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The Edict of Qumran

Posted by Stephen Pidgeon on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 12:00 AM

 

Many of the students of Scripture have become well aware of that enormous discovery found at the village of Qumran in the Adamah Qodesh (the Holy Land), which are known worldwide now as the Dead Sea Scrolls. 

According to Yahoo Answers (whoever that might be), we find the following:

The term Dead Sea Scrolls are used to describe all of the scrolls and scroll fragments that have been discovered in the Dead Sea region. Many of them are still only fragments that scholars and experts are attempting to piece together. Until readable portions of any scroll can be assembled, they can't be translated and guesswork on what the letters are that are missing in the fragments is not an option.

Virtually all of the readable segments are translated as soon as they can be photo-imaged (digitized) and put out to experts in the field. There are no fragments that I know of that have yet to be translated, but that does not mean that those people involved in the work will not be able to produce more translatable segments in the future.

This is the claim, yet, look at the information on the Copper Scroll:

According to Ancient Origins, the Copper Scroll is part of the extraordinary cache of 1st Century documents first discovered in caves at Qumran, popularly known as the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Copper Scroll, however, is very different from the other documents in the Qumran library.  In fact, it is so anomalous among the Dead Sea Scrolls – its author, script, style, language, genre, content, and medium all differ to the other scrolls – that scholars believe it must have been placed in the cave at a different time to the rest of the ancient documents.  As Professor Richard Freund stated, the copper scroll is probably the most unique, the most important, and the least understood.

While most of the Dead Sea Scrolls were found by Bedouins, the Copper Scroll, which is now on display at the Jordan Museum in Amman, was discovered by an archaeologist. It was found on March 14, 1952 at the back of Cave 3 at Qumran. It was the last of 15 scrolls discovered in the cave, and is thus referred to as 3Q15.  While the other scrolls were written on parchment or papyrus, this scroll was written on metal: copper mixed with about 1 percent tin. https://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-asia/lost-treasure-copper-scroll-001457

Has this scroll been interpreted? Consider the work of Jewish Christian Literature regarding this scroll: http://jewishchristianlit.com/Texts/StudTxts/3Q15.html

The Copper Scroll is one of the most elusive documents found in the Qumran region. It is made of two separate sheets of copper, rolled up and oxidized right through. Therefore, the contents of The Copper Scroll could only be determined after it was cut into parallel strips.

The text is difficult to read because it is virtually impossible to differentiate between some letters and others that are almost like them. The copyist made numerous mistakes thus making the task of the translators even more difficult.

The document is mysterious. Is it legend from folklore about fictitious treasures or a catalogue of hiding places for real treasures? The formulas and directions are ambiguous and inconclusive thereby hinting at the possibility that the scroll is a myth. Furthermore, scholars presume that The Copper Scroll was written about 40 years after all the other scrolls.

Specific and blatant contradictions among the translators forced us students to make educated guesses between the possible choices without certainty of the accuracy. For example, one translator suggested that the location of a treasure was facing a certain direction. Meanwhile another translator suggested that the entrance of the location is facing that direction, but location itself was facing in a different direction. Some treasure had a numeric value and other descriptions of the same treasure did not. Sometimes the treasure was gold, and other times it was silver. All together these examples combined to make the translated text ambiguous and intimate towards the fictional nature of the content.

Paraphrase

Column I

In the ruin of Horeb’ah which is in the valley of Achor, under the steps heading eastward about forty feet: lies a chest of silver that weighs seventeen talents.  In the tomb of the third section of stones there is one hundred gold bars. Nine hundred talents are concealed by sediment towards the upper opening, at the bottom of the big cistern in the courtyard of the peristyle. Priests garments and flasks that were given as vows are buried in the hill of Qohal’eth. This is all of the votive offerings of the seventh treasure. The second tenth is impure. The opening is at the edge of the canal on its northern side six cubits toward the immersed pool. Enter into the hole of the waterproofed Reservoir of Manos, descend to the left, forty talents of silver lie three cubits from the bottom.

