Among the Dead Sea Scrolls, scholars found fragments (and, in some cases, fuller scrolls) of every biblical book except for Esther and Nehemiah. Until now. Torleif Elgvin (Evangelical Lutheran University College, Oslo) and Esther Eshel (Bar Ilan University, Israel) will be publishing a collection of more than two dozen previously unknown scroll fragments, including the first known fragment of Nehemiah. The book will be titled Gleanings from the Caves (T & T Clark), and will include fragments from:
Cave 4 at Qumran
Given the nature of finds in these three locations, I expect the Nehemiah fragment to have come from Qumran. Every fragment in valuable in helping build a picture of the compositions and transmission of the biblical texts.
The Book of Nehemiah recounts, amongst other things, Nehemiah’s reconstruction of the walls of Jerusalem in the mid fifth century BC.