Manual of Discipline
Of the Commitment.
Everyone who wishes to join the community must pledge himself to respect God and man; to live according to the communal rule: to seek God [ ]; to do what is good and upright in His sight, in accordance with what He has commanded through Moses and through His servants the prophets; to love all that He has chosen and hate all that He has rejected; to keep far from evil and to cling to all good works; to act truthfully and righteously and justly on earth and to walk no more in the stubbornness of a guilty heart and of lustful eyes, doing all manner of evil; to bring into a bond of mutual love all who have declared their willingness to carry out the statutes of God; to join the formal community of God; to walk blamelessly before Him in conformity with all that has been revealed as relevant to the several periods during which they are to bear witness (to Him) ; to love all the children of light, each according to the measure of his guilt, which God will ultimately requite.
All who declare their willingness to serve God's truth must bring all of their mind, all of their strength, and all of their wealth into the community of God, so that their minds may be purified by the truth of His precepts, their strength controlled by His perfect ways, and their wealth disposed in accordance with His just design. They must not deviate by a single step from carrying out the orders of God at the times appointed for them; they must neither advance the statutory times nor postpone the prescribed seasons. They must not turn aside from the ordinances of God's truth either to the right or to the left.
Moreover, all who would join the ranks of the community must enter into a covenant in the presence of God to do according to all that He has commanded and not to turn away from Him through any fear or terror or through any trial to which they may be subjected through the domination of Belial.
When they enter into that covenant, the priests and the Levites are to pronounce a blessing upon the God of salvation and upon all that He does to make known His truth; and all that enter the covenant are to say after them, Amen, amen.
Then the priests are to rehearse the bounteous acts of God as revealed in all His deeds of power, and they are to recite all His tender mercies towards Israel; while the Levites are to rehearse the iniquities of the children of Israel and all the guilty transgression and sins that they have committed through the domination of Belial. And all who enter the covenant are to make confession after them, saying, We have acted perversely, we have transgressed, we have sinned, we have done wickedly, ourselves and our fathers before us, in that we have gone counter to the truth. God has been right to bring His judgment upon us and upon our fathers. Howbeit, always from ancient times He has also bestowed His mercies upon us all, and so will He do for all time to come.
Then the priests are to invoke a blessing on all that have cast their low with God, that walk blamelessly in all their ways; and they are to say: MAY HE BLESS THEE with all good and KEEP THEE from all evil. And ILLUMINE thy heart with insight into the things of life, and GRACE THEE with knowledge of things eternal, and LIFT UP HIS gracious COUNTENANCE TOWARDS THEE to grant thee peace everlasting.
The Levites, on the other hand, are to invoke a curse on all that have cast their lot with Belial, and to say in response: Cursed are thou for all thy wicked guilty works, May God make thee a thing of abhorrence at the hands of all who would wreak vengeance, and visit thine offspring with destruction at the hands of all who would mete out retribution. Cursed art thou, beyond hope of mercy. Even as they works are wrought in darkness, so mayest thou be damned in the gloom of the fire eternal. May God show thee no favor when thou callest, neither pardon to forgive thine iniquities. May He lift up an angry countenance towards thee, to wreak vengeance upon thee. May no man wish thee peace of all that truly claim their patrimony.
And all that enter the covenant shall say alike after them that bless and after them that curse, Amen, amen.
Thereupon the priests and the Levites shall continue and say: Cursed be every one that hath come to enter this covenant with the taint of idolatry in his heart and who hath set his iniquity as a stumblingblock before him so that thereby he may defect, and who, when he hears the terms of this covenant, blesses himself in his heart, saying, May it go well with me, for I shall go on walking in the stubbornness of my heart! Whether he satisfy his passions or whether he still thirsts for their fulfillment, may his spirit be swept away and receive no pardon. May the anger of God and the fury of His judgments consume him as by fire unto his eternal extinction, and may there cleave unto him all the curses threatened in this covenant. May God set him apart for misfortune, and may he be cut off from the midst of all the children of light in that through the taint of his idolatry and through the stumblingblock of his iniquity he has defected from God. May God set his lot among those that are accursed for ever! And all who have been admitted to the covenant shall say them in response, Amen, amen.
Of the annual Review.
The following procedure is to be followed year by year so long as Belial continues to hold sway.
