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We Are Going To War”: Has The Final Apocalyptic Conflict Between Israel and Her Enemies Now Begun?

On Tuesday, terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired hundreds of rockets at Israel in retaliation for Israel’s targeted killing of the senior commander of Islamic Jihad in Gaza.  Many of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system, but quite a few got through, and some even reached as far as Tel Aviv.  Following those rocket attacks, Israeli tanks and aircraft pounded Islamic Jihad positions in the Gaza Strip, and Israeli officials are pledging to continue to respond to any additional attacks.  Unfortunately, it certainly sounds like more attacks are coming.  According to Islamic Jihad’s Secretary-General Ziad al-Nakhala, his organization is “going to war” with Israel.  The following comes from the Times of Israel

We are going to war. [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu has crossed all the red lines in assassinating Al-Quds Brigades Commander Baha Abu al-Ata. We will respond forcefully,” PIJ Secretary-General Ziad al-Nakhala told the Dar al-Hayat Arabic-language news site.

Israeli officials felt that they had no choice but to kill Baha Abu al-Ata once they had a clear opportunity to do so.  According to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he was an “archterrorist” and was “the main instigator of terrorism from the Gaza Strip”.  The Israeli people are fed up with the endless rocket attacks, and so it makes sense that Israel would target the man that initiated so many of those attacks.

But to Islamic Jihad, Baha Abu al-Ata was a greatly beloved hero, and his death sent shockwaves throughout the entire Middle East.  Once news of his death got out, terrorists in Gaza fired “more than 200 rockets into Israel”

Islamic militants in the Gaza Strip sent a barrage of more than 200 rockets into Israel Tuesday and vowed further revenge after the Israeli military carried out a pair of targeted airstrikes on senior Islamic Jihad commanders, killing one in Gaza and missing the second in Syria.

An Israeli airstrike killed Baha Abu al-Ata, 42, and his wife as they slept in their home in eastern Gaza Tuesday, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, said. Conricus added that Abu al-Ata was responsible for a number of recent rocket attacks on southern Israel and claimed he was actively planning new attacks.

In response to those rocket attacks, IDF tanks and planes absolutely pummeled Islamic Jihad military outposts…

Israeli tanks attacked three Islamic Jihad military posts in the Gaza Strip Tuesday afternoon.

An IDF spokesperson stated: “A short while ago, IDF tanks targeted three PIJ military posts in the Gaza Strip.”

The Israeli Air Force has also bombed numerous Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza in response to the firing of dozens of rockets by the terrorist organization.

And IDF spokesperson Hidai Zilberman told the press that the Israelis are “prepared for several days of battle” if it comes to that.

We shall see what happens, but it appears that we may be looking at a conflict that will last a whole lot longer that just a few days.

Islamic Jihad is promising a campaign of revenge that will “have no borders”, and it is being reported that Israel’s enemies are considering “opening a second or third front in the north”

DEBKAfile’s sources report that when Israel’s security cabinet was convening in Tel Aviv on Tuesday morning, so too were senior officials in Tehran, Damascus and Beirut. They were discussing whether to punish Israel by opening a second or third front in the north.

The Palestinian Jihad also maintains armed forces in Syria and Lebanon, who may be conscripted in both countries for strikes against northern and central Israel in solidarity with their brothers in Gaza. The Gaza headquarters initially reacted to the death of its leader by announcing that their retaliation “would have no borders.” Then, after firing some 50 rockets, Jihad stated that as yet “unprecedented retaliation” was still to come, suggesting that Israel faced attacks from additional borders.

Of course every time Israel’s enemies escalate the conflict, Israel is going to hit back even harder.

And if this conflict escalates enough, it could pull in the Iranians and all of their close allies in the region.  In recent years, Islamic Jihad has actually forged very close ties with Tehran.  The following comes from the Jerusalem Post

PIJ is important for Iran because Tehran’s regime often argues that it is the center of “resistance” against Israel and the US. In order to weave a narrative of “resistance,” it must show that it is actually doing something against Israel. Since Iran doesn’t like to sacrifice its own Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps members, it works through other groups. In Lebanon it supplies Hezbollah with precision guidance for its rocket arsenal; in Gaza it has relations with PIJ and also with Hamas.

At some point, Israel will find itself fighting against Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran all at the same time.

Could it be possible that we are right on the precipice of that war?

Without a doubt, many on both sides of the conflict are eager to achieve final victory.  For example, on Tuesday one activist group in Israel was openly calling for war with Hamas

The group’s activists were seen hanging signs around the country reading, “Bibi – Give Us TheOrder!”

“The time has come for Israel to achieve victory over Hamas and all the terror organizations in Gaza,” said Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg. “Peace is made with defeated enemies, and that’s the only way to restore quiet to the south. Today’s assassination of a senior Gazan terrorist was a step in the right direction, and now we need to take the next step and defeat the terror in Gaza once and for all.”

If rockets were constantly being fired at my family and friends, I think that my patience would be gone too.

There simply is not going to be lasting peace in the region as long as the status quo exists.  Islamic Jihad, Hamas, Hezbollah and the Iranian government have all pledged to permanently wipe Israel off the map, and the Israelis are going to respond to every attack against them by hitting back extremely hard.

Whether it happens today, tomorrow or at some future time, the truth is that a major war is coming to the Middle East.

And once that war happens, none of our lives will ever be the same again.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10197

Russian Submarine Breaches Israel’s Territorial Waters, Flees after Being Spotted

By David Sidman November 12, 2019 , 10:25 am

I will incite Egyptian against Egyptian: They shall war with each other, Every man with his fellow, City with city And kingdom with kingdom. Isaiah 19:2 (The Israel Bible™)

Russian nuclear submarine (courtesy: Shutterstock) 

A navy patrol boat spotted a Russian submarine three months ago about 8 miles from the coast of Israel reports Ynet. Israel’s territorial waters stretch 12 nautical miles offshore.

The IDF refused to comment on whether or not the sub compromised Israel’s security interests and also wouldn’t comment on the duration of the sea craft’s presence.

After identifying the submarine, Israel’s naval officers contacted their Russian counterparts, activating the naval coordination mechanism through via the General Staff Planning Division. The mechanism is similar to that of the armies which has been battle tested in Syria. The submarine left the area westward into the depths of the Mediterranean.

A Russian submarine’s presence in Israel’s territorial waters can entail long-term consequences. That’s because the sub is a vessel used for intelligence gathering. Russia has gone to great lengths to intervene in the region following Syria’s civil war.

