness; and without them they shall not attain to the arising of him who will teach righteousness at the end of days.
And all who have been brought into the covenant not to come into the sanctuary to kindle fire on His altar in vain shall become those who shut the door, as God said, "Who among you will shut his door so that you will not kindle fire on my altar in vain?" -- unless they observe to do according to the explanation of the law for the period of wickedness; and to separate from the sons of the pit; and to keep away from the unclean wealth of wickedness acquired by vowing and devoting and by appropriating the wealth of the sanctuary; and not to rob the poor of his people, so that widows become their spoil and they murder the fatherless; and to make a separation between the unclean and the clean, and to make men know the difference between the holy and the common; and to keep the Sabbath day according to its explanation and the festivals and the day of the fast, according to the decision of those who entered the new covenant in the land of Damascus; to contribute their holy things according to their explanation; to love each his brother as himself; and to hold fast the hand of the poor and the needy and the proselyte; and to seek every one the peace of his brother; for a man shall not trespass against his next of kin; and to keep away from harlots according to the ordinance; to rebuke each his brother according to the commandment and not to bear a grudge from day to day; and to separate from all uncleanness according to their ordinances; for a man shall not make abominable his holy spirit, as God separated them.
For all who walk in these things in perfection of holiness according to all His teaching, God's covenant stands fast to make them live to a thousand generations. As it is written, "Who keeps covenant and steadfast love for Him and for those who keep His commandments to a thousand generations."
IX. And if they dwell in camps according to the order of the earth which was from of old, and take wives according to the guidance of the law and beget sons, they shall walk according to the law and according to the ordinances of the law, as it says, "Between a man and his wife and between a father and his son."
But all who reject it when God visits the land, the recompense of the wicked is to be rendered to them when the word comes to pass which is written in the words of the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz, who said, "He will bring upon you and upon your people and upon your father's house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah." But all who reject the commandments and the statutes, the recompense of the wicked is to be rendered to them when God visits the land, when the word comes to pass which was written by the prophet Zechariah, "O sword, awake against my shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered, and I will turn my hand against the little ones." Now "those who give heed to Him" are the poor of the flock.
When the two houses of Israel separated, Ephraim departed from Judah, and all who turned back were given over to the sword, but those who stood firm escaped to the land of the north, as it says, "And I will exile the sikkuth of your king and the kiyyun of your images from the tents of Damascus." The books of the law are the booth of the king, as it says, "And I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen." The king is the assembly; and the kiyyun of the images are the books of the prophets, whose words Israel despised; and the star is the interpreter of the law who came to Damascus, as it is written, "A star shall come forth out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel." The sceptre is the prince of the whole congregation. And when he arises, he "shall break down all the sons of Seth."
These escaped in the period of the first visitation, but those who turned back they delivered to the sword (when comes the Messiah of Aaron and Israel; as it was during the period of the first visitation, of which he spake by Ezekiel, "to set a mark upon the foreheads of those who sigh and groan," but the rest were delivered to "the sword that executes vengeance for the covenant.") And such shall be the judgment of all those who enter His covenant that do not hold fast to the oath, being visited for destruction through Belial. That is the day on which God will visit (as He has spoken).
The princes of Judah have become those (who remove the landmark; upon whom I will pour wrath like water), upon whom thou wilt pour wrath. For they will hope for healing, but all the rebellious will crush them, for they entered the covenant of repentance because they did not turn away from the way of the treacherous, but defiled themselves in the ways of harlots and in the wealth of wickedness and revenge and bearing a grudge, each against his brother, and hating each his neighbor; they hid themselves each against his near kin and drew near to unchastity, and behaved arrogantly for wealth and unjust gain; and they did each what was right in his own eyes, and chose each the stubbornness of his heart; and they did not separate from the people and their sin; and they cast off restraint with a high hand, walking in the way of the wicked, concerning whom God said, "Their wine is the poison of serpents and the cruel venom of asps." The serpents are the kings of the peoples, and their wine is their ways, and the venom of asps is the head of the kings of Greece, who comes to take vengeance upon them.
But all these things those who built the wall and daubed it with whitewash did not understand, for a raiser of wind and preacher of lies; one walking in wind and weighing storms and preaching to man for a lie; preached to them because the anger of God was kindled against all His congregations, and as Moses said, "Not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart are you going in to possess these nations, but because of His love for your fathers and because of His keeping the oath." And such is the judgment of the captivity of Israel; they turned aside from the way of the people.
