Category: Ancient Cilvilizations and Giants

Gold Earring Discovered by Archaeologists Confirms Babylonian Conquest of Jerusalem

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz August 12, 2019 , 1:44 pm

“He burned the House of Hashem, the king’s palace, and all the houses of Yerushalayim; he burned down the house of every notable person.” II Kings 25:9 (The Israel Bible™)

Archaeologists from the University of North Carolina made a remarkable discovery while digging on Mount Zion in Jerusalem that is evidence of the Babylonian conquest of the city in 586 BCE: a golden earring.

Dr. Rafi Lewis, co-director of the project, explained the importance of the tiny earring.

“With finds like this, there is a material value but, more importantly, there is a spiritual and emotional value,” Dr. Lewis told Breaking Israel News. “On that level, this find is quite literally priceless. We can establish the context as the destruction of the First Temple without any doubt. We have made similar finds outside of the city but this is the first time we made such finds inside the city.”

Gold Earring (courtesy: The Mount Zion Archaeological Excavations )

Lewis noted that the earring hinted at many aspects of the era.

“It gives us an idea of the richness of Jerusalem at the time,” Dr. Lewis said. “This is something aristocratic. It could have been a piece of jewelry or hung from an article of clothing or even a bigger artifact. It was clearly something important. If I had something similar, references, I would know more. But this find was really unique.”

The dig has been conducted for over a decade by the Mount Zion Archaeological Project, co-directed by UNC Charlotte professor of history Shimon Gibson, Dr. Lewis, a senior lecturer at Ashkelon Academic College and a fellow of Haifa University, and James Tabor, UNC Charlotte professor of religious studies.

“This is not proof of the destruction of the Temple since the dig is on Mount Zion, some distance from the Temple Mount,” Lewis said, noting that there has been no archaeological work permitted on the Temple Mount due to the political and religious sensitivity. “But this is certainly proof of the destruction of Jerusalem.”

The last time there were studies done on the Temple Mount were under Charles Warren in 1867.

The earring was found in a layer of ash that also contained bronze and iron arrowheads, Iron Age potsherds, and lamps. Lewis explained that the arrowheads were of Scythian origin. The Scythians, believed to be Eurasian nomads, were mercenary archers hired by the Babylonians. Such arrowheads have been found at other archaeological conflict sites in Israel and outside dating from the 7th and 6th centuries BCE. 

“They were like the special forces since the Scythians were the best archers of the time,” Lewis said. “Also from this, we know that this was a scene of a Babylonian battle. We can say for certain that the archaeological context of the site was the taking of Jerusalem.”

The researchers noted that the location helped identify the story behind the find.

“We know where the ancient fortification line ran,” Dr. Gibson said in a press release on Eureka Alert. “so we know we are within the city. We know that this is not some dumping area, but the south-western neighborhood of the Iron Age city—during the 8th century BCE the urban area extended from the City of David area to the south-east and as far as the Western Hill where we are digging.”

The ashen layer was a clear sign to the researchers that they were investigating the scene of a battle.

“For archaeologists, an ashen layer can mean a number of different things,” Gibson said. “It could be ashy deposits removed from ovens, or it could be localized burning of garbage. However, in this case, the combination of an ashy layer full of artifacts, mixed with arrowheads, and a very special ornament indicates some kind of devastation and destruction. Nobody abandons golden jewelry and nobody has arrowheads in their domestic refuse.”

The researchers were able to date the layer by the potsherds found. The disarray suggested that it coincided with a battle.

“It’s the kind of jumble that you would expect to find in a ruined household following a raid or battle,” Gibson said. “Household objects, lamps, broken bits from pottery which had been overturned and shattered… and arrowheads and a piece of jewelry which might have been lost and buried in the destruction.”

The lamps were identified as the typical high-based pinched lamps of the period and were typical of such sites but the jewelry, most notably the gold and silver earring, was unusual for sites that had undergone a battle.

“Frankly, jewelry is a rare find at conflict sites, because this is exactly the sort of thing that attackers will loot and later melt down,” Gibson said.

