The Dead Sea Scrolls

A Biography

by John J. Collins

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The Dead Sea Scrolls
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A Biography
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John J. Collins

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Chronicles the history of the Dead Sea scrolls, from their initial discovery to the current controversies surrounding them.

Read an excerpt of this book

NPR stories about The Dead Sea Scrolls

A part of the Isaiah Scroll, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, is seen inside the vault of the Shrine of the Book building at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images

Note: Book excerpts are provided by the publisher and may contain language some find offensive.

Excerpt: The 'Dead Sea Scrolls': A Biography

On April 10, 1948, the Yale University News Bureau released an announcement, which appeared in the major newspapers of the English-speaking world in the following days:

The earliest known manuscript of the entire biblical book of Isaiah from the Old Testament has been discovered in Palestine, it was announced today by Professor Millar Burrows of Yale University, the director of the American Schools of Oriental Research at Jerusalem.In addition, three other unpublished ancient Hebrew manuscripts have been brought to light by scholars in the Holy Land. Two of them have been identified and translated while the third still challenges recognition.

The book of the prophet Isaiah was found in a well-preserved scroll of parchment. Dr. John C. Trever, a Fellow of the School, examined it and recognized the similarity of the script to that of the Nash Papyrus – believed by many scholars to be the oldest known copy of any part of the Hebrew Bible.

The discovery is particularly significant since its origin is dated about the first century BC. Other complete texts of Isaiah are known to exist only as recently as the ninth century AD. All these ancient scrolls, two in leather and the other in parchment, have been preserved for many centuries in the library of the Syrian Orthodox Monastery of St. Mark in Jerusalem. They were submitted to the American Schools of Oriental Research for study and identification by the Metropolitan Athanasius Yeshue Samuel and Father Butros Sowmy of the monastery.

Aside from the Book of Isaiah, a second scroll is part of a commentary on the Book of Habakkuk (Habakkuk is a Minor Prophet and this is one of the books of prophecy of the Old Testament), and a third appears to be the manual of discipline of a comparatively unknown little sect or monastic order, possibly the Essenes. The fourth manuscript is still unidentified.

The announcement went on to credit Dr. William H. Brownlee, a fellow at the American Schools, with the identification of the Habakkuk commentary, and to note that the Scrolls had been photographed, and were being studied further.

This was, in effect, the birth announcement of the Dead Sea Scrolls, although a small number of scholars were already aware of the discovery, and William F. Albright, the reigning authority on Hebrew paleography (and on many other matters relating to the ancient Near East) had already pronounced it "the greatest manuscript discovery of modern times." The announcement was inaccurate in one respect and incomplete in another.

First, these scrolls had not been preserved for many centuries in St. Mark's Monastery. They had been found in a cave near the Dead Sea, south of Jericho, by members of the Ta'amireh Bedouin tribe, some time in late 1946 or early 1947. Burrows claimed that the news release had been edited after it left his hands: what he had written was that the scrolls were acquired by the Syrian Orthodox Monastery of St. Mark. It is unclear whether someone deliberately changed the wording to conceal the true provenance of the fragments. The scrolls had indeed been brought to the American Schools by the Syrian Metropolitan, and it is conceivable that the editor assumed that they had been found in the monastery. In view of the intrigue surrounding the discovery, it is also quite conceivable that someone changed the wording deliberately. In fact, the Syrian archbishop on more than one occasion alleged that the scrolls were found in a monastery.

Second, the press release was misleading as to the number of scrolls that had been discovered, since not all of them had been brought to the attention of the American Schools. The initial discovery had been made by a Bedouin known as Mohammed ed- Dib ("the wolf ") with at least one companion. This discovery involved three scrolls:

• a copy of the biblical book of Isaiah,

• a rule book for a community that was initially dubbed "the Manual of Discipline," and would later be called the Community Rule or referred to by its Hebrew name as Serek ha- Yahad, or as 1QS (i.e., the Serek from Qumran Cave 1), and

• a commentary, or pesher, on the biblical book of the prophet Habakkuk, relating the words of the prophet to events in the author's time, which was believed to be "the end of days."

