War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness, The
- War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness, The
▪ Hebrew document
Hebrew Megillat Milḥamat B'ne, or Beb'ne Ḥoshekh, also called War Rule, or War Scroll,
a Dead Sea Scroll, and one of the most important documents of the Essene
sect of Jews that established a community at Qumrān in the Judaean desert during the first half of the 2nd century BC. The Essenes thought themselves to be the holy elect of Israel, the Sons of Light, who would at the end of time engage in a catastrophic war with the enemies of Israel, the Sons of Darkness.
The War Rule,
discovered in Cave I of Qumrān in 1947, is a manual for military organization and strategy, including detailed specifications for battle gear and signals. It is also a theological discourse that develops the doctrine of the spirits of truth and perversity mentioned in the sect's Manual of Discipline.
The scroll's apocalyptic portrayal of a 40-year “holy war” between the forces of good and evil involves heavenly as well as earthly soldiers. The elect of Israel are joined by an angelic host, while the devil and the evil angels fight alongside other nations of the Earth. The victory of the forces of light was to signal the final destruction of evil, after which the God of Israel would rule eternally in justice.
Most scholars identify the enemy “Kittim” of the scroll as Romans, who invaded and occupied Judaea in 63 BC. If this is so, the major sections of the scroll (probably a composite work) were written after that date but before AD 68, when the Qumrān community was disbanded because of the Jewish revolt of AD 66–70. See also Dead Sea Scrolls
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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… … Wikipedia
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
SONS OF LIGHT — (Heb. בְּנֵי אוֹר, benei or), phrase used specially in the dead sea Scrolls denoting the godly, by contrast with the phrase sons of darkness (Heb. בְּנֵי חֹשֶׁךְ, benei ḥoshekh) denoting the ungodly. It is so used, notably in the war scroll ,… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
War Rule — The War Rule is a name used for various Dead Sea Scrolls. For example, the 5 line fragment 11Q14 is known by this name, as is the six line fragment , commonly referred to as the Pierced Messiah text, and 4Q491 the War of the Sons of Light Against … Wikipedia
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