Dead Sea Scrolls

Qumran | Wadi Murabba'at | Wadi Sdeir | Nahal Hever | Nahal Se'elim | Masada | Wadi Daliyeh

Oldest Ancient manuscripts of the Old Testament (Tanakh)


Visit the Seven Scroll Discovery Sites:

Qumran | Wadi Murabba'at | Wadi Sdeir

Nahal Hever | Nahal Se'elim | Masada | Wadi Daliyeh



Ancient Dead Sea Bible manuscripts

1.             Hebrew DSS that agree with the LXX against the MT

2.             Hebrew DSS that disagree with both the LXX and MT

3.             Hebrew DSS that validate the Samaritan Pentateuch and LXX

4.             40 “Samaritan Pentateuch Harmonizations” seen in DSS

5.             154 Dead Sea Scroll variants identical to SP & LXX



The Greek Tanakh Septuagint LXX

"Scripture cannot be broken" (Jesus, John 10:35)

Steve Rudd 2017





The Dead Sea scrolls are the Oldest Old Testament Greek and Hebrew Bible manuscripts that originate from five sites on the western shore of the Salt Sea at six sites: Qumran, Wadi Murabba'at, Wadi Sdeir, Nahal Hever, Nahal Se'elim and Masada. Bible manuscripts from the time of Christ have verified the Old Testament text we posses today have not changed in 2000 years. Both Hebrew and Greek manuscripts of the Tanakh (Old Testament) have been discovered and currently reside in museums. Another important ancient source of Bible texts are small papyrus Phylactery and Mezuzah manuscripts which were considered to be favorite passages.


Visit the Seven Scroll Discovery Sites:

Qumran | Wadi Murabba'at | Wadi Sdeir

Nahal Hever | Nahal Se'elim | Masada | Wadi Daliyeh




1.             Ancient Bible manuscripts called “Dead Sea Scrolls” originate from five primary sites listed in their geographic order north to south:

a.           Qumran

b.          Wadi Murabba'at: Bar Kokhba Revolt Refuge Cave (132-135 AD)

c.           Wadi Sdeir (cave of David at Engedi)

d.          Nahal Hever: Bar Kokhba Revolt Refuge Cave (132-135 AD)

e.           Nahal Se'elim

f.            Masada: First Jewish War (66-74 AD)

g.           Wadi Daliyeh is considered a Dead Sea Scroll Cave but no Bible manuscripts were found there.

2.             “Virtually all of the Dead Sea Scrolls from Qumran (and a number of other sites: Wadi Daliyeh, Masada, Wadi Murabba‘at, Nahal Hever, Ketef Jericho, Nahal Sdeir, Nahal Mishmar, Nahal Se’elim) are housed in Jerusalem in the Shrine of the Book, a museum dedicated for that purpose in 1965.” (The Near East Archaeological Society Bulletin, vol, p 58, 2011 AD)

3.             Nahal Hever produced the most important Greek LXX Biblical manuscripts of the minor prophets.

a.           At 32 feet, the scroll of the 12 minor prophets is the largest Dead Sea Scroll ever found!

b.          It is a Greek copy of the Septuagint that dates to 50 BC

4.             Dead Sea Scrolls contained Greek translations of the Old Testament:

a.           "Nevertheless, with all these new nuances and different readings, this [LXX] became the Bible of Greek-speaking Jews throughout the Eastern Mediterranean and was even used in Israel, which remained part of the Greek and the Hellenized Roman world. This is not so difficult to understand when one considers how many Greek-speaking Jews came to Jerusalem for the religious festivals, and even returned to live in their native land (without, however, leaving behind Greek as their primary language). Remarkably, fragments of Greek Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy were even found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, a testimony to how far the Greek Bible penetrated the homeland of Israel." (Reading the Bible at Qumran, Alexandria, and Ephesus, D. A. deSilva Ashland Theological Journal, Volume 36, Page 29, 2004 AD)

b.          The LXX was also used by the Jews in Palestine. The scrolls found in Qumran are a conclusive witness to this. They appear to have read the LXX in the light of the Hebrew text and revised it accordingly. (A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint, J. Lust, E. Eynikel, K. Hauspie, Introduction, 2003 AD)

c.           "Tov classifies biblical manuscripts into five groups (which may overlap): Texts written in what he terms the “Qumran practice,” Proto-Masoretic texts, pre-Samaritan texts, texts close to the presumed Hebrew source of the LXX, and non-aligned texts (1998: 294–98)." (The Dead Sea Scrolls Retrospective and Prospective, Sidnie White Crawford, Near Eastern Archaeology, Volume 65, Nos. 1–4, 2002 AD)

5.             Bible verses used in phylacteries (Tefillin worn on a person] and Mezuzah [on outside door frame] have been excavated at several other Dead Sea Scroll site:

a.           Qumran: 27 fragments from Cave 4 and 2 fragments from Cave 8.

b.          Wadi Murabba'at: 2 fragments

c.           Nahal Se'elim: 2 fragments

d.          See full outline on Phylactery and Mezuzah Bible texts



I. Dead Sea Scrolls (Hebrew manuscripts) at Qumran that agree with the LXX not the Masoretic:

1.           “Isaiah 9:6 reads, “she shall call his name” in the Masoretic Text, but the LXX and now the great Isaiah scroll read, “His name shall be called,” a matter of one less consonant of the Hebrew alphabet. (Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, p 188, 1999 AD)

2.           "However, the documents from Qumran have revolutionised the textual history of the LXX due to the Greek fragments discussed and due to the Hebrew texts discovered there, related in one way or another with the Vorlage used by the Greek translators. In first place must be mentioned the recovery of new originals in Hebrew or Aramaic for books or parts of books which were unknown until now, such as the five manuscripts, four in Hebrew and one in Aramaic, of the book of Tobit found in Cave 4, or the appearance in Cave 11 (11QPsa) of two Hebrew compositions undoubtedly related with an ancestor from which the Greek translation of Psalm 151 came. No less important is the discovery of readings that are different from the textus receptus but that agree with LXX readings; before Qumran these were usually explained as the result of a different exegetical tradition and not as belonging to a different textual tradition. For example, 4QGen-Exoda, from the Herodian period, agrees with the LXX that Jacob had seventy-five descendants instead of seventy as transmitted by the textus receptus. 4QDeutd contains the final verses of the Song of Moses (Deuteronomy 32) in a composite text which for the first time provides us with readings in Hebrew which underlie the forms these verses have in the LXX." (The Septuagint in Context: Introduction to the Greek Version of the Bible, Marcos, N. Fernández, p73, 2000 AD)

3.           LXX, 4QTestimonia and 4QApocryphon: Jericho not in in Joshua 6:26b

a.           Two DSS's lack the word "Jericho", which follows the LXX, but the MT contains it.

b.          "Whereas the Masoretic Text for Joshua 6:26b refers to Jericho, neither the Septuagint nor the version in 4QTestimonia/4QApocryphon of Joshuab speaks of Jericho. Perhaps the place name was added as a gloss in the proto-Masoretic text; whatever the case, 4QTestimonia explicitly refers the whole curse to illicit activity in Jerusalem." (Dictionary of New Testament background, G. J. Brooke, Testimonia, 4Q175, p1206, 2000 AD)

4.           LXX and 4QGen-Exoda: 75 souls entered Egypt: Ex 1:5

a.           Two Hebrew language Dead Sea Scrolls 4QGen-Exoda [וחמש נפש "and five souls] and 4Q13 [seventy and five souls] validate the Greek Septuagint in Ex 1:5 with “75 souls” as the number who entered Egypt with Jacob.

b.          The Hebrew Masoretic Text of Exodus 1:5 reads “70 souls”.

c.           Stephen confirms the number is “75 souls” in his quotation of Ex 1:5 in Acts 7:14 read.

5.           Heb 1:6: LXX and 4QDeutq: Angels worship of Jesus Christ but the Masoretic Text lacks the entire sentence.

6.           1 & 2 Samuel as found in the Septuagint (LXX) is validated by three Dead Sea Scrolls: 4QSama, 4QSamb and 4QSamc

a.           Scholars all agree that Samuel in the MT is hopelessly corrupted.

b.          For example: in 1 Sam 13:1 the MT reads: ““Saul was a year old when he began to reign, and he reigned two years over Israel.”

c.           “Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years." (Acts 13:21)

d.          Septuagint Lucianic LXXL does have the verse and lists Saul’s age as 30 when he became king. After all, Jonathan his son defeated the Philistines at Geba in the first year of Saul’s reign.

e.           The Septuagint Sinaiticus completely lacks the entire verse of 1 Sam 13:1

f.            However, generally the Masoretic text (MT) of Samuel is corrected using the Greek LXX.                                                                      

7.           Shorter version of the book of Jeremiah as found in the Septuagint (LXX) is validated by two Dead Sea Scrolls: 4QJerb, 4QJerd.

8.           The Septuagint (LXX) and Dead Sea Scroll 11Q5 have Psalm 151, which is lacking in the Masoretic Text (MT)



II. Hebrew manuscripts at Qumran that disagree with both the Septuagint (LXX) and Masoretic (MT):

1.       Dead Sea Scrolls that are variant to both the MT and the LXX: 4QDeutb, 4QDeutc, 4QDeuth, 4QIsac, and 4QDana

2.       Without going into great detail many of these variants may represent individual paraphrases and variant by individuals. Just as in today, preachers and greeting cards often rearrange, add or remove words to suit the need of the moment.

3.       4Q45 (4QpaleoDeuteronomyr, 4QpaleoDeutr, Fragment 35, Deuteronomy 32:6-8)

a.       There are three different readings: Sons, Angels, Israelites

b.      Dead Sea Scroll 4Q45 reads Deuteronomy 32:8: “according to the number of the sons of God,” but the LXX translates it “angels of God” by the LXX, as in Genesis 6:4 (margin); Job 1:6; 2:1; and 38:7. The Masoretic Text reads, “according to the number of the children of Israel.” (cf. Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, p 188, 1999 AD)



III. Dead Sea Scrolls that validate the Samaritan Pentateuch (SP) and Septuagint (LXX) against the Masoretic Text (MT):

1.         See also:

a.         History of the Samaritans.

b.        Detailed examination and assessment of the Samaritan Pentateuch (SP).

2.         Only 12 Paleo-Hebrew Torah fragments discovered:

a.         “The extant Qumran corpus includes eleven or twelve texts written in a paleo-Hebrew script; ten of these are texts from the Pentateuch. Since this script was favored by the Samaritans, and a point of contention already in the Bab­ylonian Talmud, these texts have attracted .special attention by scholars investigating the origin of the SP.” (The Samaritan Pentateuch, Robert T. Anderson, Terry Giles, SBL 72, p 45, 2012 AD)

3.         Discussion:

a.         “In the view of the recent finds in Qumran it is now believed that at the base of the Samaritan Pentateuch lies a non-sectarian Palestinian text similar to several texts that have been found at Qumran and which for this purpose are named "proto-Samaritan." These sources contain early non-sectarian texts (see below), on one of which the Samaritan Pentateuch was based. In its present form, the Samaritan Pentateuch contains a clearly sectarian text. However, when its thin sectarian layer is removed, together with that of the Samaritan phonetic features, the resulting text probably did not differ much from the texts we now label "proto-Samaritan."” (A Companion to Samaritan Studies, Alan D Crown, p180, 1983 AD)

b.        “Emanuel Tov, a brilliant scholar of the Dead Sea Scrolls, ascertained that three different texts of the Pentateuch were discovered at Qumran: a Proto-Jewish, a Proto-Samaritan, and an independent text. He suggested that part of the fragments were delivered to Qumran by Jews who preferred isolated life in the desert over life in the big cities, and part were written by them in the desert. It should be pointed out that all of the Dead Sea Scrolls were copied or written by Jews. Undoubtedly, this demonstrates that the general structure of the text, the so-called Samaritan version, was not a special version but was in use by Jews as well. Previously some scholars claimed that Samaritan sages harmonized the text in the books of Exodus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, yet this proved to be meaningless since the same texts were found in Qumran. Some scholars claimed that the Samaritan sages made additions to the original text, or edited it to conform it to their particular faith. However, the same claim could be applied to the Jewish version as edited and crystallized so as to adjust it to the Jewish faith, as in the case of "will choose" replacing "has chosen" or in the case of Deut. 27:4-6, "Mount Ebal" replacing "Mount Gerizim." In general, it can be said that any claim against either of the two groups as having changed the original text should be postponed until discovery of the original text.” (The Israelite Samaritan version of the Torah: First English translation compared with the Masoretic version, Benyamim Tsedaka, Sharon Sullivan, The First English Translation of the Israelite Samaritan Torah, Benyamim Tsedaka, p xxiv, 2013 AD)

c.         “The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Desert of Judea, especially many of the scrolls found in Qumran Cave 4, revealed Pentateuch scrolls that were copied by Jews during the last two centuries B.C.E. and the first century C.E. Large portions of these scrolls are close to the text of the Israelite Samaritan ver-sion of the Pentateuch and differ from the Jewish Masoretic Text.” (The Israelite Samaritan version of the Torah: First English translation compared with the Masoretic version, Benyamim Tsedaka, Sharon Sullivan, The First English Translation of the Israelite Samaritan Torah, Benyamim Tsedaka, p xxvii, 2013 AD)

d.        One of the chief characteristics of the SP is a trend toward internal harmo­nization. Yet, as Emanuel Tov has noted, this trend is by no means unique: "Almost all Qumran MSS contain sporadic harmonizing readings." The editorial practice of harmonization found in the pre-Samaritan texts is evidenced throughout the Hebrew Bible and in the Synoptic Gospels of the New Testament. Harmonization is not an exclusively Samaritan or pre-Samaritan phenomenon. In broad strokes, scribal harmonizations fall into two patterns. First, details from one parallel passage may be inserted into the other to "fill out" the passage missing those details. Second, details in one parallel passage may be changed in order to bring it into agreement with the other, thus eliminating the impression of contradictions Both of these procedures are found in the pre-Samaritan text group and the SP. (The Samaritan Pentateuch, Robert T. Anderson, Terry Giles, SBL 72, p 60, 2012 AD)

4.         The following description of the Qumran texts most relevant to the devel­opment of the SP is intended to serve as a summary, presenting the most significant findings published in the Discoveries in the Judean Desert series and by other scholars conducting exhaustive research on the scrolls. The pre-Samaritan text group from Qumran is most generally identified as 4QExod-Levi (4Q17), 4QpaleoExodm (4Q22), 4QNumb (4Q27), 4QRP (4Q158 = 4QRPa, 4Q364 = 4QRPb, 4Q365 = 4QRPc, 4Q366 = 4QRPd, 4Q367 = 4QRPe) and perhaps 4QLevd.” (The Samaritan Pentateuch, Robert T. Anderson, Terry Giles, SBL 72, p 46, 2012 AD)

a.         4QPALEOEXODm (4Q22): “The scroll contains portions of Exod 6:25-37:16 on fragments surviving from forty-three columns. The scroll has been dated variously between 225 and 25 B.C.E., with most scholars favoring a date between 100 and 75 B.C.E. for the scroll itself and ca. 50 B.C.E. for the patch in column V111. This patch, written in a different hand, indicates that the scroll was well used and considered valuable enough to repair, thus suggesting that it was regarded to have some authority. Presumably, this means that the textual tradition recorded on 4QpaleoExodm was accepted outside the Samaritan community. 4QpaleoExodm demonstrates the same sort of expanded and harmo­nizing textual tradition that characterizes SP." Skehan, Ulrich, and Sand­erson conclude: “The text of Exodm [4Qpaleo-Exodm] belongs to the text type or tradi­tion which previously was known to us only in its later representative, the Samaritan Exodus. The scroll shares all major typological features with SP, including all the major expansions of that tradition where it is extant (twelve), with the single exception of the new tenth command­ment inserted in Exod 20 from Deut 11 and 27 regarding the altar on Mount Gerizim.” Although the place in the scroll where the Samaritan tenth command­ment would appear requires reconstruction, it is important to note that this commandment does not seem to have been included in the scroll. This means that a pre-Samaritan expansionist form of Exodus, minus the expressly sectarian Samaritan layer of editing, was in use in the first cen­tury B.C.E. … The evidence from 4QpaleoExodm thus offers an important clue in understanding the early history of the SP. Comparisons between this text, other Qumran documents, and the SP suggest that the Samaritan Penta­teuch, rather than being a creation de novo of the community that wor­shiped at Mount Gerizim, is instead a somewhat later representative of a tradition that was already known elsewhere in Palestine and used in reli­gious communities with no allegiance to Gerizim. The Gerizim expansion, proper to Samaritan theology, was made only in the Samaritan commu­nity, and that was the only major expansion this community made to the text of Exodus.(The Samaritan Pentateuch, Robert T. Anderson, Terry Giles, SBL 72, p 47, 2012 AD)

b.        4QExod-Levf (4Q17): 4QExod-Levif is one of the oldest manuscripts recovered from Qumran, dating to the mid-third century B.C.E. Cross has determined that 4QExod-Levif is affiliated with the Samaritan tradition and is an "early, direct, or better collateral, witness to the textual family which has been called Proto-Samaritan [pre-Samaritan] " 4QExod-Levif demonstrates a tendency toward expansion, especially evident in Exod 39-40. Signifi­cantly, 4QExod-Levif agrees with SP and MT (and thus with modern trans­lations) in placing Exod 39:3-24 just prior to chapter 40; the LXX locates this material at 36:10-32.” (The Samaritan Pentateuch, Robert T. Anderson, Terry Giles, SBL 72, p 49, 2012 AD)

c.         4QLevd (4Q26): 4QLevd is a collection of at least four (and perhaps as many as eleven) frag­ments containing portions of Lev 14,15, and 17. The fragments have been dated to the early Herodian period (30 E.c.E.-20 c.E.). At Lev 17:4, 4QLevd contains an expansion that is also represented in the SP and LXX but not in the MT; the parallels between 4QLevd and SP are indicated in italics in the quote below: Any man from the house of Israel and the stranger who resides in Israel who slaughters an ox, or lamb, or goat, in the camp, or who slaughters it outside the camp, and has not brought it to the door of the tent of meet­ing so as to sacrifice it as a burnt offering or an offering of well-being to the Lord to be acceptable as a pleasing odor, and has slaughtered it without and does not bring it to the door of the tent of meeting to offer it as an offering to the Lord before the tabernacle of the Lord, that man shall be guilty of bloodshed.” It could be argued that the inserted material gives expression to a trajectory leading to the recognition of one divinely approved place of worship and sacrifice by disqualifying sacrifices slaughtered in unapproved locations.” (The Samaritan Pentateuch, Robert T. Anderson, Terry Giles, SBL 72, p 49, 2012 AD)

d.        4QNumb (4Q27): “This scroll, which dates to about 25 B.C.E., also exhibits the expansionist tendency found in other pre-Samaritan texts. In fact, some have characterized 4QNumb as the Qumran manuscript most closely exhibiting pre-Samaritan characteristics. Nathan Jastram says: “Of the secondary readings in 4QNumb, the most significant are the major interpolations shared with SR 4QNumb preserves the interpola­tions in five places (20:13b; 21:12a, 13a, 21a; 27:23b) and requires their reconstruction in four other places (12:16b; 21:22b, 23b; 31:21a). The remaining five major interpolations of SP occur in sections too far removed from the preserved fragments for certain conclusions, but there is no reason to suppose their absence.” The expansions found in the SP provide a significant connection to 4QNumb. In addition to the expansions shared with SP, 4QNumb also contains an expansion (36:2-5) not shared by SP or LXX, along with a number of divergent readings and expansions that are shared with LXX. Yet, as Jastram points out, "4QNumb is not merely a conflated text combining the expansions of the other witnesses; it has a significant number of unique readings, and often has shorter readings than LXX." The expansion in Num 36:1-5, not shared by the SP, suggests that the Samaritans may have chosen the pre-Samaritan text tradition of Numbers prior to 4QNumb.” (The Samaritan Pentateuch, Robert T. Anderson, Terry Giles, SBL 72, p 50, 2012 AD)

