Sunday, November 27, 2011

Who are those in white garments?

Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz reports today 28 November 2011 about the ongoing research on the work of Dr. Orit Shamir from Israel Antiquities Authority and Naama Sukenik on cloths found along the Dead Sea scrolls at Qumran.

Shamir and Sukenik found that these fabrics are different from any others found in excavations from the same period. Both Jews and Romans wore mainly woolen garments Shamir says, and so wool is the fabric mainly found at archaeological sites. Most of the clothing also featured a dark red pattern described both in Talmudic and non-Jewish sources.

But pieces of cloth from Qumran are completely different. They are all made of linen rather than wool and are devoid of decoration. They were also bleached, apparently by soaking them in bicarbonate of soda produced from plants, which Shamir says was both costly and labor-intensive.

Shamir says that linen, which was more expensive than wool, was worn as a manifestation of religious observance. According to Shamir, both Romans and Jews wore white "to stand out and convey modesty."

The two scholars, Shamir and Sukenik, suggest that the white clothing was unusual and had religious meaning for the Essenes as described also by Josephus.

Revealed things
The discovery of the whitened rags in the jars containing the Dead Sea Scrolls brings to mind another reference to white clothes, this from the Book of Revelation.
And what a reference!

And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, These that are arrayed in white robes, who are they, and whence came they?

And I say unto him, My lord, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they that come of the great tribulation, and they washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Therefore are they before the throne of God; and they serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall spread his tabernacle over them.

They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun strike upon them, nor any heat: for the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall be their shepherd, and shall guide them unto fountains of waters of life: and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Rev 7:13-17

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