The Dead Sea scrolls are fragments of ancient, sacred texts that were found in the caves of Qumran in the late 1940’s. They were a significant discovery because they provide the oldest fragments of books of the Bible like Genesis, plus copies of books such as Jubilees and Enoch. Before the discovery of these fragments, Enoch was considered a relatively new work. Recently, some new fragments were found from the books of Zechariah and Nahum.
“The largest fragment contains portions of Zechariah 8:16–17, and some smaller bits are identified as Nahum 1:5–6. These pieces appear to be connected to other previously discovered fragments from the same cave along the ancient gorge of Nahal Hever, and were part of a single large scroll including all of the minor prophets.” Christianitytoday.com, March 2021
An interesting point from the article in Christianitytoday.com is that the Paleo Hebrew version of the Lord’s name, YHWH, was used in these Greek manuscripts instead of the Greek word Kurios that is found in newer Greek texts. The Paleo script for YHWH is 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄. Picture your favourite English version having 𐤉𐤄𐤅𐤄 everywhere it currently has LORD. It would be a much more honest way of presenting the name.
The contents of the fragments found are also of interest. Perhaps a message that is appropriate for the church of 2021. The fragment that contains the verses from Zechariah reminds us to follow the commandments.
Zec 8:16 These are the things that you must do: speak truth, each of you, with his neighbor; practice trustworthy judgment and peace in your gates.
Zec 8:17 Do not devise evil in your hearts against your neighbor, and do not love a false oath, because all these are things I hate,” declares Yahweh.
John the Baptist had a similar message. He came to prepare the way for the Messiah.
Luk 3:10 And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?”
Luk 3:11 And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”
Luk 3:12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?”
Luk 3:13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.”
Luk 3:14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”
The summary of these instructions is to repent and follow the commandments. The prophet Malachi told us John the Baptist would come as Elijah teaching the Ten Commandments. Malachi chapter four is on the page before the gospel of Matthew in most Bibles.
Mal 4:4 “Remember the instruction of my servant Moses, which I commanded him at Horeb to all Israel, the rules and regulations.
Mal 4:5 Look! I am going to send to you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome day of Yahweh!
Mal 4:6 And he will bring back the hearts of the fathers to the sons, and the hearts of the sons to their fathers, so that I will not come and strike the land with a ban.”
I am not sure why the commandments have been so easily abandoned. They have been the same from the beginning, never changed by Jesus, Paul or any scriptural authority. There are commands that we no longer are able to keep due to the absence of a temple, the lack of a Levite priest system and the fact Jesus became our high priest. That doesn’t nullify the Ten Commandments and the method we are to be righteous before God.
The next fragment recently found from the Prophet Nahum, discusses the impending judgement of Yahweh. In the Lexham English version of the Bible, verse six is translated with the line “rocks are shattered before him”.
Nah 1:5 Mountains quake before him; the hills shake apart. The earth heaves before him—the world and all her inhabitants.
Nah 1:6 His indignation—who can stand before it? Who can endure his fierce anger? His wrath is poured out like fire; rocks are shattered before him.
However, in the King James Version of the Bible, the same line is translated “and the rocks are thrown down by him”.
Nah 1:5 The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.
Nah 1:6 Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.
There is a big difference between shattering rocks in front of you and throwing down rocks; especially if you happen to be on the receiving end. Which translation is correct? This is where a person has to study the words of the original language. So often we will dissect the constitution of our church down to the minute detail, yet never regard what the scripture says in the same detail that is granted to the church constitution. The bylaws and constitution of a church have no eternal consequences or benefits, as the words of scripture do. The word that is translated “thrown down” in one translation and “shattered” in another translation is Strong’s H5422. It can actually be translated both ways.
1) to pull down, break down, cast down, throw down, beat down, destroy, overthrow, break out (teeth)
1a1) to pull down
1a2) to break down, break off
1b) (Niphal) to be pulled or broken down
1c) (Piel) to tear down
1d) (Pual) to be torn down
1e) (Hophal) to be broken, be broken down
To a Hebrew reader, this may give a different picture than rocks shattering. There are other verses that give a similar meaning where Yahweh told His people to tear down (shatter) the sacred trees and stone pillars.
Exo 34:13 You shall tear down (H5422) their altars and break their pillars and cut down their Asherim
Exo 34:14 (for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God),
Exo 34:15 lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they whore after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and you are invited, you eat of his sacrifice,
Exo 34:16 and you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters whore after their gods and make your sons whore after their gods.
Just as the early congregation of believers didn’t shatter the sacred trees and pillars, the current generation still uses these symbols for their worship. Lawlessness, wickedness, and disregard for the instructions of Yahweh will bring the final destruction of everyone who will not listen, just as Peter described quoting Deuteronomy 18.
Act 3:19 Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,
Act 3:20 that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,
Act 3:21 whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.
Act 3:22 Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you.
Act 3:23 And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’
Act 3:24 And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days.
People are not listening to the prophet and son of God who said “if you love me, keep my commandments” and “ my commandments are not my own, but my Father’s who sent me”. As a result, the Earth will be destroyed.
Rev 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
Rev 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
Rev 6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Rev 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
Rev 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Rev 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Stars falling from the sky like unripened figs sounds like someone throwing rocks, or maybe meteors. When the penalty for breaking many of the commandments is stoning, this should not be a surprise.
Mat 13:40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age.
Mat 13:41 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers,
Mat 13:42 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Mat 13:43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
We find the same narrative in the Old Testament as the New Testament. Righteous shine, but law-breakers get locked out of the kingdom. Shouldn’t we be concerned about this? Which laws? “He who has ears let him hear” is similar to “Listen up! This is important.” in today’s language.
Mal 4:1 “For look! The day is about to come, burning like an oven, and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble. The coming day will consume them,” says Yahweh of hosts. “It will not leave behind for them root or branch.
Mal 4:2 But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise, with healing in its wings, and you will go out and leap like fattened calves.
Mal 4:3 You will trample down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I am going to act,” says Yahweh of hosts.
For those that think deliberately not honouring the Sabbaths will not bring any consequences; are you sure? Why? For those who think it is okay to do things Yahweh says He hates; what reward will it bring? Those who have no regard for Yahweh and His commandments, which Jesus also taught, will find themselves in tribulation in the latter days, just as recorded in Deuteronomy chapter four:
Deu 4:25 “When you have had children and grandchildren and you have grown old in the land and you act corruptly and you make a divine image of the form of anything and you do evil in the eyes of Yahweh your God, thus provoking him to anger,
Deu 4:26 I call to witness against you today the heaven and the earth, that you will perish soon and completely from the land that you are crossing the Jordan into it to take possession of it; you will not live long on it, but you will be completely destroyed.
Deu 4:27 And Yahweh will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations to where Yahweh will lead you.
Deu 4:28 And you will there serve gods made by human hands, of wood and stone, gods that cannot see and cannot hear and cannot eat and cannot smell.
Deu 4:29 But from there you shall seek Yahweh your God and will find him, if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deu 4:30 In your distress when all these things have found you in the latter days, then you will return to Yahweh your God, and you will listen to his voice.
Deu 4:31 For Yahweh your God is a compassionate God; he will not abandon you, and he will not destroy you, and he will not forget the covenant of your ancestors that he swore to them.
Another prophecy for the “latter days” is the following:
Deu 30:8 And you will again listen to the voice of Yahweh, and you will do all his commandments that I am commanding you today.
Therefore, seek the Lord while He can still be found, repent and return to His ways. His ways are His commandments. Don’t be a law-breaker.
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