Mohammed had brought them to Bethlehem in March 1947, and had shown them to antiquities dealers. Eventually, they were shown to Khalil Eskander Shahin, better known as Kando, a Syrian Orthodox merchant and cobbler from Bethlehem, apparently because the scrolls were written on leather. In April 1947, they were brought to the attention of Mar Athanasius Yeshue Samuel, the Syrian Orthodox Metropolitan, or Archbishop, at St. Mark's Monastery in the Old City in Jerusalem. The Metropolitan was aware of ancient reports that manuscripts had been found in a cave near Jericho, in a jar. One such report was attributed to Origen of Alexandria, who knew of a scroll that had been found "at Jericho in a jar" in the time of Antoninus, son of Severus, about 200 CE (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 6.16.4). Another, about 800 CE, was reported by Timotheus I, the Nestorian patriarch of Seleucia. In that case an Arab huntsman followed his dog into a cave and discovered books of the Old Testament, as well as others. The archbishop, then, had grounds to suspect that the scrolls were ancient and might be valuable.

In the meantime, in early summer 1947, four more scrolls were discovered by Bedouin, who brought them to the Syrian monastery but were turned away because of a misunderstanding. Three of these scrolls (a second Isaiah scroll, and previously unknown texts that became known as the War Scroll and the Hodayot, or Thanksgiving Hymns) were then sold to another antiquities dealer, Faidi Salahi. (The War Scroll was a manual for an apocalyptic battle between the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness. The Hodayot was a collection of hymns in a distinctive style, giving thanks to God for deliverance and exaltation.) The fourth scroll, later identified as the Genesis Apocryphon (a paraphrastic retelling of Genesis, in Aramaic), was acquired by Kando. In July 1947, Kando sold the original batch of scrolls to the Syrian Metropolitan. The three scrolls in Salahi's possession were brought to the attention of Eliezer Sukenik, a professor of archeology at the Hebrew University, in November of that year, just before the United Nations passed its resolution authorizing the creation of the state of Israel. Initially Sukenik had to peer at a fragment through a barbed wire fence. He asked his contact, an Armenian antiquities dealer, to bring some more samples. In the meantime, Sukenik got a pass to cross over to the zone where the dealer had his shop. After a brief examination, Sukenik was convinced that the fragments were genuine and decided to buy them for the Hebrew University. The initial purchase consisted of the Hodayot, or Thanksgiving Hymns, and the War Scroll. He thus became the first scholar to authenticate the scrolls. A little later he was able to purchase the second Isaiah scroll (1QIsaiahb; 1Q designates scrolls found in Cave 1 near Qumran).

Mar Samuel, the Metropolitan, had also contacted Hebrew University a few months earlier. He told the people sent by the University that the manuscripts had been lying in the library of a monastery near the Dead Sea. They were not impressed, and recommended that he consult an expert in Samaritan studies. In January 1948, Kando's scrolls were shown to Sukenik by a member of the Syrian Orthodox community, Anton Kiraz, who had entered into a partnership with Mar Samuel. In this case, however, no purchase was negotiated. The Syrians decided to wait until the hostilities between Jews and Arabs subsided, and try to get an independent assessment of the value of the scrolls.