Column II

Forty-two talents lie under the stairs in the salt pit. Sixty-five bars of gold lie on the third terrace in the cave of the old Washers House. Seventy talents of silver are enclosed in wooden vessel that are in the cistern of a burial chamber in Matia's courtyard. Fifteen cubits from the front of the eastern gates, lies a cistern. The ten talents lie in the canal of the cistern. Six silver bars are located at the sharp edge of the rock which is under the eastern wall in the cistern. The cistern's entrance is under the large paving stone threshold. Dig down four cubits in the northern corner of the pool that is east of Qohal’eth. There will be twenty-two talents of silver coins.

Column III

Dig down nine cubits into the southern corner of the courtyard. There will be silver and gold vessels given as offerings, bowls, cups, sprinkling basins, libation tubes, and pitchers. All together they will total six hundred nine pieces. Dig down sixteen cubits under the eastern corner to find forty talents of silver. TR Votive vessels and priestly garments are at the northern end of the dry well located in Milham[9]. The entrance is underneath the western corner. Thirteen talents of silver coins are located three cubits beneath a trap door in the tomb in the northeast end of Milham.

Column IV

Fourteen talents of silver can be found in the pillar on the northern side of the big cistern in Qohal’eth. When you go forty-one cubits into the canal that comes from...you will find fifty-five talents of silver. Dig down three cubits in the middle of the two boulders in the Valley of Achor, and you will find two pots full of silver coins. At the mouth of the underground cavity in Aslah[10] sit two hundred talents of silver. Seventy talents of silver are located in the eastern tunnel which is to the north of Qohal’eth. Dig for only one cubit into the memorial mound of stones in the valley of Sekaka[11] to find twelve talents of silver.

Column V

A water conduit is located on the northern side of Sekaka. Dig down three cubits under the large stone at the head of this water conduit to discover seven talents of silver. Vessels of offering can be found in the fissure of Sekaka, which is on the eastern side of the reservoir of Shalomah (Solomon). Twenty-three talents of silver are buried quite nearby above Shalomah’s (Solomon's) Canal. To locate the exact spot, go sixty cubits toward the great stone, and dig down for three cubits. Thirty-two talents of silver can be located by digging seven cubits under the tomb in the dried-up riverbed of Kepah, which is between Yeriycho (Jericho) and Sekaka.

Column VI

Forty-two talents of silver lie underneath a scroll in an urn. To locate the urn, dig down three cubits into the northern opening of the cave of the pillar that has two entrances and faces east. Twenty-one talents of silver can be found by digging nine cubits beneath the entrance of the eastward-looking cave at the base of the large stone. Twenty-seven talents of silver can be found by digging twelve cubits into the western side of the Queen's Mausoleum. Dig nine cubits into the burial mound of stones located at the Ford of the High Priest to find twenty-two talents of silver.

Column VII

To find four hundred talents of silver measure out twenty-four cubits from the water conduit of Q...of the northern reservoir with four sides[15]. Dig six cubits into the cave that is nearby Bet Ha-Qos to locate six bars of silver. Dig seven cubits down under the eastern corner of the citadel of Doq to find twenty-two talents of silver. Dig three cubits by the row of stones at the mouth of the Kozibah river to obtain sixty talents of silver, and two talents of gold.

Column VIII

A bar of silver, ten vessels of offering, and ten books are in the aqueduct on the road that is to the east of Bet Ahsor[19], which is east of Ahzor[20]. Dig down seventeen cubits beneath the stone that lies in the middle of the sheep pen located in the outer valley to find seventeen talents of silver and gold. Dig three cubits under the burial mound of stones located at the mouth of the Potter ravine to find four talents of silver. Dig twenty-four cubits below the northward burial chamber that is located on the south-west side of the fallow field of the valley of Ha’Shuv to reveal sixty-six talents. Dig eleven cubits at the landmark in the irrigated land of ha-Shov and you will find seventy talents of silver.

