By Jim Barfield
Differences of opinions on any subject, especially religion, vary wildly. For example, some believe that the Tanak, the Old Testament, no longer applies to our lives, while others believe that the Bible is eternal and unchanging. Another example, the elite religious scholars once demanded that we accept that the world was flat. Those that disagreed with the flat world theory were referred back to countless scholarly notations written by men that believed in a flat earth. Just because the so-called scholars and the majority believe and even demand that we believe what they have been taught, doesn’t mean that it is correct. It is our responsibility to be studious and learn about our Creator and what He desires for our lives but not be like the Nazis who publicly humiliated, tortured and even killed those that did not comply with their teachings.
119 Ministries has been very kind and has displayed an attitude of brotherhood and support because we recognized the good in each other’s goals of promoting the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Do we agree on everything? No. We have significant differences but we all love to learn more about the will of our Heavenly Father and we listen, think, process and discuss and leave our discussions with a passion to learn more. That is how I intend to conduct the following question and answer session with respect and kindness towards those that may disagree. Let’s begin.
Why do you believe that the Copper Scroll was created during the time of Jeremiah and what did you base your dating on?
John Elwolde has noted there are passages in the Scroll that correspond to early Biblical Hebrew (800-700 BC)…
My conclusions for the dates of the Copper Scroll are all based on the Bible and supplemental text dating well prior to, and isolated from Catholic and modern theological institutions influenced by Catholicism. If you choose to accept “dating” about Biblical events from sources other than the Bible, be my guest. I unashamedly choose the Biblical dating. Since this seems to be an issue there is a considerable amount of information on this subject below till you come to the next question highlighted in blue. The information, however, can be used with other questions as well.
The Supplemental Text
There are several documents that originated well outside of the aforementioned avoided groups that support the Jeremiah dating of the Copper Scroll and a Jewish timeline that agrees with the chronology of my research very well. If you were a jury and I was defending the Jeremiah dating of the Copper Scroll I would ask, “Why would pre-1700s documents provide details of a an event unless the writers knew that the information would someday be of value.” When independent sources provide a testimony and the witness testimony matches, it must be considered. That is what we are doing, considering the evidence they provide. Here is the testimony you can expect from each. Are they scripture? No. Are they good history? Yes.
II Maccabees the 2nd Chapter (claims the time of Jeremiah)
Provides details that match specific information of the burial of the treasures of the Copper Scroll, names implements of the Tabernacle and the Tabernacle itself. It describes Jeremiah’s destination and the hollow cave that was used to seal away the treasures with its entrance buried exactly as it is described on the Copper Scroll. Furthermore, II Maccabees names Jeremiah the prophet as the man who buried the treasures as Jerusalem captives marched along the same route destined for the 70-year Babylon captivity Jeremiah had warned them about. It even says when these things will be found…
II Maccabees, Chapter 2 (excerpt)
1 It is also found in the records, that Jeremy the prophet commanded them that were carried away to take of the fire, as it hath been signified: 2 And how that the prophet, having given them the law, charged them not to forget the commandments of the Lord, and that they should not err in their minds, when they see images of silver and gold, with their ornaments. 3 And with other such speeches exhorted he them, that the law should not depart from their hearts. 4 It was also contained in the same writing, that the prophet, being warned of God, commanded the tabernacle and the ark to go with him, as he went forth into the mountain, where Moses climbed up, and saw the heritage of God. 5 And when Jeremy came thither, he found an hollow cave, wherein he laid the tabernacle, and the ark, and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door. 6 And some of those that followed him came to mark the way, but they could not find it. 7 Which when Jeremy perceived, he blamed them, saying, As for that place, it shall be unknown until the time that God gather his people again together, and receive them unto mercy. 8 Then shall the Lord shew them these things, and the glory of the Lord shall appear, and the cloud also, as it was shewed under Moses, and as when Solomon desired that the place might be honorably sanctified.
