4 Exorcism Psalms from the Dead Sea Scrolls

I recently purchased an English translation of the Dead Sea Scrolls Bible. The Dead Sea Scrolls are the oldest known manuscripts of Scripture, the copies themselves being almost 2000 years old, and were discovered between 1947 and 1956 in caves around Khirbet Qumran, Israel. I'll post these 4 Exorcism Psalms below.

The scrolls are quite interesting, giving a glimpse of how well our Scripture matches up to older manuscripts, giving us an idea of how much was lost, how well the translators copied the older Hebrew manuscripts into Greek, Latin, and later, English.

The first Psalm is virtually unreadable, as the scroll has worn away in certain areas. The second Psalm is better preserved, but difficult to read. The third and fourth Psalms are well-preserved and readable. I've preserved the tetragrammaton the scrolls contain; these 4 Hebrew letters (Yodh, Heh, Vav, Heh) which represent the name of God, have since been replaced in our Bibles with titles like "Lord". But the original Scripture contains those 4 letters, which we transliterate into English as YHVH, from which names like Yahweh, Yehova, and Jehova, derive.

Furthermore, there are areas in the scroll worn away with missing or partially visible letters. For these areas, the English translation simply will contain "[...]" for sections of text that are missing or unreadable due to wear and tear on the scroll.

So without further ado, here are the 4 exorcism psalms found at Qumran, part of the Dead Sea scrolls:


The First Exorcism Psalm: On Expelling Demons


1[...2...] and the one who weeps for him 3[ ... ] the curse4 [...] by YHVH 5 [...] dragon 6 [...] the earth [... 7...] exorcising [...8...] to [...9...] this [...10...] to the demon [...11...] he will dwell.



The Second Exorcism Psalm: Trusting in YHVH for Protection


This Psalm, which is apparently attributed to Solomon, invokes the God of creation for protection against evil powers. God's power is highlighted from Scripture, and the Psalmist calls on angelic powers to combat demonic forces.

A Psalm of Solomon
He will invoke [...] the spirits and the demons [...] These are the demons. And the prince of enmity [...] Israel [...] the abyss [...] the great [...] his people [...] healing [...] leans upon your name, and calls [...] He says to Israel, "Hold fast to YHVH, ... who made the heavens and the earth, and all that is in them, who separated light from darkness.
[...] the depths the earth and [...] the earth. Who made these signs and wonders on the earth? YHVH, it is he who made these through his power, who summons all his angels and all the holy offspring to stand before him [...] all the heavens and all the earth [...] who committed sin against all humanity, and all evil against all people. But they know his wonderful [...] which they do not [...] If they do not desist out of fear of YHVH from [...] and from killing the soul of [...them?...] YHVH, and they will fear that great [...]. "One of you puts to flight a thousand." [...] servants of YHVH [...] great and [...]
[... and] great is [...] adjuring you [...] and the great [...] and mighty and [...] all the earth [...] the heavens and [...] May YHVH smite you with a mighty blow in order to destroy you [...], and in his fierce wrath may he send against you a powerful angel to carry out his entire command, who will show no mercy to you, who [...] against all these who will send you down in to the great abyss and to deepest Sheol, and who [...], and there you shall lie, and darkness [...] very much [...]. No longer on the earth [...] forever and [...ever?] by the curse of Abaddon [possibly, destruction?] the fierce anger of YHVH in darkness for all [...] affliction [...] your gift [...]
[...] which [...] and those possessed by demons [...] those crushed by [...] Raphael has healed them. Amen, Amen, Selah.



The Third Exorcism Psalm:
YHVH Has Power to Strike Down Demons


This Psalm, which is attributed to David, is uttered against a demon. The reference to this demon's horns is particularly interesting in view of popular depictions of the devil as having horns.

A Psalm of David.
Against [...demons?]
An incantation in the name of YHVH.
To be invoked at any time to the heavens.

For he will come at you at night, and you will say to him: "Who are you? Withdraw from humanity and from the offspring of the holy ones! For your appearance is one of vanity, and your horns are horns of illusion. You are darkness, not light, wickedness, not righteousness [...] the commander of the army, YHVH, will bring you down into deepest Sheol, [...] the two bronze gates through which no light can enter, and the sun will not shine for you that rises upon the righteous to [..."] And then you will say [...] the righteous, to come [...] for a demon to harm him, [...] of truth from [...] because he has righteousness [... ] and [...]



The Fourth Exorcism Psalm: Psalm 91


Psalm 91 has brought comfort and hope to Jews and Christians over the centuries. Not only does it evoke God's help and protection against physical and human dangers, this Psalm has been connected with exorcisms of demonic forces in both rabbinic and Christian traditions.

A Psalm of David. The one who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty; who says of YHVH, "My refuge and my fortress, my God is the constant one in whom I can trust." For he will deliver you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will rest; his faithfulness upon you is a shield and his truth is a buckler. Selah. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day; nor the plague that destroys at noon, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not strike you. You will merely look on with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. For you have invoked your shelter [...] his delight. You will see no harm, and no disaster will strike in your tents.
For he will give orders to his angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. In their hands they will lift you up, so that you do not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the cobra and the viper; you will trample underfoot the strong lion and the serpent. Because you delight in YHVH he will rescue you and make you secure and will show you his victory. Selah. Then they will answer, "Amen, Amen." Selah.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting this. It has helped me more than you could ever know.

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  2. Franks,

    Thanks for commenting, I'm happy to hear this has benefited you.

    Blessings in Messiah Yeshua,
    -Judah

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