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Dead Sea Scrolls: Long Forgotten, Never Lost

December 29th, 2009 by Michael Dyet

Hmmm, did the authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls imagine even in their most extravagant dreams that their precious documents would lie undiscovered in 11 remote caves for 2,000 years? Would they have hid them there if they had known?

Did they perhaps plan to return and retrieve them at a more opportune time that never materialized?

Did they pass on the secret of their existence to their children as a sacred trust only to have it lost in the dust of relentless time and the vagaries of memory?

And could they have known that they would finally emerge from their timeless vault into a world adrift in its own myopia and craving a unifying force?

The 930 Dead Sea Scrolls inspire these soul searching questions and many more like them. I saw them in the awestruck eyes of the curious and the humbled who navigated their way through the winding course of the ROM exhibit. I sensed them in the hushed voices and the solemn expressions. I felt them in the aura of reverence that hung protectively over us all.

It seems improbable, and yet almost inevitable, that the first of the scrolls was discovered by a Bedouin shepherd in1947. I choose to believe it was the hand of the Almighty who guided the shepherd to that cave of wonders.

I’ll confess to a moment of disappointment, after working my way through the collection of related artifacts, to find only fragments of the ancient scrolls. Such a human reaction, I realize now.

That even these fragments survived through not one but two millennium is a wonder – perhaps even a miracle. After all, some of these scrolls are almost 1,000 years older than the next-oldest-known copy of the Hebrew bible.

No doubt thousands of hours of painstaking and loving work went into piecing together and interpreting them. What must it have been like to actually lay hands on them? To feel the shiver run down your spine as the mystery of the ages unfolds before you. To be that close to majesty. Imagination cannot rise to the challenge.

Neither does metaphor do justice to a wonder of this magnitude. And yet the Dead Sea Scrolls are perhaps the epitome of metaphor. Gathering into their fragile forms 2,000 years of faith immemorial in a realm and an existence fathoms beyond human frailty.

The Dead Sea Scrolls surpass the reach of time, the eye of science and all that the hand of man creates. Sacred icons of humanity, of Christ on earth, of the too oft unspoken link between the Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths.

The Dead Sea Scrolls. Long forgotten but never lost. May we learn from them what we once knew but allowed to slip from our grasp. Amen.

~ Michael Robert Dyet is the author of “Until the Deep Water Stills – An Internet-enhanced Novel”. Visit Michael’s website at or the novel online companion at

~ Follow Michael’s Metaphors of Life Journal aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm regularly at this site. Categories: Shifting Winds, Sudden Light, Deep Dive, Songs of Nature, Random Acts of Metaphor. Originating at

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  • 1 libramoon Jan 3, 2010 at 1:43 am

    You are invited to help to form what we continue to become:

    [if the links do not take you to the web pages, please cut or copy and paste
    them into your web browser or return email me.]

    Aquarian Dreams

    Open your third eye
    And your fourth
    And your fifth
    Make a wish
    And wrap it up in bubblegum
    Stick it to your bedpost
    To dream itself awake
    Into your dream
    That is your life.

    There are wishes made of water
    Waving out to sea
    Caught up in grievery
    Cat-tails weeping
    Weaving eerie reverie
    Into the evening
    Into the night
    All through those dreamy,
    Unaware of the hours days.

    There are prophetic dreams.
    They haunt or
    Creep upon conscious walls.
    Tell all is not
    As simple as it seems.
    There are reasons, portents, allies.

    There are dreams
    That wishes would simply die for.
    They take us out of bounds
    Into faery realms and more.
    Sprinkling gold spun out of
    Shining love and merriment.
    Yes! The very mint
    That stamps us sold,
    That fulfills our greatest hopes,
    Flies us to heights above
    The most benign of clouds,
    Sets our spirits free.

    There are dreams
    That bind
    Define identities
    Expose deformities
    Deny extremities
    Create barriers and rifts
    Look to differences
    As definitions
    Defend what they define.

    There are dreams,
    There are dramas,
    There are visions.
    Tell me yours,
    I’ll tell you mine.

    (c) Feb. 4, 2006 Laurie Corzett

    Laurie Corzett –