Emek Ha Melek Testimony (claims the time of Jeremiah)
Provides the timeframe of the writing of the Copper Scroll, the time of Jeremiah, it names the five men that wrote the Copper Scroll and gives details of the enormous amounts of valuables and artifacts that match those on the Copper Scroll. It too gives the timeframe that the treasures would be found…at the day of the coming of the Mashiach.
Emek Ha Melek (excerpt)
These Mishnayot [“Records”] were written by five righteous men. They are: Shimur the Levite, Hizkiyah, Zidkiyah, Chaggai the Prophet and Zechariah, son of Ido the Prophet. They concealed the vessels of the Temple and the wealth of the treasures that were in Jerusalem which will not be discovered until the day of the coming of Mashiach, son of David, speedily in our times, Amen, and so it will be.
These are the vessels dedicated and concealed when the Temple was destroyed: The Tabernacle and the Curtain, the Holy Menorah, the Ark of Testimony, the golden forehead Nameplate, the golden crown of Aharon the Cohen, the Breastplate of Judgment, the silver Trumpets, the Cherubim, and the Altar of burnt offerings, the Curtain of the Communion Tent, the forks and the bread molds, the Table [of the Showbread], the Curtain of the Gate, the Copper Altar, the sacred garments of Aharon which were worn by the Cohen HaGadol (High Priest) on the Day of Atonement, Pa’amonim (bells) and Rimonim (pomegranates) on the hem of the robe [of the Cohen Gadol], the holy vessels that Moses made on Mount Sinai by the command of the Holy One, the Staff, and the Jar of the Manna.
These are the holy vessels and the vessels of the Temple that were in Jerusalem and in every place. They were inscribed by Shimur HaLevi and his companions, on a “Luach Nehoshet” (Copper Plate), with all the Vessels of the Holy of Holies that Shlomo son of David made. And together with Shimur were Hizkiyahu, Zidkiyah, Haggai the Prophet, and Zechariah, son of Berachiah, son of Ido the Prophet.
These are the Vessels that were taken by (buried in) the ground: the locking rods, the pegs, the boards, the rings, the standing pillars of the courtyard. These are the Vessels: 1,200,000 silver Mizrakot (sacrificial basins); 50,000 Mizrakot of fine gold; 600,000 (?) of fine gold, and 1,200,000 of silver. These five [men] inscribed these Mishnayot in Babylon together with the other prophets that were with them, including Ezra the Cohen, the Scribe.
The Apocalypse of Baruch Testimony (claims the time of Jeremiah)
6 1 And it came to pass on the morrow that, lo! the army of the Chaldees surrounded the city, and at the time of the evening, I, Baruch, left the people, and I went forth and stood by the oak. 2 And I was grieving over Zion, and lamenting over the captivity which had come upon the people. 3 And lo! suddenly a strong spirit raised me, and bore me aloft over the wall of Jerusalem. 4 And I beheld, and lo! Four angels standing at the four corners of the city, each of them holding a torch of fire in his hands. 5 And another angel began to descend from heaven. And said unto them: ‘Hold your lamps, and do not light them till I tell you. 6 For I am first sent to speak a word to the earth, and to place in it what the Lord the Most High has commanded me.’ 7 And I saw him descend into the Holy of Holies, and take from there the veil, and holy ark, and the mercy-seat, and the two tables, and the holy raiment of the priests, and the altar of incense, and the forty-eight precious stones, wherewith the priest was adorned and all the holy vessels of the tabernacle. 8 And he spoke to the earth with a loud voice:
‘Earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the mighty God,
And receive what I commit to you,
And guard them until the last times,
So that, when you are ordered, you may restore them,
So that strangers may not get possession of them.
9 For the time comes when Jerusalem also will be delivered for a time,
Until it is said, that it is again restored for ever.’