The priests are first to be reviewed in due order, one after another, in respect of the state of their spirits. After them, the Levites shall be similarly reviewed, and in the third place all the laity one after another, in their thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. The object is that every man in Israel may be made aware of his status in the community of God in the sense of the ideal, eternal society, and that none may be abased below his status nor exalted above his allotted place. All of them will thus be members of a community founded at once upon true values and upon a becoming sense of humility, upon charity and mutual fairness-members of a society truly hallowed, partners in an everlasting communion.
Of those who are to be excluded.
Anyone who refuses to enter the (ideal) society of God and persists in walking in the stubbornness of his heart shall not be admitted to this community of God's truth. For inasmuch as his soul has revolted at the discipline entailed in a knowledge of God's righteous judgments, he has shown no real strength in amending his way of life, and therefore cannot be reckoned with the upright. The mental, physical and material resources of such a man are not to be introduced into the stock of the community, for such a man 'plows in the slime of wickedness' and 'there are stains on his repentance'. He is not honest in resolving the stubbornness of his heat. On paths of light he sees but darkness/ Such a man cannot be reckoned as among those essentially blameless. He cannot be cleared by mere ceremonies of atonement, nor cleansed by any waters of ablution, nor sanctified by immersion in lakes of rivers, nor purified by any bath. Unclean, unclean he remains so long as he rejects the government of God and refuses the discipline of communion with Him. For it is only through the spiritual apprehension of God's truth that man's ways can be properly directed. Only thus can all his iniquities be shriven so that he can gaze upon the true light of life. Only through the holy spirit can he achieve union with God's truth and be purged of all his iniquities. Only by a spirit of uprightness and humility can his sin be atoned. Only by the submission of his soul to all the ordinances of God can his flesh be made clean. Only thus can it really be sprinkled with waters of ablution. Only thus can it really be sanctified by waters of purification. And only thus can he really direct his steps to walk blamelessly through all the vicissitudes of his destiny in all the way of God in the manner which He has commanded, without turning either to the right or to the left and without overstepping any of God's words. Then indeed will he be acceptable before God like an atonement-offering which meets with His pleasure, and then indeed will he be admitted to the covenant of the community for ever.
Of the two spirits in man.
This is for the man who would bring other to the inner vision, so that he may understand and teach to all the children of light the real nature of men, touching the different varieties of their temperaments with the distinguishing traits thereof, touching their actions throughout their generations, and touching the reason why they are now visited with afflictions and now enjoy periods of well-being.
All that is and ever was comes from a God of knowledge. Before things came into existence He determined the plan of them; and when they fill their appointed roles, it is in accordance with His glorious design that they discharge their functions. Nothing can be changed. In His hand lies the government of all things. God it is that sustains them in their needs.
Now, this God created man to rule the world, and appointed for him two spirits after whose direction he was to walk until the final Inquisition. They are the spirits of truth and perversity.
The origin of truth lies in the Fountain of Light, and that of perversity in the Wellspring of Darkness. All who practice righteousness are under the domination of the Prince of Lights, and walk in ways of light; whereas all who practice perversity are under the domination of the Angel of Darkness, however, even those who practice righteousness are made liable to error. All their sin and their iniquities, all their guilt and their deeds of transgression are the result of his domination; and this, by God's inscrutable design, will continue until the time appointed by Him. Moreover, all men's afflictions and all their moments of tribulation are due to this being's malevolent sway. All of the spirits that attend upon him are bent on causing the sons of light to stumble. Howbeit, the God of Israel and the Angel of His truth are always there to help the sons of light. It is God that created these spirits of light and darkness and made them the basis of every act, the [instigators] of every deed and the direction and the directors of every thought. The one He loves for to all eternity, and is ever pleased with its deeds; but any association with the other He abhors, and He hates all its ways to the end of time.
This is the way those spirits operate in the world. The enlightenment of man's heart, the making straight before him all the ways of righteousness and truth, the implanting in his heart of fear for the judgments of God, of a spirit of humility, of patience, of abundant compassion, of perpetual goodness, of insight, of perception, of that sense of the Divine Power that is based at once on an apprehension of God's works and a reliance on His plenteous mercy, of a spirit of knowledge informing every plan of action, of a zeal for righteous government, of a hallowed mind in a controlled nature, of abounding love for all who follow the truth, of self-respecting purity which abhors all the taint of filth, of a modesty of behaviour coupled with a general prudence and an ability to hide within oneself the secrets of what one knows - these are the things that come to men in this world through communion with the spirit of truth. And the guerdon of all that walk in its ways is health and abundant well-being, with long life and fruition of seed along with eternal blessings and everlasting joy in the life everlasting, and a crown of glory and a robe of honor, amid light perpetual.