In a rather vague statement, the IDF spokesman responded to the report saying: “Sometimes, naval targets are noticed by the Navy that might be perceived to be a foreign military vessel.”

In 2018, Breaking Israel News reported on a Russian military plane carrying 14 servicemen was shot down over Syria. Moscow blamed Israel who claimed that it was a Syrian anti-aircraft missile that did it.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10195

Israel is at war with Islamic Jihad. Tehran weighs opening northern fronts as punishment for Al-Atta killing

By two targeted assassinations in Gaza and Damascus, Israel on Tuesday, Nov. 12, went to war against the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Baha Abu Al-Atta, chief of the northern Gaza command, was killed in an IDF bombing raid on his home in Gaza city; Akram Al-Ajouri’s home in the Maze district of Damascus was struck by two rockets. Some sources say he escaped; others that he was injured. Al Ajouri was the liaison officer between the Palestinian Jihad in Gaza and the Iranian Al-Qods Brigades and its chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
The Islamic Jihad’s first response was a wide-ranging rocket barrage against key towns in central and southern Israel, including Sderot, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gedera, Rishon Lezion and Tel Aviv, after announcing that “there were no borders.” Iron Dome downed some 20, including the rockets targeting Tel Aviv.

DEBKAfile: The IDF initially relayed messages to Gaza City that the slaying of Abu Al-Atta did not portend a new wave of targeted assassinations against Palestinian terrorist leaders, in the hope of persuading Hamas to stay out of it and let Jihad act on its own. This was intended to avert a major conflagration. This hope was largely unfounded because it is not in the power of Hamas or Egypt or even Israel to determine how far this incident escalates but Tehran.  DEBKAfile’s sources report that when Israel’s security cabinet was convening in Tel Aviv on Tuesday morning, so too were senior officials in Tehran, Damascus and Beirut. They were discussing whether to punish Israel by opening a second or third front in the north.
The Palestinian Jihad also maintains armed forces in Syria and Lebanon, who may be conscripted in both countries for strikes against northern and central Israel in solidarity with their brothers in Gaza. The Gaza headquarters initially reacted to the death of its leader by announcing that their retaliation “would have no borders.” Then, after firing some 50 rockets, Jihad stated that as yet “unprecedented retaliation” was still to come, suggesting that Israel faced attacks from additional borders.

Any Egyptian or UN efforts to mediate de-escalation would be irrelevant in these circumstances since neither has access to this extremist Palestinian terrorist group or its Iranian masters. And Hamas can hardly afford to stand aside in the event of a multi-front conflict erupting and is likely to be drawn into backing a fellow Palestinian terrorist organization.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10193

Turkey: Erdogan’s Campaign against the West

by Giulio Meotti
November 9, 2019 at 5:00 am

“Europe is a cultural continent, not a geographical one… It is its culture that gives it a common identity. The roots that have formed it, that have permitted the formation of this continent, are those of Christianity. […] In this sense, throughout history Turkey has always represented another continent, in permanent contrast with Europe. There were the wars against the Byzantine empire, the fall of Constantinople, the Balkan wars, and the threat against Vienna and Austria. That is why I think it would be an error to equate the two continents.” — Pope Benedict XVI, Le Figaro Magazine, 2007.• In Germany, Turkey controls 900 mosques out of a total of 2,400. These Islamic centers not only serve members of the Turkish diaspora, but also stop them from assimilating into German society. Speaking with Turks in Germany, Erdogan urged them not to assimilate, and called the assimilation of migrants in Europe “a crime against humanity.”• Erdogan has also been expanding Turkey beyond its borders – starting with Cyprus, the Greek Islands, Suakin Island (Sudan) and Syria.• Mosques, migrants and the military are now Erdogan’s new weapons in his threats against the West.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “has earned the title of Caliph” according to Turkish journalist Abdurrahman Dilipak.

Erdogan is the head of NATO’s second-largest army; he has spies throughout Europe through a network of mosques, associations and cultural centers; he has brought his country to the top of the world rankings for the number of imprisoned journalists and has shut the mouth of German comedians with the threat of legal action. By keeping migrants in Turkish refugee camps, he controls immigration to Europe.

The worse Erdogan behaves, the greater his weight in Europe. In a 2015 meeting, Erdogan reportedly was “openly mocking” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and other “senior European leaders”, as Juncker asked Erdogan to consider how he was treated “like a prince” at a Brussels summit.

According to George Friedman:

“Turkey now is the 17th largest economy in the world, it is larger than Saudi Arabia, it has an army and military capability that is probably the best in Europe, besides the UK and they could beat the Germans in an afternoon and the French in an hour if they showed up.”

Turkey’s 2018 military budget increased to $19 billion, 24% higher than 2017, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Erdogan has placed Turkey’s military — once a bastion of Turkish nationalism and secularism — under his political authority. While Europe is pacifist and refuses to invest in its own security or, like Germany, support NATO’s budget, Turkey is belligerent.

Ever since his Justice and Development Party (AKP) became Turkey’s dominant political force in 2002, for Erdogan, elevating the public role of Islam has been more than a slogan. At public gatherings, the Turkish president has made the “rabia“, a hand gesture of four fingers raised and the thumb hidden, to protest the overthrow of Egypt’s Islamist then President Mohamed Morsi by Egypt’s military. Erdogan evidently sees himself as a global Islamic leader with national elections to win. Through four million Turkish Muslims in Germany and vast communities in the Netherlands, France, Austria and beyond, Erdogan does indeed have enormous influence in Europe.

As a leader of the Ummah [Islamic community], Erdogan challenged the leader of Christianity. In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI delivered a famous lecture at Germany’s University of Regensburg, where he diagnosed Islam as inherently flawed. During his address, the Pope quoted a 14thCentury Christian emperor:

“Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached”.

The Muslim world erupted in anger. In an apology tour of Erdogan’s Turkey, Benedict XVI reversed his firm position of just two years before and supported Turkey’s joining the European Union. The year before becoming Pope, then-Cardinal Ratzinger had said that Turkey should never join the European Union. “Europe is a cultural continent, not a geographical one,” Ratzinger said to Le Figaro.

“It is its culture that gives it a common identity. The roots that have formed it, that have permitted the formation of this continent, are those of Christianity. […] In this sense, throughout history Turkey has always represented another continent, in permanent contrast with Europe. There were the wars against the Byzantine empire, the fall of Constantinople, the Balkan wars, and the threat against Vienna and Austria. That is why I think it would be an error to equate the two continents.”

Ratzinger said the something similar in another instance, that “Turkey in Europe is a mistake”:

“The European continent has its own Christian soul and Turkey, which is not the Ottoman Empire in its extension but still constitutes its central core, has another soul, naturally to be respected”.

