This program is Real Israel Talk Radio, Episode 100. Today’s show is PART 4 of a multipart series about the Dead Sea Scrolls.
In this program, we will begin putting all the pieces of the Qumran Community together and seek, from Scripture, to understand the purpose for the Qumran Community, who they were, and why they wrote the documents that we identify today as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Let us be reminded of what Moses said by the authority that was given to him from Yehovah. Before dying, Moses warned the whole congregation of Israel:
Deuteronomy 31:29. For I know that after my death you will become utterly corrupt, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you. And evil will befall you in the latter days, because you will do evil in the sight of Yehovah, to provoke Him to anger through the work of your hands.
Over time and history, this scenario played out over and over again. The case of what we learn about in the scroll referred to as the Damascus Document is that of the rightful authority of the Zadokite Priests to be Israel’s teachers and judges. However, due to the political and spiritual climate of the Mid to Late Second Temple Period, that specific family of priests functioning under David and his son Solomon; that priesthood family authority was replaced with a new system under a body of religious men who came to be known as the Pharisees. They grew to become a formidable power in Jerusalem with a new system of rules and laws which was NOT according to the older traditional system of the Zadokite priests who served under King David and King Solomon.
Jerusalem’s new “high priesthood” of Herodians, Scribes, and Pharisees usurped the older traditional system under the Zadokites. The calendar issue was just the spark that torched national biblical trust in Yehovah and put all trust in Jerusalem’s new leadership. Like the story of Korach in Numbers 16, Jerusalem’s non- Zadokite priests, Scribes, and Pharisees essentially replaced the occupations of the old Zadokite priesthood and built up a brand-new system that added many new instructions including that of implementing a new calendar. Professor Rachel Elior of the Hebrew University explained it well.
With all this, Jerusalem came to be what Yeshua and the Prophet Jeremiah called a “Den of Thieves” and what Paul referred to in Galatians 4:25 as “Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.” Precisely, this is what led the Zadokite priests to go away from Jerusalem and to make their new home in the desert regions of the Dead Sea. There, they lived and deposited the ancient documents that we know today as “The Dead Sea Scrolls.”