THE COPPER SCROLL
“Under the ruins in the Valley of Achor, under the steps heading east forty cubits are seventeen silver talents.”
I can tell you why, I can tell you how, and I can almost tell you who but, I cannot tell you the deep sense of desperation the first of four writers felt as he prepared for his life’s most important task. His world and way of life were gone and there was no time to reflect. Every movement and strike of the tools by the priests nearby potentially exposed him and his team to danger and worse, it could reveal the location of hidden Temple treasures.
Only a few words into the sentence and his fingers ached from the iron stylus used to form the letters. There was so much more to record onto the metal document and even worse, it had to be done “backwards and in reverse.” Choosing each word carefully he wrote phrases to a person he would never meet, explaining his thoughts across centuries and he had no way to correct mistakes. Allowing his mind to drift, he searched out words for someone in the distant future to understand, but not so simple the items entrusted to him could easily be found.
His hope was in a future Israel. Would those yet unborn Israelites make the same selfish mistakes making their monumental efforts of no affect? Would the holy items again wind up in the hands of a self-absorbed people not interested or caring enough to restore the most enduring system of worship on earth?
Odds are high that the scroll will lead us to those treasures, the largest archeological discovery in recorded history. If the book of II Maccabees is accurate, and the artifacts remain in place, a magnificent archeological discovery is on the horizon filled with wonderful possibilities.
Imagine the intellectual benefits. Historians could grasp a benchmark in time for the most significant moments in moral development for two of the major religions of the world. With that in mind, consider the following and begin to formulate your own opinion.
Discovery of the Scroll
For nearly 2,400 years the scroll laid in a cave near Khirbet Qumran high above the shores of the Dead Sea until 1952. The two deteriorating rolls lay side by side on a stone outcropping in the cave hidden, according to records, by a desparate team of holy men seeking to preserve their faith. One, a single sheet of hammered copper, the other larger roll contained two similar sheets riveted together end to end. Their barely visible text pressed into the thin copper teased those that could read it unmercifully. The full measure of the secrets, however, would have to wait.
Scholarly disagreements of how to open the thing bounced back and forth for five years. If the document was ever to be opened, something had to be done. Finally experts formulated a workable plan to open the scroll and the delicate task fell to Professor H. Wright Baker of Manchester University. Now, fragile as glass, the scroll would be cut into sections using a tiny precision circular saw. With great care, the process began.
In an area away from public view the spinning blade screamed softly as it touched the metal. Those in attendance held their breath. Were they doing the right thing, was there another less damaging way to reveal the contents? One by one the professor gently peeled 23 half-cylinder strips from the mass of hardened clay filling its voids exposing the Hebrew words not seen in centuries. The men observing the process were thankful that this scroll was the result of a planned expedition and not the work of wreckless scavengers searching the caves for black market loot like so many others. “Thank God this scroll was discovered and protected by archaeologists,” they commented as the work dragged on. Even before the scroll was fully open the strange document exceeded their expectations. Line after line the emerging text whispered its secrets of gold, silver and gems. Scholars new the thing directed its holder to enormous treasures but, with the full text now visible, the treasures exceeded even the most liberal expectations!
Ancient History of the Treasures
The treasures listed on the scroll probably span the history of Israel from the Exodus to the Babylonian captivity. The talents of precious metals and gems may very well be the excess materials called for by Moses and Aaron to build the Tabernacle. Then there are the supplies stored away by King David for the 1st Temple. Yet on the scroll it speaks of tithes and offerings of silver. Those could easily be from the Temple built by King Solomon and stored away for repairs and upkeep on the House of God stored in the remote treasury at Qumran. The treasury described in the document is, in my humble opinion, the long sought after treasury of Hakkoz known for centuries to be in the area of Qumran. It is unclear to me when the treasury was built. My best guess is at the time of Samuel the prophet for several reasons to lengthy to go into now. Regardless, one has to be blind not to recognize the description on the scroll matches the massive building with the sloping walls at Qumran perfectly.
Are the Treasures still in Place?
