A large archaeological operation in Israel has uncovered new ancient pieces of Scripture, along with other exciting finds.
The Israel Antiquities Authority says that they have been working at the site on the cliffs of the Judean Desert since 2017. The project was undertaken in order to prevent thieves from looting the site, which is a common practice. On Tuesday the Antiquities Authority unveiled their discoveries.
Among the discoveries were fragments of a scroll containing the passage of Zechariah 8:16-17; “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.”
The project also uncovered a cache of rare coins from the days of Bar-Kokhba, a 6,000-year-old skeleton of a child – likely female, wrapped in a cloth and mummified, and a large basket dating back 10,500 years, likely the oldest in the world, Israel National News reports.
The items are believed to belong to Jewish rebels that fled to the caves during the Bar Kokhba Revolt, which took place from 132 to 136 B.C.
"The aim of this national initiative is to rescue these rare and important heritage assets from the robbers’ clutches," says Israel Antiquities Authority’s director Israel Hasson.
"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.
"The desert team showed exceptional courage, dedication and devotion to purpose, rappelling down to caves located between heaven and earth, digging and sifting through them, enduring thick and suffocating dust, and returning with gifts of immeasurable worth for mankind."
More fragments of the scroll, which is written in Greek, included Nahum 1:5-6, "The mountains quake because of Him, And the hills melt. The earth heaves before Him, The world and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before His wrath? Who can resist His fury? His anger pours out like fire, and rocks are shattered because of Him."