Two dozen biblical scroll fragments from the book of Zechariah were recently unearthed in a Dead Sea Cave in Israel.
The fragments are believed to be 2,000 years old and were recovered as a part of a rescue mission to recover all the artifacts in the cave.
One of the fragments reads from Zechariah 8:16-18 stating, "These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to one another, render true and perfect justice in your gates. And do not contrive evil against one another, and do not love perjury, because all those are things that I hate – declares the Lord."
According to a press release obtained by the Jerusalem Post, the purpose of the dig was to collect these artifacts and any others found before robbers come in and excavate on their own to sell the artifacts on the black market. The director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Israel Hasson, explained that "The aim of this national initiative is to rescue these rare and important heritage assets from the robbers’ clutches. The newly discovered scroll fragments are a wake-up call to the state. Resources must be allocated for the completion of this historically important operation. We must ensure that we recover all the data that has not yet been discovered in the caves, before the robbers do. Some things are beyond value."
In addition to the scroll fragments, the archaeologists also unearthed a well-preserved basket and a child skeleton dating back 6,000 years. The basket is dated to be around 10,500 years old.
The Israel Antiquities Authority partnered with the Archaeology Department of the Civil Administration to conduct the dig. The funding came from the Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage.
Apparently, these areas have a problem with looters who steal artifacts. The Israel Antiquities Authority's head of the Theft Prevention Unit told The Times Of Israel, "For years we chased after antiquities looters. We finally decided to pre-empt the thieves and try reaching the artifacts before they were removed from the ground and the cave."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/ByczeStudio
John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.