It is not clear if any of the valuables have been removed from the locations listed on the scroll but there is no indication that the hoards of precious metals have been disturbed. It would be hard to imagine that some unscrupulous person has taken the ancient artifacts and never told a soul. It is possible, however. The only way to find out if the treasures still exist is to allow testing at the ruins. We have the equipment stored in Israel, it is perfectly safe to use in the area of the ruins, so why is the ADCA holding us up?
How Much Treasure is Listed?
The amount of treasures described in the scroll varies greatly from scholar to scholar. Amounts are of no real importance other than to verifying that a specific location matches the amounts described on the scroll. Most of the locations consist of vast quantities of gold and silver. Some, however, are large amounts of gems and huge pottery vessels full of coins. More significantly, there are some locations that indicate that the sites contain vessels from the ritual services of the Temple of Solomon and artifacts from the Tabernacle of Moses.
It is impossible to determine the value of what is described in the scroll text. Even if we knew the exact weight of a talent, the history behind the objects drives the value of even the stone pots containing the coins beyond belief. If in-fact a talent weighs 75 pounds, the total value of the precious metals alone could be worth as much as three billion dollars and the talents of gems could dwarf that amount many times over. The value of the treasures of the Copper Scroll cannot not be measured in currency, it must be measured by historic and religious importance and that…is immeasurable.
Is the Copper Scroll a Mystical Document?
The wording of the document is considered by some to be very technical and even mystical work, yet it is my opinion that the scroll’s wording is straightforward and simple in its structure. The document is not the complicated mystical literary work that some would have you believe. The history behind the document and the details it provides does make the story of the Copper Scroll very significant to historians and to theologians searching for mysterious and prophetic insight. Indeed, prophetically speaking, and God forbid, the discovery of the items of the Copper Scroll could bring about a conflict of Biblical proportions. A discovery of this magnitude in the current political climate and the enormous value of the treasures, even if Bible prophecy were nothing more than fables, creates great concern.
Is there Proof the Copper Scroll is Valid?
There are several documents of considerable age that refer to the Copper Scroll. All bearing witness that the text has validity. One of which is the book Emek Ha Melek penned in the 17th Century by a certain rabbi. It states specifically that at the time of Jeremiah five men hid great treasures from the Temple of Solomon and recorded their hiding places on a copper sheet. Not to mention the marble tablets found in the basement of a museum in Beirut, Lebanon in the same year that the Copper Scroll was found, 1952. Vendyl Jones must be given credit for this information since he is in-fact the person that made me aware of their exsistance. The problem is, to this date I cannot verify those particular tablets. There are tablets from the tomb of Ezekiel in Iraq housed in Jerusalem in the Yad Ben Zvi Institute. Those two tablets are supposed to be part of that collection but why were they separated and how did they wind up in Lebanon?
(Click here to read a related article of the The Jerusalem Post )
Is there Hope of ever Knowing the Origin of the Scroll?
Then, there are those who suggest the treasure never actually existed, that the Copper Scroll is simply a work of fiction. Others go further to say, even if the treasure did exist, we do not know where it came from or to whom it belonged. Yet it will become obvious after the excavation. If I am allowed to assist the Israelis with an excavation, and even if I am not, the history can be determined proving, or disproving, my theory reaching an important final conclusion. As I have stated, the scroll refers to Tabernacle and 1st Temple treasures, hidden for safekeeping before the destruction of the Temple at the hands of the Babylonians.
Why are the Israelis not excavating?
With this great treasure list, you may ask, why hasn’t everyone been out looking for it and why hasn’t a major producer made a movie about it? The truth is, some people are looking for it, but it is not easy. To begin with, until now no one understood the scroll. The words are in an older form of Hebrew that is different from today, making it more difficult to understand. As for a movie, the story needs an ending before that will ever happen. The truth is, we would have already excavated, it is the current political situation that prevents an all out operation to retrieve the artifacts, I promise you.
The Copper Scroll is nothing more than simple directions from known points, all of which I have documented. The scroll is the least of the eloquent and religious writings of the Dead Sea Scrolls but promises to be the most powerful in history. How I know this will be posted on this website in the days to come.