The Silver Scrolls, the Oldest Biblical Texts

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In June 1986 archaeologists from Tel Aviv University announced the discovery of two small silver amulets. These two Silver Scripts It was found in 1979 in a deep burial cave at a site known as Ketef Hinnom, west of the Old City of Jerusalem. It was hidden in the back of the tomb embedded in pottery as early as the 7th century BC.

Seven years later, fragile scrolls were opened and decoded. The scrolls contain an extract from the numbers 6: 24-26, also known as Priestly prayer. In English you read verses: “The Lord bless you and protect you. The Lord makes his face shine on you and be generous to you. The LORD will lift up his face against you and give you peace.“In scrolls we find texts:

Amulet 1: Conclusion of the Hadith (lines 14-19):

“(…) may the Lord Bless you (and) keep you. May the Lord shine his face (you) …). ”

Amulet 2: Supplication (lines 5-12):

“(…) may the Lord Bless you and keep you. May the Lord make your face shine (peace be upon you) and give you peace (…) ”

The site of finding and analyzing Hebrew in the scroll confirms a history close to 600 BC, perhaps much earlier – long before the conquest of Jerusalem and the Babylonian exile.

The importance of this discovery cannot be overstated. It proves that this section of numbers was written at least 2,600 years ago. The Old Testament passage is older than the Older Dead Sea Scrolls, and may be much older. The era of the text may prove a nail in the coffin of documentary hypothesis theories that the Pentaut was not written by Moses, or that it was not known even in Moses’ time.

These theories speculate that large segments of the first five books of the Bible originated in the reign of Ezra: 400-500 BC. In this debate, some arguments revolve around the use of YHWH, the divine name of God (often called “Jehovah” or “Lord”), which is said to have not been in use before this time. The silver scrolls dated before 586 BC contain this name. In fact, this is the earliest name found in any excavation in Jerusalem.

The silver manuscripts are therefore not only the oldest existing text in the Bible (still exists), but also provide convincing support for the authoring of the first five books of the Bible by Moses.

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