Swords into Plowshares, The Isaiah Scroll and Its Message of Peace
Closes September 16
Studying Art in the Museum
for adults and children at beginning and advanced levels
Secrets and Ties
Wondrous Connections in the Israel Museum Collections
The galleries in the main building are currently closed to the public
due to the comprehensive program of renewal at the Israel Museum.
Signs of Life: Animating Ticho House
Until September 26
The Shrine of the Book
Model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period
Youth Wing
Campus Renewal Project

The Qumran Library

---The End of Days: The “War of the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness”

“This is the day appointed by Him for the defeat and overthrow of the Prince of the kingdom of wickedness” (War of the Sons and Light and the Sons of Darkness XVII:5–6)

The members of the Community of the yahad retired to the desert out of a profound conviction that they were living in the End of Days and that the final Day of Judgment was close at hand. They believed that all the stages of history were predetermined by God, and thus any attempt by the forces of the “Prince of Darkness” and “all the government of sons of injustice” to corrupt the “Sons of Righteousness” was destined to fail; salvation would ultimately arrive, as we read in Pesher Habakkuk (VII:13–14): “All the ages of God reach their appointed end as He determines for them in the mysteries of His wisdom.”

The sectarians divided humanity into two camps: The “Sons of Light,” who were good and blessed by God – referring to the sectarians themselves; and the “Sons of Darkness,” who were evil and accursed – referring to everyone else (Jews and gentiles alike). They believed that in the End of Days these two camps would battle each other, as described in detail in the scroll now known as “The War of the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness.” This work, which provides a detailed account of the mobilization of troops, their numbers and division into units, weaponry, and so forth, states that at the end of the seventh round of battles, the forces of the “Sons of Light,” aided by God Himself and His angels, would vanquish the “Forces of Belial” (as Satan is called in the sect’s writings). Only then would the members of the Community be able to return to Jerusalem and engage in the proper worship of God in the future Temple, which would meet with the stringent requirements set out, for example, in the scroll known as “The New Jerusalem.”
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