Column IX

Measure out thirteen cubits from the small opening at the edge of Nataf[21], and then dig down seven cubits there. Seven talents of silver and four stater coins lie there. Dig down eight cubits into the eastern-looking cellar of the second estate of Chasa to obtain twenty-three and a half talents of silver. Dig sixteen cubits into the narrow, seaward-facing part of the underground chambers of Horon[22] to discover twenty-two talents of silver. A sacred offering worth one mina of silver is located at the pass. Dig down seven cubits at the edge of the conduit on the eastern side inside the waterfall to locate nine talents of silver.

Column X

When going down to the second floor, look to the small opening to find nine talents of silver coins. Twelve talents lie at the foot of the water wheel of the dried-up irrigation ditches which would be fed by the great canal. Sixty-two talents of silver can be found by going to the left for ten paces at the reservoir which is in Beth Hakerem. Three hundred talents of gold and twenty penalty fees can be found at the entrance to the pond of the valley Zok. The entrance is on the western side by the black stone that is held in place by two supports. Eight talents of silver can be found by digging under the western side of Absalom's Memorial. Seventeen talents are located beneath the water outlet in the base of the latrines. Gold and vessels of offering are in this pool at its four angles.

Column XI

Very near there, under the southern corner of the portico in Zadok's tomb[25], beneath the pillars of the covered hall are ten vessels of offering of pine resin, and an offering of senna.

Gold coins and consecrated offerings are located under the great closing stone that is by the edge, next to the pillars that are near by the throne, and toward the tip of the rock to the west of the garden of Zadok. Forty talents of silver are buried in the grave that is under the colonnades. Fourteen votive vessels possibly of pine and resin are in the tomb of the common people and Jericho. Vessels of offering of aloes and tithe of white pine are located at Beth Esdatain, in the reservoir at the entrance of the small pool. Over nine-hundred talents of silver are next to the reservoir at the brook that runs near the western entrance of the sepulchre room.

Column XII

Five talents of gold and sixty more talent are under the black stone at the Western entrance. Forty-two talents of silver coin are in the proximity of the black stone at the threshold at the sepulchral chamber. Sixty talents of silver and vessels are in a chest that is under the stairs of the upper tunnel on Mount Garizim. Six-hundred talents of silver and gold lie in the spring of Beth-Sham. Treasure weighing seventy-one talents and twenty minas are in the big underground pipe of the burial chamber at the point where it joins the house of the burial chamber. A copy of this inventory list, its explanation and the measurements and details of every hidden item are in the dry underground cavity that is in the smooth rock north of Qohal’eth. Its opening is towards the north with the tombs at its mouth.

There has been a great deal of discussion concerning this scroll, which by any other name is a treasure map, is it not? But that is not the point of this blog here.  Instead, we are looking at the notion that the people who lived near the caves made a decision to create meticulous cepheriym (scrolls), and then elected to store such scrolls in vases deep in the caves above their village (or assembly - Qohal’eth).  Is there any foundation for such a notion?

Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 32:13-15

And I charged את eth-Baruk before them, saying, 14 Thus says YAHUAH TSEVA’OTH, the ELOHAI of Yashar’el; Take את eth-these evidences, את eth this evidence of the purchase, both את eth which is sealed, and את eth this evidence which is open; and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days. 15 For thus says YAHUAH TSEVA’OTH, the ELOHAI of Yashar’el; Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land.

To paraphrase:

Take these scrolls, which are sealed, and put them in earthen vessels to be saved for a long time, because the houses and vineyards of Yashar’el shall be possessed again in this land!!

Here, we see the edict of YAH in the mouth of Yirmeyahu being directed to Baruk (Baruch), - whose name cannot be named in the 66-book tradition – to preserve what is now called the Dead Sea Scrolls, because the land would be populated anew when they would be discovered.

This prophecy was realized in 1948, when the scrolls were discovered.  Still, there is yet much to be learned.

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