The Community Rule

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The Community Rule is one of the first scrolls found in Qumran. It follows the agreed upon naming convention of 1QS. It defines rules expected of the Qumran sect.

Understanding the Name

The Hebrew name of 1QS is "Serekh ha-Yahad" or "Rule of the Community." For this reason, it is identified as 1QS, with "S" being a shortened version of Serekh ha-Yahad.


The structure of The Community Rule is generally agreed to be divided into five sections:

  • Introduction (1:1-3:11) - Emphasizes the community and covenant.
  • Tractate of the Two Spirits (3:12-4:25) - Presents the dualism of the sect.
  • Statutes (5:1-9:11) - A series of laws that govern the sect, including its communal lifestyle, organization, leadership, etc.
  • Rules of the Master (9:12-10:4) - Outlines the rules expected of the leader of the community.
  • The Hymn of the Master (10:5-11:22) - A poem, in first person, as the master addresses God.