But to the spirit of perversity belong greed, remissness in right doing, wickedness and falsehood, pride and presumption, ruthless deception and guile, abundant insolence, shortness of temper and profusion of folly, arrogant passion, abominable acts in a spirit of lewdness, filthy ways in the thralldom of unchastity, a blasphemous tongue, blindness of eyes, dullness of ears, stiffness of neck and hardness of heart, to the end that a man walks entirely in ways of darkness and of evil cunning. The guerdon of all who walk in such ways is multitude of afflictions at the hands of all the angels of destruction, everlasting perdition through the angry wrath of an avenging God, eternal horror and perpetual reproach, the disgrace of final annihilation in the Fire, darkness throughout the vicissitudes of life in every generation, doleful sorrow, bitter misfortune and darkling ruin-ending in extinction without remnant of survival.
It is to these things that all men are born, and it is to these that all the host of them are heirs throughout their generations. It is in these ways that men needs must walk and it is in these two divisions, according as a man inherits something of each, that all human acts are divided throughout all the ages of eternity. For God has appointed these two things to obtain in equal measure until the final age.
Between the two categories He has set an eternal enmity. Deeds of perversity are an abomination to Truth, while all the ways of Truth are an abomination to perversity; and there is a constant jealous rivalry between their two regimes, for they do not march in accord. Howbeit, God in His inscrutable wisdom has appointed a term for existence of perversity, and when the time of Inquisition comes, He will destroy it for ever. Then truth will emerge triumphant for the world, albeit now until the time of the final judgment it go sullying itself in the ways of wickedness owing to the domination of perversity. Then, too, God will purge all the acts of man in the crucible of His Truth, and refine for Himself all the fabric of man, destroying every spirit of perversity from within his flesh and cleansing him by the holy spirit from all the effects of wickedness. Like waters of purification He will sprinkle upon the spirit of truth, to cleanse him of all the abominations of falsehood and of all pollution through the spirit of filth; to the end that, being made upright, men may have understanding of transcendental knowledge and of the lore of the sons of heaven, and that, being made blameless in their ways, they may be endowed with inner vision. For them has God chosen to be the partners of His eternal covenant, and theirs shall be all mortal glory. Perversity shall be no more, and all works of deceit shall be put to shame.
Thus far, the spirits of truth and perversity have been struggling in the heart of man. Men have walked both in wisdom and folly. If a man casts his portion with the truth, he does righteously and hates perversity; if he casts it with perversity, he does wickedly and abominates truth. For God has appointed them in equal measure until the final age, until 'He makes all things new'. He foreknows the effect of their works in every epoch of the world, and He has made men heirs to them that they might know good and evil. But [when the time] of Inquisition [comes], He will determine the fate of every living being in accordance with which of the [two spirits he has chosen to follow].
Of social relations.
This is the rule for all members of the community - that is, for such as have declared their readiness to turn away from all evil and to adhere to all that God in His good pleasure has commanded.
They are to keep apart from the company of the froward.
They are to belong to the community in both doctrinal and an economic sense.
They are to abide by the decisions of the sons of Zadok, the same being priests that still keep the Covenant, and of the majority of the community that stand firm in it. It is by the vote of such that all matters doctrinal, economic and judicial are to be determined.
They are concertedly and in all their pursuits to practice truth, humility, righteousness, justice, chastity and decency, with no one walking in the stubbornness of his own heart or going astray after his heart or his eyes or his fallible human mind.
Furthermore, they are concertedly to remove the impurity of their human mold, and likewise all stiffneckedness.
They are to establish in Israel a solid basis of truth.
They are to unite in a bond indissoluble for ever.
They are to extend forgiveness to all among the priesthood that have freely enlisted in the cause of holiness, and to all among the laity that have done so in the cause of truth, and likewise to all that have associated themselves with them.
They are to make common cause both in the struggle and in the upshot of it.
They are to regard as felons all that transgress the law.
Of the obligation of holiness.
And this is the way in which all those ordinances are to be applied on a collective basis.
