Yale considered buying them but decided that their major efforts at the time should remain with the Boswell papers-this despite the fact that scholars had already established that the scrolls included the oldest extant biblical commentary (on Habakkuk), that described the beliefs and rites of an order that had retired to the wilderness to wait for the Messianic age, and a complete Book of Isaiah dating from before the time of Christ, a thousand years older than any previously known Hebrew version.In a sense, the Dead Sea Scrolls were too amazing to believe.

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Suspecting that they might be able to sell them, they took them to Bethlehem to a part-time antiquities dealer named Khalil Iskander, called Kando.

Kando bought them from the shepherds and sold them to Athanasius Yeshue Samuel, Archbishop of the Syrian Orthodox Christian Church, for sixty-odd dinars, or about $250, which the archbishop describes as the entirety of his savings at the time.

These events were happening literally at the moment of the partition of Palestine by the United Nations and the subsequent outbreak of war.

The archbishop was transferred to the United States, where for five years he unsuccessfully tried to sell the scrolls to an educational institution.

Yigael Yadin was an archaeologist, the son of an archaeologist, and also one of Israel’s military heroes from the time of the partition. These manuscripts included , and a second, less well preserved copy of Isaiah.

Schooled in the underground methods of the Haganah, General Yadin quickly bought the scrolls from Archbishop Samuel through an intermediary, donated them to the state of Israel, and later he helped create what became a permanent museum for them in Jerusalem, the Shrine of the Book.The original scrolls turned out to be only a beginning.The Book of Jubilees is a Jewish work that presents itself as a divine revelation which God communicated to Moses through an angel on Mt. It begins with a chapter that describes the setting and predicts Israel’s apostasy and final return to the way of the Lord.Once this section is complete, the book recounts biblical history from creation to the arrival of the Israelites at Mt. The author often reproduces the scriptural text word for word, but he also transforms it at numerous points by means of omissions and especially additions, providing what he takes to be the proper interpretation of Genesis-Exodus and applying their teachings to the issues of his day.In 1947, in the Judaean desert east of Palestine, a Bedouin shepherd looking for a lost goat threw a rock into a cave and, to his surprise, heard the sound of pottery breaking.Inside the cave, he and his friends found several scrolls in ceramic pots.