Book of Nehemiah Found Among the Scrolls

Scroll scholars find first fragment of Nehemiah

nehemiah

A gaunt Nehemiah guards the portal on the west facade of the Church of St. Lazare, in Avallon, central France. In a recent study, scroll scholars Torleif Elgvin and Esther Eshel identified the first known copy of the Book of Nehemiah among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Photo: Foto Marburg/Art Resource, NY.

Anyone familiar with the Dead Sea Scrolls can tell you that portions of nearly every book in the Hebrew Bible are represented in these ancient texts discovered in caves near the Dead Sea.

The only exceptions were the Book of Esther and the Book of Nehemiah;* scholars assumed the latter had been written on the same scroll as the Book of Ezra (as was common) but simply hadn’t survived—until now. In a recent blog post,** Norwegian scroll scholar Torleif Elgvin of Evangelical Lutheran University College in Oslo, Norway, announced that he and colleague Esther Eshel of Bar-Ilan University will be publishing a collection of more than two dozen previously unknown scroll fragments, including the first known fragment of Nehemiah.

The scrolls in the new book come from Qumran Cave 4, Bar-Kokhba caves and Wadi ed-Daliyeh. The publication, Gleanings from the Caves (forthcoming from T&T Clark) will feature enhanced photographs of the scrolls by Bruce Zuckerman and his team,*** as well as “artifacts from the Judean Desert such as a scroll jar, a palm fiber pen, a bronze altar and inkwell.”





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* See Sidnie White Crawford, “Has Every Book of the Bible Been Found Among the Dead Sea Scrolls?,”Bible Review, October 1996.

** Torleif Elgvin NEWS FROM THE SCHØYEN COLLECTION

*** See Bruce Zuckerman, “Archaeological Views: New Eyeballs on Ancient Texts,” Biblical Archaeology Review, November/December 2011.

Read more about Nehemiah in Dorothy D. Resig’s Nehemiah—The Man Behind the Wall

Posted in Daily, Dead Sea Scrolls.

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9 Responses

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  1. Ken says

    I assume this fragment is the one described by Charlesworth four years ago at http://www.ijco.org/?categoryId=28681

  2. Noah says

    Ken,
    Very good investigation! These are indeed the same scrolls. In his “NEWS FROM THE SCHØYEN COLLECTION,” Torleif Elgvin says, “The collection includes the first known fragment of Nehemiah, as well as fragments with interesting textual variants of books such as Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, 1 Samuel, the Twelve, Ruth, and Proverbs. The fragments were recently rephotographed by Bruce Zuckerman and his team, and we are now scrutinizing the new images.” (http://torleifelgvin.wordpress.com/english/) We are all looking forward to the publication of Gleanings from the Caves

  3. Ken says

    Noah, I can’t take credit for finding the link. Torleif Elgvin pointed me to it some time back when I was trying to track down the reference Jim VanderKam made to this fragment in DSST2, 49.

  4. dav says

    http://thedeadsea1.blogspot.co.il/ df

Continuing the Discussion

  1. this went thru my mind | linked to this post on May 19, 2012

    [...] Archaeology: Book of Nehemiah Found Among the Scrolls [...]

  2. The Naked Bible » Fragments of the Book of Nehemiah Found in Qumran Cave 4 Material linked to this post on May 19, 2012

    [...] Everyone knows that no portion of Esther and Nehemiah were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls . . . until now. [...]

  3. Book of Nehemiah Found Among Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) | King's Evangelical Divinity School Blog linked to this post on May 21, 2012

    [...] http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/book-of-nehemiah-found-among-the-scrolls/?mqsc=E3163313 This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012 at 1:09 am and is filed under Biblical Archaeology News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed. [...]

  4. Dead Sea Scrolls « The Gathering Study Group linked to this post on May 24, 2012

    [...] only exceptions were the Book of Esther and the Book of Nehemiah;* scholars assumed the latter had been written on the same scroll as the Book of Ezra (as was [...]

  5. Fragments of the Book of Nehemiah Found in Qumran Cave 4 Material | NakedBible linked to this post on February 9, 2014

    [...] knows that no portion of Esther and Nehemiah were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls . . . until now. dead [...]


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