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Photographs from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem

Silver Amulets - (1 of 44)

These two silver amulets bear the oldest copies of biblical text in existence, being over 500 years older than the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The amulets were found rolled into tiny scrolls in a burial cave in Jerusalem. They are inscribed with an ancient Hebrew script, using a sharp, thin stylus, no thicker than a hair’s breadth.

The lower part of the inscription has been identified as a version of the priestly blessing: “The Lord bless and protect you. The Lord deal kindly and graciously with you. The Lord bestow his favour upon you and grant you peace.” (Num 6:24-26)