New York: Johnson Reprint Corporation, 1979. First English language edition. Hardcover. 1/400. Quarto. 93pp (text), 108pp (photographic reproductions). Original linen covered box with title in Hebrew and English on metal plate fixed on top lid. Striking burgundy silk on inside of the box. Casket containing an earthenware jar, 3 facsimile scrolls placed inside the jar (just the way the original Dead Sea Scrolls were found), and a soft leather bound book telling the amazing story of the Dead Sea Scrolls and their discovery. Found inadvertently in 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls are regarded by many as the most important archaeological find of the twentieth century. Mystery and intrigue surrounded their acquisition and there are many accounts of their subsequent ‘wanderings’ as they continued to change hands after their discovery. The three facsimile scrolls represent some of the largest and most important Dead Sea Scrolls: The Great Isaiah Scroll, the Rule of the Community, and the Habakkuk Commentary.
- 1) The Isaiah Scroll is the only complete biblical book surviving among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Found in Cave One at Qumran in 1947, it dates from about 120 BCE. The text of the scroll hardly differs from the version used today and demonstrates the degree to which the text of the Bible was faithfully transmitted over the centuries. The Isaiah scroll is approximately seven metres long and is made up of 17 parchment sheets, sewn end to end.
- 2) Also discovered in Cave One at Qumran, this scroll fragment is known variously as the Rule of the Community and the Manual of Discipline, and was in two pieces when it was brought by the Bedouin who discovered it to Bethlehem in 1947. The text embodies the rules of conduct for the Qumranites themselves, rules which are additional to the 613 commandments found in the Pentateuch (Torah). These rules of conduct regulated interpersonal relationships and matters of personal piety in a Jewish community which had apparently separated itself both geographically and ideologically from the more mainstream practice of Judaism in Jerusalem.
- 3) The Habakkuk Commentary, also discovered in Qumran Cave One, is part of a group of literature found in several caves at Qumran, which have come to be known by the Hebrew word pesharim, “commentaries.” These explanations often interpret the biblical text with reference to events in the writer’s own time, the recent past, or the near future. Other such commentaries found at Qumran explain in this way the biblical books of Isaiah, Micah, Zephaniah, Psalms, Hosea, and Nahum. The text of the scroll hardly differs from the version used today and demonstrates the degree to which the text of the Bible was faithfully transmitted over the centuries.
The transcription was made from the excellent photographs which form the basis of this edition, from the earlier photographs published by M. Burrows, and from the original Scroll themselves. Studies dealing with the textual and paleographic aspects of the Scrolls were also used. Each scroll is rolled and protected by a piece of linen cloth. Size of the earthenware jar: 17" tall, 8" width. The soft leather bound book is gilt-lettered on spine and covers, contains 93 pages of text and 108 pages featuring color photographic reproductions of the three scrolls, along with their transcriptions.
Box, jar, scrolls and books in very good condition (like new). vg. Item #38252
The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in a series of eleven caves around the site known as Wadi Qumran near the Dead Sea in the West Bank (of the Jordan River) between 1946 and 1956 by Bedouin peoples and a team of archeologists. The initial discovery, by Bedouin shepherd Muhammed Edh-Dhib, his cousin Jum'a Muhammed, and Khalil Musa, took place between November 1946 and February 1947. The shepherds discovered 7 scrolls housed in jars in a cave at what is now known as the Qumran site. John C. Trever reconstructed the story of the scrolls from several interviews with the Bedouin. Edh-Dhib's cousin noticed the caves, but edh-Dhib himself was the first to actually fall into one. He retrieved a handful of scrolls, which Trever identifies as the Isaiah Scroll, Habakkuk Commentary, and the Community Rule, and took them back to the camp to show to his family. None of the scrolls were destroyed in this process, despite popular rumor.