Worship at the sacred Jerusalem Temple had become corrupt, with seemingly little hope for reform.A group of devoted Jews removed themselves from the mainstream and began a monastic life in the Judean desert.
For liberal scholars (), the latest data is about 165 BCE.
This study uses the late date of 165 BCE as the time stamp for when the book of Daniel was written.
Shortly before the establishment of the state of Israel, Professor E. Sukenik of the Hebrew University clandestinely acquired three of the scrolls from a Christian Arab antiquities dealer in Bethlehem.
The remaining four scrolls reached the hands of Mar Athanasius Yeshua Samuel, Metropolitan of the Syrian Jacobite Monastery of St. In 194-9 he traveled to the United States with the scrolls, but five years went by before the prelate found a purchaser.
The young Ta'amireh shepherd was certainly unaware of destiny when his innocent search for a stray goat led to the fateful discovery of Hebrew scrolls in a long-untouched cave.
One discovery led to another, and eleven scroll-yielding caves and a habitation site eventually were uncovered.
Their studies of the Old Testament Scriptures led them to believe that God’s judgment upon Jerusalem was imminent and that the anointed one would return to restore the nation of Israel and purify their worship.
Anticipating this moment, the Essenes retreated into the Qumran desert to await the return of their Messiah.
The first trove found by the Bedouins in the Judean Desert consisted of seven large scrolls from Cave I.