The War Scrolls & Prophecy

The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in a series of twelve caves around the site originally known as the “Ein Feshkha Caves” near the Dead Sea in the West Bank (then part of Jordan) between 1946 and 1956 by Bedouin shepherds and a team of archeologists. in the desert region of Qumran. These scrolls stayed buried in the Vatican vaults for many years and that story of release is still with its’ own intrigue, for there are yet scrolls that have not been released to the public. So, we will just move on from that, as it is a very controversial and debatable issue. This is about the “War Scrolls” that were among the scrolls found in Qumran, and the words it contains, after it was deciphered.

We appear to be in this very war. Read and see.

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The War Scroll

This scroll presents the Essenes’ apocalyptic vision of the final battle between the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness. The final apocalyptic battle and the return of the Lord. Some scholars detect these to speak of Jesus’s message about the coming Kingdom of God.

The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation: by: Michael Wise, Martin Abegg, Jr., Edward Cook
HarperSanFrancisco 1996 1QM, 4Q491-496

Armageddon: the war to end all wars. These words stir up images of inevitable conflict, the final focus on the dark side of human nature, the ultimate catharsis that ushers in an age of peace. All of these issues come to a head in the War Scroll, a text that describes the eschatological last battle in gory detail as righteousness is fully victorious and evil is forever destroyed. This vivid account gives us insight into how, at about the time of Jesus, some Jews conceived of Armageddon.

The first lines of the scroll (1QM 1:1-7) lay the framework for a three-stage conflict between the Sons of Light–that is, members of the Yahad[1] (see 1QS 3:13)–and the Sons of Darkness. The first battle finds the adversaries led by the Kittim of Assyria. (Although the name Kittim is often used in the scrolls as a reference to the Romans, its basic sense seems to have been “archetypical bad guys.”) The Kittim of Asshur come in alliance with the biblical enemies Edom, Moab, Ammon, and Philistia. Cooperating with this unholy alliance are the “violators of the covenant”: Jews who had spurned the message of the Yahad and in so doing aligned themselves with the Sons of Darkness. The second stage expands the war’s influence to the Kittim who dwelt in Egypt, and then finally to the Kings of the North.

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Although this war is said to extend over forty years, the writer of the scroll was particularly concerned with the details of the very final day of battle. After six bloody engagements during this last battle, the Sons of Light and Sons of Darkness are deadlocked in a 3-3 tie. In the seventh and final confrontation “the great hand of God shall overcome [Belial and al]l the angels of his dominion, and all the men of [his forces shall be destroyed forever]” (IQM 1:14-15). Along the way, in true apocalyptic fashion, the scroll goes into elaborate detail Concerning the battle trumpets (2:15-3:11), banners (3:12-5-2), and operational matters (5:3-9:16). Priestly prayers for the various phases of the conflict are recorded next (9:17-l5:3). Finally, the seven savage engagements of the final day of battle are detailed (15:4-18:8), culminating in a ceremony of thanksgiving on the day following the victory (18:10-19:14).

As with biblical representatives of apocalyptic literature, Ezekiel 38-39 and the Revelation of John as pertinent examples, one can easily lose sight of the primary purpose of the work. It is not to be found in the intricate and often mysterious details of the text. Rather, the author was concerned with the tribulation and hopelessness that his readers were currently experiencing. He built his encouragement on a biblical theology of rescue: the defeat of Goliath at the hand of David (1QM 11:1-2), and Pharaoh and the officers of his chariots at the Red Sea (11:9-10). Coupled with this aspect was his understanding that great suffering was part of God’s will for the redeemed. Indeed, God’s crucible (17:9) was seen as a necessary component of man’s existence so long as evil continued to exist in the world. Ultimately, God’s purpose was to exalt the Sons of Light and to judge the Children of Darkness. The message is one of hope. In the face of such perverse evil, the Sons of Light are encouraged to persevere to the end. God was preparing to intervene and bring a permanent solution for the problem of evil.

