Jim Barfield’s 12-year search for the Temple utensils revealed an unexpected discovery to an Oklahoma Noahide: a powerful spiritual connection between the mountaintop Temple in Jerusalem and at Qumran, located near to the deepest spot on the planet. Just as Jerusalem was a city for priests to serve in the Temple, Barfield argues that Qumran was a center for prophecy.
Barfield, a retired criminal investigator for the Oklahoma Fire Department and a Noahide, believes he has deciphered an ancient riddle revealing the hiding places of the gold and silver implements of the Temple. Barfield has spent the last 12 years studying ancient maps in his quest to unravel the Copper Scroll.
Discovered in 1952 as part of the trove of ancient Dead Sea Scrolls, the Copper Scroll describes 64 locations where gold and silver from the Second Temple were hidden away before the Temple was destroyed. Barfield believes the Copper Scroll points to spots inside a compound that stood in Qumran in Temple times. Some archaeologists surmised the site was a community of Essenes, an austere sect of Judaism ,flourished from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE.
In the course of his research, Barfield spent countless hours staring at maps of Qumran. At one point, his research turned him toward the Temple.
“I was already done with the Copper Scrolls,” Barfield told Breaking Israel News. “I was just collecting more data, getting the background picture so I could figure out what Qumran was all about and why it might be the place they chose to hide the Temple artifacts.”
Believing the prophet Jeremiah played a key role in hiding the treasures, Barfield printed out a map of Jerusalem as it appeared in the times of the prophet. Something about the map piqued his curiosity but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it. As a helicopter pilot for the U.S. Army, Barfield was intimately familiar with maps. Gazing at the map of Jerusalem, he suddenly saw something entirely unexpected.
“Why did they put Qumran upside down?” he thought. He flipped the map of Jerusalem around and indeed, just as his pilot’s instincts had told him, it was identical with the map of Qumran. In a strange confluence Barfield refers to as “Qumrusalem.”
There have been several artifacts discovered connecting Qumran to the Temple in Jerusalem. Vendyl Jones, a Texas preacher turned Biblical archaeologist who was a mentor for Barfield, . spent 30 years searching Qumran. Jones discovered a small vial of Persimmon Oil used to anoint kings and high priests and a large quantity of what he figured was Temple incense.
Qumran clearly served Temple-related purposes. Like modern Israel, Qumran produced salt from the waters of the Dead Sea in a large cistern. In addition to its domestic use, salt was a necessary component of the Temple service.
Another function of the city was to serve as a location for scribes and many utensils used for writing holy texts have been found at Qumran. One of the central rooms is described in the Copper Scroll as “The room of the Scribe of Yachad.”
Just as Jerusalem has a Jaffa Gate, the identical location on the inverted map of Qumran has a gate and the Copper Scroll describes a “Jaffa Gate.”
The room in Qumran that corresponds to the Temple Mount on the map of Jerusalem is referred to as “the room of Tzadok.” “Tzadok” is a Hebrew name which means “righteous man.” The room has a pool referred to inexplicably as “the pool of the High Priest.” The Temple also contained a mikveh (ritual bath) for use by the priests.
The Copper Scroll also refers to a “Column of Boaz” that stood outside of that room. According to the Bible, Boaz and Jachin were two copper, brass or bronze pillars which stood on the porch of Solomon’s Temple. Barfield has verified that in precisely that location in Qumran, there lie the remains of a stone column.
“Why they only had one column I don’t know, but the remains of that one column are still there,” Barfield said.
The connection between the two cities has not been investigated by archaeologists but Barfield has many ideas about the purpose behind this undeniable similarity.
“Jeremiah was connected to Qumran and trusted its inhabitants because, like him, they were prophets who came to immerse themselves in the lifestyle and rituals that would heighten their abilities,” he theorized. “The priests in Jerusalem connected Israel to God in one way and the prophets connected the people to God in a different way. The prophets, separate and isolated in the wilderness could set the priests straight when they went astray.”
Barfield has a personal theory that has yet to be substantiated that Qumran and Jerusalem were connected by the powerful scapegoat ritual that was the centerpiece for the Yom Kippur Temple service.
“I think that the goat was walked out to the cliffs in the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea and was thrown off, landing near Qumran,” Barfield theorized. On one of his visits to the site, Barfield discovered a square stone which had a conical depression carved into its surface. He referred to the part of the ritual in which a skein of wool dyed red was wrapped around the goat’s horns. An identical skein was hung from the handles of the Temple. If, after the goat was thrown from the cliff, the wool in both locations turned white, then the nation could rest assured their repentance had found favor in God’s eyes. Barfield believes an additional skein of scarlet wool was either hung from a staff inserted into the rock so the wool could be more readily seen from up above.
Barfield has dedicated years to his study of the Copper Scroll but his motives are simple.
“I want to return the Temple artifacts to the Jewish People,” he said. “It’s time.”