THE MANUAL OF DISCIPLINE

with Comments

The History of the White Brotherhood on Earth and Its Teachings

Chapter 10

 

I. Entering the Covenant

. . . The order of the community; to seek God . . .: to do what is good and upright before Him as He commanded through Moses and through all His servants, the prophets; to love all that He has chosen and hate all that He has rejected; to be far from all evil and cleave to all good works; to do truth and righteousness and justice in the land; to walk no longer in the stubbornness of a guilty heart and eyes of fornication, doing all evil; to bring all those who have offered themselves to do God's statutes into a covenant of steadfast love; to be united in the counsel of God and to walk before Him perfectly with regard to all the things that have been revealed for the appointed times of their testimonies; to love all the sons of light, each according to his lot in the counsel of God, and to hate all the sons of darkness, each according to his guilt in vengeance of God.

And all who have offered themselves for His truth shall bring all their knowledge and strength and wealth into the community of God, to purify their knowledge in the truth of God's statutes, and to distribute their strength according to the perfection of His ways and all their poverty according to His righteous counsel; not to transgress in any one of all the words of God in their periods; not to advance their times or postpone any of their appointed festivals; not to turn aside from His true statutes, going to the right or to the left.

And all who come into the order of the community shall pass over into the covenant before God to do according to all that He has commanded, and not to turn away from following Him because of any dread or terror or trial or fright in the dominion of Belial. And when they pass into the covenant, the priests and the Levites shall bless the God of salvation and all His words of truth; and all those who are passing into the covenant shall say after them, "Amen! Amen!"

The priests shall recount the righteous acts of God in His mighty works and tell all the acts of steadfast love and mercy upon Israel; and the Levites shall recount the iniquities of the sons of Israel and all their guilty transgressions and sin in the dominion of Belial. Then all those who are passing into the covenant shall confess after them, saying, "We have committed iniquity, we have transgressed, we have sinned, we have done evil, we and our fathers before us, in walking contrary to the statutes of truth; but righteous is God and sure His judgment on us and on our fathers; and the mercy of His steadfast love He has bestowed upon us from everlasting to everlasting."

Then the priest shall bless all the men of God's lot who walk perfectly in all His ways, and shall say: "May He bless you with all good and keep you from all evil; may He enlighten your heart with life-giving prudence and be gracious to you with eternal knowledge; may He lift up His loving countenance to you for eternal peace." And the Levites shall curse all the men of Belial's lot and shall answer and say: "Accursed may you be in all your wicked, guilty works; may God make you a horror through all those that wreak vengeance and send after you destruction through all those that pay recompense; accursed may you be without mercy according to the darkness of your works, and may you suffer wrath in the deep darkness of eternal fire. May God not be gracious to you when you call, and may He not pardon, forgiving your iniquities; may He left up His angry countenance for vengeance upon you, and may there be no peace for you at the mouth of all those that hold enmity!" And all who are passing over into the covenant shall say after those who bless and those who curse, "Amen! Amen!"

And the priests and Levites shall continue and say: "Accursed for passing over with the idols of his heart may he be who comes into this covenant and sets the stumbling block of his iniquity before him, turning back with it and when he hears the words of this covenant, blesses himself in his heart, saying, "May I have peace, because I walk in the stubbornness of my heart!" But his spirit will be swept away, and the thirsty together with the sated, without pardon. The wrath of God and the jealousy of His judgments will burn in him to eternal destruction; and all the curses of this covenant will cleave to him; and God will set him apart for evil; and he will be cut off from the midst of all the sons of light, when he turns away from following God with his idols and the stumbling-block of his iniquity. He will put his lot in the midst of those accursed forever. And all who are coming into the covenant shall answer and say after them, "Amen! Amen!"

So shall they do year by year all the days of the dominion of Belial. The priests shall pass over first in order, according to their spirits, one after another; and the Levites shall pass over after them, and all the people shall pass over third in order, one after another, by thousands and hundreds and fifties and tens, so that every man of Israel may know his appointed position in the community of God for the eternal council. And none shall be abased below his appointed position or exalted above his allotted place; for they shall all be in true community and good humility and loyal love and righteous thought, each for his fellow in the holy council, and they shall be sons of the eternal assembly.

