Shrine of the Book
Hosting the Dead Sea Scrolls

The Shrine of the Book is an integral part of the Israel Museum Jerusalem. It is the home of extremely important documents and several archaeological discoveries among them the number one in importance, the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Standing proud next to Israel Museum

The Pride and Honor of Jerusalem

The dome covers a structure that is two thirds below the ground and is near the black basalt wall that together makes an extraordinary monument of different geometrical forms, the pride and honor of Jerusalem.

Since a few years ago the Second Temple era model resides next to the Shrine. This together with the newly refurbished Israel Museum is a combination worth visiting not once but as many times as you can.

For sure it must be part of your trip to Israel despite any religion or believes of the visitor.

This is the actual display of the Dead Sea Scrolls

The Dead Sea Scrolls

They were discovered by a young Bedouin shepherd at the Qumran Caves on the slopes of the Judean Mountains near the Dead Sea. The first of the 2,000 year old manuscripts were found in 1947, one year before Israel’s Independence.

From a total of eleven caves, archaeologists have recovered almost 700 works, Biblical and Sectarian. Some of the scrolls contain just a few words, while others were recovered complete.

The texts of the books of the Hebrew Bible number more than 170, and each Biblical book, with the sole exception of the book of Esther, can be found among the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The most prized exhibits at the Shrine are the two oldest copies of the book of Isaiah in existence. These Isaiah scrolls are 1,000 years older than any other known Hebrew Biblical text.

They were written only six centuries after Isaiah first penned his marvelous words, as he looked forward to the Messiah. The Scrolls are kept with extreme security on this museum and are considered by many professionals as one of the most important archaeological findings of the Twentieth Century.

The Book of Isaiah Dead Sea Scroll

Architectural Landmark

The Shrine of the Book is considered a landmark of twentieth century museum architecture. This is why it was decided to reinstall the Model of the Second Temple, showing the glory of architecture in those remote times when Jerusalem had its temple.

The shrine and the model together have a lot to show the Christian and Jewish Tourists about Ancient Jerusalem. A short film, screened in the new 80 seat Dorot Center auditorium, follows an acolyte at Qumran and a young priest in Jerusalem.

The roof of the Shrine of the Book is intended to imitate the lids which were on the clay jars in which many of the scrolls were found. The actual exhibit is beneath the white roof, underground.

Much of the Qumran literature speaks of the distinction between the "Sons of Light" and the "Sons of Darkness." Therefore, standing across the way from the white roof of the exhibit, is this black monument, representing the Qumran references and reminding us of the reality of evil in the world.

Along the corridor, you can see genuine exhibits from the day to day life of Jews from the Dead Sea area in which the scrolls were discovered, such as sandals, nails and ewers dating back to the Second Temple.

The original Dead Sea Scrolls are in the round hall at the end of the corridor and, in a little room below, you can see the Aleppo Codex, the 1000 year old manuscript of the Bible with the most accurate “Masorah” which is the notations of the exact traditional text of the Bible ever found.

Another angle of the Shrine of the Book and the Black Wall Monument

The Shrine of the Book is only one part of the Israel Museum, which is considered to be the largest museum in the Middle East and one of the ten largest in the world.

Image Credits:
shrine book by deror avi
shrine by tamara
isaiah book n/a
d/s scroll display by bantosh

All courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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