Gibson associated the site with a section of the Book of II Kings describing the destruction of Jerusalem.

He burned the House of Hashem, the king’s palace, and all the houses of Yerushalayim; he burned down the house of every notable person. II Kings 25:9

 “This spot would have been at an ideal location, situated as it is close to the western summit of the city with a good view overlooking Solomon’s Temple and Mount Moriah to the north-east,” Gibson said. “We have high expectations of finding much more of the Iron Age city in future seasons of work. “

The researchers were excited that their find was linked to an event with such historical and Biblical significance.

Dr. Lewis noted that in the field of archaeology, the Bible and science could coexist.

“The Bible is certainly one of our sources,” Dr. Lewis said. “You have to treat it respectfully. It represents something spiritual and was not written as a history book. It was written as a religious book but there is a historical base and root. But we cannot reject the Bible when studying archaeology. I would not rely on the Bible exclusively just like I would not rely on any other source exclusively. We need as many sources as possible and the Bible can be one of them.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9989

The Fierce Amorites and the First King of the Babylonian Empire

The Amorites, also called Amurru or Martu, were an ancient Semitic-speaking people who dominated the history of Mesopotamia, Syria, and Palestine from about 2000 to 1600 BC. Tribal nomads who forced themselves into the lands that they needed; the Amorites were reputedly fierce warriors.

They twice conquered Babylonia and Mesopotamia (at the end of the third and the beginning of the first millennium), establishing new city states; the most famous of which became Babylon. Their most noted king, Hammurabi, was the first king of the Babylon Empire.

The Amorites Nomadic Ways

The name Amorite literally means the “high one.” In the Mesopotamian sources from Sumer, Akkad, and Assyria, Amorites appear as a nomadic people and are connected with the mountainous region of Jebel Bishri in northern Syria, called “the mountain of the Amorites.” They were an ancient tribe of Canaanites, though technically not of Canaanite ethnicity, which inhabited the region northeast of the Jordan River.

Amorites were apparently nomadic clans ruled by tribal chiefs, who pushed into lands they needed to graze their herds. Some Akkadian literature speaks disparagingly of them, and implies that both the Akkadians and Sumerians viewed their nomadic way of life with disgust and contempt:

“The MARTU who know no grain…. The MARTU who know no house nor town, the boors of the mountains…. The MARTU who digs up truffles… who does not bend his knees [to cultivate the land], who eats raw meat, who has no house during his lifetime, who is not buried after death…” (Chiera 1934, 58, 112).

“Men of Great Stature”

In Egypt, the Amorites were called “Amar” and were represented on monuments with fair skin, light hair, blue eyes, curved noses, and pointed beards. They were supposedly men of great stature. One of their kings, Og, was described by Moses (Deuteronomy 3:11) as the last “of the remnant of the giants,” and whose bed was 13.5 feet (4 meters) long.

Amorite Religion and Language

The Amorites lived in close contact with the Sumerians for a long period of time (preceding their ascendency over the region) and it’s possible they adopted elements of the Sumerian religion over several centuries. The Amorites did merge a new god into the Sumerian religion , Marduk, which they elevated to the supreme position over all the other gods. Known as the storm-god, Marduk came to assume the role of chief deity, and the story of his rise to supremacy was dramatically told in the epic myth known as the Enuma Elish. The Amorites also worshipped the moon-god Sin, and Amurru.

Amorites wrote in a dialect of Akkadian found on tablets at the ancient city of Mari (modern day Syria) dating from 1800 BC. Since their language shows northwest Semitic forms, words and constructions, it is believed to have been a northwest branch of the Canaanite languages, whose other dialects included Hebrew and Phoenician. The main sources for knowledge about their language are their proper names which survive in non-Amorite text.

Many of these names are similar to later Biblical Hebrew names. In the dark age, between 1600 and 1100 BC, the Amorite language disappeared from Babylonia and the mid-Euphrates. In Syria and Palestine, however, it became dominant and is found in ancient inscriptions which date near to the end of the second millennium BC.