Only in February 1948 did the Syrians approach the American School of Oriental Research. The di- rector, Millar Burrows, was away on a trip to Iraq, and John C. Trever, a recent PhD who had studied with Burrows at Yale, was in charge in his absence. There was also another young Fellow of the School in residence, William Brownlee. Trever was initially told that the scrolls were found in St. Mark's monastery. The Syrian emissary, Butros Sowmy, returned by taxi, carrying in his briefcase the great Isaiah scroll, the Manual of Discipline, the Commentary on Habakkuk and the Genesis Apocryphon. Trever, who pursued photography as a hobby, managed to persuade the Syrians to allow him to photograph the scrolls. Trever recognized the similarity of the script to that of the Nash Papyrus, a sheet of papyrus containing the Ten Commandments and the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4–5: "Hear, O Israel") in Hebrew, that had been acquired from an Egyptian dealer and published in 1903, and had been dated to the second century BCE. Trever promptly sent sample photographs to Albright, expressing his belief that the Isaiah scroll was the oldest Bible document yet discovered. Albright promptly dated the script of the Isaiah scroll to the second century BCE, and wrote to Trever, congratulating him on the discovery. The Syrians now disclosed to Trever what they knew about the provenance of the scrolls, and also mentioned that they had some communications with Professor Sukenik. The Americans, however, did not know that Sukenik had already seen the manuscripts, or that he had other manuscripts from the same find. Sukenik disclosed his own knowledge of the scrolls in a press release of April 26, 1948. Descriptions of the scrolls were published in the September 1948 issue of the Biblical Archaeologist and in the October 1948 issue of the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research. Sukenik also published in Hebrew a preliminary survey of the scrolls he had acquired.

Eventually, the scrolls that had been acquired by the Syrian Metropolitan would also find their way into Israeli hands. Mar Samuel took them to America in January 1949, and continued to seek a buyer. In the polarized situation that followed the partition of Palestine, he did not want to sell them to a Jew. Moreover, the legal ownership of the scrolls had not been established, and the Jordanians considered him a smuggler. In June 1954, an advertisement was placed in the Wall Street Journal, under the heading "Miscellaneous for Sale":

"The Four Dead Sea Scrolls."

Biblical Manuscripts, dating back to at least 200

BC, are for sale. This would be an ideal gift to an educational or religious institution by an individual or group.

Box F 206, The Wall Street Journal.

This led to the purchase of the four scrolls for $250,000, by a banker named Sidney Esteridge. Unknown to the archbishop, Esteridge was acting on behalf of Sukenik's son, Yigael Yadin, who was lecturing in the United States at the time. Sukenik himself had died the previous year. Thus, the original "Dead Sea Scrolls" were reunited in Jerusalem, where a special building of the Israel Museum, The Shrine of the Book, was built to house them, in 1965.

Enter the Archeologists

Further fragmentary manuscripts from Qumran Cave 1 came to light in the course of 1948, including fragments of the Book of Daniel, 1 Enoch (an apocalyptic text known in full only in Ethiopic), and a scroll of prayers. The Jordanian Department of Antiquities decided that it was time to excavate the cave, which was identified by soldiers of the Arab legion in January 1949. The first excavation, in February–March 1949, was a joint project of the Palestine Archaeological Museum, the École Biblique, and the American School of Oriental Research. It was led by Roland de Vaux, a French Dominican priest based at the École, and overseen by Gerald Lankester Harding, an Englishman who was in charge of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan. They identified fragments of about seventy documents, including fragments of two of the original seven. There were also pottery shards and scraps of linen. The main items of value in the cave had already been recovered by the Bedouin.

The cave in question, known as Cave 1, is about three-quarters of a mile north of the ruins of Khirbet Qumran, which is itself a little less than a mile west of the Dead Sea, near its northern end. It was not immediately obvious that the scrolls were related to the ruins. Only at the end of 1951 were soundings made at the site. These brought to light pottery that was identical with what had been discovered in Cave 1, and also coins that established the approximate date. At that point de Vaux undertook a complete excavation of the ruins, and this was continued in four additional campaigns from 1953 to 1956.

From The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Biography by John J. Collins. Copyright 2012 by John J. Collins. Excerpted by permission of Princeton University Press.