10 And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up.
The Bible Testimony (indicates the time of Jeremiah)
Gives the reader multiple stories of the Babylonians matching the accounts of Emek Hamelek, The Marble Tablets (not covered) and The Apocalypse of Baruch. Again, are these documents scripture? No. But neither is any testimony given in any court since the Biblical era but with the testimony of two or more witnesses their testimony is and was accepted into court. I would ask anyone that believes that the Copper Scroll is a 1st Century document to provide one document from or near that timeframe that makes that claim. Depending on which “scholar” you choose the Copper Scroll could even be from Egypt…so there you have it. Your choice. Note that all the scriptures below are referencing the Jeremiah timeframe and the Temple vessels mentioned are the same vessels mentioned in the Copper Scroll.
The last mention of the location of the Ark in the Bible
This is the last time in scripture that a location for the Ark is given…within a few years of Jeremiah. 2Ch 35:2 And he (Josiah) set the priests in their charges, and encouraged them to the service of the house of the LORD: 3 And said unto the Levites that taught all Israel, which were holy unto the LORD, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; it shall not be a burden upon your shoulders: serve now the LORD your God, and his people Israel,
The Story of Jeremiah
The majority of the book of Jeremiah leads up to the destruction of Israel at the hands of the Babylonians. Beginning in Jeremiah 25:1 with the crowning of Nebuchadnezzar the book becomes a retelling of the events and the loss of the Vessels of the Temple. There are two distinct stories in Israel’s history that closely mirror the disaster described in Emek Hamelek, one was the destruction of Herod’s Temple and the other was the destruction of Solomon’s Temple. Guess which one Emek Hamelek was referring to? There are so many details of all of the stories that strongly indicate that the stories are one in the same that it does beyond understand how some can’t recognize it.
Jer 27:15 For I have not sent them, saith the LORD, yet they prophesy a lie in my name; that I might drive you out, and that ye might perish, ye, and the prophets that prophesy unto you. 16 Also I spake to the priests and to all this people, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Hearken not to the words of your prophets that prophesy unto you, saying, Behold, the vessels of the LORD’S house shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto you. 17 Hearken not unto them; serve the king of Babylon, and live: wherefore should this city be laid waste? 18 But if they be prophets, and if the word of the LORD be with them, let them now make intercession to the LORD of hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of the LORD, and in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, go not to Babylon. 19 For thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the pillars, and concerning the sea, and concerning the bases, and concerning the residue of the vessels that remain in this city, 20 Which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took not, when he carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem; 21 Yea, thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that remain in the house of the LORD, and in the house of the king of Judah and of Jerusalem; 22 They shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be until the day that I visit them, saith the LORD; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this place.
The damaged golden vessels (The Copper Scroll even talks about damaged Vessels in location 48)
2Ki 24:11 And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it. 12 And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign. 13 And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king’s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said.
The Jewish Time Line Encyclopedia (Mattis Kantor, New Updated Edition, Jason Aronson Inc. Publisher)
This well documented and fascinating work details Biblical and post Biblical history from the creation of Adam to 1992 CE. If you love research as I do and require documentation, this is the book to have. It gives details about Biblical events from a Jewish perspective covering the era of the Tanak (the Old Testament) that you will never get from other religious sources. Relating to our topic, however, it is even more of a jewel. Although his research and mine were completely independent, our dating is very close. (For an explanation of my chronology research, see below.)
Below are some of the dates in question related to Jeremiah and the destruction of Solomon’s Temple showing that Kantor’s dates and mine are not nearly as far back as the commonly accepted 586 BCE date.
463 BCE Jeremiah begins to prophesy My dating 453 BCE
445 BCE Placing the Ark of the Covenant My dating 454 BCE
423 BCE Solomon’s Temple Destroyed My dating 412 BCE
369 BCE Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi present My dating 352 BCE
My Chronology Research
For those of you not familiar with my chronology research, it is based strictly on the Biblical notations of time from one event to the next. For example, From Adam to the birth of Shem is 130 years (Gen 5:3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth; And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years (912): and he died.) Each event is identified and recorded onto an Excel spreadsheet with the related Biblical verses for accuracy and documentation purposes. That timeline records Jubilees, sabbatical years, Jewish dates, Biblical dates, confirming astronomical dates, Greek dating, Roman dating and more, covering a span of 6040 years. It is a great tool for research and Bible study. The key to its accuracy is…it is entirely structured on the Bible.