The scroll itself is one of the first seven texts found by the Bedouin in 1947. Nineteen columns of text are preserved, lacking only a few lines at the bottom edge and the final page or pages of the composition….

The description of the eschatological war.

Col. 1

For the In[structor, the Rule of] the War. The first attack of the Sons of Light shall be undertaken against the forces of the Sons of Darkness, the army of Belial: the troops of Edom, Moab, the sons of Ammon, the [Amalekitesl, Philistia, and the troops of the Kittim of Asshur. Supporting them are those who have violated the covenant. The sons of Levi, the sons of Judah, and the sons of Benjamin, those exiled to the wilderness, shall fight against them with [ . . . ] against all their troops, when the exiles of the Sons of Light return from the Wilderness of the Peoples to camp in the Wilderness of Jerusalem. Then after the battle they shall go up from that place and the king of the Kittim [shall enter] into Egypt. In his time he shall go forth with great wrath to do battle against the kings of the north and in his anger he shall set out to destroy and eliminate the strength of Israel. Then there shall be a time of salvation for the People of God, and a time of dominion for all the men of His forces, and eternal annihilation for all the forces of Belial.

There shall be g[reat] panic [among] the sons of Japheth. Assyria shall fall with no one to come to his aid, and the supremacy of the Kittim shall cease, that wickedness be overcome without a remnant. There shall be no survivors of [all the Sons of] Darkness.

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Then [the Sons of Righteousness shall shine to all ends of the world, continuing to shine forth until end of the appointed seasons of darkness. Then at the time appointed by God, His great excellence shall shine for all the times of eternity; for peace and blessing, glory and joy, and long life for all Sons of Light. On the day when the Kittim fall there shall be a battle and horrible carnage before the God of Israel, for it is a day appointed by Him from ancient times as a battle of annihilation for the Sons of Darkness.

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On that day the congregation of the gods and the congregation of men shall engage one another, resulting in great carnage. The Sons of Light and the forces of Darkness shall fight together to show the strength of God with the roar of a great multitude and the shout of gods and men: a day of disaster. It is a time of distress for all the people who are redeemed by God. In all their afflictions none exists that is like it, hastening to its completion as an eternal redemption. On the day of their battle against the Kittim, they shall go forth for carnage in battle.

In three lots the Sons of Light shall stand firm so as to strike a blow at wickedness, and in three the army of Belial shall strengthen themselves so as to force the retreat of the forces [of Light. And when the] banners of the infantry cause their hearts to melt. then the strength of God will strengthen the hearts of the Sons of Light. In the seventh lot the great hand of God shall overcome Belial and all the angels of his dominion, and all the men of [his forces shall be destroyed forever].

Published April 1998.

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Col. 2

The congregation’s clans, fifty-two. They shall rank the chiefs of the priests after the Chief Priest and his deputy; twelve chief priests to serve in the regular offering before God. The chiefs of the courses, twenty-six, shall serve in their courses. After them the chiefs of the Levites serve continually, twelve in all, one to a tribe. The chiefs of their courses shall serve each man in his office. The chiefs of the tribes and fathers of the congregation shall support them, taking their stand continually at the gates of the sanctuary.

The chiefs of their courses, from the age of fifty upwards, shall take their stand with their commissioners on their festivals, new moons and Sabbaths, and on every day of the year. These shall take their stand at the burnt offerings and sacrifices, to arrange the sweet-smelling incense according to the will of God, to atone for all His congregation, and to satisfy themselves before Him continually at the table of glory. All of these they shall arrange at the time of the year of remission.

