Two millennia later, fragments of those texts have reemerged, the Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced Tuesday. It is the first such discovery since the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947 and the early Fifties. The inhospitable environment was considered a safe haven as the war between the Roman Empire and the Judean rebels led by Shimon Bar Kokhba raged around 130 AD. Jews found shelter in the caves and brought what they thought they needed for their new life.
by Geoffrey GriderMarch 16, 2021
Some 1,900 years ago, Jewish and Christian refugees fleeing the Romans made their way to the Judean Desert. Among the belongings they carried with them were scrolls featuring the biblical books of Zechariah and Nahum.
The discovery of 1,900-year old scripture portions is an incredible revelation, but it becomes stunning when you realize that they were scripture portions held by first century Jewish and Christian believers, to keep them from falling into the hands of the evil Roman empire. The very same Roman empire that two centuries later would unleash the Roman Catholic Church upon the world, ushering in a thousand years of the Dark Ages.
“These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates: And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.” Zechariah 8:16,17 (KJB)
Here in the 21st century, the Roman empire and the Vatican are quite busy raising up the One World Religion of Chrislam, and the very scrolls that are bubbling back up to life are the same scripture that pronounces the coming destruction of the Whore of Babylon. Aren’t the end times wonderful? They are if you’re a bible believer.
2,000-year-old biblical texts found in Israel, the 1st since Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 1947
FROM THE JERUSALEM POST: Two millennia later, fragments of those texts have reemerged, the Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced Tuesday. It is the first such discovery since the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947 and the early Fifties. The inhospitable environment was considered a safe haven as the war between the Roman Empire and the Judean rebels led by Shimon Bar Kokhba raged around 130 CE. Jews found shelter in the caves and brought what they thought they needed for their new life.
In recent decades, the caves have been targeted by looters eager to find artifacts to sell on the private market. For this reason, a few years ago, the IAA, in cooperation with the Civil Administration’s Archaeology Department, launched a rescue operation to survey all the caves in the area. The findings, which include not only the biblical fragments, but also dozens of artifacts dating back as early as 10,000 years ago, have been astounding.
“MORE THAN 80 FRAGMENTS OF DIFFERENT SIZES HAVE BEEN UNCOVERED, SOME OF THEM CARRYING TEXT, SOME NOT,” DR. OREN ABLEMAN FROM THE IAA DEAD SEA SCROLL UNIT TOLD THE JERUSALEM POST. “BASED ON THE SCRIPT, WE DATED THEM TO THE END OF THE FIRST CENTURY BCE, WHICH MEANS THAT BY THE TIME IT WAS BROUGHT TO THE CAVE, THE SCROLL WAS ALREADY A CENTURY OLD.”
The researchers ascertained that the artifacts matched other fragments uncovered several decades ago and preserved at the IAA laboratory. They belonged to a scroll featuring the biblical Book of Zechariah, written in Greek, except for God’s name, which was marked in paleo-Hebrew.
“This was probably a way to show the importance of the name of God,” Ableman said.
The new discovery is particularly groundbreaking because one of the excerpts that was deciphered presents a version of Zechariah that was never encountered before, he said.
Verses 16 and 17 of the eighth chapter of Zechariah read: “These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to one another, render true and perfect justice in your gates. And do not contrive evil against one another, and do not love perjury, because all those are things that I hate – declares the Lord.” In the fragment, the word “gates” is replaced by the word “streets.”
“We had never seen this before,” Ableman said. It is not uncommon for texts appearing on the Dead Sea Scrolls to be different than the biblical text we know today. Scholars rely on these differences to understand more about how the canonized version of the Bible developed.
“In this manuscript, we can see the effort of the translators to remain closer to the original Hebrew compared to what happened with the Septuagint,” Beatriz Riestra of the IAA Dead Sea Scrolls Unit said, referring to the earliest Greek translation of the Bible from the third century BCE.
The practice of leaving God’s name in Hebrew was already found in other Dead Sea Scrolls fragments, as well as in several manuscripts from more recent periods from the Cairo genizah, a collection of hundreds of thousands of documents kept in the storeroom of a synagogue in the Egyptian capital, she said.
