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At some point during this time, the Community Rule was split in two.The Bedouin first took the scrolls to a dealer named Ibrahim 'Ijha in Bethlehem.'Ijha returned them, saying they were worthless, after being warned that they might have been stolen from a synagogue.Edh-Dhib's cousin noticed the caves, but edh-Dhib himself was the first to actually fall into one.
Bronze coins found at the same sites form a series beginning with John Hyrcanus (135–104 BCE) and continuing until the First Jewish–Roman War (66–73 CE), supporting the radiocarbon and paleographic dating of the scrolls.
The texts are of great historical, religious, and linguistic significance because they include the third oldest known surviving manuscripts of works later included in the Hebrew Bible canon, along with deuterocanonical and extra-biblical manuscripts which preserve evidence of the diversity of religious thought in late Second Temple Judaism.
Biblical text older than the Dead Sea Scrolls has been discovered only in two silver scroll-shaped amulets containing portions of the Priestly Blessing from the Book of Numbers, excavated in Jerusalem at Ketef Hinnom and dated c. A burnt piece of Leviticus dating from the 6th century CE analyzed in 2015 was found to be the fourth-oldest piece of the Torah known to exist.
The scrolls have traditionally been identified with the ancient Jewish sect called the Essenes, although some recent interpretations have challenged this association and argue that the scrolls were penned by priests in Jerusalem, Zadokites or other unknown Jewish groups.
The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in a series of eleven caves around the site known as Wadi Qumran near the Dead Sea in the West Bank (of the Jordan River) between 19 by Bedouin shepherds and a team of archeologists.
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The shepherds discovered seven scrolls (See Scrolls and fragments) housed in jars in a cave near what is now known as the Qumran site. Trever reconstructed the story of the scrolls from several interviews with the Bedouin.