In 1947, a Bedouin shepherd was tending his flocks and lost one. While looking for this lost sheep, he came across a cave. It was customary to check the cave before going inside (in case there happened to be any wild animals inside) so he threw a stone in the cave. He saw nothing, but heard a crash that sounded like pottery. Sure enough, he had discovered what came to be known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Many excavations arose after this discovery and thousands of scrolls have been discovered, but it all started in a cave near Qumran.
The remains of an Essene village can be found in Qumran. We stopped to check it out. It would have served as a sort of monastery for Jews who did not want to associate themselves with the Pharisees, but wanted to freely worship God. They are most likely responsible for the scrolls that have been found.
The scrolls are very important because they are extremely old, dating back to the first century, and yet when compared to our modern Bible they are nearly word for word. That means that the Bible, in it’s current form, can be trusted as an accurate representation of what was originally written.
In this Essene village there were many baths for ceremonial cleansing. Apparently they thought of cleanliness as being next to godliness…
There were no living quarters in the village, so it is assumed that they lived in the nearby caves, but came to the village for food and prayer.