Conquering Mesopotamia and Babylon

The decline of the Sumerian language in Mesopotamia was also the time of the most famous Amorite invasion. The last Sumerian dynasty fell around 2000 BC and Mesopotamia drifted into conflict and chaos for almost a century afterward. Around 1900 BC the Amorites had managed to gain control of most of the Mesopotamian region.

Inscriptions and tablets by the early Babylonians indicate that they occupied parts of Syria, the land east of Israel by 1900 BC. Already established in mid-Mesopotamia, the Amorites started sacking Neo-Sumerian towns, eventually conquering Babylon and making it their capital in 1959 BC. Ur, the capital of the Sumerian civilization, would survive another nine years, until it was taken by the Elamites.

At first, the Amorites were merely an annoyance to the Ur Empire, but eventually they undermined it to such an extent that the position of last king, Ibbi-Sin, was weakened, and his subjects were able to over-throw his rule. By the time of the last days of the Neo-Sumerian Empire, immigrating Amorites had become such a force that kings were obliged to construct a 170-mile (270-kilometer) -long wall from the Tigris to the Euphrates to hold them off.

The Amorites based their capital in the city of Babylon, which was originally called Akkad, and later served as the center of their empire. For this reason, the Amorites are sometimes called the Old Babylonians and the period of their ascendancy over the region, which lasted from 1900-1600 BC, is called the Old Babylonian period.

King Hammurabi and the Eventual Fall of the Amorites

The Amorites established their authority as the absolute Arabian / Semitic dynasty by crushing the Elamites and starting the short-lived Babylonian Empire . They were ruled by their King Hammurabi from 1792 to 1750 BC. He was best known for the set of laws called Hammurabi’s Code, which constitute one of the earliest surviving codes of law in recorded history. With his death in 1750 BC, the empire disintegrated into smaller city states ruled by weaker kings.

In northern Mesopotamia, both the Amorites and Babylonians were driven from Assyria by Puzur-Sin a native Akkadian-speaking ruler, circa 1740 BC. Around the same time, native Akkadian speakers threw off Amorite Babylonian rule in the far south of Mesopotamia. Babylon proper survived for another 100 years.

In 1659 BC, the technologically-advanced Hittites conquered Babylon. After its fall, the Amorite dialect disappeared and was replaced by an Assyro-Akkadian dialect, interrupting the gap between Old and Neo-Babylonian and clearly showing that the East Canaanites had disappeared from Mesopotamia.

In the later second millennium BC, the Amorites migrated or were pushed westward toward Canaan. There, the Israelites treated them as enemies and left several records of their defeat by Israelite heroes such as Joshua. The Amorites disappeared from the historical record as a distinct population group around the sixth century BC.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9981

Archaeologist Says a Stone Pillar in the City of David is Where Abraham Met Melchizedek

07-10-2019

Chris Mitchell

JERUSALEM, Israel – An Israeli archaeologist has uncovered the remains of an altar believed to be from around the time when Abraham met the high priest Melchizedek in Jerusalem. 

Archaeologist Eli Shukron has spent much of his life looking for Bible history in the City of David.  Shukron gave CBN News an exclusive look at what he feels is one of his most important discoveries kept under lock and key that dates back 4000 years – a stone pillar.


Shukron says the pillar, found in the City of David, is just like the one described in Genesis 28 when Jacob had a dream in Bethel of a ladder reaching up to Heaven.  After the dream, Jacob said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!  Then Jacob rose early in the morning and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it.”

Shukron believes Melchizedek set a stone pillar up in Jerusalem just as Jacob did in Bethel. 

“We are in a very, very important place.  Go back to Melchizedek.  Go back to Abraham’s time.  Understand which way these people are worshipping God in the beginning,” said Shukron.

Shukron says it contrasts with ancient worship in other places. 

