posted on Oct, 21 2006 @ 02:22 AM
Basically, circa pre-Hasmonean - around the time of the fiasco at the hands of Antiochus Ephiphanes with his not-at-all-appreciated 'piggie loves
Zeus' remodeling scheme for temple
through the last of the Herods and the seige of Jerusalem (by Titus) which was in 70AD, there were 3 basic
sects of Judaism: Pharisees, Saducees, and the Essenes.
We don't hear hardly anything about the last group in the canon because they defected and went off to live in the desert/wilderness away from
Jerusalem when they supposedly could no longer tolerate/stomach the way things were going; it was bad enough that the temple had been defiled and even
though the Macabee revolt regained control over the temple after which it was cleansed and consecrated (and the 'Festival of Lights' or Chanakah was
instigated to celebrate!) the Hasmonean dynasty took over the rule of the Jews in Jerusalem as Priests/Kings - and this was unacceptable to the
Essenes', it seems, because #1 the Kings were NOT of the house of David and the priests were NOT of the Levite priestly lineage (Zadokites).
So they took to themselves - it is probable that they settled (at least in part) along the dead sea (Qumran) - and before that community was massacred
by the Romans somewhere around 70AD (can't remember off hand, please forgive me) they must have hurriedly stashed their treasured writings,
scriptures, and misc. community records - and what has been salvaged is what we know as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
VERY interesting, IMO....
I'll dig you up some links...