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Posts Tagged ‘Essenes’

In the south of the Holy Land, on the barren and other-worldly banks of the Salt Sea (Dead Sea), we can find the remains of a community of pious Jews many believe were the Essenes. It is this community of ultra devout Jews, seeking purity and piety for God that is believed to be the source of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Dead Sea scrolls are ancient “books” which were written on parchment and stored in clay jars in the caves surrounding and located near the Dead Sea. These scrolls were discovered initially by shepherds who tended flocks in the area between the Dead Sea and Bethlehem. The story of the discovery and sale of the scrolls is interesting and you should explore it, but for the purposes of this post, suffice it to say that the discovery of the scrolls gives further convincing evidence for the reliability of the Bible.

The scrolls included information beyond the actual scriptures, including information regarding the daily life and conduct of those living in the community. They also reflect a focus among the authors on the coming Messiah. This is all very helpful to understanding the time period into which Messiah Yeshua was born and ministered in the late 2nd-Temple era.

Qumran, as an archaeological site, is notably a place to observe the collection and use of water in antiquity in what is a very dry region with few natural potable water sources. The site has several cisterns for water collection, a water canal which carried water to various parts of the site and from the mountains above the site. It is also marked by a several mikvaot (Jewish immersion pools), evidencing the focus on piety and purity of those living there.

See also Qumran (The Dead Sea Scrolls)

Cave near Qumran
Mikveh – Ritual immersion pool at Qumran
Water canal at Qumran
Huge cistern at Qumran
View looking east toward the Dead Sea and Transjordan from Qumran

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