In God's love for the forefathers, who stirred up after Him, who testified against the people after God, He loves those who came after them, for theirs is the covenant of the fathers. But in His hatred of the builders of the wall (but God hates and abhors the builders of the wall), His anger was kindled against them and against all who follow them.
And such is the judgment of every man who rejects the commandments of God and forsakes them; and they turn away in the stubbornness of their hearts. This is the word that Jeremiah spoke to Baruch the son of Neriah, and Elisha to his servant Gehazi. All the men who entered the new covenant in the land of Damascus, but turned back and acted treacherously and departed from the well of living water, shall not be reckoned in the company of the people, and in its book they shall not be written, from the day of the gathering in of the unique teacher until arises a Messiah from Aaron and from Israel. And such is the judgment for all who enter the congregation of the men of perfect holiness, and he abhors doing the precepts of upright men. He is the man who is melted in the furnace. When his deeds become known, he shall be expelled from the congregation as one whose lot has not fallen among those who are taught of God. According to his trespass the men of knowledge shall rebuke him until the day when he comes back to stand in the meeting of the men of perfect holiness. And when his deeds become known, according to the interpretation of the law in which the men of perfect holiness walk, no man shall agree with him in wealth and service for all the holy ones of the most High have cursed him.
And such shall be the judgment of every one who rejects the former ones and the latter ones; those who have taken idols into their hearts and walked in the stubbornness of their hearts. They have no share in the house of the law. According to the judgment of their fellows who turned back with the men of scorn shall they be judged, for they spoke error against the statutes of righteousness and rejected the firm covenant which they had established in the land of Damascus, that is, the new covenant. And neither they nor their families shall have a share in the house of the law.
From the day of the gathering in of the unique teacher until the annihilation of all the men of war who returned with the man of the lie, will be about forty years; and in that period will be kindled the anger of God against Israel, as it says, "There is no king and no prince and no judge, and none who rebuke in righteousness." Those who repented of the transgressions of Jacob have kept the covenant of God.
Then each will speak to his neighbor to strengthen one another, that their steps may hold fast to the way of God; and God will listen to their words and hear, and a book of remembrance will be written before Him for those who fear God and think of His name, until salvation and righteousness are revealed for those who fear God. Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him who serves God and him who does not serve Him. And He will show kindness to thousands, to those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousand generations, after the manner of the house of Peleg, who went out from the holy city and leaned upon God during the period when Israel transgressed and polluted the sanctuary; but they turned to God. And He smote the people with few words. All of them, each according to his spirit, shall be judged in the holy council. And all who have broken through the boundary of law, of those who entered the covenant, at the appearing of the glory of God to Israel shall be cut off from the midst of the camp, and with them all who condemn Judah in the days of its trials.
But all who hold fast to these ordinances, going out and coming in according to the law, and who listen to the voice of a teacher and confess before God, "We have sinned, we have done wickedly, both we and our fathers, in walking contrary to the statutes of the covenant; right and true are Thy judgments against us." All who do not lift a hand against His holy statutes and his righteous judgments and His true testimonies; who are instructed in the former judgments with which the men of the community were judged; who give ear to the voice of a teacher of righteousness and do not reject the statutes of righteousness when they hear them -- they shall rejoice and be glad, for their hearts shall be strong, and they shall prevail over all the sons of the world; and God will forgive them and they shall see His salvation because they have taken refuge in His holy name.
X. Any man who dedicates anything which is the property of the camp, according to the statutes of the Gentiles he must be put to death: And as for what it says, "You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people," and any man of those who enter the covenant who brings a charge against his neighbor without having rebuked him before witnesses, and brings it in the heat of his anger, and tells his elders in order to bring him into contempt, he is an avenger and grudge-bearer; but nothing is written except, "he takes vengeance on his adversaries and bears a grudge against his enemies." If he kept silence about him from day to day, but in the heat of his anger against him spoke against him concerning a capital offense, he has wronged him because he did not confirm the commandment of God Who said to him, "You shall reprove your neighbor, lest you bear sin because of him."
Concerning the oath: as it says, "Let not your own hand deliver you," if a man makes one take an oath in the open field, not in the presence of the judges or at their command, his own hand has delivered him.
When anything is lost and it is not known who stole it from the property of the camp in which it was stolen, one shall make its owners take the oath of the curse, and he who hears, if he knows and does not tell, shall be guilty.