Everyone who refuses to enter God's covenant, walking in the stubbornness of his heart shall not attain to his true community. For his soul has abhorred the discipline of knowledge, the judgments of righteousness he has not confirmed because of his apostasies; and with the upright he will not be reckoned. His knowledge and his strength and his wealth shall not come into the council of community, because in the traffic of wickedness in his devising, and there is pollution in his plans. He will not be justified while giving free reign to the stubbornness of his heart. In darkness he looks at the ways of light, and with the perfect he will not be reckoned. He will not be purified by atonement offerings, and he will not be made clean with the water for washing. Unclean, unclean he will be all the days that he rejects the ordinances of God, not being instructed in the community of his counsel.

But, in a spirit of true counsel for the ways of a man all his iniquities will be atoned, so that he will look at the light of life, and in a holy spirit he will be united in his truth; and he will be cleansed from all his iniquities; and in an upright and humble spirit his sin will be atoned, and in the submission of his soul to all the statutes of God his flesh will be cleansed, that he may be sprinkled with water for impurity and sanctify himself with water of cleanness. And he will establish his steps, to walk perfectly in all the ways of God, as He commanded for the appointed times of His testimonies, and not to turn aside to right or left, and not to transgress against one of all His words. Then he will be accepted by pleasing atonements before God; and this will be before him a covenant of eternal community.

 

II. The Two Spirits in Man

The instructor's duty is to make all the sons of light understand and to teach them in the history of all the sons of man as to all their kinds of spirits with their signs, as to their works in their generations, and as to the visitation of their afflictions together with the periods of their recompense. From the God of knowledge is all that is and that is to be; and before they came into being for their testimony according to His glorious design, they fulfilled their work; and nothing is to be changed. In his hand are the ordinances of all; and he provides for them in all their affairs.

He created man to have dominion over the world and made for him two spirits, that he might walk by them until the appointed time of his visitation; they are the spirits of truth and of error. In the abode of light are the origins of truth, and from the source of darkness are the origins of error. In the hand of the prince of lights is dominion over all the sons of righteous- ness; in the ways of light they walk. And in the hand of the angel of darkness is all dominion over the sons of error; and in the ways of darkness they walk. And by the angel of darkness is the straying of all the sons of righteousness, and all their sin and their iniquities and their guilt, and the transgressions of their works in his dominion according to the mysteries of God, until his time, and all their afflictions and the appointed times of their distress in the dominion of his enmity. And all the spirits of his lot try to make the sons of light stumble; but the God of Israel and His angel of truth have helped all the sons of light. For He created the spirits of light and of darkness, and upon them He founded every work and upon their ways every service. One of the spirits God loves for all the ages of eternity and with all its deeds He is pleased forever; as for the other, He abhors its company, and all its ways He hates forever.

And these are their ways in the world: to shine in the heart of man and to make straight before him all the ways of true righteousness, and to make his heart be in dread of the judgments of God, and to induce a spirit of humility, and slowness to anger, and great compassion, and eternal goodness, and understanding and insight, and mighty wisdom, which is supported by all the works of God and leans upon the abundance of His steadfast love, and a spirit of knowledge in every thought or action, and zeal for righteous judgments, and holy thought with sustained purpose, and abundance of steadfast love for all the sons of truth, and glorious purity, abhorring all unclean idols, and walking humbly with prudence in all things, and concealing the truth of the mysteries of knowledge.

These are the counsels of the Spirit for the sons of the truth of the world and the visitation of all who walk by it, for healing and abundance of peace in length of days, and bringing forth seed, with all eternal blessings and everlasting joy in the life of eternity, and a crown of glory with raiment of majesty in everlasting light.

But to the spirit of error belong greediness, slackness of hands in the service of righteousness, wickedness and falsehood, pride and haughtiness, lying and deceit, cruelty and great impiety, quickness to anger and abundance of folly and proud jealousy, abominable works in a spirit of fornication and ways of defilement in the service of uncleanness, and a blasphemous tongue, blindness of eyes and dullness of ears, stiffness of neck and hardness of heart, walking in all the ways of darkness and evil cunning. And the visitation of all who walk by it is for abundance of afflictions by all destroying disgrace in the fire of dark places. And all their periods to their generations will be in sorrowful mourning and bitter calamity, in dark disasters until they are destroyed, having no remnant or any that escape.

