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Ancient biblical manuscripts discovered in the spring of 1947 by Arab Bedouins in the Qumran caves at Ain Fashka on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea. As part of a hidden library of hundreds of fragments and scrolls, seven leather manuscripts were salvaged, still wrapped in linen and enclosed in earthen jars. Briefly, they contain:

First, the Book of Isaiah in its entirety, written in 54 columns. This copy differs in some details from the Masoretic text in the Hebrew Bible.

Second, a second Isaiah Scroll, containing most of Chapters 38-66, is closer to the Bible text. This second copy was acquired by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem through the efforts of eminent archeologist Eliezer L. Sukenik. He also published the first accounts of his findings in two volumes. After much difficulty all seven scrolls came into the possession of the State of Israel.

Third, a Midrash on the Book of Habakkuk, consisting of a commentary on “the end of the days” and of the imminent visitation of God pronounced by the “Teacher of Righteousness,” prefaced by verses from the biblical book of Habakkuk.

Fourth, The Manual of Discipline, in two fragments, is a “constitution” of a religious sect, probably the Essenes, setting forth the righteous way of life and admonishing the members of the sect to battle for truth and virtue.

Fifth, The War of the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness, presumably a manual on the conduct of war on the religious and the military level. The “Sons of Light” are defined as “the sons of Levi, the sons of Judah and the sons of Benjamin,” while the “Sons of Darkness” include “the bands of Edomites, Moabites

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