e.        4QPaleoDeurr (4Q45): “This scroll, preserved in sixty-five fragments, dates to 100-25 B.C.E., making it a contemporary of 4QpaleoExodm. The scroll lacks the sectarian features and the expansions found in the SP, agreeing with MT and LXX. There are twenty-three variants preserved in the scroll, only one of which (the exclu­sion of Deut 28:19) involves more than a single word or part of a word. In minor variants, the scroll often presents unique readings (twelve times), but among these minor variants, the scroll agrees with SP against MT eight times, and with MT against SP three times. Although a reconstruction, fragments 15-16 suggest that 4QpaleoDeutr reads in ("will choose") at Deut 12:5, parallel to MT, against ("has chosen") in SP.” (The Samaritan Pentateuch, Robert T. Anderson, Terry Giles, SBL 72, p 51, 2012 AD)

f.          4QDEUTJ (4Q37): “4QDeutJ is a collection of fragments of Deuteronomy and Exodus, written in the same hand and so presumably belonging to one scroll, or at least copied by one scribe. The fragments date to the late Herodian period (ca. 50 C.E.). 4QDeutJ contains an expansion not found in any other manu­script: at Deut 11:21, an interpolation reflecting Exod 12:43-51 and 13:1-5 adds the promise of a long life to the circumcision requirement for Pass-over. This interpolation is unusual, inasmuch as pre-Samaritan texts and the SP generally insert interpolations from Deuteronomy into Exodus and Numbers, rather than vice versa as here in 4QDeutJ.” (The Samaritan Pentateuch, Robert T. Anderson, Terry Giles, SBL 72, p 51, 2012 AD)

g.         4QDEvTk1 (4Q38): This manuscript, written in an early Herodian hand (30-1 B.C.E.), consists of five fragments preserving portions of Deut 5, 11, and 32. The orthog­raphy of this manuscript is generally fuller than either the MT or SP. It has been suggested that 4QDeutk1 is a catena of passages that may have been used for liturgical purposes, a proposal that raises questions as to its value as a witness to the pre-Samaritan scriptural text tradition. (The Samaritan Pentateuch, Robert T. Anderson, Terry Giles, SBL 72, p 52, 2012 AD)

h.        4QDeutn (4Q41): This scroll, written in six columns, dates to the early Herodian period (30-1 B.C.E.). Esther Eshel has made a compelling argument that 4QDeutn is not a Torah scroll, but rather a collection of prayers used in community liturgies. Consequently, the scroll may not have been intended to pres­ent an authoritative text, and thus should perhaps be categorized as an independent composition. Nevertheless, some of the characteristics of the scroll, especially the harmonizations present in the text, give expression to editorial practices seen in the SP, so that the document may be considered a "harmonized text in the pre-Samaritan tradition." (The Samaritan Pentateuch, Robert T. Anderson, Terry Giles, SBL 72, p 52, 2012 AD)

i.           Deuteronomy 27:4: “The recent publication of a fragment of Deut 27:4-6 by James Charles-worth seems to confirm the SP version, reading "Gerizim" against the MT's "Ebal." Although the fragment is small, it is provisionally dated to the middle of the first century B.C.E. The only other Qumran text contain­ing Deut 27:1-10, 4QDeutf, has a gap at verse 4 where the name of the location of the altar would appear. If the tradition represented by the MT is the variant, then it was intended to detract from the Gerizim site, but if the SP is the variant tradition, then this change must have been made by Samaritan scribes in order to emphasize the priority of Gerizim against all competing places of worship. In this instance, the SP seems to preserve the original reading, "Gerizim" having been changed to "Ebal" in reaction to the Samaritan preference for Gerizim. "One may therefore conclude that there once was a Hebrew text with 'Mount Gerizim' in Deut 27:4. This was the earlier reading. The change to “Ebal” must have been made at the hands of the Jews and could be a polemical alteration: an altar in the north was to be built on the mountain of curse.” (The Samaritan Pentateuch, Robert T. Anderson, Terry Giles, SBL 72, p 52, 2012 AD)

j.          4QRP (4Q 158, 4Q364, 4Q365, 4Q366, 4Q367): “4QRP is a group of five manuscripts (4Q158, 4Q364-67). The two most extensively preserved members of this group, 4Q364 and 4Q365, were copied sometime between 75-50 B.C.E., and both probably contained all five books of the Pentateuch. Although fragmentary, the manuscripts contain portions of the entire Pentateuch from Genesis through Deuteronomy (4Q364 lacks Lev). The scrolls in the 4QRP group reflect a common "exegetical tradition" in which "an individual scribe (or group of scribes) had freedom to manipulate a received text within a broader body of tradition. These "manipulations" include insertion of previously unknown material, thematic regrouping of material, short editorial com­ments that clarify narrative passages, and major harmonizations (some of which are shared by the SP and some that are not shared with the SP). None of the preserved insertions or regrouped materials are identified or marked off in any way. This leads one to believe that the scribe expected his document to be received with the same level of authority as other Pentateuchal texts.” (The Samaritan Pentateuch, Robert T. Anderson, Terry Giles, SBL 72, p 53, 2012 AD)

5.         40 Samaritan Pentateuch “Harmonizations” witnessed in Dead Sea Scrolls


40 Samaritan Pentateuch “Harmonizations” witnessed in Dead Sea Scrolls


Expanded Passage

Source of Expansion

DSS witness


Gen 30:36+

Gen 31:11-13

4QRPb (4Q364)


Gen 42:16+

Gen 44:22


Exod 6:9+

Exod 14:12


Exod 7:18+

Exod 7:16-18

4QpaleoExod (4Q22)


Exod 7:29+

Exod 7:26-29



Exod 8:1+

Exod 8:1



Exod 8:19+

Exod 8:16b-19



Exod 9:5+

Exod 9:1-5



Exod 9:19+

Exod 9:13-19



Exod 10:2+

Exod 10:3-6



Exod 11:3

Exod 11:4b-7



Exod 11:3+

Exod 4:22-23



Exod 18:25

Deut 1:913-18



Exod 20:17+

Deut 27:2b-7; 11:29-30


Exod 20:19

Deut 5:24-27



Exod 20:21

Deut 5:28-29; 18:18-

22; 5:30-31



Exod 26:35+

Exod 30:1-10



Exod 27:19+

Exod 39:1



Exod 28:29+

Exod 28:30


Exod 29:28+

Exod 29:21



Exod 32:10+

Deut 9:20



Exod 39:21+

Exod 28:30

4QExod-Levi (4Q17)


Num 4:14+

Num 4:13-14; Exod 31:9


Num 10:10+

Deut 1:6-8


Num 12:16+

Deut 1:20-22

4QNumb (4Q27)


Num 13:33+

Deut 1:27-33


Num 14:40+

Deut 1:42


Num 14:45+

Deut 1:44b-45


Num 20:13+

Deut 3:24-25; 26b-28



Num 20:13+

Deut 2:2-6



Num 21:+12

Deut 2:9



Num 21:+13

Deut 2:17-19



Num 21:20+

Deut 2:24-25



Num 21:+21

Deut 2:26-27


Num 21:22

Deut 2:28-29a



Num 21:23

Deut 2:31



Num 27:23+

Deut 3:21b-22



Num 31:20+

Num 31:21-24



Deut 2:7+

Num 20:14, 17-18

4QRPb (4Q364)


Deut 10:6

Deut 10:7; Num 33:31-37


Source: The Samaritan Pentateuch, Robert T. Anderson, Terry Giles, SBL 72, 2012 AD


6.         Dead Sea Scrolls validate the Samaritan Pentateuch (SP) and Septuagint (LXX) against the Masoretic (MT)

a.         154 Dead Sea Scroll variants identical to the SP against the MT.

b.        89 DSS variants identical to both the SP and LXX against the MT


154 Dead Sea Scroll variants identical to the SP against the MT

89 DSS variants identical to both the SP and LXX against the MT


“LXX” = DSS verses identical to both SP and Septuagint against the Masoretic Text.

Bold Text” = DSS Text that differences from the Masoretic text.





Genesis 6:20 LXX

their kind


Genesis 36:5 LXX



Genesis 41:3



Genesis 42:19

the one


Exodus 1:3

and Yaasheshaakaar, and Zehboolaan


Exodus 1:36

you shall preserve her (same text, but variant spelling in DSS and SP)


Exodus 2:6 LXX

and she saw


Exodus 2:6 LXX

the daughter of Phaaroo


Exodus 2:14

and to be as a judge


Exodus 3:8 LXX

and the Girgeshee


Exodus 3:15 LXX

and Eloowwee of Yesaahq


Exodus 3:16 LXX

sons of Yishraael


Exodus 4:6 LXX

from his lap


Exodus 5:4 LXX

separate the people away from their work


Exodus 5:9 LXX

they will be busy with it


Exodus 5:10

and spoke to the people


Exodus 5:13 LXX

straw was given to you


Exodus 7:10 LXX

And Mooshe and Aahrron came before Phaaroo


Exodus 7:14

and spoke Shehmaa unto Mooshe


Exodus 7:18+

18a And Mooshe and Aahrron went to Phaaroo and said to him. 18b Shehmaa, Eloowwee of the Ibrems sent us to you, saying, let my people go that they may serve me in the desert. 18c And behold, you have not listened until now. 18d Thus says Shehmaa, by this you shall know that I am Shehmaa. 18e Behold, I will strike the water that is in the river with the stick that is in my hand, and it will be turned to blood. 18f And the fish that are in the river will die, and the river will become foul. 18g And the Missrems will be tired in drinking water from the river.