Both Benedict and Erdogan understood that Islamic Turkey has been the nemesis of Christian Europe — from October 7, 1571, when Europe inflicted a catastrophic defeat on the Ottomans at the Battle of Lepanto, until September 12, 1683, when Europe again defeated the Turks at the outskirts of Vienna, the city they had historically tried to capture as a base for the conquest of the rest of Europe.

It was in the half-century that followed the fall of Constantinople in 1453 — the great Eastern Christian center, whose collapse marked the end of the Byzantine Empire — that Christian Europe started to expel the Ottoman Turks from the continent. Now it seems as if Erdogan, by other means, is trying to pursue a historic Turkish revenge on Europe. Erdogan is seemingly using this ideology of conquest to cement his internal and external power.

Erdogan’s most powerful tool in his relations with Europe has been migrants. “You cried out when 50,000 refugees were at the Kapikule border”, Erdogan said in 2016, referring to the border with Bulgaria. “You started asking what you would do if Turkey would open the gates. Look at me — if you go further, those border gates will be open. You should know that”.

Last month, during his military operation against the Kurds, Erdogan repeated the same threat:

“Hey EU, wake up. I say it again: if you try to frame our operation there as an invasion, our task is simple: we will open the doors and send 3.6 million migrants to you.”

Europe, unable to control its own borders, is stalling.

Since he came to power, Erdogan, in a building spree, has reportedly built 17,000 mosques (one fifth of Turkey’s total). The largest is located in Camlica, the Asian shore of Istanbul. From Mali to Moscow, by way of Cambridge and Amsterdam, Erdogan is ceaselessly active in “diplomatizing” his religion. The “biggest mosque in the Balkans” is Turkish and is located in Tirana, Albania. “The largest in West Africa” was built by Erdogan in Accra, Ghana. “The largest in Central Asia” he built in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The “largest mosque in Europe” will be his new Turkish mosque in Strasbourg. He is planning to open Turkish schools in France.

Erdogan has empowered Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), which now has 120,000 employees and a budget the size of twelve other ministries combined. In 2004, with 72,000 employees, the Diyanet was about half that size. This is the religious network with which Erdogan has a foot in European affairs.

In Germany, Turkey controls 900 mosques out of a total of 2,400. These Islamic centers not only serve members of the Turkish diaspora, but also stop them from assimilating into German society. Speaking with Turks in Germany, Erdogan urged them not to assimilate, and called the assimilation of migrants in Europe “a crime against humanity“. He apparently wants them to remain part of Turkey and the Ummah, the global Muslim community.

Last year, Austrian authorities announced the closure of several Turkish-controlled mosques after “children in a Turkish-financed mosque re-enacting the first world war battle of Gallipoli.” According to The Guardian:

As many as 60 Turkish imams and their families face expulsion from Austria and seven mosques are due to be closed under a clampdown on what the government has called “political Islam”.

Austria’s chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, said the country could no longer put up with “parallel societies, political Islam and radicalisation,” which he said had “no place in our country”.

Erdogan, however, knows that against Europe, numbers are on his side. “Make not three, but five children. Because you are the future of Europe,” Erdogan told the Turkish diaspora. Eurostat, the official statistics agency of the European Union, shows that in terms of birthrates, Turkey is ahead of Europe. In one year in Turkey, more than 1.2 million children were born, while only 5.07 million children were born in all of the EU’s 28 member states. What would Europe look like if 80 million Turks joined the EU?

Already in 1994, when Erdogan was campaigning to become the mayor of Istanbul, he talked about “the second conquest of Istanbul“. (The first conquest was the defeat of Christian Constantinople in 1453.) According to the exiled Turkish novelist Nedim Gürsel, Erdogan, when he was mayor of Istanbul, took it upon himself to commemorate the Turkish conquest of Constantinople. “Celebrating a conquest that took place more than five centuries ago may seem anachronistic, I would even say absurd, to European leaders”, Gürsel writes. “For Erdogan, the capture of Constantinople is another pretext for challenging the West and giving back to its people its repressed pride”. Last January, Erdogan chose the tomb of an Ottoman forebear to pledge a victory over Syria.

“You will not turn Istanbul into Constantinople”, Erdogan said after the Christchurch massacre. Erdogan is obsessed with history and takes it far more seriously than Europeans do. “We will change Hagia Sophia’s name from a museum to a mosque”, Erdogan said earlier this year. The Hagia Sophia, built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I in AD 537, was for 900 years the greatest cathedral in Christendom – until 1453 when the Ottoman Empire defeated the Byzantines and took over Constantinople; then it became one of Islam’s greatest mosques. In 1935, President Mustafa Kemal Ataturk turned it into a museum; Erdogan has pledged to turn it back into a mosque, and recited a Muslim prayer in the formerly Christian site.

Erdogan has also been expanding Turkey beyond its borders – starting with Cyprus, the Greek IslandsSuakin Island (Sudan) and Syria. “We are a big family of 300 million people from the Adriatic to the Great Wall of China”, Erdogan said in a recent speech from Moldova. The borders of Turkey, he stated in Izmir, span “from Vienna to the shores of the Adriatic Sea, from East Turkistan (China’s autonomous region of Xinjiang) to the Black Sea”.

To expand his country’s influence, Erdogan is also using Turkey’s military. “Not since the days of the Ottoman Empire has the Turkish military had such an extensive global footprint”, the journalist Selcan Hacaoglu reports. The Turkish-American political scientist Soner Cagaptaytitled his new book, Erdogan’s Empire.

Mosques, migrants and the military are now Erdogan’s new weapons in his campaign against the West.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10191

China in the Middle East: From Observer to Security Player

By Emil Avdaliani November 10, 2019 

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,339, November 10, 2019

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: There is much debate both within and without China over whether or not its economic interests in the region will force it to play a more active security/military role in the Middle East. In fact, recent political and economic trends in the region indicate that a shift in China’s approach to the Middle East along these lines has already started.  

So far, most Chinese cooperation with Middle Eastern countries has focused on energy and economic relations. But things are changing. Recent developments indicate that Beijing is now strengthening its ties to Middle Eastern countries in areas such as defense, culture, and the toning down of mutual criticism.

China has concluded partnership agreements with 15 Middle Eastern countries so far, but several warrant special attention—particularly Saudi Arabia. The kingdom is now China’s largest trading partner in West Asia, and Beijing is Riyadh’s largest trading partner in the world.