In these two spirits are the origins of all the sons of man, and in their divisions all the hosts of men have their inheritance in their generations. In the ways of the two spirits men walk. And all the performance of their works is in their two divisions, according to each man's inheritance, whether much or little, for all the periods of eternity. For God has established the two spirits in equal measure until the last period, and has put eternal enmity between their divisions. An abomination to truth are deeds of error, and an abomination to error are all the ways to truth. And contentious jealousy is on all their judgments, for they do not walk together.

But God in the mysteries of His understanding and in His glorious wisdom, has ordained a period for the ruin of error, and in the appointed time of punishment. He will destroy it forever. And then shall come out forever the truth of the world, for it was wallowed in the ways of wickedness in the dominion of error until the appointed time of judgment which has been decreed. And then God will refine in His truth all the deeds of a man, and will purify for Himself the frame of man, consuming every spirit of error hidden in his flesh, and cleansing him with a holy spirit from all wicked deeds. And He will sprinkle upon him a spirit of truth, like water for impurity, from all abominations of falsehood and wallowing in a spirit of impurity, to make the upright perceive the knowledge of the Most High and the wisdom of the sons of heaven, to instruct those whose conduct is blameless. For God has chosen them for an eternal covenant and theirs is all the glory of man; and there shall be no error, to the shame of all works of deceit.

Thus far the spirits of truth and of error struggle in the heart of a man; they walk in wisdom and folly; and according to each man's inheritance in truth he does right, and so he hates error; but according to his possession in the lot of error he does wickedly in it, and so he abhors truth. For in equal measure God has established the two spirits until the period which has been decreed and the making new; and He knows the performance of their works for all the periods of eternity. And He causes the sons of men to inherit them, that they may know good and evil, making the lots fall for every living man according to his spirit in the world, until the time of visitation.

 

III. Rules of the Order

And this is the order for the men of the community who have offered themselves to turn from all evil and to lay hold of all that He commanded according to His will, to be separated from the congregation of the men of error, to become a community in law and in wealth, answering when asked by the sons of Zadok, the priests who keep the covenant, and when asked by the majority of the men of the community who lay hold of the covenant. At their direction, the regulation of the lot shall be decided for every case regarding law, wealth, or justice, to practice truth, unity, and humility, righteousness and justice and loyal love and to walk humbly in all their ways, that each may not walk in the rebelliousness of his heart or go astray after his heart and his eyes and the thought of his guilty impulse; to circumcise in unity the uncircumcision of impulse and the stiff neck, to lay a foundation of truth for Israel for the community of an eternal covenant, to atone for all who offer themselves for holiness in Aaron and for a house of truth in Israel, for those who joined with them for community and for controversy and for judgment, to condemn all who transgress the statute.

And as for these, this is the regulation of their ways concerning all these ordinances. When they are gathered together, every one who comes into the council of the community shall enter into the covenant of God in the sight of all who have offered themselves; and he shall take it upon himself by a binding oath to turn to the law of Moses, according to all that He commanded, with all his heart and soul, to all that is revealed of it to the sons of Zadok, the priests who keep the covenant and who seek His will, and to the majority of the men of their covenant, who have offered themselves together to His truth and to walking in His good will; and that he will take it upon himself in the covenant to be separated from all the men of error who walk in the way of wickedness. For these are not reckoned in His covenant, for they have not sought or searched for Him in His statutes, to know the hidden things in which they have gone astray, incurring guilt, and the things revealed which they have done with a high hand, arousing anger leading to judgment and the wreaking of vengeance by the curses of the covenant, bringing upon themselves great judgments to eternal destruction without remnant.