When any restitution for guilt is made of something which has no owners, he who makes restitution shall confess to the priest, and it shall all go to him, in addition to the ram of the guilt-offering. And so everything lost which is found and has no owner shall go to the priests, because he who found it does not know the right of it. If no owners are found for it, they shall keep it.
When a man trespasses in any matter against the law, and his neighbor sees it and he is alone; if it is a capital offense, he shall tell it in his presence with an accusation to the superintendent, and the superintendent shall write it down with his own hand, until he does it again before one witness; then he shall return and make it known to the superintendent. If he is caught again before one witness, the case against him is complete. But if there are two and they testify concerning one offense (or, but they testify concerning a different offense), the man shall be separated from the sacred food by himself, if they are trustworthy, and on the day that they see the man they shall tell it to the superintendent.
And concerning the statute: They shall accept two trustworthy witnesses; and concerning one offense, to separate the sacred food. And there shall not be accepted a witness by the judges to have a man put to death on his testimony, whose days have not been fulfilled so as to pass over to those who are numbered, one who fears God. No man shall be believed against his neighbor as a witness who transgresses a word of the commandment with a high hand, until he is cleansed so that he can return.
We see here in this section of their regulations, the judgment placed upon a person for an infraction of one of their regulations. Whereas in our Order today, a person is given a chance for restitution, but as follows a commandment given by our Lord Jesus Christ, which stated to Peter when asked how many times should we forgive a person, the Master replied, "seventy times seven."
When a person is given a period of restitution, it is not for the purpose of punishing him for his actions, but a spiritual exercise by which this person may work out of his personality that trait which caused him to perform his negative actions.
And this is the order for the judges of the congregation: There shall be as many as ten men chosen by the congregation according to the time, four of the tribe of Levi and Aaron, and six from Israel, instructed in the book of hgw, and in the
In their school, the requirements for one to be a judge or superintendent was based on the person's knowledge of their teachings, how well they lived in accordance with those teachings, and if they were between the ages of 25 and 60 years old. Whereas in our Order, to reach the place of judgment (which would be a priest) has its emphasis on spiritual functioning. While it is necessary for one to have a thorough knowledge of the scriptures, this by itself does in no way meet the requirements for being a priest. It is just as important, if not more so, that the person has good use of the Self and is able to get answers readily and easily, at all times.
XII. Concerning purification with water: Let not a man wash in water that is filthy or not enough for covering a man. Let him not purify in it any vessel. And any pool in a rock in which there is not enough covering, which an unclean person has touched, its water is unclean like the water of a vessel.
This section shows to what extent their rigid discipline reached. Whereas in our Order we do not have many rules for one to follow, but give each member the privilege of self- discipline. That they of their own accord keep their appearance neat and clean, out of love of God and His Creation, and not because of a rule which follows our striving which we seek to be, as is pointed out in the Prayer of the Brothers:
XIII. Concerning the Sabbath, to observe it according to its ordinance: Let not a man do work on the sixth day from the time when the sun's disk is its full width away from the gate, for that is what it says: "Observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy." And on the sabbath day let not a man utter anything foolish or trifling. Let him not lend anything to his neighbor. Let him not shed blood over wealth and gain. Let him not speak of matters of work and labor to be done on the morrow. Let not a man walk in the field to do the work of his business on the Sabbath. Let him not walk out of his city more than a thousand cubits. Let not a man eat on the Sabbath day anything but what is prepared. And of what is perishing in the field let him not eat. And let him not drink anything except what is in the camp. If he is on the way and is going down to battle, let him drink where he stands, but let him not draw water into any vessel. Let him not send the son of a foreigner to do his business on the Sabbath day. Let not a man put on garments that are filthy or that were put in storage unless they have been washed in water or rubbed with frankincense. Let not a man go hungry of his own accord on the Sabbath. Let not a man walk after an animal to pasture it outside of his city more than two thousand cubits. Let him not lift his hand to strike it with his fist. If it is stubborn, let him not take it out of his house. Let not a man take anything from the house out-of-doors, or from out-of-doors into the house, and if he is in a booth, let him not take anything out of it or bring anything into it. Let him not open a sealed vessel on the Sabbath. Let not a man take on him ointments to go out and come in on the Sabbath. Let him not live in his dwelling house of rock or earth. Let not the nurse take up the suckling child to go out and come in on the Sabbath. Let not a man provoke his male or female slave or his hired servant on the Sabbath. Let not a man help an animal to give birth on the Sabbath, and if she lets her young fall into a cistern or a ditch, let him not raise it on the Sabbath. Let not a man profane the Sabbath for the sake of wealth or gain on the Sabbath. And if any person falls into a place of water, or into a place, let not a man come up by a ladder or rope or instrument. Let not a man bring anything to the altar on the Sabbath except the burnt offering of the Sabbath, for thus it is written, "besides your Sabbaths."