This is not an isolated case. China is also the UAE’s largest trading partner. More than 200,000 Chinese nationals reside in the UAE, and the Dubai Port is a vital global shipping and logistics hub for Chinese goods.

Moreover, the UAE and Saudi Arabia recently voiced their intention to introduce Chinese-language studies into their national educational curricula. Notably, both states (as well as others in the Middle East) not only abstained from criticizing China over its alleged persecution of the Uighur population in Xinjiang but even defended it.

In the last decade, as Chinese fears have grown over the safe operation of sea lanes, the Red Sea, the Suez Canal, and the Bab al-Mandeb Strait have come under increased Chinese attention. The gaining of influence in and around geographical choke points for global trade and oil and gas shipment has become pivotal to Beijing’s foreign policy in western Eurasia.

No wonder Egypt features so strongly in China’s investment agenda. Billions of dollars have been invested by Beijing in Egypt. China is helping Egypt build a new administrative capital in the desert outside Cairo as well as a Red Sea port and industrial zone in Ain Sukhna. Egyptian president Sisi has made at least six trips to Beijing since 2014, compared to just two to the country’s traditional security partner, the US.

The growing connections between Middle Eastern states and China are sensitive for the West. The US’s evolving international position has led it to discard some of its responsibilities in Eurasia, which has had the effect of causing small countries to revisit their relationships with the US and consider the rising China.

Another interesting Middle Eastern partner for China is Iran. Tehran wishes to establish relationships with global powers to balance US pressure. Its growing partnership with Moscow fits this paradigm, as does its increasing closeness with Beijing.

Iran could prove much more important to China than other Middle East states. Its growing isolation from the West is likely to continue in the coming years, which will push it to work ever more closely with China. Iran’s strategic location and human resources, as well as its intention to serve as a civilizational center of gravity for neighboring states, could divert American military and economic capabilities away from the South China Sea, which would work in Beijing’s favor.

Iranian troops or their allies are operating in many countries around the Middle East, and the Iranian navy is active in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. All of this dilutes US power across the Eurasian continent. Moreover, Iran’s location can enable China’s Belt and Road Initiative to pervade the region, whether on land or sea (the Caspian and the Persian Gulf).

China publicly rejects any notion of its seeking military or security dominance in the Middle East. Beijing understands that it still lacks the knowledge, networks of contacts, and necessary authority (on a par with Western authority) to proclaim its geopolitical aims in the troublesome region. Despite this, westerners often take it for granted that China is in fact seeking domination in Eurasia. After all, why would the country want to spend billions and station hundreds of soldiers either in the Middle East or elsewhere in Eurasia?

There is a grand debate within China itself on whether Beijing’s economic interests in the Middle East could force it to become a more active security/military player in the region. Though there are hopes that this can be avoided, there are already signs pointing in this direction.

Beijing recently announced its intention to take part in anti-piracy initiatives in the Persian Gulf following incidents with oil tankers. With the US diminishing its presence in Eurasia overall, China will have to address the geopolitical vacuum. Spending billions will not solve every problem, but economic development of the region could forestall tensions for some time.

It is likely that China will have to increase its presence in Western Eurasia. Concrete steps have already been taken: Beijing opened a base in Djibouti and set up military installations on the border with Afghanistan and in Tajikistan.

As China grows its position in the region, it will need partners to manage inter-state conflicts. Russia is a likely choice, but Moscow, like Turkey and Iran, will not be particularly interested in sharing military/security positions in the Middle East that were gained by waging war in Syria and working in concert to constrain the American position.

Overall, it can be argued that Beijing will continue to be extremely careful not to become too involved in the region. As far as China is concerned, Russia and the US can keep responsibility for security in the region. What is crucial for Beijing is multipolarity, and it will pursue that principle assiduously.

But as time goes on, China will find it increasingly difficult to stay above the fray in the Middle East. It will have to become more responsive to rising challenges to its businesses and sea and land trade routes.

This will inevitably lead to greater insecurity between the US and China. Top US officials have already warned about China’s efforts to gain influence in the Middle East, which could undermine defense cooperation between the US and its traditional regional allies in the region. The Middle East is thus transforming into yet another arena of competition between the US and China.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10189

A Giant Statue Of Molech Has Been Put Up Right At The Entrance To The Colosseum In Rome

November 7, 2019 by Michael Snyder

Tourists that visit the Colosseum in Rome these days are getting quite a shock.  A gigantic statue of a pagan Canaanite deity known as “Molech” has been erected right at the entrance.  In ancient times, those that served Molech would literally sacrifice their children to him, and apparently this involved burning them to death.  And now a massive statue of this pagan idol is the centerpiece of a new “archaeological exhibition” at the world famous Roman Colosseum.  Yes, the exact same Colosseum where countless numbers of Christians were martyred for their faith is now the home for one of the most monstrous pagan deities that the world has ever seen.

I know that this sounds almost too strange to be true, but this is actually happening.  The following comes from the official press release for this “exhibition”…

A reconstruction of the terrible deity Moloch, linked to Phoenician and Carthaginian religions and featured in the 1914 film Cabiria (directed by Giovanni Pastore and written by Gabriele D’Annunzio) will be stationed at the entrance to the Colosseum to welcome visitors to the exhibition.

They are referring to this enormous statue as “Moloch”, but according to Wikipedia this ancient pagan god was also known as “Molech, Milcom, or Malcam”…

Moloch[a] is the biblical name of a Canaanite god associated with child sacrifice, through fire or war. The name of this deity is also sometimes spelled Molech, Milcom, or Malcam.

For purposes of this article, I will use the name “Molech”, because that is the name that will be most familiar to the majority of my readers.

The organizers of this “exhibition” could have chosen to put Molech in a dark corner where nobody would have really noticed him, but instead they purposely decided to feature him in a place where 100 percent of the visitors to the Colosseum would immediately see him.

One woman that recently visited the Colosseum told LifeSiteNews what she witnessed…

“We were so excited the day we decided to go to the Colosseum,” Alexandra Clark told LifeSiteNews via email. She and her sister Tiffany were looking forward to visiting the site of Christian martyrdom.

“But the moment we got there the sight that greeted us was horrifying! Standing guard over the entrance was the colossal pagan statue of Moloch. It was placed in that prime spot so that everyone that entered into the Colosseum had to pass it,” she continued.

How in the world could something like this possibly be allowed?

