The Last Days:
A Commentary on Selected Verses 4Q174 Quotation and interpretation of bouteronomy 33, Moses'final blessing upon the Israelites. What remains concerns the blessings of Levi, Benjamin, Zebulun, and Gad.
Col. 1 9["Of Levi he said: Give to Levi Your Thummim, and Your Urim to Your loyal one, whom You tested at Mass]ah, with whom You con[tesited at the waters of Meribah; who s[aid] '°[of his father and mother, "I regard them not"; he ignored his kin, and :did not] acknow[ledge his children]. For [they observed Your wo]rd, [an] kept your] covenant. [They teach Jacob Your ordLinances, and Israel Your lawi they place incense! before You, and whole burnt offerings on Your altar. Bless his substance, O LORD, and accept the work of his hands; crush the loins of his adversaries, of those that hate him, so that they never] rise again"' (Deut. 33:8-11).
Col. 2 'And the g;lory [ . . . i]t refers to the righte[ous] sacrif~ce [ . . . ] 2the goodness of the la[nd . . . ]
The author describes a time of trial for his community, the House of Judah, to be followed by a glorious era. This time offuture glory shall witness heightened purity, triumph over the community's enemies, a new temple, an inspired interpreter of Scripture, and a messiah descended from David.
[ . . . ] who swallow up the offspring of 13[ . . . en]raged against them in his zeal i4[ . . . ] This is the time when Belial shall open his mouth '5[ . . . to bringl trials [a]gainst the House ofJudah, cultivating animosity against them 16[ . . . ] and he shall seek with all his might to disperse them "[ . . . th]at he brought them to be.
[ . . . the House of Ju]dah, but the God of I[sra]el sh[all] '9[be with them as He said through the prophet: "And I will appoint a place for My people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place,tandl be disturbe\d no more; and] Col. 3 [no] enemy [shall overtake them ag]ain, [nor] evildoer [afflict] them any [mo]re, as formerly, from the time that 2[I appointed judges] over My people Israel" (2 Sam. 7:10-1 la). This "place" is the house that [they shall build for Him] in the Last Days, as it is written in the book of 3[Moses: "A temple of the LORD are you to prepare with your hands the LORD will reign forever and ever" (Exod. 15:17-18). This passage descrlbes the temple that no [man with a] permanent [fleshly defect] shall enter 4nor Ammonite, Moabite, bastard, foreigner, or alien, forevermore. Surely His holiness Sshall be rev[eal]ed there; eternal glory shall ever be apparent; there. Strangers shall not again defile it, as they formerly defiled 6the Templle of I]srael through their sins. To that end He has commanded that they build Him a Temple of Adam (or Temple of Humankind), and that in it th~ey sacrifice to Him 7proper sacrifices.
As for what He said to David,"I [will give] you [res] from all your enemies" (2 Sam. 7:1 lb), this passage means that He will give them rest ~from [al]1 8the children of Belial, who cause~them to stumble, seeking to destroy the[m by means-o] their [wickedness]. They became party to the plan of Belial in order to cause the S[ons] of 9Li[gh] to stumble. They plotted wickecl schemes aga~nst them, [so that they might fall pr]ey to Belial through guilty error.
(2 Sam. 7:1 lc, 12b, 13b-14a). This passage refers to the Shoot of David, who is to arise with 12the Interpreter of the Law, and who will [arise] in Zi[on in the La]st Days, as it is written, "And I shall raise up the booth of David that is fallen" (Amos 9:11). This passage describes the fallen Branch of David, [w]hom He shall raise up to deliver Israel.
The author finds scriptural mention of his community, then turns his mind to thefinal war against the Gentiles and the time of persecution awaiting the House ofJudah.
The interpretation of "Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked" (Ps. l:la): The meaning is, [th]ey are those who turn aside from: the path of [the wicked], as it is written in the book of Isaiah the prophet in reference to the Last Days,"And it came to pass, while His hand was strong upon me, [that He warned me not to walk in the way o] '6this people" (Isa. 8:11). These are they about whorn it is written in the book~ofEzehel the ~ prophet, namely, "They shall ne[ver again defile themselves with] ~7the* idols" (Ezek. 37:23). They are the Sons of Zadok, and the m[e]n of the[i]r council who pu[rsue righ]teousness and follow them to join the Yahad.
The m]eaning [is that the ~ na]tions~ [shall set ~themselves] and con[spire vainly against] the chosen of Israel in the Last Days. Col. 4 That will be the time of persecution that is to co[me upon the House of J]udah, to the end of sealing~up [the wicked in consuming fire and destroying all the children og 2Belial. Then shall be left behind a remnant of [chosen on]es, the pre[des]tined. They shall perform the whole of the Law, [as God commanded through] 3Moses. This is the [time of whic]h it is written in the book of Daniel the prophet, ["The wicked] will act ever more wicked[ly and shall not understand.] 4aBut the righteous will [be purlfied, dea]nsed, and refined" (Dan. 12:10).
So, the people who know God shall be steadfast. These are [the men o 1 4truth, [who shall instruct many] following the persecution that is to desc[end] upon them [in that time . . . ] s . . . in its descent :[: . . . ] ~~6[ev]il, just as [ . . . ] to the wicked [ . . . ] 7[I]srael and Aaron [ . . . ] Col. 5 2"Listen to the soun[d of my cry, my King and my God, for to You I lift m~y prayer. O LoRD, in the morning
You hear my voice" (Ps. 5:2-3a). The] 3meaning concerns the Last D[ays . . . ] Col. 6 ,[written in the book of Isa]iah the prop[het,"They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not pIant and another eat;] 2[for like the days of a tree] shall the days ~of Nly people be, [and] My ch[osen shall long enjoy~ the work of their hands. They shall] no[t labor in vain,] 3[or bear children for calam]ity; for [they shall be] offspring [blessed by the LORD" (Isa. 65:2~23). For] they are [ . . . ] ~~