Book of Amram

Dead Sea Scrolls: Fragment of a book.

This is typically the best we could hope for in 2000 year old writings. That is why (all the more) the finding of multiple books in the Discoveries in the Judean Desert is so amazing.

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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