“If you’re going at that time to other places in the world in Egypt or Mesopotamia you can see temples, gold and idols and I don’t know pillars.  Here it’s simple.  The stone, animals, animals, sacrifice.  The stone is the house of God.  No gold and diamonds.  Everything is simple.  This is what God wants us to be, simple.  It’s fantastic.  For what? For what reason?  To connect with God.”

Shukron says the combination of the altar for sacrifice, the blood channel, the olive press for anointing oil, the place to tie up the sacrificial animals; where they divided the sacrifice that led him to believe this was the place where Melchizedek met Abraham.   

Genesis 14 describes the meeting: “ Then Melchizedek King of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High.   And he blessed him and said:  Blessed be Abram of God most high, possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.  And he gave him a tithe of all.”

After Melchizedek blessed Abraham, Abraham gave him a tithe.

“Why give him a tithe?  Because he was worshipping God,” Shukron said.

The blessing of bread and wine is a tradition and way of life that continues some 4000 years later. 

“What are we doing today?  The Jewish, the Christian.  What are we doing?  We are blessing the bread and wine in a different way but blessing bread and wine,” Shukron said. “Where [did] all [of that start?] Here in the City of David in the Temple of Melchizedek.  This is the place.  This is where we are and this is amazing to understand that.”

This area is still being excavated and one day the public should be able to see for themselves where Shukron believes Abraham met Melchizedek.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9937

Archaeologists say they found town where future King David took refuge from Saul

By Amanda Borschel-Dan Today, 10:16 am

In a finding sure to inflame the debate about the historicity of the biblical King David, an international team of archaeologists claims to have identified the lost city of Ziklag.

Based on artifacts and carbon 14 dating results of excavations since 2015, scholars proposed Monday that the archaeological site of Khirbet a-Ra‘i in the Judaean foothills is the site of the elusive Philistine town.

As attested in the books of Samuel, Ziklag, located between Kiryat Gat and Lachish, provided refuge to the future king David when he was on the run from King Saul. After his sojourn in Ziklag, David ascended the throne in Hebron.

According to a joint press release from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Israel Antiquities Authority, archaeologists discovered remains of a Philistine settlement from the 12-11th centuries BCE, which was followed by a rural settlement dating to the early 10th century BCE, which is in keeping with the biblical account. Carbon 14 dating supports the archaeologists’ timeline and identification, according to the press release.

As recorded in the Hebrew Bible, David settled at Ziklag for 14 months under the patronage of the Philistine King Achish of Gat, with 600 of his men and their families, and used it as a base to raid neighboring peoples.

While the then-Philistine vassal David attempted to join the army of his Philistine lord Achish to defeat Saul, retaliating Amalekites razed the town and took off with the Israelites’ women and children, along with much booty. (Spoiler: In the end, David prevailed.)

According to the press release, in addition to the cultural transition between Philistine buildings and the presumed later Israelite camp, the Davidic-era settlement shows remains of an intense fire that destroyed it.

Later in the Hebrew Bible, in the Book of Nehemiah, the town is mentioned again as a base for Jews who returned from Babylon.

For decades, archaeologists have sought the location of the elusive Ziklag, for which roughly a dozen sites have been suggested, without scholarly consensus. Those previous sites were largely dismissed due to lack of signs of settlement transitioning from Philistine cultural evidence to Israelite remains from the time of David, or due to lack of evidence of the widespread ruin wrought by the Amalekites, as described in the Hebrew Bible.

According to leading archaeologists Prof. Yosef Garfinkel, head of the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; the IAA’s Saar Ganor; and Dr. Kyle Keimer and Dr. Gil Davis of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, the proposed site of Khirbet a-Ra‘i has all the required qualifications.

The joint IAA and Hebrew University press release said that after seven dig seasons that uncovered some 1,000 sq.m., the archaeological team found evidence of a Philistine-era settlement from the 12-11th centuries BCE, among which were massive stone structures and typical Philistine cultural artifacts, including stylized pottery in foundation deposits — good luck offerings laid beneath a building’s flooring.

Those artifacts, along with stone and metal tools, are similar to ones found in other Philistine cities, including Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ekron and Gath.

