Oct 22, 2021

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The Israel Museum (Photo: Adiel lo: Wiki Commons)

The Israel Museum (Photo: Adiel lo: Wiki Commons)

Allegedly discovered 13 years ago in the Dead Sea area, this 3-foot-tall stone tablet may be the equivalent of a Dead Sea Scroll on rock. So called because it features the archangel prominently, the stone contains an otherwise unknown prophetic text of an apocalyptic attack on Jerusalem, with God and His angels arriving to save the city.

The text, unusually, is not carved into the stone but rather written upon it with ink, in the same script as the Dead Sea Scrolls, strengthening the connection between them. The tablet made headlines in 2008 when Hebrew University professor Israel Knohl interpreted certain vague lines to mean “in three days you shall live,” claiming it would revolutionize Christianity. He eventually moderated his position on the text, but interest in the stone remained. According to curators at the Israel Museum, only 40% of the tablet’s 87 lines are legible.

The Gabriel Stone is currently on exhibit at the Israel Museum, along with a Dead Sea Scroll fragment mentioning Gabriel; the 13th-century Damascus Codex; a 10th-century New Testament from Brittany, in which Gabriel predicts the birth of John the Baptist and appears to the Virgin Mary; and an Iranian Q’uran manuscript of the 15th or 16th century, in which the angel, called Jibril in Arabic, reveals God’s word to the prophet Muhammad.