The Scroll of the Revelation of Gabriel and a new type of ‘Messiah’
One of the most important ancient texts that was found related to Christianity/Judaism (after the Dead Sea Scrolls) is the artefact called ‘Gabriel’s Revelation’ at the Israel Museum. The first English translation appeared in 2008 and created a big stir because of its content. The scroll deals with the topic of the Messiah.
The text was written in ink on a grey coloured stone in two columns, which is different in comparison to the Dead Sea Scroll documents that were written on leather. It is dated between the first century BC and first century AC, which is approximately the same time period as the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is not known how the stone appeared because it was circulating in the antiquities market for a while.
The text on the stone is written by a person named Gabriel and it looks as if it is a collection of prophecies addressed to a third person. The text refers to the word of Yahweh, to David as the servant of God, and different expressions from books of Zechariah and Daniel are also mentioned. However the text also includes expressions not found in any other religious text. The texts in general are apocalyptic and refer to the end of days.
What is interesting is the reference to a different kind of Messiah, a Messiah who is the son of Joseph, Ephraim. We know that Jesus, although referred as the son of David in Mathew and Luke, never refers to himself as Messiah or as the ‘Son of David’ or having any link to the bloodline of David. Jesus on the Temple Mount rejects the idea that the Messiah is the son of David. Furthermore the Messiah of David is portrayed in Jewish texts as military, brave and triumph. This makes the reference in the Gospels probably invalid and made because of politics.
The son of Joseph however, Ephraim, appears as the messiah of suffering and death and we know that Jesus was also known as the ‘Son of Joseph’. So is it possible that Jesus identified himself as the Messiah Ephraim, the son of Joseph? This is yet to be determined.
By John Black
Gabriel’s Revelation – Biblical Archaeology Review