They shall not enter the water in order to touch the sacred food of the holy men, for they will not be cleansed unless they have turned from their evil. For there is something unclean in all who transgress His word. And he shall not be united with Him in his work and in his wealth, lest he bring upon him guilty transgression, but shall keep far from him in everything, for thus it is written: "From everything false you shall keep far." And no man of the men of the community shall answer when asked by them regarding any law or ordinance. And he shall not eat or drink anything from their wealth, and shall not take from their hand anything at all except for a price, as it is written: "Cease from man, whose breath is in his nostrils, for of what worth is he reckoned?" For all who are not reckoned in His covenant are to be separated with all that is theirs: and a holy man shall not lean upon any works of vanity; for vain are all those who do not know His covenant, and all those who despise His word He will destroy from the world, and all their works are but impurity before Him; and there is something unclean in all their wealth.

When he enters the covenant to do according to all these statutes, to be united for a holy congregation, they shall investigate his spirit in the community between a man and his neighbor, according to his understanding and his works in the law, as directed by the sons of Aaron, who have offered themselves in unity to establish His covenant and to have charge of all His statutes which He commanded men to do, and as directed by the majority of Israel, who have offered themselves to turn in unity to His covenant. They shall be registered in order, each before his neighbor, according to his understanding and his works, so that every one of them shall obey his neighbor, the lesser obeying the greater; and so that they shall have an investigation of their spirits and their works year by year, so as to elevate each one according to his understanding and the perfection of his way or put him back according to his perversions, so that each one may reprove his neighbor in truth and humility and loyal love for each one.

One shall not speak to his brother in anger or in resentment, or with a stiff neck or a hard heart or a wicked spirit; one shall not hate him in the folly of his heart. In his days he shall reprove him and shall not bring upon him iniquity; and also a man shall not bring against his neighbor a word before the masters without having rebuked him before witnesses.

In these ways they shall walk in all their dwellings, every living man, each with his neighbor. The lesser shall obey the greater with regard to wages and property . . . Together they shall eat and together they shall worship, and together they shall counsel.

In every place where there are ten men of the council of the community, there shall not be absent from them a priest. Each according to his position, they shall sit before him; and thus they shall be asked for their counsel regarding everything. And when they set the table to eat, or the wine to drink, the priest shall stretch out his hand first to pronounce a blessing with the first portion of the bread and the wine. And from the place where the ten are there shall never be absent a man who searches the law day and night, by turns, one after another. And the masters shall keep watch together a third of all the nights of the year, reading the book and searching for justice and worshipping together.

This is the order for the session of the masters, each in his position. The priests be seated first and the elders second; then all the rest of the people shall be seated, each in his position. And thus they shall be asked concerning justice and every council and matter which comes to the masters, so that each may render his opinion to the council of the community. A man shall not speak in the midst of his neighbor's words, before his brother finishes speaking. And further, he shall not speak before his position which is written before him. The man who is asked shall speak in his turn; and in the session of the masters a man shall not speak a word which is not to the liking of the masters. And when the man who is the superintendent over the masters -- or any man who has a word to speak to the masters, but who is not in the position of the one asking the community's counsel -- the man shall stand on his feet and say, "I have a word to speak to the masters." If they tell him, he shall speak.

Everyone who has offered himself from Israel to be added to the council of the community shall be examined by the man appointed at the head of the masters as to his understanding and his works. If he comprehends instruction, he shall bring him into the covenant, to turn to the truth and to turn away from all error; and he shall explain to him all the ordinances of the community. Then later, when he comes in to stand before the masters, they shall all be questioned about his affairs; and as the lot determines according to the counsel of the masters, he shall be admitted or depart. On being admitted to the council of the community, he shall not touch the sacred food of the masters until they examine him as to his spirit and his deeds when he has completed a whole year; moreover, he shall not participate in the wealth of the masters.

The new member shall not touch the sacred drink of the masters until he has completed a second year among the men of the community; but when he has completed a second year, he shall be examined with questioning by the masters. If the lot determines that he is to be admitted to the community, he shall be registered in the order of his position among his brethren, for law and for judgment and for the sacred food and for the sharing of his property, and the community shall have his counsel and his judgment.

