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Everything described so far appears to have been acceptable both to the sectarians at Qumran, who certainly used these tefillin, and to the Pharisees, if we can judge by what the later Rabbis required.

But such is not the case regarding what the tefillin contained.

Since we now know that the biblical scrolls represent various communities in Israel during this period, we can conclude that these scribal regulations were either not yet in force or were not widely observed.

The arm tefillin, worn on the forearm, is arranged differently from the head tefillin, consisting of a cube sitting atop a rectangular base, the strap passing through the rectangle at its upper end.

The finding of large numbers of tefillin and mezuzot at Qumran has certainly shown that these practices date back at least to Hasmonaean times.

But we still have questions about which groups practiced these commandments and how.

In dealing with the tefillin, we need to discuss several separate issues- how the leather boxes enclosing the scriptural texts were constructed, which passages were placed in the boxes, and how these passages were written.

In construction, the Qumran tefillin are generally similar to those known from rabbinic halakhah and traditional Jewish practice.

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