And what makes this even more shocking is that the Colosseum is actually controlled by the Vatican.  The following comes from Breaking Israel News

A source close to the matter told Breaking Israel News that: “There is no way that such a thing could be done without direct permission from the highest levels of the Vatican. The Colloseum of Rome is owned by the Vatican, and specifically the Diocese of Rome, also called the Holy See. If anyone wants to do anything there, they must get permissions from the office of the Diocese of Rome. This exhibition, called “Cathargo: the immortal myth” could not be held there at all unless permissions were granted at high levels.”

Somebody at the Vatican really messed up on this one.

This isn’t just some random ancient deity.  In Leviticus 18:21, the people of Israel are specifically warned against sacrificing their children to this monstrous idol…

And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the Lord.

And in Jeremiah 32:35, we are told that this is precisely what many of the people of Israel ended up doing as they fell away from the Lord…

And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.

Why in the world would anyone think that such practices are something worth celebrating?

According to the Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry, the way that these babies would be killed was truly horrific…

The ancients would heat this idol up with fire until it was glowing, then they would take their newborn babies, place them on the arms of the idol, and watch them burn to death. I can’t help but compare today’s abortion massacre to the sacrifice of children by these ancient pagans. In both, innocent life is destroyed for the gain of the parent.

Over the past few years, there seems to have been a concerted effort to put up symbols from ancient pagan religions in the Middle East in key locations all over the globe.  This includes erecting the “arch of Baal” in both Washington D.C. and New York City.

But unlike some of those other “”exhibitions”, this one is going to last a whole lot longer than just a few days.

In fact, we are being told that this statue of Molech will remain standing at the Colosseum in Rome until March 29, 2020

The statue of Moloch, worshipped by both the Canaanites and the Phoenicians, is part of an exhibit dedicated to Ancient Rome’s once-great rival, the city of Carthage. The large-scale exhibition, titled Carthago: The immortal myth, runs until March 29, 2020.

That is almost five months from now.

Interestingly, Rome was just hit by a magnitude 4.4 earthquake.  It is extremely unusual for such a large quake to happen there, and it really shook a lot of people up.

I have no idea if there is any connection, but I felt that it was noteworthy enough to share with all of you.

Without a doubt, it truly is an abomination that a gigantic statue of Molech is now standing right at the entrance of the Colosseum where so many Christians were brutally slaughtered by the Romans.

Unfortunately, not many people are talking about this story, and even fewer are getting upset about it.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10186

New Evidence Revealed About Stone from Breastplate of Temple Priest Hidden in South Africa

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz November 6, 2019 , 1:50 pm

“The stones shall correspond [in number] to the names of the sons of Yisrael: twelve, corresponding to their names. They shall be engraved like seals, each with its name, for the twelve tribes.” Exodus 28:21 (The Israel Bible™)

The sardonyx stone. in the papyrus casket in which it was carried (Courtesy of owner)

The Breastplate from Solomon’s Temple

The story begins in 1189 when Croiz Arneet deTarn Auret left France to fight in the Crusades. Auret arrived in Jerusalem and, according to Auret family tradition, received a very special stone from “the High Priest” in gratitude for his part in freeing Jerusalem. The stone was allegedly taken from the חושן המשפט(Choshen HaMishpat, the High Priest’s breastplate).

You shall make a breastpiece of decision, worked into a design; make it in the style of the ephod: make it of gold, of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and of fine twisted linen. Exodus 28:15

Twelve different precious stones were engraved with the names of the tribes and mounted on the breastplate. In addition to the 12 stones mounted on the breastplate were two sardonyx stones fixed in gold settings on the shoulders of the High Priest.  

And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulder-pieces of the ephod, to be stones of memorial for the children of Israel; and Aharon shall bear their names before Hashem upon his two shoulders for a memorial. Exodus 28:12

A Crusader Brings Home a Biblical Inheritance

The custodianship of the stone was passed on in the Auret family through the male line until the nineteenth century. That tradition was broken when Abraham Auret passed away in 1889, bequeathing the stone to his daughter, Christina Elizabeth.

After her marriage to William James Hurst, the stone left the Auret name, and has been passed on from mother to daughter ever since. Meticulously recorded family trees and genealogical reports corroborate the story. The stone was passed on as an inheritance and is presently owned by an elderly woman in South Africa, who wished to remain anonymous.

Verifying the Truth of the Stone

Approximately 25 years ago, she considered selling the stone. Towards that end, she needed to have experts verify the claim. Most of the relevant experts were in Israel and being unfamiliar with the country, she turned to a friend, Gary Fox, a devout Christian who had several years in Israel, to act as a liaison. Fox recently contacted Breaking Israel News to relate his experiences with the remarkable stone.

“I went to Johannesburg and taken into a bank vault,” Fox told Breaking Israel news,  describing the presence of armed guards stationed inside the vault for the viewing. “They did know how much it was worth but they were quite nervous about protecting it. It was very cloak and dagger. The family was very nervous.”

The Miracle of the Kohen’s Breastplate: Light 

At first, Fox thought the story was too fantastic to be true but he was fascinated by its appearance. He asked to touch the stone and the family reluctantly agreed.

The sardonyx stone, with inscription visible inside. (Courtesy of owner)

“I was skeptical,” Fox said. “But the moment I picked it up, I knew at that moment that I had something in my hands something that was supernatural.”

“As I touched it, it lit up,” Fox said. “I actually got a fright and jumped. One of the family members giggled and said, ‘Yes, the stone speaks.”

It is important to note that Fox’s claim is consistent with the characteristics of the stones of the breastplate as they are described in Jewish sources. The Talmud (Yoma 73a) describes how questions were put to the breastplate, and the stones would light up to spell out the answer. The book of Samuel lists the urim v’tummim (an undefined Hebrew term referring to the stones of the breastplate) as one of the three forms of divine communication: dreams, prophets, and the urim v’tummim.

And when Shaul inquired of Hashem, Hashem answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets. I Samuel 28:6

In the course of investigating this article, this reporter spoke to several of the people involved in proving the stone’s provenance. Fox’s experience was not unique. Several witnesses described the phenomenon of the stone lighting up as if from some inner source, though one witness described the stone turning dark. This seemed to be a highly personal experience.

“In my mind, I was thinking, ‘thank the lord it turned light’,” Fox said. “From a Christian point of view, I knew that the Lord had brought me into this for a purpose so I decided I would do whatever I needed to do. This stone traveled from Jerusalem, the City of God, through Europe, to finally end up in ‘the City of Gold; Johannesburg. This was the apt place to keep this gem, this incredible God thing, hidden until the time was right for it to be revealed.” 

