The Amazing Story of the 1500 Year Old Scroll of Leviticus!

About forty-five years ago, during a routine archaeological excavation in Ein Gedi {עין גדי} – an amazing oasis in the Judean Desert not far from the Dead Sea near Masada and the Qumran Caves – an ancient Jewish village, dating back to the Byzantine period (4th-7th centuries) was found.

In the middle of this ancient village laid a synagogue with a beautiful mosaic floor and what appeared to be a very old ‘Torah Ark’ (‘Aron Ha-Kodesh’ {ארון הקודש} – ‘the holy ark’ – in Hebrew). Inside this ‘Torah Ark’ an ancient scroll was found – a scroll which is 1500 years old!

Unfortunately, the entire village including the synagogue and everything that was in it – including the scroll – was burned to the ground about 1500 years ago.

Subsequently, the ancient scroll laid in the storage room of the Israel Antiquities Authority for almost forty-five years – up until last year. About a year ago, an Israeli high tech company, whose field of expertise is in advanced scanning technologies, began working on this ancient burnt scroll and very recently achieved an amazing breakthrough!

The advanced scanning technology made it possible to actually read parts of the burnt scroll. The archeologists and the scientists were total shock when they saw the first eight verses of the Book of Leviticus written in Hebrew on the scroll:

“The LORD summoned Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying: Speak to the people of Israel and say to them: When any of you bring an offering of livestock to the LORD, you shall bring your offering from the herd or from the flock. If the offering is a burnt-offering from the herd, you shall offer a male without blemish; you shall bring it to the entrance of the tent of meeting, for acceptance in your behalf before the LORD. You shall lay your hand on the head of the burnt-offering, and it shall be acceptable in your behalf as atonement for you. The bull shall be slaughtered before the LORD; and Aaron’s sons the priests shall offer the blood, dashing the blood against all sides of the altar that is at the entrance of the tent of meeting. The burnt-offering shall be flayed and cut up into its parts. The sons of the priest Aaron shall put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. Aaron’s sons the priests shall arrange the parts, with the head and the suet, on the wood that is on the fire on the altar.” (Leviticus 1:1-8).


The Leviticus’ Scroll is the MOST ancient Hebrew scroll that has been discovered since the Dead Sea Scrolls! And its unbelievable story reflects the amazing Israeli connection between the ancient archaeology and the modern technology.