Excerpt: The Dead Sea Scrolls

The Dead Sea Scrolls

A BIOGRAPHY


PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS

Copyright © 2013 Princeton University Press
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-691-14367-5

Contents

PREFACE..................................................................................viiCHAPTER 1 The Discovery of the Scrolls...................................................1CHAPTER 2 The Essenes....................................................................33CHAPTER 3 The Site of Qumran.............................................................67CHAPTER 4 The Scrolls and Christianity...................................................96CHAPTER 5 The Scrolls and Judaism........................................................147CHAPTER 6 The Scrolls and the Bible......................................................185CHAPTER 7 The Battle for the Scrolls.....................................................213APPENDIX Personalities in the Discovery and Subsequent Controversies.....................243NOTES....................................................................................247GLOSSARY.................................................................................259BIBLIOGRAPHY.............................................................................263INDEXES..................................................................................265Ancient Texts............................................................................265names....................................................................................267Places...................................................................................270Subjects.................................................................................272

Chapter One

The Discovery of the Scrolls

On April 10, 1948, the Yale University News Bureau released an announcement, which appeared in the major newspapers of the English-speaking world in the following days:

The earliest known manuscript of the entire biblical book of Isaiah from the Old Testament has been discovered in Palestine, it was announced today by Professor Millar Burrows of Yale University, the director of the American Schools of Oriental Research at Jerusalem.

In addition, three other unpublished ancient Hebrew manuscripts have been brought to light by scholars in the Holy Land. Two of them have been identified and translated while the third still challenges recognition.

The book of the prophet Isaiah was found in a well-preserved scroll of parchment. Dr. John C. Trever, a Fellow of the School, examined it and recognized the similarity of the script to that of the Nash Papyrus – believed by many scholars to be the oldest known copy of any part of the Hebrew Bible.

The discovery is particularly significant since its origin is dated about the first century BC. Other complete texts of Isaiah are known to exist only as recently as the ninth century AD.

All these ancient scrolls, two in leather and the other in parchment, have been preserved for many centuries in the library of the Syrian Orthodox Monastery of St. Mark in Jerusalem. They were submitted to the American Schools of Oriental Research for study and identification by the Metropolitan Athanasius Yeshue Samuel and Father Butros Sowmy of the monastery.

Aside from the Book of Isaiah, a second scroll is part of a commentary on the Book of Habakkuk (Habakkuk is a Minor Prophet and this is one of the books of prophecy of the Old Testament), and a third appears to be the manual of discipline of a comparatively unknown little sect or monastic order, possibly the Essenes. The fourth manuscript is still unidentified.

The announcement went on to credit Dr. William H. Brownlee, a fellow at the American Schools, with the identification of the Habakkuk commentary, and to note that the Scrolls had been photographed, and were being studied further.

This was, in effect, the birth announcement of the Dead Sea Scrolls, although a small number of scholars were already aware of the discovery, and William F. Albright, the reigning authority on Hebrew paleography (and on many other matters relating to the ancient Near East) had already pronounced it "the greatest manuscript discovery of modern times." The announcement was inaccurate in one respect and incomplete in another.

First, these scrolls had not been preserved for many centuries in St. Mark's Monastery. They had been found in a cave near the Dead Sea, south of Jericho, by members of the Ta'amireh Bedouin tribe, some time in late 1946 or early 1947. Burrows claimed that the news release had been edited after it left his hands: what he had written was that the scrolls were acquired by the Syrian Orthodox Monastery of St. Mark. It is unclear whether someone deliberately changed the wording to conceal the true provenance of the fragments. The scrolls had indeed been brought to the American Schools by the Syrian Metropolitan, and it is conceivable that the editor assumed that they had been found in the monastery. In view of the intrigue surrounding the discovery, it is also quite conceivable that someone changed the wording deliberately. In fact, the Syrian archbishop on more than one occasion alleged that the scrolls were found in a monastery.

Second, the press release was misleading as to the number of scrolls that had been discovered, since not all of them had been brought to the attention of the American Schools. The initial discovery had been made by a Bedouin known as Mohammed ed-Dib ("the wolf ") with at least one companion. This discovery involved three scrolls:

• a copy of the biblical book of Isaiah,

• a rule book for a community that was initially dubbed "the Manual of Discipline," and would later be called the Community Rule or referred to by its Hebrew name as Serek ha-Yahad, or as 1QS (i.e., the Serek from Qumran Cave 1), and

• a commentary, or pesher, on the biblical book of the prophet Habakkuk, relating the words of the prophet to events in the author's time, which was believed to be "the end of days."