It should be noted that Johannesburg is indeed referred to as the City of Gold due to the enormous gold deposits in the region. But the largest city in South Africa is intrinsically related to Jerusalem which was also dubbed ‘the City of Gold” in a famous Naomi Shemer song composed in 1967. Three weeks after the song was written, IDF troops entered Jerusalem, singing the song, unifying the city that was the heart of the Jewish people.

Expert Verification: Inexplicable Engravings, Miraculous Explanations

The owner of the stone asked Fox to travel to Israel in order to convince Dr. Joan Goodnick Westenholz, Chief Curator at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem, to come to South Africa to examine the stone. Not only did the Bible Lands Museum host an impressive display of archaeological artifacts, many from the Biblical period, but it also contained the largest exhibit of ancient jewelry in the world.

While discussing the stone, Dr. Westenholz mentioned the tradition of the urim v’tummim and Fox interjected, “This stone speaks.” Dr. Westenholz was visibly intrigued by his statement. 

Fox succeeded in convincing Dr. Westenholz to travel to South Africa where she insisted on taking the stone to a laboratory for a full evaluation. Despite not being a religiously observant Jew, Dr. Westenholz was so impressed by seeing the sardonyx that she was concerned about transferring ritual impurity to the stone. She refused to touch it without gloves. In her notarized report, she observed what appeared to be two engravings under the surface of the stone, one of which she identified as a bet’. 

“What was remarkable was that the engravings were under the surface and followed the curvature of the stone,” Fox said, “They were geologically formed, appearing under the microscope like little bubbles formed into a perfect shape as the stone itself was formed.”

This was the point at which his artistic abilities came into play. Fox sketched the stone, including outlines of the two engravings. 

“They had no idea what the second engraving was,” Fox said. “After seeing my sketches, she suddenly realized that it was a wolf. She noted that the wolf corresponded to the blessing Jacob gave Benjamin.

Binyamin is a wolf that raveneth; in the morning he devoureth the prey, and at even he divideth the spoil. Genesis 49:27

After inspecting the stone under a microscope, Dr. Westnholtz determined that the tools used and the polish indicated the stone had been manufactured in the Middle East during the time the Children of Israel left Egypt.

The Story Continues

The owner of the stone was thrilled with the assessment but the process of verifying the stone continued for several more years. Though it is impossible to definitively determine the age of the stone, Dr. James Strange, a noted professor in religious studies and archaeology, who inspected the sardonyx in 2000 was perplexed at what he saw. 

“I was unaware that anyone in the late Middle Ages had the technology to cut a hemisphere in such a medium, so I tried to exhaust all other explanations,” he told Breaking Israel News in an interview in 2016.

Even more astounding than the cut of the stone was the inexplicable inscription inside the stone, visible through the clear surface: two letters in ancient Hebrew. Dr. Stone wrote in his appraisal of the gem, “There is no modern or ancient technology known to me by which an artisan could produce the inscription, as it is not cut into the surface of the stone.”

It is interesting to note that according to Jewish tradition, the stones of the breastplate were engraved by the shamir, a worm capable of cutting the hardest rock with absolute precision. The shamir was reputed to have existed in the time of Moses, as one of the ten wonders created on the eve of the first Sabbath, just before God finished creation.

Dr. Stone consulted with Ian Campbell, Director of the Independent Coloured Stones Laboratory in Johannesburg and a leading South African gemologist. Mr. Campbell, photomicrographed (photographing via a microscope) the stone, confirming it had not been cut open to make the inscription.

Professor M. Sharon from the University of Witwatersrand and an expert in ancient Hebrew, inspected the stones and noted the inscriptions in ancient Hebrew script of what he described as “the equivalent of our ‘B’ and ‘K’.” He identified the style of script, dating it to be from the year 1000 BCE, give or take 200-300 years.

“Due to the clarity of the letters and their fine definition it would be incredible if they are a coincidental natural formation in the stone,” he stated in his notarized report. “The lack of any apparent sign of interference with the surface makes the existence of the letters inside the stone a real enigma.”

Dr. Westenholz and Ian Campbell have since passed away, but Breaking Israel News was able to confirm that their statements and documentation were genuine. Campbell’s apprentice, Jeremy Rothon, confirmed the original appraisal and told Breaking Israel News that he was well aware of the stone’s heritage. It had made an enormous impression on Campbell and he had discussed it at length with his student.

The family’s initial nervousness proved to be justified. The stone was eventually verified by several experts who appraised its value at approximately $200 million. 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10183

Is this altar in Europe the portal for Satan?

Exclusive: Scott Lively believes several Antichrists have come and gone through history

By Scott Lively
Published November 4, 2019 at 6:58pm

Years ago I spoke at a Bible conference in Bournemouth, England, which opened numerous doors to missionary adventures for me. One was an area of personal study and travel that greatly expanded my understanding of how Satan and the demonic realm accesses and operates in the physical world. That door was opened during a break in the conference when one of my hosts played “The Rape of Europe,” a documentary by British evangelist David Hathaway. The title frames the Greek myth of the rape of Europa by Zeus as a metaphor for the cultural rape of Europe by Islam. That myth, depicted on the euro currency, features Zeus/Satan in the form of a bull with crescent shaped horns being ridden by a woman, Europa.

The Rape of Europe (2002) is a work of compelling scholarship, carefully documenting the demonic origins of the European Union, framed as the fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Released before the Soros Open Borders agenda became overt globalist policy, it is also prophetic of today’s geopolitical realities.

The film includes commentary about the two primary exhibits of Berlin’s Pergamum Museum. The first is the Pergamum Altar, called Satan’s Seat in Revelation 2:13. The second is Babylon’s Ishtar Gate, historically called the “Gate to Hell” because it is decorated with 337 images of Marduk, the serpent god: 337 being symbolic of Sheol (hell) in Hebrew numerology. In demonology, Marduk (aka Bel, aka Baal, aka Zeus) is Satan, and Ishtar (aka Astarte, aka Ashteroth, aka Europa) is Satan’s female consort.

Significantly, these two enormous exhibits are not replicas but the originals. The Seat of Satan was shipped in pieces from Turkey to Germany starting in the 1880s, and the Ishtar Gate starting in 1913. In 1902 Kaiser (Caesar) Wilhelm II, last king of the Holy Roman Empire’s Second Reich, publicly celebrated the reconstruction of the Pergamum Altar in Berlin as his highest achievement.

Hathaway argues persuasively that Catholic Germany, or more specifically it’s political creation called the European Union (established through the Treaty of Rome), is the reemergent Roman Empire predicted in the “four kingdoms” prophecy of Daniel 2. Few Christians today realize that Adolf Hitler’s “Third Reich” was the third iteration of the Holy Roman Empire in Europe. Nor is it widely known that the plans for the EU were originally drawn up by Hitler.