These are the ordinances by which they shall judge when investigating together concerning cases. If there is found among them a man who lies about his wealth, and knows it, he shall be excluded from the sacred food of the masters for a year and shall be deprived of a fourth of his food ration. One who answers his neighbor with a stiff neck or speaks with impatience, breaking the foundation of his fellowship by disobeying his neighbor who is registered before him, his own hand has delivered him; therefore he shall be punished for a year. Any man who mentions anything by the Name which is honored above all shall be set apart. If one has cursed, either when frightened by trouble or for any reason he may have, while he is reading the book or pronouncing a blessing, he shall be set apart and shall not return again to the council of the community. If he spoke in wrath against one of the priests registered in the book, he shall be punished for a year and set apart by himself from the sacred food of the masters. But if he spoke unintentionally, he shall be punished six months.

One who lies about what he knows shall be punished six months. A man who without justification knowingly denounces his neighbor, shall be punished for a year and set apart. One who speaks craftily with his neighbors or knowingly perpetrates a fraud, shall be punished six months. If he commits a fraud against his neighbor, he shall be punished three months; if he commits a fraud against the wealth of the community, causing its loss, he shall repay it in full. If he is not able to pay it, he shall be punished sixty days.

One who bears a grudge against his neighbor without justification shall be punished six months (inserted above this line: a year); so also he who takes vengeance for himself for anything. One who speaks with his mouth the word of a fool shall be punished three months. For one who speaks while his neighbor is speaking, the punishment shall be ten days. One who lies down and goes to sleep during a session of the masters, thirty days. So also a man who leaves during a session of the masters unadvisedly and without cause as many as three times at one session, shall be punished ten days; but if they object and he leaves, he shall be punished thirty days.

One who walks before his neighbor naked when he does not have to do so, shall be punished six months. A man who spits into the midst of the session of the masters shall be punished thirty days. One who brings his hand out from beneath his robe when it is torn, so that his nakedness is seen, shall be punished thirty days. One who laughs foolishly, making his voice heard, shall be punished thirty days. One who brings out his left hand to gesticulate with it shall be punished ten days.

A man who gossips about his neighbor shall be separated for a year from the sacred food of the masters, and he shall be punished; and a man who gossips about the masters is to be dismissed from among them and shall not come back again. A man who murmurs against the institution of the community shall be dismissed and shall not come back; but if he murmurs against his neighbor without justification, he shall be punished six months.

If a man's spirit wavers from the institution of the community so that he becomes a traitor to the truth and walks in the stubbornness of his heart, if he repents he shall be punished two years. During the first he shall not touch the sacred food of the masters, and during the second he shall not touch the drink of the masters, and he shall be seated after all the men of the community. When his two years are completed, the masters shall be asked about his case. If they admit him, he shall be registered in his position; and after that he shall be asked for judgment. If any man is in the council of the community for ten full years, and his spirit turns back so that he becomes a traitor to the community and goes out from before the masters to walk in the stubbornness of his heart, he shall not come back again to the council of the community. If any man of the men of the community partakes with him of his sacred food, or of his wealth which he has delivered to the masters, his sentence shall be like his; he shall be dismissed.

There shall be in the council of the community twelve men, and there shall be three priests who are perfect in all that has been revealed of the whole law, to practice truth and righteousness and justice and loyal love and walking humbly each with his neighbor, to preserve faithfulness in the land with sustained purpose and a broken spirit, and to make amends for iniquity by the practice of justice and the distress of tribulation, and to walk with all by the standard of truth and by the regulation of the time.

When these things come to pass in Israel, the council of the community will be established in the truth and for an eternal planting, a holy house for Israel, a foundation of the holy of holies for Aaron, true witnesses for justice and the elect by God's will, to make atonement for the land and to render to the wicked their recompense -- this is the tested wall, a precious cornerstone, its foundations will not tremble or flee from their place -- a most holy dwelling for Aaron with eternal knowledge for a covenant of justice and to offer a pleasing fragrance and a house of perfection and truth in Israel to establish a covenant for eternal statutes. And they shall be accepted to make atonement for the land and to decide the judgment of wickedness, and there shall be no error. When these men have been prepared in the foundation of the community for two years with blameless conduct, they shall be separated in holiness in the midst of the council of the men of the community; and when anything which has been hidden from Israel is found by the man who is searching, it shall not be hidden from these men out of fear of an apostate spirit.

