In the Qumran community, the Essenes created several cisterns that, as shown here, were plastered and had steps to allow them to access water. At least two of these cisterns are believed to be mikvoth, ceremonial or ritual baths used for actual cleansing.Impurity resulted from a variety of conditions, some of which are listed in Numbers 5:1-4 (e.g., touching a dead body, having a skin disease or issue of body fluid). More important, these baths indicated the spiritual cleansing the resulted from repentance and forgiveness (Matthew 3:6, 11).

The Essenes apparently believed that any breaking of God’s law required cleansing, which the mikvoth symbolized. While there are several Jewish practices that provide a foundation for baptism, the Essene mikveh practice certainly contributed to our understanding of the meaning of the ritual cleansing.

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Upcoming Tours

We would love to walk with you in the Holy Land. Here are upcoming opportunities:

Nov 01 — Nov 15, 2020
Walking with the Patriarchs
Led by George DeJong
Spring 2021
Israel in Depth
Led by George DeJong
Summer 2021
Ancient Paths to Modern Leadership
Led by George DeJong
Sep 18 — Oct 02, 2021
Israel & Turkey in Depth
Led by George DeJong
Fall 2021
Through the Roof
Led by George DeJong