Why do you say that the document Emeq Hamelek refers to the Copper Scroll when some say that the Hebrew word in the document “Luach” means a tablet?
The Copper Scroll is made from “a sheet” or “plate” of copper (H3871 ”Luach” in Hebrew), hammered thin enough to engrave the “Hebrew” words and locations into it, riveted and “rolled into a scroll.” The fact that Emeq Hamelek mentions that the treasures and their locations were recorded on a sheet of copper is very significant. Who ever limits the meaning of any word from any language will never understand the sentence. The word must be taken in context. Even Google translate will tell you that the word has multiple meanings, including “sheet.” If a person looks at a building through a one-inch tube from only a foot away they can argue forever that the building is the Empire State building. It is when they withdraw, put down the tube and look at the big picture that they can then see it for what it really is.
Is the Copper Scroll Mishnaic, proto-Mishnaic, Ancient or Paleo-Hebrew?
It makes no difference. But it will be important if or when we open the cave at Qumran. If that cave truly exists it may contain wonderful amounts of information about the story behind the Copper Scroll and many other Biblical issues. At that point my theory will either be verified or proved wrong. Either way, we would all benefit gloriously from the discovery.
Understand, the Copper Scroll is a verbal “map.” If the scroll is from the 1st Century CE and the ruins did not exist until after the 2nd century BCE then we are in luck, because they still match! If I am correct and the scroll and the ruins are much older…then we are in luck, because they match! The scroll gives the researcher a starting point, the Valley of Achor, a focal point, a set of ruins in that valley and 57 descriptions that must match that set of ruins or the researcher is examining the wrong site.
The scroll is “Hebrew” with a smattering of Greek letters. Attempting “to date” the scroll has nothing to do with finding the location. This path will only take the researcher into a quagmire of academic arguments and…they too will join those, since 1952, that have failed to see “the forest for the trees.” The point is, if the key fits the lock… unlock it. Qumran is the key.
How can there be Greek notations and even a Greek word on the Copper Scroll when Greek wasn’t even used in Israel at the time the Copper Scroll was written?
That is not true. According to my work and Kantor’s, the events surrounding the Temple destruction happened in 412 BCE at the time of the 92nd Olympiad. Greece had been fully functional and Alexander the Great was only eighty years from killing Darius in the year 331 BCE on the 112th Olympiad (my research). (Eusebius’ Chronicle The Greek Olympiads 112th Olympiad [332 B.C.] – Eurylas of Chalcis, stadion race. [During this Olympiad] Alexander captured Babylon, and killed Darius.
In the spring of 334 Philip’s son Alexander the Great crossed the Hellespont. Because Darius had made no serious preparations to resist the invasion, Alexander defeated an Achaemenid army at the Granicus and, by the following year, had won most of Asia Minor and reached Cilicia. Darius finally advanced against him but was defeated at Issus in the autumn of 333. Darius fled from the field, abandoning his mother, wife, and children.
Darius twice sent Alexander a letter of friendship, the second time offering a large ransom for his family, cession of all the Achaemenid Empire west of the Euphrates River, and the hand of his daughter in return for an alliance. Alexander rejected both letters and marched into Mesopotamia. Darius made no attempt to resist his crossing of the Euphrates and Tigris but offered battle at Gaugamela, east of modern Mosul. On Oct. 1, 331, he was decisively defeated, and, as at Issus, he turned his chariot and fled, although his subordinates fought on. He escaped to Ecbatana, and then, on the approach of Alexander, he retired toward Bactria but was deposed and killed by the Bactrian satrap Bessus.)