As is stated in this section, not only were they not allowed to do any form of work on the Sabbath day, but they were not allowed more than a thousand cubits outside of the community. While here in our Order, for life-vowed students, they have no restrictions on the Sabbath day, and we also do not perform any form of material work on the Sabbath but that which is necessary for the upkeep and running of our centers. But we do help our brother man in his needs, whatever they may be on the Sabbath, and do perform our spiritual responsibilities and duties on the Sabbath.
XIV. Let not a man send to the altar burnt offering or meal offering or frankincense of wood by the hand of a man who is unclean with any of the uncleannesses, allowing him to make the altar unclean; for it is written, "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, but the prayer of the righteous is like an acceptable offering." And when anyone enters the house of worship, let him not enter while unclean, requiring washing. And when the trumpets of assembly sound, let him act before or afterward, or so that they shall not stop the whole service on the Sabbath; it is holy. Let not a man lie with a woman in the city of the sanctuary making unclean the city of the sanctuary with their impurity.
Any man in whom the spirits of Belial rule and who speaks rebellion, shall be judged according to the judgment of the medium and wizard. And every one who goes astray so that he profanes the Sabbath and the feasts shall not be put to death, but the sons of man shall be responsible for taking charge of him; and if he is healed of it, they shall have charge of him seven years, and after that he shall come into the assembly.
Let no one stretch out his hand to shed the blood of a man of the Gentiles on account of wealth and gain; moreover, let him not take any of their wealth, lest they blaspheme, unless it is by the counsel of the society of Israel. Let not a man sell animals or birds that are clean to the Gentiles, lest they sacrifice them. And from his threshing-floor or his winepress let him not sell them his male or female slave who entered with him into the covenant of Abraham.
Let not a man make himself abominable with any living creature or creeping thing by eating of them, or the larvae of bees or to any living creature that creeps in the water. And let not fish be eaten unless they have been slit alive and their blood has been poured out. And all the locusts according to their kinds shall be put into fire or into water, while they are still alive, for this is the law of their creation. And all wood and stones and dust which are polluted by the uncleanness of men shall be considered like them as polluting: according to their uncleanness he who touches them shall be unclean. And every instrument, nail or peg in the wall, which is with the dead in the house shall be unclean with the uncleanness of an implement for work.
As they could not enter the chapel if they were not clean of body and clothing, and had to be present for all worship before time for them to begin, we likewise in our Order do this too.
Again, not because of a rule, but out of our respect for its holiness.
XV. The order of the session of the cities of Israel: according to these ordinances, separation is to be made between the unclean and the clean, and the difference between the holy and the common is to be made known. And these are the statutes for the wise man, that he may walk in them with every living being according to the law of one time and another. And, according to this ordinance the seed of Israel shall walk, and they shall not be cursed.
And this is the order of the session of the camps. Those who walk in these ways during the period of wickedness, until arises the Messiah of Aaron and Israel, must be as many as ten men at least, by thousands and hundreds and fifties and tens. And in places having ten there shall not be absent a priest learned in the book of hgw. According to his word shall they all be ruled. And if he is not qualified in all these ways, the decision to go out or come in for all who enter the camp shall be made according to his direction. And if there is a judgment against a man concerning the law of disease, then the priest shall come and stand in camp, and the superintendent shall instruct him in the explanation of the law. And if he is simple, he shall lock him up; for theirs is the judgment.
As it shows here in the Essene community, one who is seeking entry or one who is leaving, these decisions were left up to the priests in charge of the particular group. While here in our Order, all those seeking entry either appear in person or send an application to the Esoteric Council of the Order for approval or disapproval. And those wishing to leave also send their request to the Esoteric Council, that all have a good, fair judgment, according to their own action.
XVI. And this is the order for the superintendent of the camp: He shall instruct the many in the works of God and make them understand His wondrous mighty acts; and he shall recount before them the things that have been done of old in their divisions. And he shall have mercy on them as a father on his sons, and shall bring back all their erring ones as a shepherd does with his flock. He shall loose all the ties that bind them, so that there shall be none oppressed and crushed in his congregation. And everyone who is added to his congregation he shall examine him as to his works, his understanding, his strength, his might, and his wealth. And they shall register him in his place according to his being in the lot of the truth. No man of the sons of the camp shall have authority to bring a man into the congregation without the word of the superintendent of the camp. And no man of all those who enter the covenant of God shall do business with the sons of the pit, except hand to hand. And no man shall make an agreement for buying and selling, unless he has told the superintendent who is in the camp.