Together with the manuscript, the archaeologists found several coins minted by the Jewish rebels under Bar Kokhba’s leadership, carrying the writing: “Year 1 for the redemption of Israel.”
“Coins are an expression of sovereignty,” Donald T. Ariel, head of the IAA’s Coin Department, told the Post. “Minting coins meant to be free.” The bronze coins feature a palm tree and a vine leaf.
“At the time, the palm tree had become the quintessential symbol of Judea. The Romans themselves put the symbol also on their Judea Capta coins,” Ariel said, referring to a series of coins minted by the empire to commemorate their victory in the region.
Dozens of new Dead Sea Scroll fragments bearing biblical text are discovered in Israel’s ‘Cave of Horror’ having been hidden during a Jewish revolt against Rome 1,900 years ago
- The fragments of ancient parchment were discovered in the ‘Cave of Horror’ which is south of Jerusalem
- This is the first item discovered from an archaeological dig in the Judean Desert in more than 60 years
- The pieces of parchment found inside the cave include Greek lines of biblical text from Zechariah and Nahum
- Other items found in the cave include a 10,000 year old woven basket and the skeleton of a young girl
PUBLISHED: 04:01 EDT, 16 March 2021
Dozens of new Dead Sea Scroll fragments thought to have been hidden during a Jewish revolt against Rome 1,900 years ago have been found in a cave.
The fragments include lines of Greek text from the biblical books of Zechariah and Nahum and were radiocarbon dated to the 2nd century AD, experts confirmed.
The Israel Antiquities Authority say more than 20 fragments were found in a remote canyon in the Judean Desert, south of Jerusalem – the first find of its kind in 60 years.
They were discovered in the Cave of Horror, named in the 1950s after 40 skeletons of women, men and children were found after excavations – they were hiding from Roman soldiers during the 2nd century Jewish Bar Kochba Revolt.
To get into the cave, which is well secluded from view and difficult to access, teams of archaeologists and other experts had to repel down the side of a 260ft cliff.
A number of items were found in the cave, including a 10,000 year old woven basket, the skeleton of a girl dating back 6,000 years and the biblical fragments.
They were discovered in clumps and rolled up within the cave – so far 11 lines of Greek text translated from the books of Zechariah and Nahum have been revealed.
The Israel Antiquities Authority is displaying the newly discovered Dead Sea Scroll fragments at the Dead Sea scrolls conservation lab in Jerusalem
Israel Antiquities Authority conservator Tanya Bitler says they were likely hidden during a Jewish revolt against Rome nearly 1,900 years ago
An expert points at fragments of ancient text scrolls that are shown in the Scrolls Sections at the laboratorires of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) in Jerusalem
Israel shows off dozens of new Dead Sea Scroll fragments
CAVE OF HORROR: 40 SKELETONS FOUND IN THE 1950s
Excavations of a cave in the Judea Desert in the 1950s revealed skeletons of 40 men, women and children.
It is in the southern cliff of Nahal Hever near the Cave of Letters where writings on the revolt were uncovered.
They were Jewish rebels hiding from Roman troops during the Bar Kochba Revolt from 132-136 AD.
It is thought Roman soldiers continued to besieged the camp until the inhabitants succumbed to starvation.
It has a lid and could be 10,500 years old based on radiocarbon dating. That pre-dates the arrival of pottery in the region.
‘As far as we know, this is the oldest basket in the world that has been found completely intact and its importance is therefore immense,’ said the IAA.
The archaeologists also uncovered the skeleton of a young girl dating back about 6,000 years that had been mummified and tucked into a blanket.
‘It was obvious that whoever buried the child had wrapped him up and pushed the edges of the cloth beneath him, just as a parent covers his child in a blanket. A small bundle of cloth was clutched in the child’s hands,’ said historian Ronit Lupu.
It is thought the scrolls and basket survived due to the heat and aridity in the region.
