Mathilde HK at Asia Siciety HK – Temple, Scrolls, and Divine Messengers: Archaeology of the Land of Israel in Roman Times

You are curious about archaeological studies,

You want to know more about the second Temple of Jerusalem under the Roman Empire,

You’d like to understand the secret of the dead sea scrolls and their discovery,

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For the first time, the Asia Society Hong Kong displays some 50 key artifacts from the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. The institution launched an exhibition on Antic Jerusalem, especially, on two of the world’s greatest archaeological finds – the Gabriel Revelation Stone, often called the “stone scroll” and a facsimile of the Isaiah Scroll. That fascinating show will be on until January 25.

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The ‘ Dead Sea scroll’, for the first time in China, picture@asiasociety.com

The Asia Society space is divided into two sections: the first two exhibition rooms are dedicated to the history of the second Temple of Jerusalem and Jerusalem’s Herodian Quarter,from its architecture to its functioning under the Roman Empire, that is to say between the 1st century BCE and the 1st century CE. The next two rooms focus on the sacred stones or scrolls and their discovery between 1946 and 1956.

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A model of the Second Temple, built by King Herod, picture@biblehistory.com

What is the story of the Second Temple of Jerusalem? 

The First Temple of Jerusalem was built in the 10th century BCE by King Solomon, according to the Hebrew Bible. The precise location of Solomon’s Temple ‘the First Temple’ on the mount is not known, nor have any physical artifacts from it been unearthed by archaeologists, though there are numerous artifacts portending to its existence. Solomon’s Temple sustained several attacks by foreign powers before finally, in 586 B.C.E., being totally destroyed by the army of Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king.With the fall of Babylon, the Persian emperor Cyrus the Great allowed the Jews to return to the Land of Israel, beginning in 538. A rebuilt temple was dedicated in 515 B.C.E. – a little-known precursor to the grand structure called Herod’s Temple.

What are the Gabriel Revelation Stone and the Isaiah Scroll?

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The Gabriel Revelation Stone, picture@asiasociety.com

The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in a series of eleven caves around the site known as Wadi Qumran near the Dead Sea. The Scrolls can be divided into two categories—biblical and non-biblical. Fragments of every book of the Hebrew canon (Old Testament) have been discovered except for the book of Esther. The Dead Sea Scrolls were most likely written by the Essenes during the period from about 200 B.C. to 68 C.E./A.D. The Essenes are mentioned by Josephus and in a few other sources, but not in the New testament. The Essenes were a strict Torah observant, Messianic, apocalyptic, baptist, wilderness, new covenant Jewish sect. They were led by a priest they called the “Teacher of Righteousness,” who was opposed and possibly killed by the establishment priesthood in Jerusalem.

Since the late fifties, about 40% of the Scrolls, mostly fragments from Cave 4, remained unpublished and were unaccessible. It wasn’t until 1991, 44 years after the discovery of the first Scroll, after the pressure for publication mounted, that general access was made available to photographs of the Scrolls. In November of 1991 the photos were published by the Biblical Archaeological Society in a nonofficial edition; a computer reconstruction, based on a concordance, was announced; the Huntington Library pledged to open their microfilm files of all the scroll photographs.

4 November 201425 January 2015

9 Justice Drive
Admiralty
Hong Kong

Admissions: 

Chantal Miller Gallery (formerly Asia Society Gallery)
Adult: HK$30 | Senior (aged 60 or above) and individuals with disabilities:HK$15

Asia Society Hong Kong Center members, full-time students, aged 18 or below, and last Thursday of the month: Free

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