Everyone who is admitted to the formal organization (Council) of the community is to enter into a covenant of God in the presence of all fellow-volunteers in the cause and to commit himself by a binding oath to return with all his heart and soul to the commandments of the Law of Moses, as that Law is revealed to the sons of Zadok-that is, to the priests who still keep the Covenant and seek God's will -and to a majority of their co-covenanters who have volunteered together to adhere to the truth of God and to walk according to His pleasure.
He that so commits himself is to keep apart from all froward men that walk in the path of wickedness; for such men are not to be reckoned in the Covenant inasmuch as they have never sought nor studied God's ordinances in order to find out on what more arcane points they may guiltily have gone astray, while in regard to the things which stand patently revealed they have acted high-handedly. They have thus incurred God's angry judgment and caused Him to take vengeance upon them with all the curses threatened in the Covenant and to wreak great judgments upon them that they be finally destroyed without remnant.
No one is to go into water in order to attain the purity of holy men. For men cannot be purified except they repent their evil. God regards as impure all that transgress His word. No one is to have any association with such a man either in work or in goods, lest he incur the penalty of prosecution. Rather is he to keep away from such a man in every respect, for the Scriptures says: 'Keep away from every false thing' [Exodus 23:7]. No member of the community is to abide by the decision of such men in any matter of doctrine or law. He is not to eat or drink of anything that belongs to them nor receive anything from them except for cash, even as sit is written: 'desist from man whose breath is in his nostrils, for as what is he reckoned:' [Isaiah 2:22]. All that are not reckoned in the Covenant must be put aside, and likewise all that they posses. A holy man must not rely on works of vanity, and vanity is what all of them are that have not recognized God's Covenant. All that spurn His word will God blast out of the world. All their actions are as filth before Him, and He regards all their possessions as unclean.
Of the examination of initiants.
When a man enters the covenant, minded to act in accordance with all the foregoing ordinances and formally to ally himself to the holy congregation, inquiry is to be made concerning his temper in human relations and his understanding and performance in matters of doctrine. This inquiry is to be conducted jointly by the priests who have undertaken concertedly to uphold God's Covenant and to supervise the execution of all the ordinances which He has commanded, and by a majority of the laity who have likewise undertaken concertedly to return to that Covenant. Every many is then to be registered in a particular rank, one after the other, by the standard of his attitudes and their performance are to be reviewed, however, year by year, some being then promoted by virtue of their (improved) understanding and the integrity of their conduct, and others demoted for their waywardness.
Of accusations and grudges.
When anyone has a charge against his neighbour, he is to prosecute it truthfully, humbly and humanely. He is not to speak to him angrily or querulously or arrogantly or in any wicked mood. He is not to bear hatred [towards him in the inner recesses] of his heart. When he has a charge against him, he is to proffer it then and there [on the selfsame day] and not render himself liable to penalty by nursing a grudge. Furthermore, no man is to bring a charge publicly against his neighbour except he prove it by witness.
Of Communal Duties.
This is the procedure which all members of the community are to follow in all dealings with one another, wherever they dwell.
Everyone is to obey his superior in rank in all matters of work and money. But all are to dine together, worship together and take counsel together.
Wherever there be ten men who have formally enrolled in the community, one who is a priest is not to depart from them. When they sit in his presence, they are to take their places according to their respective ranks; and the same order is to obtain when they meet for common counsel.
When they set the table for a meal or prepare wine to drink, the priest is first to put forth his hand to invoke a blessing on the first portion of the bread and wine.
In any place where there happen to be ten such men, there is not to be absent from them one who will be available at all times, day and night, to interpret the Law (Torah), each of them doing so in turn.
The general members of the community are to keep awake for a third of all the nights of the year reading book(s), [or the book of Law] studying the Law and worshipping together.
Of the General Council.
This is the rule covering public sessions.
The priests are to occupy the first place. The elders are to come second; and the rest of the people are to take their places according to their respective ranks. This order is to obtain alike when they seek a judicial ruling, when they meet for common counsel, or when any matter arises of general concern.
Everyone is to have an opportunity of rendering his opinion in the common council. No one, however, is to interrupt while his neighbour is speaking, or to speak until the latter has finished. Furthermore, no one is to speak in advance of his prescribed rank. Everyone is to speak in turn, as he is called upon.