‘The desert team showed exceptional courage, dedication and devotion to purpose,’ said Israel Hasson, director of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
He said the work involved ‘rappelling down to caves located between heaven and earth, digging and sifting through them, enduring thick and suffocating dust, and returning with gifts of immeasurable worth for mankind.’
‘The newly discovered scroll fragments are a wake-up call to the state. Resources must be allocated for the completion of this historically important operation.
‘We must ensure that we recover all the data that has not yet been discovered in the caves before the robbers do. Some things are beyond value,’ Hasson said.
The objects were discovered as part of a wider mission to find prehistoric and biblical relics in the region to reduce the risk of looting.
Archeologist Haim Cohen looks at a woven basket that is more than 10,000 years old
This is the remains of a sandal found within the Cave of Horror during an excavation that also revealed bible fragments
Ancient samples of grains and seeds were also uncovered from the cave where fragments of biblical scrolls were found
This is a fragment of an ancient arrow nock from prehistoric period Judea – found in the Cave of Horror
Caves and ravines are being combed by experts, as part of the project that first started in 2017.
‘For years we chased after antiquities looters. We finally decided to pre-empt the thieves and try reaching the artefacts before they were removed from the ground and the caves,’ said Amir Ganor, head of the IAA’s Theft Prevention Unit.
A coin from the ‘Cache of Bar Kokhba’ likely belonging to the Jewish rebels hiding from Roman soldiers
The fragment of an ancient arrow from prehistoric and Roman periods discovered in the cave
The fragment of an ancient rope that could come from the prehistoric era Judea Desert
The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of Jewish texts found in desert caves in the West Bank near Qumran in the 1940s and 1950s.
They date from the 3rd century BC to the 1st century AD and include the earliest known copies of biblical text and documents.
The original scrolls were found by shepherd Muhammed Edh-Dhib as he searched for a stray among the limestone cliffs at Khirbet Qumran on the shores of the Dead Sea in what was then British Mandate Palestine – now the West Bank.
The fragment of an ancient, about 2,000 years old lice comb found in the Cave of Horror
Fragments of various ancient finds from the cave reveal an insight into the long history of the region from the Neolithic through to biblical periods and Roman occupation
Fragments of ancient arrowheads from prehistoric and Roman eras were also among the items discovered within the cave
The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered between 1946 and 1956 and date back 2,000 years
Discovered between 1946 and 1956, the Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of 972 ancient manuscripts dating back to 2,000 years ago.
The texts include tends of thousands of parchment and papyrus fragments and in rare cases entire manuscripts.
They contain parts of what is now known as the Hebrew Bible as well as a range of extra-biblical documents.
The scrolls were found by shepherd Muhammed Edh-Dhib as he searched for a stray among the limestone cliffs at Khirbet Qumran on the shores of the Dead Sea in what was then British Mandate Palestine – now the West Bank.
The story goes that in a cave in the dark crevice of a steep rocky hillside, Muhammed hurled a stone into the dark interior and was startled to hear the sound of breaking pots.
The Dead Sea Scrolls, which include tends of thousands of parchment and papyrus fragments (file photo), contain parts of what is now known as the Hebrew Bible. They also feature a range of extra-biblical documents
Venturing inside, the young Bedouin found a mysterious collection of large clay jars in which he found old scrolls, some wrapped in linen and blackened with age.
The texts have since been excavated by archaeologists, who are now racing to digitise their contents before they deteriorate beyond legibility.
The texts are of great historical and religious significance and include the earliest known surviving copies of biblical and extra-biblical documents, as well as preserving evidence of diversity in late Second Temple Judaism.
Dated to between 408BC and 318AD, they are written in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Nabataean, mostly on parchment, but with some written on papyrus and bronze.
The scrolls are traditionally divided into three groups.
‘Biblical’ manuscripts, which are copies of texts from the Hebrew Bible comprise 40 per cent of the haul.
The Dead Sea Scrolls were found by shepherd Muhammed Edh-Dhib as he searched for a stray among the limestone cliffs at Khirbet Qumran on the shores of the Dead Sea