The point being Greece had already become an amazing and dominant power by this time. Furthermore…
The men of Qumran were required to learn multiple languages according to The Community Rule
Frag. 10 col. i (= CD-A xiv 8-20; 4Q267 9 v) 1 [and in all the regulation]s of the [law, to formulate] them in accordance with [their] regu[lations. Blank And the] Inspector who is over all 2 [the camps will be between] thirty [years] and fifty [years of age, mastering] every secret 3 [of men and] every langua[ge … On] his [authority, the members of] the ass[em]bly shall enter, 4 [each one in his turn;] and any ma[tter which] any [ma]n needs to say to the assembly, 5 [should be told to the Inspector,] in connection with any disp[ute or judg- ment.]
Although not the most respected of sources, even Wikipedia recognizes the facts. The conquests of Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BCE spread Greek culture and colonization—a process of cultural change called Hellenization—over non-Greek lands, including the Levant. This gave rise to the Hellenistic age, which sought to create a common or universal culture in the Alexandrian empire based on that of 5th- and 4th-century BCE Athens (see also Age of Pericles), along with a fusion of Near Eastern cultures. The period is characterized by a new wave of Greek colonization which established Greek cities and Kingdoms in Asia and Africa, the most famous being Alexandria in Egypt. New cities were established composed of colonists who came from different parts of the Greek world, and not from a specific metropolis (“mother city”) as before.
So…no big stretch here for the Greek language to appear on the scene in Israel.
Is it true that Qumran did not exist in the 7th Century BCE?
That is not true at all. Let me give you some documentation from the men that did the official evaluation of the dating of Qumran for the Israel Antiquities starting in 1993. I do not agree with Dr. Magen and Yuval Peleg’s determination of Qumran’s purpose, “a pottery factory,” but their dating evaluations are great. The following is a quote from the document. The Qumran Excavations 1993-2004 Preliminary Report, Dr. Yitzhak Magen and Yuval Peleg (Judea Samaria Publications)
THE IRON AGE
Qumran was first settled toward the late eighth or early seventh century BCE and remained in existence until the destruction of the First Temple. Its location both during the Iron Age and later in the Hasmonean period was chosen with great care:
What is this “Heap of Color” officially noted in the project research as “the Red Heap” at Qumran?
Most translators call it the “Hill of Kolit.” None-the-less, it is a heap, mound or hill noted on the Copper Scroll spelled in Hebrew and according to Strong’s Concordance that word H3510 is (Image 1) which means a mound: – a “HEAP,” X strength.
Buried at the north end of that heap is, supposedly, an entrance to a cave. No matter what it is called, it is still a “hill or heap” and the most important of all the locations listed in the Copper Scroll. At the north end of that hill is an entrance to a buried cave and the primary ADCA researcher for Qumran, Yuval Peleg, was intrigued enough that he agreed to dig at least two meters to test the location in the photo below. Why did he stop far short of our agreed depth? We may never know.
More unusual is the word Kachal (Image 2) spelled on the Copper Scroll in “Hebrew” (Strong’s Number 3583), which means, “PAINT.”
The word could also be (Image 3) (Strong’s Number 2447) which means, to be dark; darkly flashing (only of the eyes); in a good sense, brilliant (as stimulated by wine): – red. Since we need a name for this heap, mound or hill, I chose RED rendering the name, “The Red Heap.” Does the hill have a red hue? Yes. Is that the name the writer intended? It does not matter…it is a heap, a hill, or a mound that matches the Copper Scroll description perfectly. Again, those that get wrapped up in the minutia will never see the obvious.
In that Heap of Color/ Red Heap is, according to Location 57, ‘the wealth of the House.”
Is the writer referring to simply gold, silver and gems or something far more valuable, like possibly the furnishings of “the House?” In the Hebrew text of the Copper Scroll, Location 57 the words are (Image 4). Those words are rendered “Beth-Hakuk” or house of Hakuk by Florentino Garcia Martinez. With respect to Mr. Martinez the Strong’s had no word spelled in Hebrew (Image 5) but it did have the Hebrew word (Image 6)(H3581) pronounced kuk.
