One of the most unique of the Dead Sea Scrolls ever, the “Genesis Apocryphon,” is now showing in a rare display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem for the first time since it was discovered 70 years ago.
More than 2,000 years old, it is the sole copy of an ancient Jewish text that relates some of the details from the Book of Genesis.
The Genesis Apocryphon — in Hebrew, the “Megillah Hitzonit l’Reshit” — was one of the seven main scrolls that were found in Cave 1, at Qumran in the Judean Desert in 1947. The worst preserved of all, it was the last from that cave to be transcribed and translated.
Written in Aramaic, the scroll tells the stories of the biblical patriarchs Enoch, Lamech, Noah and Avram, mostly from a first-person perspective, and scholars say it seems to have some relationship to the Book of Jubilees.
In order to protect the scroll, which is indescribably fragile, it has been encased in a special “smart glass” viewing box that minimizes exposure to light.