In public sessions, no one is to speak on any subject that is not of concern to (or to the liking of) the company as a whole. If the superintendent of the general membership or anyone who is not of the same rank as the person who happens to be raising a question for the consideration of the community, has something to say to the company, he is to stand up and declare: I have said something to the company; and only if they so bid him, is he to speak.
Of Postulants and Novices.
If any man in Israel wish to be affiliated to the formal congregation of the community, the superintendent of the general membership is to examine him as to his intelligence and his actions and, if he then embark on a course of training, he is to have him enter into a covenant to return to the truth and turn away from all perversity. Then he is to appraise him of all the rules of the community.
Subsequently, when that man comes to present himself to the general membership, everyone is to be asked his opinion about him. and his admission to or rejection from the formal congregation of the community is to be determined by general vote.
No candidate, however, is to be admitted to the formal state of purity enjoyed by the general membership of the community until, at the completion of a full year, his spiritual attitude and his performance have been duly reviewed. Meanwhile he is to have no stake in the common funds.
After he has spent a full year in the midst of the community, the members are jointly to review his case, as to his understanding and performance in matters of doctrine. If it then be voted by the opinion of the priests and of a majority of their co-covenanters to admit him to the sodality, they are to have him bring with him all his property and the tools of his profession. These are to be committed to the custody of the community's 'minister of works'. They are to entered by that officer into an account, but he is not to disburse them for the general benefit.
Not until the completion of a second year among the members of the community is the candidate to be admitted to the common board. [Drink] When however, that second year has been completed, he is to be subjected to a further review by the general membership, and if it then be voted to admit him to the community, he is to be registered in due order of rank which he is to occupy among his brethren in all matters pertaining to doctrine, judicial procedure, degree of purity and share in the common funds. Thenceforth his counsel and his judgment are to be at the disposal of the community.
Of false, impudent and blasphemous speech.
And these are the rules to be followed in the interpretation of the law regarding forms of speech.
If there be found in the community a man who consciously lies in the matter of (his) wealth, he is to be regarded as outside the state of purity entailed by membership, and he is to be mulcted of one fourth of his food ration.
If a man answer his neighbour defiantly or speak brusquely so as to undermine the composure (shake -or disturb- the foundation) of his fellow, and in so doing flout the orders of one who is registered as his superior [ ], he is to be mulcted for one year.
If a man, in speaking about anything, mention that Name which is honored above all [names], or if, in a moment of sudden stress or for some other personal reason, he curses the --------- (i.e., the man who reads the Book of the Law or leads worship), he is to be put out and never to return to formal membership in the community.
If a man speaks in anger against one of the registered priests, he is to be mulcted for one year, placed in isolation, and regarded as outside the state of purity entailed in membership of the community. If, however, he spoke unintentionally, he is to be mulcted only for six months.
If a man defames his neighbour unjustly, and does so deliberately, he is to mulcted for one year and regarded as 'outside'.
If a man speaks with his neighbour in guile or consciously practice deceit upon him, he is to be mulcted for six months. If however, he practices the deceit [unintentionally], he is to be mulcted only for three months.
If a man defraud the community, causing a deficit in its funds, he is to make good that deficit, if he lack means to do so, he is to be mulcted for sixty days.
If he harbor a grudge against his neighbor without legitimate cause, he is to be mulcted for six months [supra-linear correction: 'one year']. The same is to apply also to anyone who takes personal revenge on his neighbor in any respect.
Of improper speech.
Anyone who indulges in indecent talk is to be mulcted for three months.
Of misconduct at public sessions.
Anyone who interrupts his neighbor in a public session is to be mulcted for ten days.
Anyone who lies down and goes to sleep at a public session is to be mulcted for thirty days.
Anyone who leaves a public session gratuitously and without reason for as many as three times during one sitting is to be mulcted for ten days. If he leaves while everyone else is standing (?), he is to be mulcted for thirty days.
Of indecorous acts.
If, except he be under duress (?), a man walk naked before his neighbor, he shall be mulcted for six months.
If a man spit into the midst of a public session, he shall be mulcted for thirty days.
If a man bring out his hand from under his cloak, so expose himself that his private parts become visible, he shall be mulcted for thirty days.
If a man indulge in raucous, inane laughter, he shall be mulcted for thirty days.
If a man put forth his left hand to gesticulate with it in conversation, he shall be mulcted for ten days.
Of slander and incrimination.
If a man slander his neighbor, he shall be regarded as outside the communal state of purity for one year, and he shall be mulcted. But if he slander the entire group, he is to be expelled and never return.
