Background: In early 1947, a Bedouin shepherd boy searching for a stray goat shot a stone into a cave, heard the sound of something breaking and discovered old scrolls stored inside earthernware jars. The nearby khirbet has long been assumed to be from a Roman camp. Closer examination showed them to belong to a religious group, probably the Essenes about whom Josephus and Philo have short references. It is believed that the Essenes removed themselves from mainstream Jewish society because of the corruption they saw in the religious leadership. It has been speculated that John the Baptist may have spent time with the sect in the wilderness, since Isaiah 40.3 appears a number of times in the scrolls. Unlike the sect members, however, John came out of the wilderness to call people to repentance.
Note: Click on thumbnail for larger image.
Looking across the ruins at Qumran towards the Dead Sea.