Welcome back to our virtual journey. Today we will stop by the Model of Jerusalem and Dead Sea Scrolls Museum.
The Dead Sea Scrolls Museum, also known as the Shrine of the Book, does not allow photography inside the museum. As you will see, all of our photos are taken outside the museum.
The intricate model of the City of David (Jerusalem) was very interesting and was made to represent the size of the city to a 1:50 scale. The model was created to emulate the city of Jerusalem in 66 CE, the year of the Great Revolt against the Romans, resulting in the destruction of the city and the Temple. The ancient city was then at its largest, covering an area of 445 acres (more than twice the size of the Old City today). The model reflects ancient Jerusalem at its peak, before all was lost. The carefully planned model was built by Hans Kroch, owner of Holyland Hotel. He built it in memory of his son, Jacob, who fell in Israel’s War of Independence. Produced under the guidance of Professor Michael Ari-Yonah of Hebrew University of Jerusalem, it took four years to complete.
The construction was based on information from literary works, the books of Josephus, the Mishna and Talmud, the Gospels and ancient cities similar to Jerusalem, plus archeological discoveries in Jerusalem itself. Recent excavations have improved understanding of the ancient city and such work will continue to update the model as funding is provided.
Now, for a brief description of what was inside the amazing historical archive: The Shrine of the Book contains the precious and priceless, oldest biblical manuscripts in existence, which were discovered in 1947 in caves at Qumran. This special building was planned specifically to house these amazing scrolls. The domed white exterior looks like the lid of one of the earthenware jars where the scrolls were hidden, such a beautiful contrast with the wall of the nearby black basalt. The subterranean shrine is reminiscent of the caves in which the scrolls were found.
Have a great weekend. Don’t miss Monday’s blog post about our group’s visit to the Upper Room!