Cumberland Academy

The Damascas Document

He knows the times of appearance and the number and exact times of everything that has ever existed and ever will exist before it happens in the proper time, for all the years of eternity. And in all of these times, He has arranged that there should be for Himself people called by name, so that there would always be survivors on the earth, replenishing the surface of the earth with their descendants. He taught them through those anointed by the holy spirit, the seers of truth. He explicitly called them by name. But whoever He had rejected He caused to stray.” [Fragment from Cairo Document)

The Jewish scholar Solomon Schechter first discovered portions of the Damascus Document among manuscripts from the Cairo Geniza and published them in 1910 under the title Zadokite Fragments. The name is derived from the frequent mention of the “sons of Zadok” in the text.

Schechter believed that the writing originated in a Jewish sect of about the first century B.C.E., although the two manuscripts he published (Geniza texts A and B) were themselves medieval copies dating from the tenth and twelfth centuries C.E., respectively.

The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls settled the question in Shechter’s favor. The texts from Cave 1, especially the Charter of a Jewish Sectarian Association (text 7), clearly stemmed from the same circles that composed the Damascus Document and used much of the same religious terminology. When fragments of the Document were found in Caves 4 and 5, the discovery simply confirmed what most scholars had already concluded: the Dead Sea sect was the source of the Damascus Document.

Mention of Giants (fallen Nephilim):–
“When they went about in their willful heart, the Guardian Angels of Heaven fell and were ensnared by it, for they did not observe the commandments of God. Their sons, who ·were as tall as cedars, and whose bodies were as big as mountains, fell by it.”

Everything mortal on dry land expired and became as if they had never existed, because they did their own will, and did not keep the commandments of their Maker, until finally His anger was aroused against them.

By it the sons of Noah and their families went astray, and by it they were exterminated.

Abraham did not live by it and was considered God’s friend, because he observed the commandments of God and he did not choose to follow the will of his own spirit; and he passed them on to Isaac and to Jacob and they too observed them. They too were recorded as friends of God and eternal partners in the covenant.

But the sons of Jacob went astray by them and were punished for their errors. In Egypt their descendants lived by their willful heart, too obstinate to consult the commandments of God, each one doing what was right in his own eyes. They even ate blood; and the men were exterminated in the

them at Kadesh “Go up and possess their spirit; and they did not listen to their Maker’s voice or the commandments of their teacher;

instead they grumbled in their tents. So God became angry with their company. Their sons perished because of it. Their kings were exterminated because of it. Their heroes perished because of it. Their land was devastated because of it, and because of it the members of the forefathers’ covenant committed sin, and so were handed over to the sword because they abandoned the covenant of God, and chose their own will, and followed their own willful heart, each man doing his own will.”

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