During the remaining thirty-three years of the war the men of renown, those called of the Congregation, and all the heads of the congregation’s clans shall choose for themselves men of war for all the lands of the nations. From all tribes of Israel they shall prepare capable men for themselves to go out for battle according to the summons of the war, year by year. But during the years of remission they shall not ready men to go out for battle, for it is a Sabbath of rest for Israel. During the thirty-five years of service the war shall be waged. For six years the whole congregation shall wage it together, and a war of divisions shall be waged during the twenty-nine remaining years. In the first year they shall fight against Mesopotamia, in the second against the sons of Lud, in the third they shall fight against the rest of the sons of Aram: Uz, Hul, Togar, and Mesha, who are beyond the Euphrates. In the fourth and fifth they shall fight against the sons of Arpachshad, in the sixth and seventh they shall fight against all the sons of Assyria and Persia and the easterners up to the Great Desert. In the eighth year they shall fight against the sons of Elam, in the ninth year they shall fight against the sons of Ishmael and Keturah, and during the following ten years the war shall be divided against all the sons of Ham according to their clans and their territories. During the remaining ten years the war shall be divided against all sons of Japheth according to their territories.

The description of the trumpets.

The Rule of the Trumpets: the trumpets] of alarm for all their service for the […] for their commissioned men, by tens of thousands and thousands and hundreds and fifties] and tens. Upon the trumpets …][…][… they shall write … the trumpets of]

Dead Sea Scrolls

Col. 3

The battle formations, and the trumpets for assembling them when the gates of the war are opened so that the infantry might advance, the trumpets for the signal of the slain, the trumpets of the ambush, the trumpets of pursuit when the enemy is defeated, and the trumpets of reassembly when the battle returns. On the trumpets for the assembly of the congregation they shall write, “The called of God.”

On the trumpets for the assembly of the chiefs they shall write, “The princes of God.” On the trumpets of the formaons they shall write, “The rule of God.” On the trumpets of the men of renown [they shall write], “The heads of the congregation’s clans.” Then when they are assembled at the house of meeting, they shal1 write, “The testimonies of God for a holy congregation.” On the trumpets of the camps they shall write, “The peace of God in the camps of His saints.” On the trumpets for their campaigns they shall write, “The mighty deeds of God to scatter the enemy and to put all those who hate justice to flight and a withdrawal of mercy from all who hate God.” On the trumpets of the battle formations they shall write, “Formations of the divisions of God to avenge His anger on all Sons of Darkness.”

On the trumpets for assembling the infantry when the gates of war open that they might go out against the battle line of the enemy, they shall write, “A remembrance of requital at the appointed time of God.” On the trumpets of the slain they shall write, “The hand of the might of God in battle so as to bring down all the slain because of unfaithfulness.” On the trumpets of ambush they shall write, “Mysteries of God to wipe out wickedness.” On the trumpets of pursuit they shall write, “God has struck all Sons of Darkness, He shall not abate His anger until they are annihilated.”

When they return from battle to enter the formation, they shall write on the trumpets of retreat, “God has gathered.” On the trumpets for the way of return from battle with the enemy to enter the congregation in Jerusalem, they shall write, “Rejoicings of God in a peaceful return.”

The description of the banners.

Rule of the banners of the whole congregation according to their formations. On the grand banner which is at the head of all the people they shall write, “People of God,” the names “Israel” and “Aaron,” and the names of the twelve tribes of Israel according to their order of birth. On the banners of the heads of the “camps” of three tribes they shall write, “the Spirit of God,” and the names of three tribes. On the banner of each tribe they shall write, “Standard of God,” and the name of the leader of the tribe of its clans. [… and] the name of the leader of the ten thousand and the names of the chief[s of …] […] his hundreds. On the banner […]

Read the rest of the War Scrolls Here: The War Scroll (

Here is another site that has a full copy to read from: War Scroll (1QM) (

We are in this final war and the victory shall go to those who serve the Lord. Keep on pressing into the Kingdom of God. Press, press, press. We are deep into the battle and victory belongs to the Lord.


By Dianne Marshall

I don't sleep I write! Author, Graphic Artist, Researcher and lover of the truth.

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