When these things come to pass for the community in Israel, by these regulations they shall be separated from the midst of the session of the men of error to go to the wilderness to prepare there the way of the LORD: as it is written, "In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God." This is the study of the law as He commanded through Moses to do according to all that has been revealed from time to time, and as the prophets revealed by His Holy Spirit.

Any man of the men of the community, of the covenant of the community, who willfully takes away a word from the whole commandment, shall not touch the sacred food of the holy men; he shall not know any of their counsel until his works are cleansed from all error, so that he conducts himself blamelessly. Then he shall be admitted to the council as directed by the masters, and afterward he shall be registered in his position. According to this law shall it be done for every one who is added to the community.

These are the ordinances by which the men of perfect holiness shall walk, each with his neighbor, every one who enters the holy council, those who conduct themselves blamelessly as He commanded. Any man of them who transgresses a word of the law of Moses overtly or with deceit, shall be dismissed from the council of the community and shall not come back again; and none of the holy men shall participate in his wealth or in his counsel concerning any things. But if he acts unintentionally, he shall be separated from the sacred food and the council; and they shall interpret the ordinance that he shall not judge a man or be asked concerning any counsel for two years. If his conduct is perfect in the meeting, in interpretation, and in counsel as directed by the masters; if he has not again sinned unintentionally by the completion of his two years -- because for one unintentional sin he shall be punished for two years -- as for he who acts deliberately, he shall not come back again; only he who sins unintentionally shall be tested for two years, that his conduct and his counsel may be perfected under the direction of the masters -- after that he shall be registered in his position for the holy community.

When these things come to pass in Israel according to all these regulations, for a foundation of a holy spirit, for eternal truth, for a ransom for the guilt of transgression and sinful faithlessness, and for the acceptance for the land more than the flesh of whole burnt offerings and the fats of sacrifice, and an offering of the lips for justice like the pleasing quality of righteousness, and perfect conduct like a willing gift of an acceptable offering; at that time the men of the community shall be set apart, a house of holiness for Aaron, to be united as a holy of holies and a house of community for Israel, those who conduct themselves blamelessly.

Only the sons of Aaron shall administer judgment and wealth, and as they direct the lot shall determine for every regulation of the men of the community. As for the wealth of the holy men, who conduct themselves blamelessly, their wealth shall not be combined with the wealth of the men of deceit, who have not purified their conduct by separating themselves from error and conducting themselves blamelessly. They shall not depart from any counsel of the law, walking in all the stubbornness of their hearts; but they shall be judged by the first judgments by which the men of the community began to be disciplined, until there shall come a prophet and the Messiahs of Aaron and Israel.

These are the statutes of the wise man, that he may walk in them with every living being according to the regulations of one time and another, and the weight of one man and another; to do the will of God according to all that has been revealed for each time at that time; and to learn of all wisdom that been found according to the times, and the statute of the time; and to set apart and weigh the sons of Zadok according to their spirit; and to hold firmly to the elect of the time according to His will, as He commanded. According to each man's spirit he is to be given his due; according to the cleanness of each man's hands he is to be admitted; and according to his understanding he is to be accepted; so too his love together with his hate.

There must be no admonition or contention with the men of the pit, for the counsel of the law must be concealed among men of error; but there must be admonition of true knowledge and righteous judgment for those who choose the way; each according to his spirit, according to the regulation of the time, to guide them in knowledge and so to give them understanding in the marvelous mysteries and truth among the men of the community, that they may conduct themselves blamelessly, each with his neighbor, in all that has been revealed to them -- that is, the time of clearing the way to the wilderness -- to give them understanding of all that has been found to be done at this time; and to be separated from every man, and not to pervert his way because of any error.

These are the regulations of the way for the wise man in these times, for his love together with his hate, eternal hate for the men of the pit in a spirit of concealment, leaving to them wealth and manual labor like a slave for the man who rules over him, and humility before the man who has the mastery over him. Each one must be zealous for the statute and its time, for the day of vengeance, to do what is acceptable in everything he puts his hands to, and in all his dominion as He commanded; and everything done in it will be accepted freely.

