The Prophetic Significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Dead Sea Scrolls Video
Declaration of the State of Israel 1948. Rudi Weissenstein, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947 was significant for many different reasons. Their discovery coincided with the last days of British rule in Palestine and the birth of the nation of Israel in 1948. This in itself was an event prophesied in the bible.
The scrolls are about 2,000 years old. Prior to their discovery the oldest Hebrew texts we had were from about 1,000 years later. The traditional or Masoretic texts of the bible had been questioned for their accuracy. However the discovery of the canonical bible books in the Scrolls showed that the basic message of the scripture had not changed over time. In fact The Masoretic manuscripts among the Dead Sea Scrolls are astonishingly similar to the standard Hebrew texts 1,000 years later, proving that Jewish scribes were accurate in preserving and transmitting the Masoretic Scriptures.
Here I want to look at some of the non biblical texts discovered in the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The Flood. Léon Comerre, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
The scrolls were discovered at the Qumran caves on the western shore of the Dead Sea. there are 11 caves in all. The scrolls had been hidden there by an ancient Jewish religious community.
Only about 22 percent of the scrolls are scriptural texts the rest of them contain non biblical information. These are such things as community rules, prayers, hymns, calendars and bible interpretation. Some of the scrolls are books that were thought to have been lost forever. They look back to the world before the Flood of Noah and also forward to the judgement that is coming on the whole world.
The Book of Enoch was considered lost until the seventeenth century when it was discovered in Ethiopia. The Dead Sea Scrolls included some fragments of this book in the original Aramaic text. It was previously only known from Ethiopic and Greek renderings. The Book gives us such things as details of the angels who rebelled against God and the names of their leaders. It tells us of the wickedness that overcame the world before the flood and looks ahead to the “final day of great judgement”.
There are also fragments of the Book of Enos (or Enosh) the grandson of Adam. Once again we are reminded of Judgement Day as Enos Talks about a future time of judgement.
The Book of Jubilees is also represented in the Scrolls. It too was lost to Christianity for centuries, preserved only in Ge’ez ( an ancient Ethiopian Semitic language) texts. The book gives us more details of fallen angels and the destruction of their offspring, the Nephilim. The fragments of the book found in the scrolls validate its authenticity.
Another book that was little known of was the Book of Giants. Fragments of this in Aramaic were discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls and are the earliest known extracts from the book. The book tells the story of the giants (variously called nephilim, gibborim, or rephaim) in the pre flood world who were the offspring of the fallen angels.
Uj (the Old Testament Og).From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Many other fragments were found in the caves. From a prophetic point of view they remind us how the fallen angels and their offspring polluted the pre-flood world. The increase in wickedness was such that God had to judge the whole world with a flood.
The fragments tell us that there will be another appointed time of judgement. This will be the final Judgement Day. Matthew chapter 24 tells us that once again it will be on the earth as it was in the time of Noah. In other words there will once again be an increase in wickedness and demonic activity.
[Mat 24:37-38 KJV] 37 But as the days of Noe [were], so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
The ark is a picture of Jesus. If we enter into it we will be saved from God’s wrath.
The creation of the state of Israel in May 1948 was the greatest prophetic sign of our time. The fact that it coincided with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls was a reminder to the world that God’s Word is true. The scrolls reminded us that God has judged the world in the past by water and he will do so again by fire.
[2Pe 3:5-7 KJV] 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
This is something unchangeable, ordained by God. There is no escape for anyone on earth except by faith in Jesus Christ.
The Last Judgement. Joos van Cleve, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons