Pieces of Parchment Used as Phylacteries (Tefillin) Discovered at Qumran Containing Portions of Exod 13:1-3
Based on the command in Deut 6:8 and Exod 13:9, 16, Jews of the second-Temple period wore phylacteries (tefillin). Jews wrote four selections from the Torah, typically Exod 13:1-10; 13:11-16 and Deut 6:4-9; 11:13-21) in small characters on pieces of elongated writing material. Placing these in two leather cases, Jews would wear one case on the forehead and the other on the left arm "as a sign upon your hand and a symbol on your forehead that with a mighty hand the Lord freed us from Egypt" (Exod 13:9, 16). Jesus makes reference to the fact that the Pharisees wore phylacteries: "They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long" (Matt 23:5). Both phylactery cases and their contents have been found in the Qumran region, the earliest such remains.
This phylactery case consists of two pieces of leather stitched together. It has four chambers each designed to hold a phylactery (tefillin), and is meant to be worn on the forehead.