Exodus 7:29+

29a And Mooshe and Aahrron came to Phaaroo, and they spoke to him. 29b Thus said Shehmaa, let my people go and he will serve me. 29C And if you refuse to let go, behold I will smite your whole territory with frogs. 29d And the river will swarm with frogs, which will come up and go into your houses, and into your bedrooms, and on your beds, and in the houses of your slaves, and on your people, and into your ovens, and into your kneading bowls. 29e And the frogs will come up on you, and your people, and all your slaves.


Exodus 8:1+

is And Mooshe said to Aahrron, stretch out your hand with your stick, and the frogs will come up on the land of Missrem.


Exodus 8:12 LXX

your hand with your stick


Exodus 8:19+

19a And Mooshe and Aahrron came to Phaaroo, saying to him. 19b Let My people go, that he will serve Me. 19c you do not let My people go, behold I will send on you, and onto your slaves, and onto your people, and into your houses, different kinds of animals. 19d And the houses of the Missrems shall be full of different kinds of animals, and also on the ground on which they are. 19e And on that day I will set apart the land of Gaashen, where My people are standing on it, that no different kinds of animals will be there. In order that you may know that I, Shehmaa, am in the midst of the land. 19f And I will set a distinction between My people and your people. 1g Tomorrow this sign will occur.


Exodus 8:20

And there came very great different kinds of animals


Exodus 9:5+

5a And Mooshe and Aahrron came to Phaaroo, saying to him, thus says Shehmaa, Eloowwee of the Ibrems. 5b Let My people go, and he will serve Me. 5C For if you refuse to let go and still will hold them, 5d Behold, Hand of Shehmaa is upon your herds which are in the field, upon the horses, and upon the donkeys, and upon the camels, upon the livestock and upon the flocks, as a very severe pestilence. 5e And Shehmaa will make a wonder between the livestock of Yishraael, and the livestock of Missrem. And nothing will die of all that belongs to the sons of Yishraael. 5f Tomorrow Shehmaa will do this thing in the land.


Exodus 9:7 LXX

livestock of the sons of Yishraael


Exodus 9:19+

19a And Mooshe and Aahrron came to Phaaroo, saying to him, thus says Shehmaa, Eloowwee of the Ibrems. 19b Let My people go, and he will serve Me. 19c For this time I will send all My plagues over your heart, and on your slaves, and your people that you will know that there is no one like Me in all the earth. 19d For had I now put forth My Hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, you would then have been cut off from the earth. 19e And indeed, for this reason I have allowed you to stand, in order to show you My power, and in order to proclaim My name through all the earth. 19f Still you exalt yourself against My people, that you will not let them go. 19g Behold, about this time tomorrow, I will cause to rain a very heavy hail, such as has not been in Missrem from the day of the foundation until now. 19h And now send, bring your herds and whatever you have in the field to safety. 19i Every man and beast that is found in the field and is not brought home, when the hail comes down on them, will die.


Exodus 9:30

Aadaanee Shehmaa


Exodus 10:2+

2a And you will say to Phaaroo, thus says Shehmaa, Eloowwee of the Ibrems, how long will you refuse to obey My face. 2b Let My people go, and he will serve Me. 2c For if you refuse to let My people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your territory. 2d And they shall cover the surface of the land, and no one will be able to see the land. 2e And it will also eat the rest of what was left to you from the hail, and they will eat all the grass of the land and all the fruit of the tree, which sprouts for you out of the field. 2f And your houses shall be filled, and the houses of all your slaves, and the houses of all the Missrems, which neither your fathers nor your grandfathers have seen, from the day that they came upon the earth until this day.


Exodus 10:5

all the grass of the land, and all the fruit of the tree


Exodus 10:17 LXX

you both forgive (plural)


Exodus 10:24 LXX

and to Aahrron


Exodus 12:3 LXX

the sons of Yishraael


Exodus 12:6 LXX

the sons of Yishraael


Exodus 12:39 LXX

Missrems sent them off


Exodus 12:48 LXX

proselyte sojourns with you all (plural)


Exodus 13:3 LXX

from the land of Missrem


Exodus 13:5 LXX

your Eloowwem


Exodus 13:22

pillar of . . . cloud


Exodus 14:10 LXX

Missrems were driving


Exodus 15:17



Exodus 15:17

hand established


Exodus 15:18

shall reign and the world is witness


Exodus 16:34

commanded ...


Exodus 17:2 LXX

and why


Exodus 17:12 LXX

were heavy


Exodus 17:13

and he killed them


Exodus 18:6 LXX



Exodus 18:7

and he brought him


Exodus 18:23

go to


Exodus 18:24+, 25+

24a And Mooshe said to the people, I alone am not able to bear you. 24b Shehmaa your Eloowwem has multiplied you, and here you are today as the stars of heavens in multitude. 24C May Shehmaa the Eloowwee of your forefathers make you a thousand times more numerous than you are, and bless you as He has promised you. 24d How can I alone bear your problems, and your burdens, and your complaints. 24e You choose wise, understanding, and knowledgeable men from among your tribes and I will assign them heads over you. 24f And they answered and said, The thing which you have said to do is good. 25 And he took the heads of their tribes, wise and understanding men, and made them heads over them, commanders of thousands, and commanders of hundreds, commanders of fifties, and commanders of tens, and policemen to their tribes. 25a And he commanded their judges, saying, Hear the cases between your brethren, and judge righteously between a man and his brother, and between his proselyte. 25b You shall not show partiality in judgment, you shall hear the small as well as the great. 25c You shall not be afraid in any man's presence, for the judgment is Eloowwem's. 25d The case that is too hard for you, bring to me, and I will hear it. 25e And he commanded them all the things which they should do.


Exodus 20:16+

16 And they said to Mooshe, Surely Shehmaa our Eloowwem has shown us His glory and His greatness. 16a And we heard His voice from the midst of the fire. 16b We have seen this day that Eloowwem speaks with man, yet he still lives. 16c And now, why should we die, for this great fire will consume us. 16d If we hear the voice of Shehmaa our Eloowwem any more, then we shall die. 16e For who is there of all flesh who has heard the voice of the living Eloowwem speaking from the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived. 16f You go near and hear all that Shehmaa our Eloowwem may say. And tell us all that Shehmaa our Eloowwem says to you, and we will hear and do it.


Exodus 22:3

for each he shall pay double


Exodus 22:4

4a He shall pay indeed from his field as it is grazed. And if all the field has been grazed he shall make restitution


Exodus 22:24

to ... poor


Exodus 23:8 LXX



Exodus 23:9 LXX

and you all (plural)


Exodus 24:1

Elaazaar and Itamar


Exodus 24:7

we will hear and we will do


Exodus 24:9

Elaazaar and Itamar


Exodus 25:20

one at one


Exodus 25:29

which to pour (masculine) 2.6:10 LXX loops fifty (word order)


Exodus 26:26

bars of acacia wood


Exodus 26:35+

35a And you shall make an altar to burn incense on.35b You shall make it of acacia wood. A cubit shall be its length and a cubit its width. 35c It shall be square, and two cubits shall be its height. Its horns shall be of one piece with it. 35d And you shall overlay its top, its sides all around, and its horns with pure gold. 35e And you shall make for it a molding of gold all around. And two gold rings you shall make for it, under the molding of both its sides. You shall place them on its two sides, and they will be holders of the poles with which to bear it. And you shall make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. 35f And you shall put it before the veil that is before the ark of the testimony, before the curtain that is over the testimony, where I will meet with you. 35g And Aahrron shall burn on it sweet incense. On the morning of the morning when he tends the candles, he shall burn incense on it. 35h And when Aahrron lights the candles between the sunsets, he shall burn incense before Shehmaa throughout your generations. 35i You shall not offer strange incense on it, or burnt offerings, or grain offerings. Nor shall you pour a drink offering on it. 35jAnd Aahrron shall make atonement upon its horns once a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonement. 35k Once a year he shall make atonement upon it throughout your generations. It is most holy to Shehmaa.


Exodus 27:12

ten sockets made of copper


Exodus 27:19

19a And you shall make bright blue, and purple, and scarlet clothes to serve with them in holiness.


Exodus 29:2

unleavened wafers ... You shall make them of fine wheat flour


Exodus 29:21

verse 21 not there


Exodus 32:7 LXX



Exodus 32:10+

10a And as for Aahrron, Shehmaa was very angry to destroy him. And Mooshe prayed for Aahrron.


Exodus 32:13 LXX

and they will inherit it forever


Exodus 32:27 LXX

and go forth and go back


Exodus 34:11

drive out the Kaanannee, and the Ehmarree, and the Ihttee, and the Girgeshee, and the Ferizzee, and the Ibbee, and the Yeboosee before you


Exodus 39:17

... two braided chains


Exodus 39:21+

21a And they made the Oorem and the Tammem as Shehmaa had commanded Mooshe.


Exodus 39:22

the robe


Exodus 40:17 LXX

since their exodus from Missrem


Leviticus 1:17 LXX

wings and


Leviticus 2:1 LXX

an offering


Leviticus 3:11 LXX

smoke unto the altar


Leviticus 4:6

with his finger


Leviticus 5:6 LXX

For his sin he sinned. And he will be forgiven.


Leviticus 13:42 LXX

on his bald head


Leviticus 14:16

of the oil ... seven times 14:42 LXX those stones and they shall Leviticus 14:45 LXX and they shall tear down 14:51 LXX sprinkle over the house seven times


Leviticus 15:3 LXX

or whether his body obstructs. He is impure, all the time his body discharges flow, or whether his body obstructs its discharge it is his impurity.


Leviticus 17:4 LXX

to make it a burnt offering, or peace offering, for you to be willful before Shehmaa as a sweet savor. And he slaughters it outside, and he does not present it to the gate of the tent of meeting to offer it as sacrifice.