Mohammed had brought them to Bethlehem in March 1947, and had shown them to antiquities dealers. Eventually, they were shown to Khalil Eskander Shahin, better known as Kando, a Syrian Orthodox merchant and cobbler from Bethlehem, apparently because the scrolls were written on leather. In April 1947, they were brought to the attention of Mar Athanasius Yeshue Samuel, the Syrian Orthodox Metropolitan, or Archbishop, at St. Mark's Monastery in the Old City in Jerusalem. The Metropolitan was aware of ancient reports that manuscripts had been found in a cave near Jericho, in a jar. One such report was attributed to Origen of Alexandria, who knew of a scroll that had been found "at Jericho in a jar" in the time of Antoninus, son of Severus, about 200 CE (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 6.16.4). Another, about 800 CE, was reported by Timotheus I, the Nestorian patriarch of Seleucia. In that case an Arab huntsman followed his dog into a cave and discovered books of the Old Testament, as well as others. The archbishop, then, had grounds to suspect that the scrolls were ancient and might be valuable.

In the meantime, in early summer 1947, four more scrolls were discovered by Bedouin, who brought them to the Syrian monastery but were turned away because of a misunderstanding. Three of these scrolls (a second Isaiah scroll, and previously unknown texts that became known as the War Scroll [1QM] and the Hodayot, or Thanksgiving Hymns [1QH]) were then sold to another antiquities dealer, Faidi Salahi. (The War Scroll was a manual for an apocalyptic battle between the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness. The Hodayot was a collection of hymns in a distinctive style, giving thanks to God for deliverance and exaltation.) The fourth scroll, later identified as the Genesis Apocryphon (a paraphrastic retelling of Genesis, in Aramaic), was acquired by Kando. In July 1947, Kando sold the original batch of scrolls to the Syrian Metropolitan. The three scrolls in Salahi's possession were brought to the attention of Eliezer Sukenik, a professor of archeology at the Hebrew University, in November of that year, just before the United Nations passed its resolution authorizing the creation of the state of Israel. Initially Sukenik had to peer at a fragment through a barbed wire fence. He asked his contact, an Armenian antiquities dealer, to bring some more samples. In the meantime, Sukenik got a pass to cross over to the zone where the dealer had his shop. After a brief examination, Sukenik was convinced that the fragments were genuine and decided to buy them for the Hebrew University. The initial purchase consisted of the Hodayot, or Thanksgiving Hymns, and the War Scroll. He thus became the first scholar to authenticate the scrolls. A little later he was able to purchase the second Isaiah scroll (1QIsaiahb; 1Q designates scrolls found in Cave 1 near Qumran).

Mar Samuel, the Metropolitan, had also contacted Hebrew University a few months earlier. He told the people sent by the University that the manuscripts had been lying in the library of a monastery near the Dead Sea. They were not impressed, and recommended that he consult an expert in Samaritan studies. In January 1948, Kando's scrolls were shown to Sukenik by a member of the Syrian Orthodox community, Anton Kiraz, who had entered into a partnership with Mar Samuel. In this case, however, no purchase was negotiated. The Syrians decided to wait until the hostilities between Jews and Arabs subsided, and try to get an independent assessment of the value of the scrolls.

