Israel Museum Displays Ancient Book of Isaiah.
The oldest existing Book of the Bible is on display in the Israel's Museum Shrine of the Book, through mid-August.
For the first time in 40 years, in honor of Israel's 60th anniversary, the Israel Museum has put ancient scrolls of most of the Book of Isaiah on display. Entitled, "It Will Come to Pass in the End of Days," the exhibit features a 2.6-meter-long (8.5 feet) scroll of Chapters 1-28, and another 2.38-meter-long scroll of Chapters 44-66.
The scrolls, which were discovered in the Qumran Caves in the Judean Desert in 1947 along with more than 200 others, will be on display through the end of August. Most of the Dead Sea scrolls in the Shrine of the Book are not exhibited for the public for more than a few months at a time, in order to enable their preservation in ideal conditions.
The scrolls of the Book of Isaiah, assumed to have been written somewhere around 120 BCE (only a few hundred years after he lived), are the oldest existing biblical book in the world. They pre-date by some 1,000 years the oldest scrolls of the Book of Isaiah that had been extant until then.
The exhibit also includes archaeological artifacts from the times of Isaiah concerning his visions and prophecies, including an ancient sword-shaped plowshare reminiscent of the famous verse, "They will beat their swords into plowshares" (2:4). James Snyder, Director of the Israel Museum, said, "This unique exhibit gives visitors a rare opportunity to study one of the most complete, preserved and ancient of the Dead Sea Scrolls."