Hathaway also heavily implied that the two artifacts in Berlin played a controlling role in German’s emergence as the center of evil in the world, typified by the two German-driven world wars and the Holocaust. I determined to test this theory for myself.

I began by assuming the Bible asserts a literal truth in Revelation 2:13 that Satan dwelt in Pergamum and this altar was his seat. I questioned first whether it was actually a portal allowing demonic access to the physical world, and if so whether its range of influence was defined by the territory under the de facto legal control (ownership) of the nation in possession of it. I then questioned whether other portals existed and whether their influence could be clearly recognized.

The Pergamum Altar was built by King Eumenes II of Pergamos, roughly upon the death of Antiochus IV Epiphanes in 164 B.C. Antiochus is literally the Antichrist figure of the Book of Daniel, whose wickedness is extensively chronicled in the apocryphal books of 1 and 2 Maccabees. Eumenes II was his political patron and military ally who helped Antiochus forcibly take the throne of the Greek Selucid Empire. The capital of the Selucid Empire was “Babylon,” which means “Gateway of the gods,” a name I now believe was literally true.

King Eumenes II appears to have built the Seat of Satan as a portal through which Satan could return to possess a replacement human host. That hypothesis in turn suggests there have been a long series of “Antichrists” through human history – both preceding and succeeding Antiochus. I now use the term “Antichrist” as the designation for any human being in physical possession of the demon Satan, and realize that he seeks always to be in possession of someone: choosing whomever can best serve his agenda at any given time. Importantly, while the Bible teaches that angels can take human form, all demons – even their king – must possess a human or animal to operate in the physical realm.

I have identified a great number of men who clearly fit both the character profile and the timeline of Antichrist succession, starting with Bible history in Scripture, but continuing through secular history to the present. Every one from 164 B.C. to the end of the third century A.D., and from its excavation in the late 1800s to the present, can be tied to the Pergamum Altar.

Most disturbing to me is the timeline from 1945 to 1961 when the United States had de facto ownership of the Seat of Satan as the dominant power of the Allied occupation of Germany until the Berlin Wall went up (which gave ownership to the Soviet Union until German reunification in 1990). That 1945-61 window is precisely when America was shifted by our Supreme Court under the control of anti-Christian Justice Hugo Black from a biblical to a humanist foundation, and an army of freshly legally empowered militant atheists began systematically dismantling our Judeo-Christian infrastructure from coast to coast.

In the course of my worldwide investigations I was privileged to receive a personal tour of the Pergamum Museum by Col. Eugene Bird, former commandant of Spandau Prison (housing the Nazi war criminals convicted at Nuremberg) who was also the American military designee who officiated the transition of power over East Berlin to the Soviets. Interestingly, given the Islamic connection of this article, our departure from the museum was halted by armed security to make way for Pervez Musharef, prime minister of Pakistan, who passed closely by us on the walkway to the main entrance.

That’s all I can fit in this column, but if you want more I can send you a sample of my book-in-progress, “The Dynasty of Darkness,” by request.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10179

Hundreds Of Earthquakes Rattle The U.S. As The Level Of Seismic Activity In North America Continues To Rise

November 3, 2019 by Michael Snyder

Why is the mainstream media being so quiet about all of the seismic activity that has been happening all across the United States?  During the last 7 days, there has been an earthquake swarm directly along the New Madrid Fault zone, Kansas and Oklahoma have been hit by a very unusual number of significant quakes, and there have been several sizable seismic events in the vicinity of the Yellowstone supervolcano.  But of course the west coast is getting hammered more than anyone else.  According to Cal Tech, there have been more than 1000 earthquakes in California and Nevada over the last week, but of course most of them have been very small.  Overall, the latest USGS numbers tell us that there have been more than 2,000 earthquakes nationally during the last 7 days, and apparently we aren’t supposed to be alarmed by that.  But could it be possible that all of this seismic activity is leading up to something really big?

Over the weekend, we witnessed some very unusual quakes in the middle of the country.  On Sunday, a magnitude 3.2 earthquake rattled Kansas…

The Kansas quake hit at 9:08 p.m. Central time near South Hutchinson, northwest of Wichita, according to the USGS. About 175 people reported feeling the tremor, some as far away as Osborne and Concordia, Kansas.

Thankfully that quake hit in an area with a very low population density, and so it didn’t affect that many people.

But then on Sunday, a series of relatively large earthquakes hammered Oklahoma

A 3.0-magnitude earthquake hit near Fairview in northern Oklahoma, at 1 a.m. Sunday, followed by a 2.6-magnitude quake at 1:37 a.m. near Quinton in eastern Oklahoma, the USGS reports. A 2.7-magnitude tremor rattled Waukomis in northern Oklahoma at 4:25 p.m. Saturday

Overall, there have been 143 earthquakes in Oklahoma in the last 30 days, and the increasing level of seismic activity in that part of the nation definitely has a lot of people on edge.

But of much greater concern is what has been happening along the west coast.  The two major quakes that hit California in July were followed by more than 100,000 aftershocks, and scientists are warning that this “may have increased stress on parts of a major dormant fault line”

A series of earthquakes which shook Southern California earlier this year may have increased stress on parts of a major dormant fault line which has not produced any significant activity since records began, according to a study.

Scientists from the University of Iowa examined the so-called Ridgecrest earthquakes, which began with a 6.4 magnitude foreshock in the Mojave Desert on July 4, followed the next day by a 7.1 magnitude quake—the largest in Southern California for two decades. In addition, more than 100,000 smaller aftershocks were recorded.

The “dormant fault line” which they are talking about is the Garlock Fault.

And the Garlock Fault runs directly into the San Andreas Fault.

One day there will be a massive quake that fundamentally alters the geography of southern California, and let us hope that day is delayed for as long as possible.

Meanwhile, we have also witnessed some unusual rumbling off the coast farther north.

In fact, five large earthquakes were detected off of the Oregon coast last month.  The following comes from a news story that was posted on October 21st

A magnitude-4.6 earthquake Monday morning became the fifth to strike off the Oregon coast since the beginning of the month.

The quake rumbled around 6:47 a.m. about 120 miles west of Bandon and at a depth of roughly 6 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

On Thursday, a magnitude-4.7 temblor struck about 95 miles from Port Orford — just hours after students in Coos and Curry counties participated in an annual earthquake drill.