Put the Hebrew “H” back on as it should be for the word “the” and you have “Hakuk” meaning “the wealth.” If you are a novice you will not understand that there are several Hebrew words from the Copper Scroll that are not spelled as they are today or even as they were in the 1st Century. So it is more of a stretch to use a name such as Hakuk than the word wealth in context with the massive amounts of “wealth” that are being buried. For those of you looking for a great study book for the Dead Sea Scrolls, Mr. Martinez has the best translations that I have used. He was also gracious enough to authorize me to use his version of the Copper Scroll translation as a comparison text in my research document.
Where are the words for youth, wives and sisters in the Copper Scroll?
They are all located in two lines of the Copper Scroll at Location 55. Here are the words in “Hebrew” and in English, disregard the vowel point I could not get it to delete.
youth (Strong’s Number H970 that is, a youth (often collectively): – (choice) young (man), chosen,)
sisters (Strong’s Number H269 a sister (used very widely (like H250), literally and figuratively): – (an-) other, sister, together.) note that the scroll spelled the word without a vov as shown here twxa. Both words would be pronounced aw-khoth.
wives (Strong’s Number H7705 a wife (as mistress of the house)
Was there a rumor that I had nothing to do with the excavation in 2009, and I had paid to be in the pictures?
Yes there was. That in my book is called false witness and those that perpetuate it are spreading the cancer. If that were true, then the previous head of the ADCA was not telling the truth in this quote from the Jerusalem Post…
”Yet Magen, one of the leading archeologists on the project, has confirmed to Metro that the digging has ceased. “We did tests and we didn’t find anything,” Magen said. “There is nothing there.” When asked why the permit for the excavation remained active, Magen clarified that while the dig was technically ongoing, Barfield’s “theory did not hold up.” “For 30 years, each person has come with their own theory,” he added. “And they amount to nothing.”
Mr. Magen was absolutely correct…we found nothing. But, the deepest we dug at the two locations was 3 feet and the other was only 11 inches. Anyone that has been to Jerusalem knows that that city in the 1st Century is about 20 feet below the current ground level. So…most of you reading this are probably not investigators but give this a try. If you are going to bury massive treasures would you bury them 11 inches, 3 feet or 12 feet as the Copper Scroll says? Nope, we didn’t find a thing…
Ladies and Gentlemen, Yuval Peleg did do the excavation under his authority as the lead researcher/archaeologist at Qumran, paid the workers and supplied the equipment to test my research with me identifying each location to test. It is extremely difficult to get permission to excavate at Qumran! For the ADCA to test my research on their time, at their expense and under their authority is an enormous boost to the credibility of the project research, if not, why did they go to so much trouble? There are many that hate the fact that a no body has figured out so much about the Copper Scroll and the locations of the artifacts and try as they may, the fact remains the ADCA did excavate based on my work. To the family of a great, kind and friendly man, Yuval Peleg, he was more help to the project than we can ever express. He will be remembered and honored by me the rest of my life.
I have been faithful to continue this project for 8 years and 47 days and not one scholar or archaeologist has proven my research wrong. On the contrary, go to http://copper-scroll-project.com/hebrew-archeologists-evaluate-research/ and see “most” of the good men that have reviewed my work and helped the project move forward.
With all kindness, if the critics are such experts…let’s see their Copper Scroll research in a report form, like mine, and let us evaluate it. Anyone can criticize those that are doing. For those who have chosen a courteous and respectful route to get your questions answered, “May you be greatly blessed.” For those who have not…”May you be greatly blessed as well.”
archeologist, ark of the covenant, copper scroll, copper scroll project, dead sea scrolls, excavation qumran, israel, Israel Antiquities, Israel treasures, jim barfield, qumran, temple treasures, Yuval Peleg