BIBLE HISTORY DAILY

Piecing Together the Past: Ancient Fragments of the Song of the Sea

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Jerusalem 91710
Israel
Dates: Beginning February 26, 2010

An ancient Biblical text with an extraordinary story of discovery is on display for the first time at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Two manuscript fragments that were separated by both oceans and centuries have been reunited and pieced back together to make up the Song of the Sea, which was the song sung by the Israelites after escaping from slavery in Egypt.

It was not until 2007 when one of the two fragments, which was on display in New York, caught the attention of someone who accurately identified it as part of a text fragment that was being exhibited in Jerusalem. The fragments have since been brought back together and are shedding light on a period of history know as the “Silent Period.” This period in history, which spans from the 2nd century to the 10th century A.D., is an era from which very few Biblical manuscripts survive.

In addition to the Song of the Sea fragments, other ancient Biblical texts will be on display as part of the exhibit, including a fragment of the book of Exodus from the late first century B.C. as well as Renaissance-era frescoes and paintings.


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