Book of Amram

Dead Sea Scrolls:

Translated from text found in Cave #4 of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Testament Of Amram (4Q543, 545-548) – extracted from  ‘Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered‘ by Robert Eisenman and Michael Wise

Translation in English:

We are not certain of this exact order of the fragments of this book, but this is the translators best guess at putting them together.

Manuscript C

Column 1

  • (1) A copy [of the book of the words of the vis]ion of Amram the son of Kohath, the son of Levi: all
  • (2) that [he revealed to his sons and that he commanded t]hem on the day [of his death, in] the year
  • (3) one hundred and thirty-six, whi[ch] was the year of his death, [in the o]ne hundred
  • (4) and fifty-second year of the exil[e of Israel to Egypt … upon [him, and he sent]
  • (5) to call Uzziel his youngest brother, and [gave] to him [in marr]iage [Miri]am [his] daughter. [For he said]
  • (6) ‘You (Miriam) are thirty years old.’ Then he gave a wedding feast seven [day]s long,
  • (7) and ate and drank and rejoiced at the feast. Then, when
  • (8) the Mays of the wedding feast were completed, he called for Aaron his son. Now, [h]e (Aaron) was a man of … years of age
  • (9) [… and he said] to him, ‘Call … and Malachijah … from the house of
  • (10) … above. He called him … Column 2
  • (11) in this land, and I went up to …
  • (12) to bury our fathers. And I went up …
  • (13) to [a]rise, to bind and pile sheaths and to build …
  • (14) gre[a]t from the sons of my uncle, all togeth[er … and from]
  • (15) our excee[ding great labors, [until in Egy]pt there died …
  • (16) the rumor of war and unrest returned … to the land of E[gypt …]
  • (17) to meet and [they had] not bui[lt gr]aves for their fa[th]ers. Then [my father Kohath] released me [to go,]
  • (18) to build and to get [all their needs] for the[m from the land of Canaan. [And while]
  • (19) we [were] building, wa[r broke out between] the Philistines and Egypt, and … was winn[ing …]


Manuscript E

Fragment 1

  • (1) … that Levi his son sacrificed to …
  • (2) I said to you at the alt[ar] of stop[e …]
  • (3) [con]cerning sacrifice[s …]

Fragment 2

  • (2) I rescued …
  • (3) he built …
  • (4) at Mount Sinai …
  • (5) a great blessing at the bronz[e] altar …
  • (6) from among all the people on earth his [son] will be exalted as a priest. The[n …]
  • (7) and his sons after him, for all the generations of eternity in Tru[th …]
  • (8) and I awoke from the sleep of my eyes, and [I] wrote down the vision …
  • (9) I went out from the land of Canaan, and it happened to me just as he said …
  • (10) exalting, and afterwar[d], in the twen[tieth] year, [I returned to the land of Canaan]
  • (11) … you were …

Manuscript B

Fragment 1

  • (9) [… 1 saw Watchers]
  • (10) in my vision, the dream-vision. Two (men) were fighting over me, saying …
  • (11) and holding a great contest over me. I asked them, ‘Who are you, that you are thus empo[wered over me?’ They answered me, ‘We]
  • (12) [have been em]powered and rule over all mankind.’ They said to me, ‘Which of us do yo[u choose to rule (you)?’ I raised my eyes and looked.]
  • (13) [One] of them was terr[i]fying in his appearance, [like a serpent, [his] cl[oa]k many-colored yet very dark…
  • (14) [And I looked again], and … in his appearance, his visage like a viper, and [wearing …]
  • 15) [exceedingly, and all his eyes …]


Fragment 2

  • (1) [… em]powered over you …
  • (2) [I replied to him,] ‘This [Watcher,] who is he?’ He answered me, ‘This Wa[tcher …]
  • (3) [and his three names are Belial and Prince of Darkness] and King of Evil.’ I said, ‘My lord, what dom[inion …?’]
  • (4) [’and his every way is darkened, his every work da[rk]ened. In Darkness he …
  • (5) [Yo]u saw, and he is empowered over all Darkness, while I [am empowered over all light.]
  • (6) [… from] the highest regions to the lowest I rule over all Light, and over al[1 that is of God. I rule over (every) man]

Fragment 3

  • (1) [of His grace and peace. Over all the sons of Lig]ht have] I been empowered.’ I asked him, [What are your names … ?’]
  • (2) He [s]aid to me, ‘[My] three names are [Michael and Prince of Light and King of Righteousness.’]


Manuscript ?

Column 1

  • (1) … tribes …
  • (2) to them and all [his] ways [are True …]
  • (3) [and he will heal] them of all their ills …
  • (4) them from death and from de[struction …]
  • (5) [o]ver you, blessed sons …
  • (6) all the generations of Israel for[ever …]
  • (7) angry at me, for the sons of Ri[ghteousness …]
  • (8) between the sons of Lying and the sons of Tr[uth …]
  • (9) I [will make known to you;] certainly I will inform y[ou that all the sons of Light]
  • (10) will be made Light, [whereas all the sons] of Darkness will be made Dark. [The sons of Light …]
  • (11) and in all their Knowledge [they will] be, and the sons of Darkness will be dest[ro]yed …
  • (12) For all foolishness and Evi[1 will be darkened, while all [pea]ce and Truth will be made Ligh[t. All the sons of Light]
  • (13) [are destined for Light and [eternal j]oy (and) [re]joic[ing.] All the sons of Dark[ness] are destined for [Darkness and death]
  • (14) and destruction … Lightness for the people. And I shall reveal [to you …]
  • (15) from Darkness, for all …
  • (16) the sons of [Darkness …] and all the sons of Light …





Used by Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License from: Biblioteca Pleyades 

Top translation in English by Prof. Robert Eisenman


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