"Song of the Sea" pages reunited in Jerusalem

Two fragments of a 7th century biblical manuscript of the Song of the Sea, a triumphant hymn to the destruction of the Egyptian Army and the freeing of the Israelites, have been reunited for an exhibit at Israel's national museum.

The two pages, one owned by Duke University, and the other by a private collector in New York, were matched when a newspaper photograph of the Ashkar manuscript, owned by Duke "caught the eye of two Israeli paleographers, Mordechay Mishor and Edna Engel, who linked it to the London manuscript owned by Stephan Loewentheil of New York. 'The uniformity of the letters, the structure of the text, and the techniques used by the scribe ... it made it very clear to me," Engel said.'"

According to the Associated Press article: "The reunification of the two pieces adds an important link in the chain, showing how the writing of the Hebrew Bible evolved through the so-called "silent" period - between the third and 10th centuries - from which nearly no Biblical texts survived. While in the Dead Sea Scrolls the song is arranged like prose, for example, in the newly reunited manuscript it is written like a poem, the same way it appears in the Hebrew Bible today."