Only in February 1948 did the Syrians approach the American School of Oriental Research. The director, Millar Burrows, was away on a trip to Iraq, and John C. Trever, a recent PhD who had studied with Burrows at Yale, was in charge in his absence. There was also another young Fellow of the School in residence, William Brownlee. Trever was initially told that the scrolls were found in St. Mark's monastery. The Syrian emissary, Butros Sowmy, returned by taxi, carrying in his briefcase the great Isaiah scroll, the Manual of Discipline, the Commentary on Habakkuk and the Genesis Apocryphon. Trever, who pursued photography as a hobby, managed to persuade the Syrians to allow him to photograph the scrolls. Trever recognized the similarity of the script to that of the Nash Papyrus, a sheet of papyrus containing the Ten Commandments and the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4–5: "Hear, O Israel") in Hebrew, that had been acquired from an Egyptian dealer and published in 1903, and had been dated to the second century BCE. Trever promptly sent sample photographs to Albright, expressing his belief that the Isaiah scroll was the oldest Bible document yet discovered. Albright promptly dated the script of the Isaiah scroll to the second century BCE, and wrote to Trever, congratulating him on the discovery. The Syrians now disclosed to Trever what they knew about the provenance of the scrolls, and also mentioned that they had some communications with Professor Sukenik. The Americans, however, did not know that Sukenik had already seen the manuscripts, or that he had other manuscripts from the same find. Sukenik disclosed his own knowledge of the scrolls in a press release of April 26, 1948. Descriptions of the scrolls were published in the September 1948 issue of the Biblical Archaeologist and in the October 1948 issue of the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research. Sukenik also published in Hebrew a preliminary survey of the scrolls he had acquired.

Eventually, the scrolls that had been acquired by the Syrian Metropolitan would also find their way into Israeli hands. Mar Samuel took them to America in January 1949, and continued to seek a buyer. In the polarized situation that followed the partition of Palestine, he did not want to sell them to a Jew. Moreover, the legal ownership of the scrolls had not been established, and the Jordanians considered him a smuggler. In June 1954, an advertisement was placed in the Wall Street Journal, under the heading "Miscellaneous for Sale":

"The Four Dead Sea Scrolls."

Biblical Manuscripts, dating back to at least 200 BC, are for sale. This would be an ideal gift to an educational or religious institution by an individual or group.

Box F 206, The Wall Street Journal.

This led to the purchase of the four scrolls for $250,000, by a banker named Sidney Esteridge. Unknown to the archbishop, Esteridge was acting on behalf of Sukenik's son, Yigael Yadin, who was lecturing in the United States at the time. Sukenik himself had died the previous year. Thus, the original "Dead Sea Scrolls" were reunited in Jerusalem, where a special building of the Israel Museum, The Shrine of the Book, was built to house them, in 1965.

Enter the Archeologists

Further fragmentary manuscripts from Qumran Cave 1 came to light in the course of 1948, including fragments of the Book of Daniel, 1 Enoch (an apocalyptic text known in full only in Ethiopic), and a scroll of prayers. The Jordanian Department of Antiquities decided that it was time to excavate the cave, which was identified by soldiers of the Arab legion in January 1949. The first excavation, in February–March 1949, was a joint project of the Palestine Archaeological Museum, the École Biblique, and the American School of Oriental Research. It was led by Roland de Vaux, a French Dominican priest based at the École, and overseen by Gerald Lankester Harding, an Englishman who was in charge of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan. They identified fragments of about seventy documents, including fragments of two of the original seven. There were also pottery shards and scraps of linen. The main items of value in the cave had already been recovered by the Bedouin.

The cave in question, known as Cave 1, is about three-quarters of a mile north of the ruins of Khirbet Qumran, which is itself a little less than a mile west of the Dead Sea, near its northern end. It was not immediately obvious that the scrolls were related to the ruins. Only at the end of 1951 were soundings made at the site. These brought to light pottery that was identical with what had been discovered in Cave 1, and also coins that established the approximate date. At that point de Vaux undertook a complete excavation of the ruins, and this was continued in four additional campaigns from 1953 to 1956.