For all who walk in these ways, the covenant of God stands fast, to rescue them from all snares of the pit; for the simple go on and are punished.
As is shown here, the responsibilities for the superintendent for the camp to instruct all those of the camp and fulfilling of his spiritual responsibilities, so too it is in our Order today. The Reverend Father of each house has the responsibility of teaching those in his house the teachings of Jesus Christ, as Jesus Christ gave them. That as St. Paul said: If you know the truth, the truth shall make you free.
XVII. And this is the order of the session of all the camps. They shall all be enrolled by their names; the priests first, the
Levites second, the sons of Israel third and the proselyte fourth. And so they shall sit, and so they shall ask concerning everything. And the priest who is appointed at the head of the many shall be from thirty to sixty years old, instructed in the book of hgw and in all the ordinances of the law, so as to speak them rightly. And the superintendent who is over all the camps shall be from thirty years old to fifty years old, proficient in every secret counsel of men and in every tongue, according to their number. According to his direction, those who enter the congregation shall enter, each in his turn. And any word which any man has to speak, he shall speak to the superintendent concerning any controversy and decision.
As all camps in their community had a roster of all in it, so likewise we require a roster of all students in each of our stations and centers. And as they required that the superintendent, who is over all the camps, to be thirty years to fifty years old and proficient in every counsel of men, we have a similar arrangement with our Apostleships. Although those who are Apostles do not have to be of any certain age, they do have to be Master Teachers, which means they would be proficient in every secret counsel of men.
XVIII. And this is the order of the many for settling all their affairs: The wages of two days for every month at least -- and they shall put it into the hand of the superintendent, and the judges shall give from it for orphans, and from it they shall support the poor and needy, and for the aged man who dies and for the wanderer, and for him who goes into captivity to a foreign people, and for the virgin who has no redeemer, and for the slave whom nobody seeks any work of the association.
As it was required that they turn in at least the wages of two days of every month which went for charity, here in our Order we turn in all our wages which will help the community and also will be the propagation of the work of Jesus Christ and the Word.
XIX. He shall not swear either by aleph and lamed or by aleph and daleth.
If he swears and transgresses, he profanes the Name. And if by the curses of the covenant he has sworn before the judges, and has transgressed, he is guilty; and he shall confess and make restitution, that he may not bear sin and die. The sons of those who enter the covenant for all Israel, for an eternal decree, when they attain to passing into the number of those enrolled, shall be obligated by the oath of the covenant.
And such is the ordinancy during the whole period of wickedness for everyone who turns from his corrupt way. On the day that he speaks with the superintendent of the many, they shall enroll him with the oath of the covenant which Moses made with Israel, the covenant to return to the law of Moses with the whole heart and with the whole soul, to what one finds to do during the whole period of wickedness. But no man shall tell him the ordinances until he stands before the superintendent, lest he prove simple when he examines him.
Therefore, the man shall obligate himself to return to the law of Moses, for in it everything is specified.
As they were not allowed to swear, and those who joined the Essene community had to obligate themselves to return to the law of Moses, so also in our Order. As our Lord Jesus Christ said, swear not at all, and all those who come into the Order take the five vows and follow our Lord Jesus Christ.
XX. The explanation of their periods, for the blindness of Israel to all these, is specified in the Book of the Divisions of the Times according to their Jubilees and Their Weeks. And on the day that the man obligates himself to return to the law of Moses, the angel of enmity will depart from behind him if he makes good his words. Therefore Abraham was circumcised on the day that he received knowledge. And as for what it says, "What has passed your lips you shall keep," to perform it; no binding oath which a man takes upon himself to do anything according to the law, shall he redeem even at the cost of death. If a man takes anything upon himself contrary to the law, let him not -- even at the cost of death -- perform it. As for any oath of a woman of which it says, "Her husband must annul her oath," let not a man annul an oath of which he does not know whether it should be confirmed or annulled. If it is to transgress the covenant, he shall annul it and not confirm it. And such is the ordinance for her father. Concerning the law of the free-will offerings, a man shall not vow for the altar anything taken by force.