Leviticus 20:2

Any man from the house of Yishraael


Leviticus 20:3

and ... profaning


Leviticus 21:8 LXX

who consecrate them, am holy


Leviticus 22:5 LXX

any unclean teeming thing


Leviticus 22:11 LXX

eat of it, and those who are born in his house


Leviticus 22:18

the proselyte that is living among Yishraael


Leviticus 22:23

you all will make it for a donation (plural)


Leviticus 22:31 LXX

and do them ...


Leviticus 25:31 LXX

they shall be considered as open fields


Numbers 11:32 LXX

the next day


Numbers 13:20

And the days were days of the first ripe grapes. (feminine) And they went, and came, and toured


Numbers 13:21

Faalaat, son of Reh'ooben you and your houses


Numbers 16:11 LXX

13a And Mooshe said, Aadaanee Shehmaa, You have begun to show Your slave Your greatness and Your strong hand, for what El in heavens and on earth will do like Your works and your Mighty deeds. 13b May I pass, please, and see the good land that is beyond this Yaardaan, this good mountain and the Lebaanon. 13c And Shehmaa spoke to Mooshe, Enough for you, speak no more to me of this matter. od Go up to the top of the summit and lift your eyes toward the west, and the north, and the south and the east. Behold it with your eyes, for you shall not cross over this Yaardaan.


Numbers 20:24 LXX

unto his people


Numbers 20:26

And you shall strip Aahrron


Numbers 21:11+

11a And Shehmaa spoke to Mooshe, Don't harass Moowwaab nor contend with them, for I will not give you any of their land as inheritance. llb Because I have given 'Aar to the descendants of Lote as an inheritance.


Numbers 21:12+

12a And Shehmaa spoke to Mooshe, saying, This day you are to cross over at 'Aar the border of Moowwaab. 12b And you will come near the sons of Ammon. Don't harass them or meddle with them, for I will not give you any of the land of the sons of 'Ammon as an inheritance, because I have given it to the sons of Lote as an inheritance.


Numbers 21:20+

20a And Shehmaa said to Mooshe, Rise, take your journey and cross the brook of Aarehnaan. 20b See, I have given into your hand Siyyon the Emarree, king of Ihshbone and his land. 20C Begin to possess it, and engage him in battle. This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the nations under the whole heavens, who shall hear about your reputation and shall fear and be in anguish from you.


Numbers 22:11 LXX

a people going out


Numbers 22:33 LXX

turned aside from


Numbers 23:3 LXX

perhaps Eloowwem


Numbers 23:4

an angel of Eloowwem


Numbers 24:1 LXX

to seek the fortune tellers


Numbers 24:6 LXX

As aloes stretched by Shehmaa


Numbers 26:10

and the earth swallowed 26:21 LXX the Aahmoowwilee 26:23 LXX the Foowwa'ee


Numbers 26:34 LXX

Maanaashe through


Numbers 27:1

and Neeyya, Igla, (and =LXX) (Igla = SP)


Numbers 27:23+

23a And he said to him, Your eyes that see what Shehmaa has done to these two kings, the same Shehmaa will do to all the kingdoms through which you are passing there. Don't have fear of them, for Shehmaa your Eloowwem, he is fighting for you.


Numbers 28:14 LXX

the one sheep


Numbers 31:52 LXX

sixteen thousand and seven hundred and fifty shekels


Numbers 32:25

and the half tribe of the Maanaashe


Numbers 32:26

and our livestocks


Numbers 35:5 LXX

the west side


Deuteronomy 1:7

in the Negeb


Deuteronomy 1:37

enter unto there


Deuteronomy 3:22

... Don't be afraid


Deuteronomy 5:5 LXX

and I am


Deuteronomy 5:8 LXX

an idol, and every image


Deuteronomy 5:9 LXX

... to the third


Deuteronomy 5:14 LXX

don't make in it any labor


Deuteronomy 5:17 LXX

... You shall not steal.


Deuteronomy 5:17 LXX

... You shall not bear


Deuteronomy 5:18 LXX

... You shall not covet


Deuteronomy 5:19

fire, darkness, a cloud and a gloom


Deuteronomy 5:26 LXX

keep ... My commandments


Deuteronomy 5:28

. . . the statutes


Deuteronomy 7:4 LXX

and he shall worship


Deuteronomy 7:19 LXX

eyes saw, . .. the signs


Deuteronomy 7:24

stand before you


Deuteronomy 8:7 LXX

and wide land


Deuteronomy 8:8 LXX

vine, ... fig trees


Deuteronomy 8:18 LXX

to Abraahm, to Yesaahq, and to Yaaqob, as it is this day


Deuteronomy 10:10 LXX

and Shehma


Deuteronomy 11:10 LXX

that you all are coming into to possess it


Deuteronomy 11:10 LXX

your feet


Deuteronomy 13:7 LXX

the son of your father, or


Deuteronomy 13:19 LXX

doing the right and the good


Deuteronomy 16:8 LXX

shall not do any actual work


Deuteronomy 20:1 LXX

chariots, and people


Deuteronomy 20:17 LXX

and the Ibbee


Deuteronomy 27:26 LXX

And they, all the people, shall say (plural)


Deuteronomy 28:22

they will destroy you


Deuteronomy 29:10

Your little ones, and your wives


Deuteronomy 30:9 LXX

and in the fruit of your  ground, and in the offspring of your beasts


Deuteronomy 31:12

Shehmaa their Eloowwem


Deuteronomy 31:16 LXX

And they will forsake me. And they will break (plural)


Deuteronomy 32:43 LXX

And will atone the land of His People

Source: The Israelite Samaritan version of the Torah: First English translation compared with the Masoretic version, Benyamim Tsedaka, Sharon Sullivan, Emanuel Tov, 2013 AD



IV. Dead Sea Scroll discovery sites:

Quick links: Qumran | Wadi Murabba'at | Wadi Sdeir | Nahal Hever | Nahal Se'elim | Masada | Wadi Daliyeh





1.           Early in 1949 archaeologists identified cave 1, triggering the beginning of an archaeological investigation of the area. Exploration of the cave, which lies one kilometer north of Wadi Qumran, yielded the remains of at least 70 manuscripts, including bits of the original seven Scrolls. The cave’s discovery established the origin of the purchased Scrolls, while archaeological artifacts recovered there confirmed the Scroll dates suggested by paleographic analysis. At the same time the Bedouin continued to search for Scrolls, as these scraps of leather proved to be a lucrative source of income. Fresh material found by Bedouin in other caves proved that the Cave 1 discovery was not an isolated phenomenon in the desert; additional caves with manuscripts also existed. The years between 1951 and 1956 were marked by accelerated activity in both the search for caves and the archaeological excavation of the Qumran site. An eight-kilometer-long strip of cliffs was thoroughly investigated. Of the 11 Qumran Caves that yielded written remains, five were discovered by Bedouin and six by archaeologists. (IAA website)

a.         Qumran Cave 1 (1Q) – Discovered by a young Bedouin shepherd in 1947 and excavated by archaeologists in 1949. The first Dead Sea Scrolls were found in this cave, later called Cave 1. They were the best-preserved, said to have been protected by tall clay jars with lids intact. This seven-Scroll discovery revolutionized the study of the Hebrew Bible and the origins of Judeo-Christianity. Scrolls found in Cave 1 include the Community Rule, War of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness, Thanksgiving Scroll (Hodayot), Isaiah A and B, Genesis Apocryphon and Pesher Habakkuk (Habakkuk Commentary). When archaeologists excavated the cave, they found additional fragments of these Scrolls and fragments of dozens of other scrolls. (IAA website)

b.        Qumran Cave 2 (2Q) –Discovered by Bedouin in 1952. Cave 2 yielded fragments of many biblical books, including all Five Books of Moses, Jeremiah and Psalms, as well as other works such as Jubilees and the book of Enoch. (IAA website)

c.         Qumran Cave 3 (3Q) – Discovered and excavated by archaeologists in 1952. Cave 3 unearthed a unique two-part copper Scroll, listing what may be sites of the Temple’s buried treasure, hidden throughout the Judean wilderness and Jerusalem area. According to the Scroll, the secret caches held astonishing amounts of gold, silver, copper, and aromatics. Besides the Copper Scroll, Cave 3 also contained fragments of about a dozen biblical and non-biblical Scrolls, including a copy of Jubilees. (IAA website)

d.        Qumran Cave 4 (4Q) – Discovered by Bedouin treasure hunters in 1952, who were exploring right under the noses of archaeologists excavating the site of Qumran. The most legendary of all caves, Cave 4 revealed ample treasures: thousands of fragments from hundreds of manuscripts, comprising 75% of all material from the Qumran caves, including parts of biblical and apocryphal books, biblical commentaries, works on Jewish law, prayers, sectarian texts, tefillin and mezuzot. Due to their poor condition, these fragments were among the most difficult to decipher and translate. (IAA website)

e.        Qumran Cave 5 (5Q) – Discovered and excavated by archaeologists in 1952. Cave 5 yielded fragments of approximately 25 parchment Scrolls, including biblical and sectarian texts. (IAA website)

f.          Qumran Cave 6 (6Q) –Discovered by Bedouin in 1952. Cave 6 contained fragments of about 31 Scrolls mostly written on papyrus, including biblical works, hymns, and sectarian compositions. This small cave is the most accessible of the Dead Sea Scrolls sites to visitors today. (IAA website)

g.         Caves 7-10 (7Q, 8Q, 9Q, 10Q) –Discovered in 1955 by archaeologists. All manuscripts found in Cave 7 were in Greek, including a translation of the book of Exodus. Some scholars have attempted to identify certain tiny fragments from Cave 7 as New Testament texts. Cave 8 contained fragments of Genesis, Psalms, a mezuzah, a hymn and tefillin. Additionally, the discovery of food remains, an abundance of oil lamps and 68 leather reinforcing tabs for scrolls indicate that the cave may have been used as a workshop. Cave 9 yielded only a single papyrus fragment. Archaeologists found only one inscribed potsherd in Cave 10. (IAA website)

h.        Qumran Cave 11 (11Q) – Discovered by Bedouin in 1956. The last of the Qumran Scrolls found to date were discovered in this cave. The remains of around 30 manuscripts were found, including a few nearly-complete Scrolls: Leviticus (written in paleo-Hebrew), Psalms and an Aramaic targum of Job. The most exciting find was the Temple Scroll (the longest of the Dead Sea Scrolls), which rewrites the book of Deuteronomy and details regulations pertaining to Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple. (IAA website)

i.           Qumran Cave 12 (12Q) – Dr. Randall Price excavated Cave 12 in the winter of 2016. Although no scrolls were found, clear evidence they were stored in the cave were excavated including a 2000 year old bronze pick-axe originally thought to be from modern looters.

