Israel Museum & Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit Jerusalem
Located near the Knesset (Israel's Parliament), the Supreme Court and the Jewish National Library in Jerusalem, the sprawling Israel Museum is Israel’s official national museum. Featuring permanent and special exhibits in archaeology, fine arts, Jewish art and a youth wing for art education, the Israel Museum is a comprehensive institution. Of particular interest to Christian pilgrims touring Israel are the Second Temple Model and the Shrine of the Book.
The Second Temple Model is a 50:1 scale replica model that covers nearly an acre. By offering pilgrims a real, three-dimensional view of the city of Jerusalem exactly as scholars believe it existed in the time of Jesus, the Second Temple Model makes numerous scriptural references come alive.
The Shrine of the Book houses the Dead Sea Scrolls and other rare manuscripts from the time of Jesus, the waning days of Judea's Second Commonwealth.
The distinctive building was designed by architects to symbolize a number of aspects of the ancient manuscripts that were first discovered in Qumran in 1947. The Shrine’s white curved dome, for example, is reminiscent of the lids on the jars in which the earliest scrolls were discovered. The contrast between the white dome and the black wall that surrounds it symbolizes the spiritual tension between two groups that were active in the time the ancient manuscripts were composed – the Sons of Light and their enemies, the Sons of Darkness. The hallway that leads into the Shrine is intended to evoke a cave-like feeling, again reminding visitors of the location where the scrolls were discovered.
Multi-language audio guides are provided at no additional cost for The Shrine of the Book and the Second Temple Model, as well as for important special exhibitions at the museum.