The name Ziklag is of Philistine origin and does not have roots in Semitic languages. Recently, a large scientific study of Philistine DNA matched their origins to the Aegean region, which had similar pottery styles during the 12th century BCE, the time period in which the Philistine ancestors are thought to have migrated to the Land of Israel.

At Khirbet a-Ra‘i to date, archaeologists have uncovered some 100 complete pottery vessels used for storing wine and oil, among other uses. According to Garfinkel, who led excavations at the contemporary fortified Judaean city of Sha‘arayim (Khirbet Qeiyafa), jugs and bowls decorated with a “red slipped and hand-burnished” finish are typical of the period of King David.

The excavations leading to the new proposed identification for Ziklag were funded by Joey Silver of Jerusalem, Aron Levy of New Jersey, and the Roth Family and Isaac Wakil both of Sydney.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9924

Biblical Archaeologists Discover Stunning 1,600-Year Old Mosaic In Northern Israel Depicting End Times Prophecy From Book Of Daniel

Biblical archaeologists in Huqoq discovered mosaics depicting four beasts described in Chapter 7 of the Book of Daniel. The beasts represented four kingdoms preceding the end of days. “The Daniel panel is interesting because it points to eschatological, or end of day, expectations among this congregation,” said Magness, in the statement. “The Elim panel is interesting as it is generally considered a fairly minor episode in the Israelites’ desert wanderings ­­– which raises the question of why it was significant to this Jewish congregation in Lower Galilee.” The excavation marked the ninth year of digs at the Huqoq site.

by Geoffrey Grider July 3, 2019

Biblical archaeologists in Huqoq have uncovered a stunning 1,600-year-old biblical mosaic in northern Israel depicting four beasts described in Chapter 7 of the Book of Daniel. The beasts represented four kingdoms preceding the end of days.

New archaeological discoveries are coming to the surface on nearly a monthly basis now, a veritable flood of artifacts confirming not only the history of the Jewish people in the land of Israel, but shedding new light on Bible prophecy as well. This latest find in Huqoq has to do with both the Exodus of the Jews, and the 4 Beasts of the end times we read about in Daniel 7.

“Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was likethe fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” Daniel 7:2-4,9,10 (KJV)

I find it so amazing that as these long-buried archaeological treasures are coming to light, that the human race stands on the very precipice of watching the prophecies they reference about to come true in stunning fashion.

I was not able to locate a picture of the Daniel mosaic the article references, but had a great phone call with Carly from University of North Carolina, the team that found the mosaics and she said she would forward that to me as soon as it becomes available.

1,600-year-old biblical mosaic discovered in Israel sheds light on Bible prophecy and revelation

FROM FOX NEWS: The mosaic, which depicts a scene from the book of Exodus, was found at the site of a fifth-century synagogue in Huqoq. Excavation director Jodi Magness, a professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said the mosaic was the first depiction of the episode of Elim from Exodus 15:27 ever found in ancient Jewish art. “Elim is where the Israelites camped after leaving Egypt and wandering in the wilderness without water,” she explained in a statement, noting that the mosaic is separated into three registers or horizontal strips.

One register showed clusters of dates being harvested by loincloth-clad agricultural workers while another showed a row of wells and date palms, she explained. “On the left side of the panel, a man in a short tunic is carrying a water jar and entering the arched gate of a city flanked by crenellated towers. An inscription above the gate reads, ‘And they came to Elim’,” Magness added.

Chapter 7 in the book of Daniel describes four beasts which represent the four kingdoms leading up to the end of days. This year our team discovered mosaics in the synagogue’s north aisle depicting these four beasts, as indicated by a fragmentary Aramaic inscription referring to the first beast: a lion with eagle’s wings. The lion itself is not preserved, nor is the third beast.  However, the second beast from Daniel 7:4 – a bear with three ribs protruding from its mouth – is preserved. So is most of the fourth beast, which is described in Daniel 7:7 as having iron teeth.