 

IV. The Closing Psalm

With nothing but the will of God shall a man be concerned,

but with all the words of His mouth shall he be pleased;

he shall not desire anything which He did not command,

but to the ordinance of God he shall look always.

In every period that is to be he shall bless his Maker,

and in whatever state he is he shall tell of His righteousness.

With an offering of the lips he shall bless Him

throughout the periods which A has decreed:

at the beginning of the dominion of light, through its

circuit, and at its ingathering to its decreed dwelling;

at the beginning of the watches of darkness,

when He opens His treasury and appoints it for a time;

and at its circuit,

together with its ingathering before the light,

when lights appear from the holy habitation,

together with their ingathering to the glorious dwelling;

at the coming in of seasons in days of the new moon,

both their circuit and their connection one with another.

When they renew themselves, the M is large for the holy of

holies; and the letter N is for the key of His eternal,

steadfast love.

At the heads of seasons in every period to be,

at the beginning of months for their seasons

and holy days in their fixed order,

for a memorial in their seasons,

with an offering of the lips I will bless Him

as a decree engraved forever.

At the heads of years and in the circuit of their seasons,

when the circle of their fixed order

completes the day ordained for it,

one leading to another: the season of reaping to summer,

the season of sowing to the season of vegetation,

seasons of years to weeks of them,

and at the head of their weeks for a season of emancipation;

as long as I exist a decree engraved shall be on my tongue

for fruit of praise and for a gift of my lips.

I will sing with knowledge,

and all my music shall be for the glory of God;

my lyre and harp shall be for His holy fixed order,

and the flute of my lips I will raise in His just circle.

 

With the coming of day and night

I will enter the covenant of God;

and with the outgoing of evening and morning

I will speak His decrees:

and while they exist I will set my limit

so that I may not turn back.

His judgment I will pronounce, according to my perversity --

for my transgression is before my eyes -- like a statute engraved.

And to God I will say, "My righteousness";

to the Most High, "Foundation of my goodness,

Source of knowledge and Fountain of holiness,

Height of glory and Strength of all,

to eternal majesty!"

I will choose as He teaches me,

And I will be pleased as He judges me.

 

When I begin to put forth my hands and my feet,

I will bless His name;

when I begin to go out or come in,

when I sit down or stand up,

and as I lie on my couch, I will sing aloud to Him;

I will bless Him with an offering of the utterance of my lips

more than the oblation spread out by men.

Before I raise my hand to satisfy myself

with the delights of what the world produces,

in the dominion of fear and terror,

the place of distress with desolation,

I will bless Him, giving special thanks.

 

One His might I will meditate,

and on His steadfast love I will lean all the day;

for I know that in His hand is the judgment of every living man,

and all His works are truth.

When distress is let loose I will praise Him,

and when I am delivered I will sing praise also.

 

I will not render to a man the recompense of evil;

with good I will pursue a man;

for with God is the judgment of every living man;

and He will repay to a man his recompense.

I will not be jealous of an evil spirit;

wealth got by violence my soul shall not desire;

and the abundance of a man of the pit I will not seize

until the day of vengeance;

but my anger I will not turn back from men of error,

and I will not be pleased until He has established judgment.

I will not remain angry with those who turn from transgression

but I will not have mercy on any who turn aside from the way,

and I will not show favor to those who are smitten until

their conduct is blameless.

 

I will not keep baseness in my heart,

and folly shall not be heard in my mouth;

iniquitous falsehood, deceits, and lies

shall not be found on my lips;

but the fruit of holiness shall be on my tongue,

and abominable things shall not be found on it.

With thanksgivings I will open my mouth,

the righteous acts of God shall my tongue recount always

and the faithlessness of men

until their transgression is complete.

Empty words I will banish from my lips,

unclean things and perversions from the knowledge of my mind.

 

With wise counsel I will conceal knowledge,

and with knowing prudence I will hedge about wisdom

with a firm limit, to preserve fidelity

and strong justice according to the righteousness of God.