The major scroll discoveries, however, were a result of the activities of the Bedouin. In the fall of 1951, they discovered scrolls in the caves of Wadi Murabbaat, far to the southwest of the first cave. De Vaux and Harding investigated, and found fragments of Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic texts, as well as cloth, ropes, and baskets. These included letters of Simeon ben Kosibah, Prince of Israel, better known as Bar Kochba, who led the last Jewish revolt against the Romans in 132 CE, and also marriage contracts. These texts are not related to those found near Qumran, and are not usually included in the Dead Sea Scrolls, but they are of enormous importance for Jewish history. Murabbaat also yielded an important scroll of the Minor Prophets, but this was not discovered until 1955. A Greek scroll of the Minor Prophets was recovered from another location, Nahal Hever, in summer 1952.

While the archeologists were busy with Wadi Murabbaat, the Bedouin returned to Qumran. In February 1952, they discovered manuscript fragments in a cave a few hundred yards south of Cave 1, which became known as Cave 2. This led to a systematic exploration of the cliffs above Qumran by the archeologists. Much pottery and some evidence of tents or shelters was discovered, but only one new cave, more than a mile north of the ruins, produced written material. This was Cave 3, which yielded the Copper Scroll: two oxidized rolls of beaten copper on which text was inscribed. This scroll proved difficult to open. Eventually—in 1956—it was cut into small strips at the University of Manchester. Even before that, however, scholars had gotten an impression of its contents from the reverse impressions of the letters visible on the exterior. It appeared to contain a list of treasures and their hiding places.

As spring 1952 advanced, the archeologists again withdrew from Qumran, and the Bedouin returned to the scene. The ruins at Qumran sit on top of a marl terrace, and to this terrace the treasure hunters now turned their attention. In late summer 1952, they discovered a cave on the edge of the terrace, less than 200 yards from the ruins. This cave became known as Cave 4, and it contained fragments of hundreds of manuscripts. De Vaux and Harding promptly returned and excavated Cave 4 during September 1952. While the Bedouin had already removed many of the fragments, the archeologists discovered a small underground chamber that contained fragments of about one hundred different manuscripts. De Vaux proceeded to excavate five more caves on the marl terrace, one of which, Cave 6, was also discovered by the Bedouin. Small numbers of manuscripts were recovered from these caves. The final scroll cave, Cave 11, was discovered by the Bedouin in February 1956. This was located near Cave 3, more than a mile north of Khirbet Qumran. Like Cave 1, this cave contained well-preserved scrolls. Several of these were taken by the Bedouin. Only a small number were recovered in situ by the archeologists. Eventually fragments of thirty-one manuscripts from Cave 11 would be published.

With the discovery of Cave 11, the bulk of the Dead Sea Scrolls had been brought to light. The Bedouin continued their searching, and several archeological investigations were undertaken in the Judean desert in the following years. Important discoveries were made in Nahal Se'elim (Wadi Seiyal) and Nahal Hever, some of the latter relating to the Bar Kochba revolt. Papyri from Samaria, dating to the time of Alexander the Great, were discovered in Wadi Daliyeh, less than ten miles north of Jericho, in 1962. These discoveries, however, are peripheral to our present story. More relevant are some manuscripts discovered during the excavation of Masada by Yigael Yadin in 1963–65. These included fragments of biblical books, and also of the apocryphal book of Ben Sira. Most interesting was a manuscript of The Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice, a mystical text about angelic liturgy, of which a copy was also found in Qumran Cave 4, and which is usually included in editions of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Yadin was also responsible for the recovery of another major scroll. For several years in the 1960s he had attempted to negotiate with Kando for the purchase of a complete scroll whose contents were unknown. In June 1967, in the course of the Arab-Israeli war, the Israelis gained control of all Jerusalem and its suburbs as far south as Bethlehem. Yadin was personal military adviser to the prime minister of Israel. He and a small group of Israeli intelligence officers located Kando in Bethlehem, and after an interrogation that has been described as "unpleasant," they took possession of the scroll. This turned out to be the Temple Scroll, one of the largest and best preserved of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Yadin eventually agreed to a settlement with Kando of $105,000. Most of the sum was provided by an English industrialist, Leonard Wolfson.

(Continues...)