The reason why these quakes are so alarming is because they happened in the vicinity of the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

As Steve Quayle recently told Greg Hunter, someday the Cascadia Subduction Zone will suddenly come to life, and it will be the greatest natural disaster that we have seen so far in all of American history…

What’s the worst case scenario if the Cascadia Subduction Zone lets loose and volcanos, earthquakes and tsunamis are unleashed? Quayle says “The amount of damage, and I am going to choose my words carefully, is going to be precedent setting. It’s going to be the combination of volcanos going off that are inland from the subduction zone where the plates meet, coupled with tsunamis. . . . When this happens, you will lose eight million to twenty million people. When it happens, you will lose all productivity in the electronic field, obviously Silicon Valley, and all food production in all of California, Oregon and Washington. When it happens, you will have a State of Emergency unlike any other. How about the refugees? There will be 3.5 million refugees to take care of. When this happens, what happens to the underground aquifers, and where does everybody go for fresh water? There will be years of drought, years of famine and years of water, water where did it all go? It is a very dire situation painted by computer models. This is not a sensational thing. It is a reality based, scientific study with the application of what happens.”

Quayle warns that the public would likely have roughly “15 minutes to get to safety,” and “the tsunami waves would be 500 to 1,500 feet tall.”

You can see the trailer for the new film that is being produced about the Cascadia Subduction Zone right here.  I am so glad that this movie is being made, because I have been trying to warn people about what is going to happen for a long time.  For example, the following comes from one of my previous articles entitled “You Have Been Warned: Experts Tell Us That A Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake And Tsunami Will Destroy Everything West Of Interstate 5”

One day it will happen. With little or no warning, the Cascadia Subduction Zone will produce a catastrophic earthquake and accompanying tsunami that will essentially destroy everything west of Interstate 5 in the Pacific Northwest. It will be the worst natural disaster up to that point in American history, and as you will see below, the experts are saying that we are completely and utterly unprepared for it. Of course the San Andreas Fault gets more publicity, but the truth is that the Cascadia Subduction Zone is capable of producing a quake “almost 30 times more energetic” than anything the San Andreas Fault can produce.

Scientists assure us that it is just a matter of time before such a disaster takes place.

So essentially those living right along the coast are taking a huge gamble.

Day after day, they hope that there is still at least a little bit more time before the Cascadia Subduction Zone absolutely devastates the Northwest.

Of course up until now that gamble has paid off, but one day their luck will suddenly run out.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10175

Horn of the Stone Altar Discovered at Shiloh

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz November 1, 2019 , 12:02 pm

And the height of the mizbayach hearth shall be 4 amot, with 4 horns projecting upward from the hearth: 4 amot. Ezekiel 43:15 (The Israel Bible™)

Excavations at the Biblical Tel Shiloh, a potential site of the Jewish Tabernacle. (Wikimedia Commons)

The archaeological dig at Shiloh in Samaria has produced yet another wonder straight out of the Bible: stone horns from the altar that once stood in front of the Tabernacle.

Archeologists and volunteers from the Associates for Biblical Research in Texas, a Christian organization that brings together Biblical research and archaeology to mutually advance both disciplines, led by Dr. Scott Stripling, provost at The Bible Seminary in Katy (Houston) Texas, made the discovery. Dr. Stripling served as a field supervisor of the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project from 2005 to 2010 before moving on to lead the dig at Khirbet el-Maqatir from 2013 to 2017. Stripling moved his team ten miles north to Shiloh in 2017. 

In addition to its significant archaeological relevance, Shiloh is important for being mentioned in the Bible as being the site of the Jewish Tabernacle for 369 years. Dr. Stripling supports this claim though some archaeologists disagree. The claim is difficult to prove since the Tabernacle was a portable structure and had few elements that would remain intact to this day. 

Three altar horns were discovered during ABR’s excavations at Shiloh, Israel this season. Horn one: 38 cm long and 23.5 cm wide (15” x 9.25”). One of the few elements that would stand against the sands of time was the stone horn-shaped edge of an altar the researchers believe dates to the Iron Age (1200–586 BCE ). The horns were an essential part of the altar and used in the Temple service.

Slaughter the bull before Hashem, at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, and take some of the bull’s blood and put it on the horns of the mizbayach with your finger; then pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the mizbayach. Exodus 29:11-12

The horns also the means of obtaining sanctuary, though this was not always effective. Yoav attempted to use this as a means of obtaining sanctuary from King Solomon but was struck down anyway by order of the king.

When the news reached Yoav, he fled to the Tent of Hashem and grasped the horns of the mizbayach—for Yoav had sided with Adoniyahu, though he had not sided with Avshalom… So Benaiah son of Yehoyada went up and struck him down. And he was buried at his home in the wilderness. I Kings 2:28-34

The horns were also described as an essential element of the soon-to-be Third Temple.

And the height of the mizbayach hearth shall be 4 amot, with 4 horns projecting upward from the hearth: 4 amot. Ezekiel 43:15

According to Biblical accounts, the Tabernacle stood in Shiloh until the First Temple was built in Jerusalem. The age of the find is significant as archeologists have discovered a change of cultures in the region, transitioning in the period between 1200 BCE – 1000 BCE from a Canaanite culture to the Tribes of Israel and the Philistines.

Last year, the team uncovered a ceramic pomegranate, a motif that has been found at other sites connected with the priests. Dr. Stripling believes the ceramic ornament fitted with hooks hung from the hen of the priestly garments as described in the Bible. 

On its hem make pomegranates of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, all around the hem, with bells of gold between them all around:a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, all around the hem of the robe. Exodus 28:33-34

“The pomegranate is a sacred motif,” he said. “The only sites in Israel where we have found pomegranates like this one have been Levitical sites.”

They also discovered many pithoi, a Greek term for large clay containers commonly used among the civilizations that bordered the Mediterranean Sea in the Neolithic, the Bronze Age and the succeeding Iron Age for storing fluids and grains. In an interview with the Jerusalem Post, Dr. Stripling theorized that the pithoi were used to store the tithes that were brought to the tabernacle.

“The artifacts and materials we have found are consistent with the Tabernacle but the Tabernacle itself was made of animal skins,” Stripling explained. “Very little of the Tabernacle would remain for us to find.”

“I can tell with 100 percent certainty that there were Israelites in Shiloh because of the many indicators we have,” Dr. Stripling told Breaking Israel News. “The pottery shows that they were there when the Bible says they were there. I cannot yet say that I have 100 percent archaeological evidence the Jewish Tabernacle stood at Shiloh. We do find many reasons to seek confirmation of the Biblical text. There are indications, like the large amount of animal bones that are consistent with the Biblical sacrificial system, and the large east-west walls we are excavating.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10171