Gleanings from the Cave of Wonders? Fragments, Forgeries, and “Biblicism” in the Dead Sea Scrolls

Kipp Davis on the treasures of Qumran

Remember, boy.
First fetch me the lamp.
And then you shall have your reward . . .

. . . Your eternal reward.”

Any child of the 1980s or ‘90s or self respecting Disney animated film buff will recognize the “Cave of Wonders” as the fabled treasure cave in the 1992 blockbuster hit Aladdin. The film was a loose adaptation of folk tales in Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. The Cave was the secret horde of treasure belonging to a bloodthirsty band of thieves that was unwittingly uncovered by a poor woodcutter named Ali Baba. The story of Ali Baba and his wealthy brother Cassim is in part a moral tale about greed, and this theme is also reflected in the film: At one point of the movie the protagonist is provided entry along with his boon companion—a monkey named Abu—into the Cave, but is then restricted from even touching any of the limitless treasure within. Unable to quell his own greed Abu breaks this prohibition and he and Aladdin are consequently swallowed by the magic cave.