The Great revolt and Many stories concealed

The Jews were really fed up with the Romans who conquered their land and told them what to do or not to do. From 63 BCE they had taken the power and demanded money from the Jews. It is this taxing which annoyed them very much and got three revolts coming over the nation. Roman procurators, whose chief responsibility was to collect and deliver an annual tax to the empire, did not mind to fill their own pockets as well, often by imposing confiscatory taxes.

When they dared to demand their say in the religious matters it was a bridge to far. Rome took over the appointment of the High Priest and managed to have only those in favour of Roman rule doing the service in the temple.

As in many religious groups the Jews had also different denominations. One of them, the Zealots (in Hebrew, Ka-na-im) became anti-Roman rebels who were active for more than six decades, and later instigated the Great Revolt. Their most basic belief was that all means were justified to attain political and religious liberty.

Buste van Gaius Caligula met een baard als teken van rouw om zijn zus Iulia Drusilla.(39-41 n.Chr.,Louvre, Ma 1234)

Buste van Gaius Caligula met een baard als teken van rouw om zijn zus Iulia Drusilla. (39-41 n.Chr.,Louvre, Ma 1234)

In the year 39 the half-crazed emperor Caligula (byname of Gaius Caesar Germanicus) declared himself to be a deity and ordered his statue to be set up at every temple in the Roman Empire. The Jews, alone in the empire, refused the command; they would not defile God’s Temple with a statue of pagan Rome’s newest violent death  made it not possible. But Caligula‘s action radicalised even the more moderate Jews. Afraid that another Roman ruler would arise and try to defile the temple or destroy Judaism altogether, made the anti-Roman feeling grow stronger.

In addition, Caligula’s sudden demise might also have been interpreted as confirming the Zealots‘ belief that God would fight alongside the Jews if only they would have the courage to confront Rome.

In the decades after Caligula’s death, Jews found their religion subject to periodic gross indignities. Roman soldiers exposing themselves in the Temple on one occasion, and burning a Torah scroll on another.

In the year 66, ultimately, the combination of financial exploitation, Gessius Florus, the last Roman procurator, stealing vast quantities of silver from the temple, the continued unbridled contempt for Judaism, and the unabashed favouritism that the Romans extended to gentiles living in Israel brought about the revolt.

The Jews had enough of it and rioted and wiped out the small Roman garrison stationed in Jerusalem. The pro-Roman king Agrippa II, together with Roman officials, fled Jerusalem. From Rome armies were sent to teach the Jews a lesson. The Roman army travelled through the province, which is about where modern Israel and Palestine are today, and cracked down on Jewish settlements.

Aiming to destroy Judaic writings, the  Jews brought them in safety, in the desert, in caves. It is in such caves in Qumran that in 1947 a Bedouin shepherd discovered hidden scrolls, which today still offer new findings. Several sects used Qumran as a secret storage place to protect the writings from the Romans.

The analysation of the Dead Sea scrolls shall still take some years, but today it starts to unravel a lot of history and giving an idea how people lived and how their culture evolved.

More and more construction of the texts are presented.

In addition to fragments, the Schoyen Collection includes a cloth wrapper that encased one of the best-preserved scrolls when it was found in a Qumran cave.

This scroll “is called the Temple Scroll, and it’s over eight meters long,” Elgvin told forskning.no.

“It contains a radically new version of Deuteronomy. The text is from the second century BCE, and the scroll is a copy from the first century BCE,”

he adds.

Researchers used carbon dating on this cloth to determine its age. The cloth was made of linen that most likely was grown between 70 and 150 CE, making the linen cloth much newer than the Temple Scroll.

Dead Sea Scrolls still conceal many stories
A portion of the Temple Scroll [Credit: The Israel Museum’s Digital Dead Sea Scrolls project]

“This means that the cloth was woven after 68 CE, which was part of what surprised us the most,”

says Elgvin.

The scroll with the new linen cloth was then probably placed in the cave after the First Jewish-Roman War in Judea between 66 and 73 CE.

“Someone must have been there right after the Romans came, and the question is, who the heck put the scrolls there?”

Elgvin says.

Elgvin suggests that it may have been priests from Jerusalem, but it could also be that the Essenes didn’t disappear completely after the Roman attacks.

Read more at Archaeology news network: Dead Sea Scrolls still conceal many stories

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Preceding article

Dead Sea Scrolls available at the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls digitization project

Simcha Jacobovici finding references to Jesus in Dead Sea Scrolls

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Additional reading

  1. The Advent of the saviour to Roman oppression
  2. Dead Sea scrolls at Drents Museum in Assen

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Further reading

  1. Jesus the Essene?
  2. Was Jesus The Righteous Teacher Of The Essenes?
  3. Tiberius Used Quantitative Easing To Solve The Financial Crisis Of 33 AD
  4. On The Road, The Lessons Continue
  5. Sorting out the Agrippinas
  6. Rome’s Religion
  7. Consequence Of The Death Of The Brother Of Jesus
  8. Possible speaker’s podium found in City of David
  9. Mark’s Portrait of Jesus and the World He Lived In: Part 3
  10. Jerusalem in Glorious Quran & Qumran.
  11. A fascinating look into Ancient Magic & Belief
  12. History
  13. The Dead Sea Scrolls (Jewish History Month)
  14. The Dead Sea Scrolls 1
  15. The Dead Sea Scrolls 2
  16. The authenticity of the book of Daniel proved by the Dead Sea Scrolls
  17. The Vibe of the Dead Sea Scrolls
  18. Book Review: John J. Collins, Scriptures and Sectarianism: Essays on the Dead Sea Scrolls (Part 1)
  19. Book Review: John J. Collins, Scriptures and Sectarianism: Essays on the Dead Sea Scrolls (Part 2)
  20. Long Weekend Reading
  21. The Third Day – Israel Museum (Jerusalem)
  22. Day 4. In a Dry and Weary Land
  23. The Seventh Day – Qumeran (Dead Sea)
  24. Megillat HaNechoshet The Copper Scroll
  25. The Copper Scroll
  26. What’s good for the goose…
  27. The mountain that moved
  28. the Israel Museum – Shrine of the Book
  29. From Parchment to Webpage: A Digital Database for the Dead Sea Scrolls

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