2.           The author at Qumran:




Wadi Murabba'at



A. Details of the initial discovery:

1.           Murabba’at Discoveries Systematic exploration and excavation of these caves began on January 21, 1952. The dated manuscripts proved to be later and helped to establish the antiquity of the Dead Sea Scrolls. From these caves came another scroll of the Minor Prophets (the last half of Joel through Haggai), which closely supports the Masoretic Text. The oldest known Semitic papyrus (a palimpsest), inscribed the second time in the ancient Hebrew script (dating from the seventh-eighth centuries b.c.), was found here. (A General Introduction to the Bible, p 364, 1986 AD)

2.           “Perhaps most striking of all is the fact that there have been a number of Greek Old Testament fragments from the minor prophets found in the Murabba’at caves, probably from a late first century A.D. scroll.” (Tyndale Bulletin Volume 44, p 216, 1993 AD)

3.           “The primary discovery from Cave 5 was a Minor Prophets scroll (Mur 88 = Mur XII), which contains portions of Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, and Haggai. This find was also by a bedouin, who found it with a corpse. Cave 5 is located upstream from Caves 1–4.” (LBD, Wadi Murabba‘at)

4.           “The Wadi Murabba‘at Scroll of the Minor Prophets (Mur 88). In 1955 fragments of a scroll originally containing the entire Hebrew text of the twelve Minor Prophets were discovered in Cave 5 at Wadi Murabba” (NAC, Haggai, p 94, 2004 AD)

5.           “Relatively recent discoveries of scrolls of Nahum have shown no significant textual variations. These works include the Pesher of Nahum (4QpNah) found in Qumran, the Hebrew Scroll of the Minor Prophets from Wâdi Murabbá ât (Mur 88) and the Greek fragments of the Minor Prophets from Nahal Hever (8 Hev XIIgr).” (Themelios: vol 31, No. 1, p 9, October 2005 AD)

6.           Murabba’at Discoveries. Prompted by the profitable finds at Qumran, the Bedouins pursued their search and found caves southeast of Bethlehem that produced self-dated manuscripts and documents from the Second Jewish Revolt (132–135). Systematic exploration and excavation of these caves began in January 1952. The later, dated manuscripts helped establish the antiquity of the Dead Sea Scrolls. From these caves came another scroll of the Minor Prophets, the last half of Joel through Haggai, which closely supports the Masoretic Text. The oldest known Semitic papyrus (a palimpsest), inscribed the second time in the ancient Hebrew script (dating from the seventh-eighth centuries b.c.), was found here (see Barthelemy).” (Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, p550, 1990 AD)

7.           “Wadi Murabba'at (Nahal Darga; MUR) – Discovered by Bedouin in 1951. Most of the 170 manuscripts found in the five caves of Murabba'at date to the period of the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132-135 ce). Primarily administrative documents written on papyrus, these financial records belonged to refugees from the revolt who sought shelter in these caves, located about 18 km south of Khirbet Qumran. Textual finds also include letters written by the leader of the revolt himself, Shim'on Bar Kokhba (officially Shim’on, son of Kosiba), as well as a few religious Scrolls, most notably a Scroll of the Twelve Minor Prophets.” (IAA website)

8.           The manuscript fragments from Murabba’at are mostly documents of the second century A.D. in Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew. A notable exception is a sixth century B.C. papyrus inscribed in archaic Hebrew with a list of names and numbers. Actually, the piece is a palimpsest. The “underwriting” seems to have been a letter though only a few words can be made out now. A few biblical texts were recovered, all from the second century A.D.: Genesis, Exodus , Deuteronomy, and Isaiah, and one phylactery . The biblical documents exhibit a text identical with the Massoretic tradition, even in details of orthography. In addition there are cursive Aramaic, and Greek business documents, both types frequently bearing date formulae. Several Hebrew letters on papyrus were found. They include letters written by Simon ben Kaseba (bar Kokheba), leader of the Revolt of A.D. 132–135, to guerillas in the Murabba’at region. One has been published by Abbe J. T. Milik in which there is a reference in the laconic text to a group of “neutralists” in the war between Rome and the Jewish insurgents. They are called “Galileans,” and, as Milik suggests, conceivably may be Christians.” (Biblical Archaeologist: Volume 17, The Manuscripts of the Dead Sea Caves, Frank M. Cross, Jr., 1954 AD)


B. Importance of these 5 scrolls and other documents:

1.           The documents were in possession of the rebels of the Bar Kokhba Revolt in one of their refuge caves (132-135 AD)

a.       This places a date to the early first century AD at the latest.

b.      These manuscripts are almost identical to the Masoretic text we have today.

2.           Wadi Murabba’at produced documents in four languages:

a.       16 Aramaic

b.      17 Hebrew (Scrolls of 12 minor prophets, Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Isaiah in Aramaic/Square Hebrew)

c.       75 Greek

d.      1 Nabatean


C. The five scrolls:

1.           Scroll 1:

a.       Significance: The fragments of (2)Mur Gen, (2)Mur Exod, and (2)Mur Num are probably from the same scroll. The text is virtually identical to the MT.

b.      Mur Gen (= Mur1): Genesis 32:4–5, 30, 33 (=32)–33:1; 34:5–7, 30–35:1, 4–7

c.       Mur Exod (= Mur1) Exodus 4:28–31; 5:3; 6:5–11

d.      Mur Num (= Mur1): Numbers 34:10; 36:7–11

2.           Scroll 2 :

a.       Mur Deut (= Mur2): Deuteronomy 10:1–3; 11:2–3; 12:25–26; 14:29–15:1 (or 15:2)

b.      Significance: The text corresponds to the MT.

3.           Scroll 3:

a.       Mur Isa (= Mur3): Isaiah 1:4–14

b.      Significance: The text is identical to the MT.

4.           Scroll 4:

a.       Mur XII (= Mur88) Joel 2:20, 26–27; 3:1–5; 4:1–16; Amos 1:5–15; 2:1; 6:1; 7:3–16; 8:4–7, 11–14; 9:1–15; Obadiah 1–21; Jonah 1:1–16; 2:1–11; 3:1–10; 4:1–11; Micah 1:1–16; 2:1–13; 3:1–12; 4:1–14; 5:1, 5–14; 6:1–7, 11–16; 7:1–20; Nahum 1:1–14; 2:1–14; 3:1–19; Habakkuk 1:3–15; 2:5–10, 18–20; 3:1–19; Zephaniah 1:1, 11–18; 2:1–15; 3:1–20; Haggai 1:1–15; 2:1–6, 10, 12–23; Zechariah 1:1–4

b.      Significance: The Minor Prophets scroll is by far the most extensively preserved and most important manuscript found at Murabbaʿat. The text is almost identical to the MT. The kethib readings (i.e., the readings of the text as opposed to the readings in the margin of the MT) at Obadiah 11 and Habakkuk 3:14 are supported here.

5.           Scroll 5:

a.       Mur(?) Gen: Genesis 33:18–34:3



Wadi Sdeir


1.       Two fragments of the Hebrew Genesis from Wadi Sdeir were purchased from Bedouin found in 1952 AD

a.         Wadi Sdeir was a Bar Kokhba Revolt Refuge site of the second Jewish war in 135 AD

2.       Bible manuscripts found: Genesis 35:6-36:17

a.         Col. I (Frgs. 1 i, 2), Genesis 35:6–10; 26–36:2

b.        Col. II (Frgs. 1 ii, 3), Genesis 36:5–17

3.       Portions of this key Bible verse were extant in Fragment 1, Column 1, Lines: 3-5: "So Jacob came to Luz (that is, Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him. He built an altar there, and called the place El-bethel, because there God had revealed Himself to him when he fled from his brother." (Genesis 35:6–7)



Nahal Hever



1.         See full outline on Greek minor prophets scroll.

2.         Nahal Hever was one of the Bar Kokhba Revolt Refuge Cave (132-135 AD).

a.       Discovered by Bedouin in the early 1950s. Some Scroll fragments purchased from Bedouin in 1952 were later discovered to have originated in the Nahal Hever caves, located between Ein Gedi and Masada. Full-scale archaeological excavations of the ten Nahal Hever caves (1960-1961) uncovered one of the largest caches of ancient documents found in the Judean Desert. They date to the period of the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132-135 ce). The manuscripts found in these refuge caves include personal documents of refugees, military communications between Bar Kokhba and his officers, and some biblical compositions. (IAA website)

b.      Nahal Hever Cave 5-6 (5/6Hev) – Labeled "Cave of the Letters," this cave contains material with precise dates, ranging from 94-132 ce. It includes three archives: A leather waterskin containing 15 letters (in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek), most of which were sent by Shim'on Bar Kohkba (Shim'on b. Kosiba), the leader of the Bar Kohkba revolt. A wrapped package stored inside a leather purse, containing 35 personal financial records, belonging to a woman named Babatha. Five contracts belonging to Eleazar, a farmer from Ein Gedi. (Dead Sea Scrolls website, Israel)

c.       Nahal Hever Cave 8 (8Hev) – This cave is called the "Cave of Horror" because 40 skeletons were found here, the remains of those seeking refuge during the Bar Kokhba Revolt. Archaeologists found three ostraca, which had been placed on the skeletons, inscribed with the names of the deceased. The main textual find was a well-preserved Scroll of the Twelve Minor Prophets in Greek. (Dead Sea Scrolls website, Israel)

d.      Seiyal Collection (XHev/Se) – An assortment of documents sold to the Rockefeller Museum by Bedouin in the 1950s make up the "Seiyal Collection". The origins of these manuscripts are mostly unknown—Bedouin claimed to have found these materials at Nahal Se’elim, but later archaeological excavations proved otherwise for at least some of the fragments. Several "Seiyal Collection" fragments were found to be parts of manuscripts later found at Nahal Hever and a deed of sale originating in Wadi Murabba’at.