I will exalt the decree with the measuring-line of times,

and will teach the practice of righteousness,

loyal love for the humble,

and strengthening of hands for the fearful of heart;

for the erring in spirit understanding;

to instruct the fainting with doctrine,

to answer humbly before the haughty of spirit,

and with a broken spirit to men of injustice,

who point the finger and speak wickedly

and are envious of wealth.

But as for me, my judgment belongs to God,

and in His hand is the blamelessness of my conduct

together with the uprightness of my heart;

and in His righteousness my transgression will be wiped out.

For from the source of His knowledge He has opened up

my light;

my eye has gazed into His wonders

and the light of my heart penetrates the mystery that is to be.

That which is eternal is the staff of my right hand;

on a strong rock is the way I tread;

before nothing will it be shaken.

For the faithfulness of God is the rock I tread,

and His strength is the staff of my right hand.

From the source of His righteousness is my judgment.

A light is in my heart from His marvelous mysteries;

my eye has gazed on that which is eternal, sound wisdom

which is hidden from the man of knowledge,

and prudent discretion from the sons of man,

a source of righteousness and reservoir of strength

together with a spring of glory

hidden from the company of flesh.

To those whom God has chosen,

 

He has given them for an eternal possession;

He has given them an inheritance in the lot of the holy ones

and with the sons of heaven has associated their company

for a council of unity and a company of a holy building,

for an eternal planting through every period that is to be.

 

But I belong to wicked mankind,

to the company of erring flesh;

my iniquities, my transgression, my sin,

with the iniquity of my heart belong

to the company of worms and those who walk in darkness.

For the way of a man is not his own.

A man does not direct his own steps;

for judgment is God's,

and from His hand is blamelessness to conduct.

By His knowledge everything comes to pass;

and everything that is He establishes by His purpose;

and without Him it is not done.

As for me, if I slip,

the steadfast love of God is my salvation forever;

and if I stumble in the iniquity of flesh,

my vindication in the righteousness of God

will stand to eternity.

If He lets loose my distress,

from the pit He will deliver my soul;

He will direct my steps to the way.

In His mercy He has brought me near,

And in His steadfast love He will bring my vindication.

In His faithful righteousness He has judged me,

and in the abundance of His goodness

He will forgive all my iniquities.

And in His righteousness He will cleanse me

from the impurity of man, from the sin of the sons of man.

Thanks be to God for His righteousness,

to the Most High for His majesty!

 

Blessed art Thou, O my God,

Who openest to knowledge the heart of Thy servant.

Direct in righteousness all His works

and establish the son of Thy handmaid,

as Thou didst accept the elect of mankind

to stand before Thee forever.

For without Thee, conduct will not be blameless,

and apart from Thy will nothing will be done.

It is Thou that hast taught all knowledge;

and everything that has come to pass has been by Thy will.

And there is no other beside Thee

to oppose Thy counsel,

to understand all Thy holy purpose,

to gaze into the depth of Thy mysteries,

or to comprehend all Thy marvels,

together with the strength of Thy power.

Who is able to bear Thy glory.

And what then is he,

the son of man, among Thy marvelous works;

what shall one born of woman be accounted before Thee?

As for him, he was kneaded from dust,

and the food of worms is his portion.

He is an emission of spittle, a cut-off bit of clay,

and his desire is for the dust.

What will clay reply, a thing formed by hand?

What counsel will it understand?

 

Comments

Here in the Manual of Discipline, it shows the rigid code of discipline that they all had to adhere to. That even for an unintentional transgression, one was put under a two-year discipline. If he would have committed an intentional transgression, he was dismissed from the community and not allowed to come back again. And anyone who held a grudge was severely disciplined.

Anyone who murmured against the teachers was immediately separated from the community and not allowed to return. In this code of discipline is shown the essence of the Mosaic way.

While here in our Order we do not have the severe recompense as they did in the Essene group. For under the guidance of our Lord Jesus Christ, we follow the forgiveness if one has a contrite heart. Here in our Order we place the emphasis on doing the work of Jesus Christ and enjoying it, rather than the punishment for wrong-doing.

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