1…speaks vanity


She is ever prompt to oil her words,

and she flatters with irony,

deriding with iniquitous l[ips].

Her heart is set up as a snare,

and her kidneys (affections) as a fowler’s nets.

[Her eyes] are defiled with iniquity,

her hands have seized hold of the Pit.

Her legs go down to work wickedness,

and to walk in wrong-doings.

Her…are foundations of darkness,

and a multitude of sins is in her wings.

Her…are horns (flying plagues?)

and her garments…

5Her clothes are shades of twilight,

and her ornaments plagues of the Pit.

Her couches are beds of corruption,

and her…depths of the Pit.

Her inns are couches of darkness,

and her dominions in the midst of the night.

She pitches her dwelling on the foundations of darkness

she abides in the tents of silence.

Amid everlasting fire is her inheritance,

not among those who shine brightly.

She is the beginning of all the ways of iniquity.

Woe (and) disaster to all who possess her!

And despoiled are all who hold her!

For her ways are ways of death,

and her paths are roads of sin,

and her tracks are pathways 10to iniquity,

and her by-ways are rebellious wrong-doings.

Her gates are gates of death,

and from the entrance of the house

she sets out towards Sheol.

None of those who enter there will ever return,

and all who possess her will descend to the Pit.

She lies in ambush in secret places,

In the city’s squares she veils herself,

and she stands at the gates of towns.

She will never re[st] from wh[orin]g,

her eyes glance hither and thither.

She lifts her eyelids naughtily

to stare at a virtuous man and join him,

and an important man to trip him up,

at upright men to pervert their way,

and the righteous elect 15to keep them from the commandments,

at the firmly established to bring them down wantonly,

and those who walk in uprightness to alter the statute;

to cause the humble to rebel against God,

and turn their steps away from the ways of justice,

to bring insolence to their heart,

so that they march no more in the paths of uprightness;

to lead men astray to the ways of the Pit,

and seduce with flatteries every son of man.

Based on Geza Vermes’s translation in The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English (New York: Allen Lane The Penguin Press, 1997), with changes by Joseph Baumgarten.