3.         The entire Old Testament was translated into Greek before 150 BC. (Dead Sea Scrolls website, Israel)

a.       The Greek translation scroll of the 12 minor prophets found in the cave at Nahal Hever date to about 50 BC.

d.      "When we come closer to the synagogue environment, we find texts that were corrected according to the proto-rabbinic Hebrew text used in rabbinic circles, both BCE and CE. A major source for this assumption is the Greek Minor Prophets scroll from Nahal Hever dated paleographically to the end of the first century BCE. This Greek scroll was revised according to the proto-rabbinic Hebrew text, together with other parts of the Greek Bible, and all of these together are named the kaige-Th revision. This development implies that there were central forces in the Jewish world assuring that the text that had been made central in its original, Hebrew/Aramaic shape would be central also in its Greek shape. The fact that the Greek Minor Prophets scroll was found among the remains of the followers of Bar Kochba, linked to the Jerusalem religious circles, is not without importance. It probably implies that this Greek text had the imprimatur of the rabbinic circles. In this regard, it should also be mentioned that this scroll, together with other early revisional manuscripts of the LXX, represented the name of God not with [Greek: kurios = Lord] but with paleo-Hebrew characters [YHWH]. The find of the Minor Prophets scroll in Naha' Hever probably implies that some of the followers of Bar Kochba read the Greek Scriptures in this revised version, and this may also have applied to other Greek-speaking communities in Israel." (Hebrew Bible, Greek Bible and Qumran, Emanuel Tov, p186, 2008 AD)

e.      "At Nahal Hever fragments of a Psalms scroll and fragments of Genesis and Numbers were discovered. A Greek Minor Prophets scroll was found at Nahal Hever as well. This is significant because the Greek scroll is very similar to the rabbinic Bible. Although the Jews came to reject the LXX, an ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible that the Christians adopted, they still found a Greek translation necessary." (Baker Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Dead Sea Scrolls, p414, 2013 AD)



Nahal Se'elim



See full outline on Phylactery and Mezuzah Bible texts


1.           Two manuscripts with Bible verses from 2000 year old Jewish phylactery were discovered at Nahal Se'elim!

a.       See full outline on phylactery: Rabbi Jesus wore blue tassels!

b.      The amazing discovery of two phylactery manuscripts of the Bible: Exod 13:2-10 and Exod 13:11-16

c.       The writing was very small so you could get all the text onto the tiny scrolls!

d.      Fragment A is identified as Exod 13:2–10 in “minute/small writing”

                                                               i.      "Sanctify to Me every firstborn, the first offspring of every womb among the sons of Israel, both of man and beast; it belongs to Me.” Moses said to the people, “Remember this day in which you went out from Egypt, from the house of slavery; for by a powerful hand the Lord brought you out from this place. And nothing leavened shall be eaten. “On this day in the month of Abib, you are about to go forth. “It shall be when the Lord brings you to the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Hivite and the Jebusite, which He swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, that you shall observe this rite in this month. “For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the Lord. “Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; and nothing leavened shall be seen among you, nor shall any leaven be seen among you in all your borders. “You shall tell your son on that day, saying, ‘It is because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt.’ “And it shall serve as a sign to you on your hand, and as a reminder on your forehead, that the law of the Lord may be in your mouth; for with a powerful hand the Lord brought you out of Egypt. “Therefore, you shall keep this ordinance at its appointed time from year to year." (Exodus 13:2–10)

e.      Fragment B contains Exod 13:11–16 in “slightly larger letters”

                                                               i.      "“Now when the Lord brings you to the land of the Canaanite, as He swore to you and to your fathers, and gives it to you, you shall devote to the Lord the first offspring of every womb, and the first offspring of every beast that you own; the males belong to the Lord. “But every first offspring of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and every firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem. “And it shall be when your son asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What is this?’ then you shall say to him, ‘With a powerful hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery. ‘It came about, when Pharaoh was stubborn about letting us go, that the Lord killed every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and the firstborn of beast. Therefore, I sacrifice to the Lord the males, the first offspring of every womb, but every firstborn of my sons I redeem.’ “So it shall serve as a sign on your hand and as phylacteries on your forehead, for with a powerful hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt.”" (Exodus 13:11–16)

2.           Details of the site and discovery:

a.       “Although it was clear that the Bedouin had thoroughly explored the area, Aharoni’s excavation team were the first to discover Cave 34, a well-hidden, small cave that could only be reached with the help of a rope. Among the written materials there were two fragments from a phylactery. Fragment A is identified as Exod 13:2–10 in “minute writing”; fragment B contains Exod 13:11–16 in “slightly larger letters” (Aharoni, “Expedition B,” 22–23). He also discovered a leather scroll exhibiting Hebrew letters and fragments of Greek papyri. Cave 34 preserved the only written material which certainly came from Nahal Se’elim. Although much of the Seiyal Collection was originally connected to Nahal Se’elim, many documents can now be shown to have come from Nahal Hever.” (Lexham Bible Dictionary, Nahal Se'elim)

b.      “Nahal Se’elim (Wadi Seiyal) is about 8 mi. S of En-gedi and 2.5 mi. N of Masada. Here in 1960 the expedition of Y. Aharoni found some ms. fragments in the “Cave of the Scrolls,” another cave that had served as a refuge for the warriors of Bar Cochba. Two phylactery parchments were discovered, one of which has a Hebr text of Ex 13:2-10 close to the Hebr text that underlies the LXX. There were also Gk papyri with lists of names. (IsrEJ 11 [1961] 21-24, 53-58.)”

3.           Tefillin [on person] and Mezuzot [on door] have been excavated at several other Dead Sea Scroll site:

a.       Qumran: 27 fragments from Cave 4 and 2 fragments from Cave 8.

b.      Wadi Murabba'at: 2 fragments

c.       Nahal Se'elim: 2 fragments

4.           Bible verses on tassels, phylacteries:

a.       “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." (Deuteronomy 6:6–9)

b.       "“You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead." (Deuteronomy 11:18)

c.       "The Lord also spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, and tell them that they shall make for themselves tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they shall put on the tassel of each corner a cord of blue. “It shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the Lord, so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you played the harlot, so that you may remember to do all My commandments and be holy to your God." (Numbers 15:37–40)

d.       "You shall make yourself tassels on the four corners of your garment with which you cover yourself." (Deuteronomy 22:12)

                                                               i.      phylactery is a small leather box containing scripture that is laced to the head.

                                                             ii.      The arm-tefillin, or shel yad, is placed on the arms.

                                                           iii.      A Mesusah is a small box placed on Jewish front doors of their houses that have scripture inside and/or outside

                                                            iv.      Each garment had a blue tassel on each corner of the cloth.

5.           Jesus wore Jewish first century “blue tassels” and looked like a typical rabbi, but warned of putting on a show:

a.       "And a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe [tassels] of His cloak;" (Matthew 9:20)

b.       "They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father—the one in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted." (Matthew 23:5–12)






1.         Can you decipher the message from God to the Rebel Jews who rejected Christ, from the Bible texts found at Masada?

a.       90 BC: Genesis 46:7-11: “Israel sold into Egyptian slavery for its own sin” (Crucifixion of Christ)

b.      90 BC: Deut 33:17-34:6 “The Death of Moses” (Torah nailed to the cross: Col 2:14)

c.       25 BC: Lev 4:3-9; 8:31-11:40 “Sin offering without defect” (Jesus, the sinless Passover lamb: Isa 53)

d.      25 BC: Ps 81:2-85:6; 150:1-6 “Israel did not obey Me” “Praise God in His True sanctuary” (The church is the true temple of God now)

e.      90 BC: Ezekiel 35:11–38:14 “Messianic Vision Dry Bones rising” “Davidic kingdom, one shepherd” (Jesus is the resurrection and the live and the messianic branch of David who is sitting right now in heaven.)

2.         Masada (Mas) – A full scale excavation by archaeologists took place between 1963-65. Masada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is best known as the location of the Judean rebels’ dramatic last stand against Rome in the Great Revolt of 66-73 ce. These rebels appropriated Herod's spectacular palace fortress as their opposition base. Manuscripts discovered at Masada were not found in caves, but rather within the structures of the reconfigured palace, near the section identified as a synagogue. Dating to the Roman period, the major discovery here consists of fragments from seven biblical Scrolls (Genesis, two copies of Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Ezekiel, and two copies of Psalms) as well as a copy of the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice and a Hebrew text of Ben Sira. The biblical Scrolls match the traditional Masoretic text, which suggests that a stabilized text was already in place by the first-century ce. Additional findings include Greek and Latin papyri, made up of primarily administrative military documents belonging to Roman soldiers stationed at the site after the revolt. An exception is a scrap of papyrus containing a line from Virgil's Aeneid, "Anna, sister, how my dreams terrify me and leave me hanging!” (IV.9). In this context, the line has been interpreted as reflecting a Roman soldier’s reaction to the sight of the bodies of the martyred rebels. (Dead Sea Scrolls website, Israel)

3.         The Aramaic suicide Ostraca lots of the first Jewish war rebels: Eleazar ben Ya'ir

a.       In the area in front of the Northern Palace, eleven small ostraca were recovered, each bearing a single name. One reads "ben Yair" and could be short for Eleazar ben Ya'ir, the commander of the fortress. It has been suggested that the other ten names are those of the men chosen by lot to kill the others and then themselves, as recounted by Josephus.

b.      “But at Masada, the Zealots preserved Biblical books in the square Aramaic script and even cast their lots (by which they decided the order in which they would commit suicide) in the Aramaic script." (The Evolution of Two Hebrew Scripts, Paleo-Hebrew or Phoenician script was used before Aramaic script was introduced by Jews returning from Babylonia, Jonathan P. Siegel, BAR, June 1979 AD)

c.       When the Jews cast lots in 73 AD to decide who would commit suicide first, they wrote their names in Aramaic not Hebrew on pottery sherds. 11 of these Aramaic ostraca have been found including the leader, ben Ya’ir (Eleazar ben Ya’ir).

4.         Details on the Bible manuscripts discovered at Masada:

a.       "In addition to the two biblical scrolls found in the synagogue, several others—including sections of Psalms, Genesis, and Leviticus—were uncovered in various spots throughout the site. In addition, scrolls that were not part of the Hebrew Bible were also uncovered at Masada, including the Hebrew original of the Wisdom of Ben-Sira, a fragment of the book of Jubilees, and a fragment of the Hebrew Song of the Sabbath Sacrifice. All books of the Bible were at this point written and transmitted in scroll form. While scrolls—written on parchment—are rare finds, the dry climate of the Judaean Desert allows for the remarkable preservation of organic materials, as was the case with the Dead Sea Scrolls found at Qumran." (Lexham Bible Dictionary, Masada, 2016 AD)

b.      "final reports of the Masada excavations led by Professor Yigael Yadin from 1963-1965. … In his excavations at Masada during the 1963/64 and 1964/65 seasons, Yadin and his team discovered fifteen manuscripts, fourteen inscribed on parchment with the Jewish square script and one written on papyrus in the Palaeo-Hebrew script: Fragments of Biblical Scrolls: Genesis 46:7-11. (MasGen) There are minor variants with MT; Leviticus 4:3–9. (MasLev) Both the orthography and the readings agree with MT; Leviticus 8:31–11:40. (Mas-Lev) The text belongs to the Masoretic textual tradition as its readings … section system are identical to MT;  Deuteronomy 33:17–34:6. (MasDeut)The text agrees with MT;  Ezekiel 35:11–38:14. (MasEzek)  generally agrees with MT;  Psalms 81:2–85:6. (MasPs)The text is nearly identical with MT… Both MT and MasPs present the same order of Psalms 81 through 85; Psalms 150:1–6. (MasPs) Almost the entire text of Psalm 150, which accords with the reading of MT except for a couple of orthographic variants, is present on the fragment. A large blank space on the parchment, located to the left of the text, indicates that this Psalm was the last on the scroll, in harmony with MT but at variance with the Psalms Scroll from Cave 11 and the Septuagint. Fragments of Apocryphal Texts: Genesis Apocryphon (MasapocrGen); Joshua Apocryphon (MasapocrJosh); Jubilees or Pseudo-Jubilees; Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice (MasShirShabb); The Ben Sira Scroll From Masada, Hebrew version" (Masada VI Yigael Yadin Excavations 1963–1965 Final Reports, Donald W. Parry, Near Eastern Archaeology, 63:1-4, p114, 2000 AD)

c.       Excavations at Masada in 1963–1965 uncovered the remains of fourteen scrolls, including biblical, sectarian and apocryphal texts. They date to sometime before A.D. 73, when the Romans stormed the fortress, and provide further evidence that the Hebrew text had become unified by the first century A.D. Some of the more interesting biblical texts are: • A very fragmentary Psalms scroll containing parts of Psalms 81:3 (ET 81:2) to 85:10 (ET 85:9) (see fig. 6.8). The text of this scroll is identical to the MT in both content and spelling. • A fragment of Leviticus containing the second half of eight lines from Leviticus 4:3–9. It is identical to the MT in content and spelling. • A fragmentary Leviticus scroll containing Leviticus 8–12. The text of this document is identical to the MT even in respect to the traditional divisions of the “open” (where the line is left open after a Hebrew sentence) and “closed” (where another Hebrew sentence finishes up the line) sections. • A scroll of Ezekiel and one containing the final two chapters of Deuteronomy. These texts largely reflect the traditional MT, but a few readings in the Ezekiel scroll differ slightly from the MT. • A copy of Psalm 150, seemingly at the end of a manuscript, which suggests that the Psalms at Masada may have been ordered similarly to the canonical psalter. The Masada manuscripts are written in Hebrew square script and are virtually identical to the MT (in wording as well as the divisions of the lines), except for slight differences in the Ezekiel text. (A student’s guide to textual criticism of the Bible, Manuscripts at Masada, P. D. Wegner, p152, 2006 AD)

d.      "In addition, scrolls that were not part of the Hebrew Bible were also uncovered at Masada, including the Hebrew original of the Wisdom of Ben-Sira, a fragment of the book of Jubilees, and a fragment of the Hebrew Song of the Sabbath Sacrifice." (Lexham Bible Dictionary, Masada, 2016 AD)

e.      Excavation notes by Yigael Yadin on the Manuscripts:

                                                               i.      Most of the written material discovered on Masada' emanates from Jews. This is certainly true of the Aramaic and Hebrew ostraca and jar inscriptions as well as of the biblical scrolls and other sacred texts. However, almost all the Greek texts, with the exception of the very few remains from the Byzantine period, were also written by Jews. This conclusion is based on two considerations: 1) much of the material can be safely traced back to Jews, while no item can be related to non-Jews; 2) a comparison with the Aramaic and Hebrew evidence furnishes significant parallels and similarities. The key to the Jewish origin of the Greek finds from Masada lies in the nomenclature. Some of the names are patently Jewish names written in Greek characters, e.g. Salome (nos. 777; 891-4), Simon (nos. 896-9), and Judas (nos. 741; 900). Others, although genuinely Greek, appear alongside Jewish names: e.g. Zenon appears with Bar Jason and Shabyo — nos. 878-81; 883-9 — written in Jewish characters, Lykias and Aminias with Lazar (no. 779) and Abaskantos with Judas (no. 741). Thus the context implies that these too belonged to Jews. Of the few remaining names, some of them are known from other contexts to have been borne by Jews, e.g. Kosmos (no. 773), while others, like Diadochos (no. 786), although hitherto unattested for Jews, could still be borne by them." (Masada VI Yigael Yadin Excavations 1963–1965 Final /Reports, Donald W. Parry, Near Eastern Archaeology, 63:1-4, p2, 2000 AD)

                                                             ii.      DATING: “One more point needs to be considered. As stated. MasDeut, like MasEzek, was discovered under the floor of the synagogue in a cavity which Yadin termed genizah.18 In Jewish tradition, the term defines a chamber in a synagogue set aside for the storage of 'holy books', such as Torah scrolls, which had become unfit for public use, either because their text was found to be faulty to an excessive degree or because they were tattered beyond repair.' To prevent the desecration of such unusable, but still considered 'holy', scrolls and books they were deposited in such a storage room, and eventually buried in the grave of a rabbi or a community member of distinction. Now, if those pits under the floor of the synagogue served indeed as a geniah, this would imply that MasDeut had deteriorated to a considerable degree, and was therefore put away in that cavity. This would suggest that the scroll had been in use for a considerable length of time prior to the fall of Masada in 73/74 CE, and support the dating of MasDeut by palaeographic criteria to not later than the beginning of the Herodian era.” (Masada VI Yigael Yadin Excavations 1963–1965 Final Reports, Donald W. Parry, Near Eastern Archaeology, 63:1-4, p58, 2000 AD)

5.         A synagogues existed at Masada as early as 78 BC from the time of the Maccabees.

a.        The synagogue founded by Alexander Jannaeus in 78 BC was renovated by the rebels led by Eleazar ben Ya'ir when the captured and occupied Masada during the first Jewish war of 66-74 AD.

b.      See full outline on the Masada Synagogue: Masada 78 BC




Wadi Daliyeh



1.           Wadi Daliyeh also known as “Cave of Abu Shinjeh” (WD)

2.           Wadi Daliyeh is considered a Dead Sea Cave, even though it is outside the Dead Sea basin.

a.       No Bible manuscripts or scrolls were found at Wadi Daliyeh but important Persian papyri were excavated.

b.      References to Sanballat, the enemy of Nehemiah were found on bulla and in the documents.

c.       See detailed outline: Detailed outline

d.      See more detail in History of the Samaritans and Tobias’ palace in Jordan.

3.           Discovered by Bedouin in 1962. A cache of 40 Aramaic papyrus fragments, inscribed seals and coins, and the skeletal remains of 205 people were discovered in this cave, approximately 14 km north of Jericho.

a.       These ancient papyri are Samaritan legal documents from the Persian period (4th century bce), mostly deeds of sale for slaves.

b.      The owners of the documents were wealthy Samaritans who fled Samaria after the invasion of Alexander the Great in 333 bce, but were likely assassinated by Alexander's troops. (IAA website)

Wadi-Daliyeh and Sanballat II (408 BC)

Sanballat II, son of the famous adversary of Nehemiah and is named in the papyri and sealed with his bulla.

Detailed outline



1.             The oldest and most important ancient Bible manuscripts we have today were found near the western shore of the Salt Sea. (It is never called the Dead Sea in the Bible)

2.             We have in our possession manuscripts of the Old Testament that predate the birth of Christ in both Hebrew and Greek.

3.             The importance of the these DSS is that they prove the text of the Bible we have today is essentially the same as it was 2000 years ago.


The Septuagint LXX

“Scripture Cannot Be Broken”

Start Here: Master Introduction and Index

Six Bible Manuscripts

1446 BC

Sinai Text (ST)

1050 BC

Samuel’s Text (SNT)

623 BC

Samaritan (SP)

458 BC

Ezra’s Text (XIV)

282 BC

Septuagint (LXX)

160 AD

Masoretic (MT)

Research Tools

OT Textual Variants

Messianic expectation

300 OT quotes in NT

Canon of the Bible

Chronology Charts

Seder Olam Rabbah

Steve Rudd, November 2017 AD: Contact the author for comments, input or corrections


By Steve Rudd: November 2017: Contact the author for comments, input or corrections.


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