The Temple Scroll, c. 100 BCE


An Idealized Jerusalem Temple

Date- c. 100 BCE

Current Location- Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel

Language and Script- Hebrew; alphabetic

Temple Scroll

The Temple Scroll

General Information-

The Temple Scroll is an excerpted collection of legal portions of the Pentateuch with some interpretation. It includes a description of an idealized Jerusalem Temple. In contrast to the delivery of most of the laws in the Pentateuch, God speaks in the first person, directly addressing the reader without even Moses as mediator. At least three copies of the text were discovered at Qumran. It was probably composed some time in the 2nd century BCE, as was the War Scroll. The two are foundational texts for the ideology of the people of Qumran, especially in terms of separation and differentiation from other sects.

Circumstances of Discovery and Acquisition- Manuscript A, pictured here, is the longest of all the The Dead Sea Scrolls, measuring over 26 feet long and consisting of nineteen sheets sewn together. It was discovered by Bedouin in Qumran Cave 11 in 1956 and eventually came into the possession of a Bethlehem antiquities dealer. In 1960, the Israeli archaeologist Yigal Yadin was made aware of its existence and unsuccessfully attempted to purchase it. In 1967, immediately after the Six Day War, the scroll, which had further deteriorated while in the possession of the antiquities dealer, was confiscated by Yadin and the Israeli army. The dealer was eventually reimbursed.

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