Copy Code

4Q or Cave four was discovered in August, 1952 and was excavated from September 22-29.6 This site was found by Roland de Vaux, G.L. Harding, and Jozef Milik. Cave four is probably the most famous of all the caves, but not for its content, rather its visibility. However, cave four did in fact contain the vast majority of the findings at Qumran. This cave contained “approx. 15,000 fragments from 500 different texts”. Among these findings were ten copies of Jubilees, twenty-one Tefillin, and seven Mezuzot. Cave numbers five and six were found shortly after 4Q in 1952.6 5Q’s contents included twenty-five manuscripts, and 6Q yielded nearly thirty-one manuscripts.6 The more known manuscripts found in Cave five are Deuteronomy and 1st Kings. More known findings include a section of Genesis, a section of Leviticus, and the Book of Enoch.

Caves seven through ten are distinctive in nature because they are the only caves that one would have to go through Qumran itself to reach. These caves are on the southern end of the Qumran plateau, and were discovered in 1957. These caves, unlike the others, did not bring forth a huge amount of treasures from antiquity. This was more than likely because of the high levels of erosion in these particular caves, as well as the shallow bottoms of these caves. This being said, cave seven revealed the letter of Jeremiah, twenty Greek documents, ostracon, and a Greek copy of the book of Enoch. Cave number eight (8Q) contained a Tefillin fragment, a hymn book, and objects such as lamps, jars, etc. Cave number nine only revealed unusable fragments that could not be deciphered. 10Q or cave number ten, was the cave that yielded the least amount of findings. Only a single piece of ostracon was found with a small amount of writing on it.

The last cave that we will look at is cave number eleven or 11Q. This cave was found in 1956 and contained manuscripts that were great in length and size. In fact, this cave produced the longest scroll that has been found among the caves at Qumran. This scroll is called the Temple Scroll or the Temple of Jerusalem. It is twenty-six feet long and was known as the Torah According to the Essences. Also in cave eleven, there was a copy of Jubilees, a fragment about Melchizedek, and a complete Aramaic manuscript of the Book of Enoch.

In 1947, Muhammad adh – Dhib could not have known just what kind of impact his findings would have. The inertia effect that followed after his findings seemed to be unstoppable. This sudden rush revealed to us   numerous manuscripts which are: The book of Genesis (24 copies), Psalms (39 copies), Deuteronomy (33 copies), 1st Enoch (25 copies), Isaiah (22 copies), Jubilees (21 copies), Exodus (18 copies), Leviticus (17 copies), Numbers (11 copies), Minor Prophets (10 copies), Daniel (8 copies), Jeremiah (6 copies), Ezekiel (6 copies), Job (6 copies), and 1 & 2nd Samuel (4 copies).7 The massive treasure hunt that took place between 1947 and 1957 could be described as The Gold Rush of the twentieth century. The difference is, one can put a price on gold, but one can never put a price on the word of God from antiquity.