Archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority have discovered dozens of parchment fragments of a Biblical scroll, which is written in Greek and bears portions of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets, including the books of Zechariah and Nahum.
The fragments of a new Dead Sea scroll were found in the Cave of Horror in the Judean Desert, Israel.
The cave, roughly 80 m (262 feet) below the cliff top, is flanked by gorges and can only be reached by rappelling precariously down the sheer cliff.
“This is definitely an exciting moment, as we present and reveal to the public an important and significant piece in the history and culture of the Land of Israel,” said Hananya Hizmi, head staff officer in the Archaeology Department at the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria.
“In the late 1940s, we became aware of the cultural heritage remains of the ancient population of the Land of Israel with the first discoveries of the Dead Sea scrolls.”
“Now, new finds and evidence have been discovered and unearthed that shed even more light on the different periods and cultures of the region.”
The archaeologists were able to identify 11 lines of Zechariah 8:16-17:
“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.”
The scroll fragments also contained verses from Nahum 1:5-6:
“The mountains quake because of Him, And the hills melt. The earth heaves before Him, The world and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before His wrath? Who can resist His fury? His anger pours out like fire, and rocks are shattered because of Him.”
The researchers also found that the ancient scroll was written by two different scribes.
“When comparing the text preserved in the newly discovered fragments to the text known to us from other versions of the text, including the verses known in the Masoretic text, numerous differences are notable, some of which were quite surprising,” they said.
“These differences can tell us quite a bit regarding the transmission of the Biblical text up until the days of the Bar-Kokhba Revolt, documenting the changes that occurred over time until reaching us in the current version.”
“Another exciting aspect about this scroll is that despite most of the text being in Greek, the name of God appears in ancient Hebrew script, known from the times of the First Temple in Jerusalem.”
This article is based on text provided by the Israel Antiquities Authority.
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