A long work table with scissors, needles and snow-white sheets of rice paper; some more tables with regular computers; cabinets with black cardboard boxes and materials for work …
That’s the whole atmosphere of a small room in the Office of Antiquities Israel, where the great mystery of preserving the scrolls of the Dead seas. Their discovery is rightfully considered the main archaeological discovery of the XX century. And the scrolls themselves still contain secrets, to be solved.
“Urgently needed golden hands …”
The history of the discovery of the first unique Dead Sea scrolls, their acquisitions of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and subsequent The search for more and more new manuscripts is well known. Unfortunately with the moment of finding these unique artifacts in the Judean desert, many of them suffered serious damage.
A photo from open sources
The first blow to the relics was done by the Bedouins who discovered them – they cut the scrolls into pieces so that in this way will be able to earn more money for their sale. But, as it turned out, and the restorers who worked with the scrolls made a lot at first mistakes.
It took time to understand: the scrolls survived for millennia because they lay sealed in jugs in absolute darkness and a unique microclimate of the caves of the Dead Sea. Normal humidity, direct sunlight – all this led to their destruction. On top of that, the first scroll restorers glued together fragments of them with ordinary adhesive tape and placed between simple window panes. Glass pressure, glue aging and sunlight led to the fact that parchments in the eyes began to darken.
It’s hard to say what the fate of these historical treasures if in the early 1990s in the wake of mass exit Jewish restorers from the USSR did not arrive in Israel work with ancient manuscripts in the best museums of Moscow and Leningrad. Their experience has been used to safeguard priceless artifacts.
Only women work in the scroll conservation department. It turns out that only female hands can touch the scrolls so so as not to harm them. Only they can with minimal clean them from the glue left with tape with losses, place between two sheets of special transparent paper, frame and then sew the space around the scroll with the thinnest thread.
Sometimes all the work has to be done under a microscope. Then such the frame is exhibited in the Museum of Israel in the vault, where it is supported microclimate corresponding to the caves of the Judean desert.
Thanks to the experience and truly golden hands of these women during the last two decades, the documentation process has been completed and preservation of scrolls. And now they are actively involved in the process. photographing scrolls based on the method of spectral photography, using technology purchased by the Hebrew University from NASA
From the darkness of millennia
According to historians, most of the scrolls known today Dead Sea belonged to Jews who fled after the defeat the Romans of the Bar Kochba rebellion (131-135 years) in the Judean desert – in the very caves in which the once future King David was hiding from his father-in-law, King Saul.
Jews hiding here were not considered herald of Christianity sect of the Essenes. But just like the Essenes, they lived in the hope of the coming of the Messiah, who would return them to them the state, and lived in a commune called “Yahad” (“Together”). The charter of this commune was discovered among other Qumran scrolls.
At some point, the Romans discovered the “Communards” and decided them to destroy.
A photo from open sources
Anticipating the inevitable death, the “Yakhadites” decided to keep the most valuable thing they had was the holy books. Wrapping up parchment and papyrus scrolls with linen cloth, they placed them in pitchers tightly sealed them and hid them in caves. There they are and lay until 1947, while some of them were not accidental discovered by a Bedouin shepherd.
Today, the Antiquities Authority holds over 900 such manuscripts consisting of several tens of thousands of fragments. Yet several hundred of these artifacts were available Jordanian historians. Most of these scrolls are written in Hebrew, the same alphabet that the Jews use today, and therefore without them Any Israeli student can read and understand labor. But there is also scrolls written in Greek and Aramaic, as well as that a form of the Hebrew alphabet that Jews used before Babylonian exile (until 598 BC), and dated VIII century BC.
The found scrolls incorporate all the books of the Old Testament (Tanakh, as the Jews call it), with the exception of the Book of Esther, and their texts almost coincide with the biblical texts known today. What, in turn, proves that the Bible has survived to this day without any changes. However, sometimes found in scrolls slight differences from the current canon, and scientists are arguing today, whether we are talking about scribal errors or is there evidence in front of us that for centuries the biblical text was still exposed editing.
At the same time, texts were found among the manuscripts, which for one reason or another, did not enter the Old Testament. This and apocrypha on The Book of Daniel, and the Book of War of the Sons of Light with the Sons of Darkness, and stunning with their poetic power unknown before psalms David. But perhaps one of the most interesting among the Qumran finds is a manuscript of the Book of Enoch – one of the most mysterious and mystical works of antiquity, not included in the biblical canon.
The Bible of Ufology
That’s right – the “Bible of Ufology” is sometimes called the Book of Enoch (Sefer Hanoch) supporters of the theory that the decisive role in the development of civilization played the contacts of mankind with an alien mind. The basis of the Book of Enoch is the story of how angels descended from heaven to earth, began to cohabit with earthly women and passed on to people secret knowledge.
A photo from open sources
This is mentioned in Genesis, but the Book of Enoch represents a detailed and detailed story about how to Mount Hermon, the main peak of the present Golan Heights, a detachment descended from two hundred rebellious rebellions against God led by an angel named Shamkhazai.
These aliens were not only entertained by love with women, but also taught people different crafts, as well as magic and witchcraft. TO for example, an angel named Azazel taught people how to forge iron weapons; angels Kohaviel, Tamliel and Barkiel – to the motion sciences stars and moon and calendar; Shamkhazai himself passed them knowledge of magic and healing properties of plants. But at the same time, the righteous Enoch (Hanoch) refused to communicate with the rebellious angels.
Therefore, the archangel Gabriel himself began to descend to him and teach him other secret knowledge – far more true and deeper than those who reported to humanity Shamkhazai and his relatives. So Hanoch became the keeper of secret knowledge in astronomy, cosmology and ways the ministry of the Creator, which he gave to his son Methuselah, he is his to Noah’s grandson, and Noah after the flood – to Seth, etc., and so this knowledge preserved to this day.
Other biblical sources tell us that Enoch did not die ordinary death, but was taken alive to heaven, for which a certain man descended from above a luminous object, “like a great fiery horse.” However still before that Enoch managed to visit heaven. Ufologists see in the description his flight confirmation that Noah’s great-grandfather visited alien ship.
In fact, the book first talks about the “big round body “made as if from pearls and surrounded by lights and tongues flame. Nevertheless, Enoch calmly passed through this flame and ended up inside a circular room with many windows through which the surrounding landscape was clearly visible. Then he heard a voice got into another, even larger luminous body and found inside it many rooms, including a round hall, and in the middle of it – high throne.
“Before us,” say ufologists, “a classic description of a flight on reconnaissance boat to orbiting space the ship and the control panel of this ship. “Mystics, of course, interpret this text in a completely different way. As, however, and the words of another biblical source – Books of directness claiming that, being taken alive to heaven, Enoch received a new body and became an angel ruler of higher worlds named Metatron.
Biblical tradition dates the “Ascension of Enoch” 2773. year to AD, and this is just the period of the end of the Neolithic and the beginning the Bronze Age when the civilizations of Mesopotamia, Babylon and Egypt make a giant spiritual and technological leap forward. In India Harappan civilization arises, and in Britain, by the way, it was at this time that Stonehenge was being built.
So the Book of Enoch actually gives a lot of reasons for reflection and various kinds of hypotheses. Meanwhile, Qumran scrolls fraught with themselves and many others, no less attractive and exciting puzzles to which we will definitely come back more than once.
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