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The war texts: Discovery and identification

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Chapter Summary

The scroll of The War of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness, or more simply, the War Scroll1QM(ilhamah)is one of the first seven scrolls discovered in 1947 by some Bedouin in a cave on the northwestern shores of the Dead Sea near the ruins of Khirbet Qumran This scroll, which describes an ultimate eschatological war between the forces of goodthe Sons of Light, and the forces of evilthe Sons of Darkness, for the final undoing of evil in the world, is unique. Outside of the Qumran Scrolls, no other parallels are known in the entire corpus of Second Temple Period literature. It describes a series of battles, complete with chronological considerations, divisions of the army, tactical issues, types of weaponry, even instructions for priests together with necessary ritual practices, all for the purpose of insuring victory to the Sons of Light.

Keywords: Cave 1; Cave 11; Cave 4; chronological considerations; eschatological war; Qumran Scrolls; Second Temple Period literature; war texts



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