If a man complain against the whole basis of the community, he is to be expelled irrevocably.
If he complains against his neighbor without legitimate cause, he is to be mulcted for six months.
If a man's spirit waver so far from the basis of the community that he betrays the truth and walk in stubbornness of his own heart, but if he subsequently repent, he shall be mulcted for two years. During the first, he shall be regarded as outside the communal state of purity altogether. During the second he shall be excluded from the communal board (drink) and occupy a place behind all the other members. At the completion of the two years, the membership in general shall hold an inquiry about him. If it then be decided to readmit him, he shall again be registered with duly assigned rank and thereafter he too shall be called upon to render his opinion in deliberations concerning the rules.
If a man has been a formal member of the community for a full ten years, but then, through spiritual relapse, betray the principles of the community and quit the general body in order to walk in the stubbornness of his own heart, he is never to return to formal membership in the community. No member of the community is to associate with him either by recognizing him as of the same state of purity or by sharing property with him. Any of the members who does so shall be liable to the same sentence: he too shall be expelled.
Of the appointment of 'presbyters'.
In the deliberative council of the community there shall be twelve laymen and three priests schooled to perfection in all that has been revealed of the entire Law. their duty shall be to set the standard for the practice of truth, righteousness and justice, and for the exercise of charity and humility in human relations; and to show how, by control of impulse and contrition of spirit, faithfulness may be maintained on earth; how, by active performance of justice and passive submission to the trials of chastisement, iniquity may be cleared, and how one can walk with all men with the quality of truth and in conduct appropriate to every occasion.
So long as these men exist in Israel, the deliberative council of the community will rest securely on a basis of truth. It will become a plant evergreen. Insofar as the laymen are concerned, it will be indeed a sanctuary; and insofar as the priesthood is concerned, it will indeed constitute the basis for a true 'holy of holies'. The members of community will be in all justice the witnesses of God's truth and the elect of His favor, effecting atonement for the earth and ensuring the requital of the wicked. They will be, indeed, a 'tested bulwark' and 'precious cornerstone' (Isaiah 28:16], which shall never be shaken or moved from their place. As for the priesthood, they shall be a seat for the holy of holies, inasmuch as all of them will then have knowledge of the Covenant of justice and all of them be qualified to offer what will be indeed 'a pleasant savor' to the Lord. And as for the laity, they will constitute a household of integrity and truth, qualified to maintain the Covenant as an everlasting pact. they shall prove acceptable to God, so that He will shrive the earth of its guilt, bring final judgment upon wickedness, and perversity shall be no more.
When these men have undergone, with blamelessness of conduct, a two year preparation in the fundamentals of the community, they shall be segregated as especially sacred among the formal members of the community. Any knowledge which the expositor of the law may posses but which may have to remain arcane to the ordinary layman, he shall not keep hidden from them; for in their case there need be no fear that it might induce apostasy.
When these men exist in Israel, these are the provision whereby they are to be kept apart from any consort with froward men, to the end that they may indeed 'go into the wilderness to prepare the way' i.e., do what Scripture enjoins when it says, 'Prepare in the wilderness...make it straight in the desert a highway for our God' [Isaiah 40:3]. (The reference is to the study of the Law which God commanded through Moses to the end that, an occasion arises, all things may be done in accordance with what is revealed therein and with what the prophets also have revealed through God's holy spirit.)
No member of the community - that is, no duly covenanted member - who blatantly deviates in any particular from the body of commandments is to be permitted to come into contact with the purity enjoyed by these specially holy men or to benefit by (know) their counsel until his actions be free of all perversity and he has been readmitted to the common council by decision of the general membership and thereupon reinstated in his rank.
The same rule is to apply also to novices.
Of the conduct of 'presbyters'.
These are the rules of conduct for the 'men of perfect holiness' in their dealings with one another.
If any of those that have been admitted to the degree of special sanctity - that is, to the degree of 'those that walk blamelessly in the way as God has commanded' -transgress a single word of the Law of Moses either blatantly or deviously, he is to be excommunicated and never to return. No other person in the degree of the specially holy is to have anything to do with him in the sharing either of property or of counsel.
If, however, he erred unintentionally, he is to be debarred only from that particular degree of purity and from participation in the common council. this is to be interpreted to mean that he is not to render any judgment nor is his counsel to be invited in any matter for a full two years. This hold good, however, only if, after the expiration of the full two years, his conduct be considered, in the judgment of the general membership, to be perfect alike in attendance at general assemblies, in study and in frame of mind, and if he has not meanwhile committed any further act of inadvertence. In other words, this two-year penalty is to apply only in the cases of a single inadvertent error, whereas if a man acts blatantly, he is nevermore to be readmitted. In sum, it is only the man who acts by inadvertence that is to be placed on probation for two years to see whether, in the opinion of the general membership, his conduct and frame of mind have meanwhile again become blameless. If so, he may be reinstalled in the body of the especially holy.
When these things obtain in Israel, as defined by these provisions, the Holy Spirit will indeed rest on a sound foundation; truth will be evinced perpetually; the guilt of transgression and the perfidy of sin will be shriven; and atonement will be made for the earth more effectively than by any flesh of burn-offerings or fat sacrifices. The 'oblation of the lips' will be in all justice like the erstwhile 'pleasant savor' on the altar; righteousness and integrity like the free-will offering which god designs to accept. At that time, the men of the community will constitute a true distinctive temple-a veritable holy of holies-wherein the priesthood may fitly foregather, and a true distinctive synagogue made up of laymen who walk in integrity.
Of the authority of the priests.
The priests alone are to have authority in all judicial and economic matters, and it is by their vote that the ranks of the various members of the community are to be determined.
Of the property of 'presbyters'.
The property of the 'specially holy men' - that is, of 'the men that walk 'blamelessly' - is not to be put into a common pool with that of men who may still be addicted to deceit and may not yet have achieved that purity of conduct which leads them to keep apart from perversity and to walk in integrity.
Until the coming of the prophet and of both the priestly and the lay Messiah, these men are not to depart from the clear intent of the Law to walk in any way in the stubbornness of their own hearts. They shall judge by the original laws in which the members of the community were schooled from the beginning.
Of the daily conduct of the faithful.
These are the ordinances for the conduct of any man that seeks after inner vision, in regard alike to human relations, the regulation of affairs on specific occasions, and the balanced appraisal of his fellow men, to the end that he may perform at all time the will of God which has been revealed as pertinent to this or that occasion; that he may at all times accommodate theory to circumstance; and that he may come to make the proper distinctions and evaluate the sons of Zadok (i.e. the priests) and the elect of any particular epoch by the standard of their spiritual attitudes, and appraise them by that criterion, thus conforming to the will of God, as He has commanded.
Everyone is to be judged by the standard of his spirituality. Intercourse with him is to be determined by the purity of his deeds, and consort with him by the degree of his intelligence. This alone is to determine the degree to which a man is to be loved or hated.
Of religious discussion.
No one is to engage in discussion or disputation with men of ill repute; and in the company of froward men everyone is to abstain from talk about (keep hidden) the meaning of the Law [Torah].
With those, however, that have chosen the right path everyone is indeed to discuss matters pertaining to the apprehension (knowledge) of God's truth and of His righteous judgments. The purpose of such discussions is to guide the minds of the members of the community, to give them insight into God's inscrutable wonders and truth, and to bring them to walk blamelessly each with his neighbor in harmony with all that has been revealed to them. For this is the time when 'the way is being prepared in the wilderness', and it behooves them to understand all that is happening. It is also the time when they must needs keep apart from all other men and not turn aside from the way through any form of perversity.
Of loving and hating fellow men; and of duty to God.
And these are the regulations of conduct for every man that would seek the inner vision in these times, touching what he is to love and what he is to hate.
He is to bear unremitting hatred toward all men of ill repute, and to be minded to keep [·] from them. He is to leave it to them to pursue wealth and mercenary gain, like servants at the mercy of their masters or wretches truckling to a despot.
He is to be zealous to carry out every ordinance punctiliously, against the Day of Requital.
In all his emprises and in all things over which he has control he is to act in a manner acceptable to God, in accordance with what God has commanded.
He is to accept willingly whatever befalls him and to take pleasure in nothing but the will of God.
He is to make [all] the words of his mouth acceptable, and not to lust after anything that God has not commanded.
He is to watch ever for the judgment of God, and [in every vicissitude of his existence] he is to bless his Maker. Whatever befalls, he is to [recount God's glory] and to bless him [with 'the oblation of] the lips'.
The Nazarenes of Mount Carmel
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