On the second day of his Jerusalem visit, President Barack Obama was hosted at the Israel Museum together with Prime Minister Netanyahu and was guided in the Shrine of the Book by Museum Director, James Snyder together with Isaac Molho, attorney, Chairman of the Israel Museum Board of Directors. The President was fascinated by the story of the Dead Sea Scrolls and was deeply engaged as he listened to Snyder's explanations as they viewed the Great Isaiah Scroll together. The scroll, dating from ca. 125 BCE, is the only complete ancient copy of any biblical book in existence and encapsulates the 2,000 year connection of the people of the ancient Hebrew bible to contemporary Jerusalem.
During the tour, Mr. Snyder pointed out perhaps the most renowned verse form this Biblical manuscript; Isaiah's vision of universal peace at the End of Days: "And they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks: Nation shall not take up sword against nation; they shall never again know war" (2:4) a phrase that clearly resonated with the US President as he examined the original Hebrew manuscript in the Museum.
After the visit President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyah thanked Mr. Snyder for the moving visit and the opportunity to view the treasures of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Shrine of the Book.
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Photo: Amos Ben Gershom GPO