Qumran Caves seclusion at the cliff of the moon
by olga Pulisman
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There are very few places that have Ignited the imagination of the world as the Qumran caves did.
The exposure of the old settlement of Qumran and the finding of the Dead Sea scrolls at Qumran caves Ignited the imagination of both Jews and Christians around the world.
The Historical information and the Dead Sea Scrolls – the pieces of literature was found at the Judea desert caves that was found just before the declaration of the state of Israel – were topped by material artifacts that shed some light over the way of life and thought of Qumran residents. According to researchers – the settlement had no more than 200 residents, but the importance of the ideas the community represented exceeded its numerical size by far.
Very few know that the researcher and adventurer Vendel Jones, one of many to research the Dead Sea area – was inspiration to creating the famous character of Indiana Jones.
The Dead Sea scrolls are the oldest written copy of the bible, and were presumably written by a group of separatist Jews that separated themselves from the promiscuity of life in Jerusalem just before the fall of the 2nd Temple in The holy land.
The Dead Sea scrolls have been researched all along since their discovery, and a copy of the dead sea scrolls was just made available online by Google. The research conducted on the dead sea scrolls focuses on the way of life during the 2nd Temple period.
Qumran had 3 periods of settlement: it was founded at around 800 B.C. And was settled till the destruction of the 1st temple at around 586 B.C. Then it was abandoned and rebuilt at around 200 B.C. (2nd temple) by the name of “Schacha”. The name Qumran is from the Arab time and is originated by the Arab word “Qumr” - which means moon.
The Essenes were known even before the dead sea scrolls were found. The writings of Joseph ben Matityahu reveal that this was a cult with such separatist views, that he wouldn't consider as Jews. Essenes cult members considered themselves as the chosen people of Israel. Historians of the same era described the people of Qumran as those who chose to abandon the uselessness of the world at the time, carry a combined fortune, avoid marrying women and refrain from sexual life. Today, researchers do not name the Judea Desert cult “Essenes”, and are unsure about their identification.
Cult members lived here as a group, perhaps because they understood that only a group can survive these extreme desert conditions, Just like nearby Kibbutz members live nowadays. Some place refer to them as the people of the “together” cult. It may be that the sharing of fortune inside the community – a unique phenomena at the time – was started by the ideological unity, and also because the Essenes see this fortune as the money of the rich and Gentile who they despise. For the same reason they used to resent Heshmonay priests (Cohen) who used to gather great fortunes. Judea Desert cult members also rejected the holy temple work and did not submit sacrifice, although they did send gifts.
An interesting trip at the area compares the sharing community life at the Dead Sea then and today, and includes a meeting at the nearby Kalia Kibbutz.
The sea level at the days of the 2nd temple was presumably higher, thus isolating Qumran from civilization – an ideal place for a cult that seeks seclusion. The nearby “Ein Fashcha” springs provided water for the cult.
Legend has it that one seclude here was John, who, after baptizing Jesus (his nephew) in the southern Jordan river will be called John the Baptist.
John the baptist and Jesus Christ, later on started the christian faith that spread all around the world.
More than anything, this place is loaded with historical and religious meanings, and Qumran may be referred to the cradle of Early Christianity.
Visiting Qumran caves is accompanied by an audio-visual spectacle about the lives of the Essenes (the Judea Desert cult), a visitor center and a reastaurant.
The Dead Sea is one of the finalists in the Seven Natural Wonders of the World campaign.
Come see the Dead Sea like never before on the Dead Sea Website for the new7wonders campaign.
Join our Facebook group to support the dead sea in the new7wonders campaign.
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