Archaeologists also discovered mosaics depicting four beasts described in Chapter 7 of the Book of Daniel. The beasts represented four kingdoms preceding the end of days.

“The Daniel panel is interesting because it points to eschatological, or end of day, expectations among this congregation,” said Magness, in the statement. “The Elim panel is interesting as it is generally considered a fairly minor episode in the Israelites’ desert wanderings ­­– which raises the question of why it was significant to this Jewish congregation in Lower Galilee.”

The excavation marked the ninth year of digs at the Huqoq site. The first mosaics were discovered in 2012. Between 2014 and 2017, archaeologists discovered mosaics depicting Noah’s Ark, the parting of the Red Sea, Jonah and the fish and the Tower of Babel, painting a fascinating picture of life at the ancient site.

In 2018 researchers also announced the discovery of a stunning mosaic depicting a biblical scene from Numbers 13:23. Labeled “a pole between two,” the panel showed two spies sent by Moses to explore the biblical land of Canaan.

Another mosaic discovered at Huqoq includes a depiction of Samson. There also has been an ongoing debate about whether a mosaic uncovered in 2016 portrays Alexander the Great. The purported Alexander the Great mosaic was the first non-biblical story ever found decorating an ancient synagogue

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9919

IN HIS STEPS: Biblical Archaeologists In Israel Make Stunning Discovery Of 2,000 Year Old Pilgrimage Road That Jesus Would Have Walked Up To The Temple

When a sewage pipe burst in the middle of the neighbourhood of Silwan in southeast Jerusalem in 2004, workers were sent to fix the leak, accompanied by a team of archaeologists. During the repairs, workers stumbled upon some stairs close to where the Shiloah was believed to have once stood. This was the ancient pool Jewish pilgrims would dip in before beginning the religious ascent to the Temple. According to Doron Spielman, vice president of the Ir David Foundation (Elad), almost all Jewish pilgrims would have entered the city along this road. Spielman claims this is a road that Jesus almost certainly used during the Second Temple period.

by Geoffrey Grider June 28, 2019

The Pilgrimage Road goes all the way from the Shiloah Pool to the area adjacent to the Western Wall known as Robinson’s Arch, where today you can still see remnants of the ancient stairway that led into the Jewish Temple.

The deeper you dig anywhere in Israel, the more you discover remnants of the amazing and storied history of the Jewish people in the land. This latest find, a pilgrimage road dating back to the time of Jesus of Nazareth, is astonishing when you realize what it truly is. It’s the actual pathway that pilgrims, Jewish and gentile, walked to reach the Temple so they could worship God and offer sacrifice as commanded in the Law of Moses. Jesus Himself would have walked these steps, and very shortly you’ll be able to do the exact same thing when it will be opened to tourists.

“And at the fountain gate, which was over against them, they went up by the stairs of the city of David, at the going up of the wall, above the house of David, even unto the water gate eastward. And the other company of them that gave thanks went over against them, and I after them, and the half of the people upon the wall, from beyond the tower of the furnaces even unto the broad wall;” Nehemiah 12:37,38 (KJV)

When a sewage pipe burst in the middle of the neighbourhood of Silwan in southeast Jerusalem in 2004, workers were sent to fix the leak, accompanied by a team of archaeologists. During the repairs, workers stumbled upon some stairs close to where the Shiloah was believed to have once stood. This was the ancient pool Jewish pilgrims would dip in before beginning the religious ascent to the Temple. According to Doron Spielman, vice president of the Ir David Foundation (Elad), almost all Jewish pilgrims would have entered the city along this road. Spielman claims this is a road that Jesus almost certainly used during the Second Temple period.

To me, all these discoveries in the past few years relating to the last standing Jewish Temple sure makes me think that God is preparing the world to see the creation of another one. You know, the one that Daniel 9 and Jesus in Matthew 24 tell us will be used by Antichrist.

NEW DISCOVERY IN JERUSALEM’S CITY OF DAVID: 2,000-YEAR-OLD PILGRIMAGE ROAD

FROM THE JERUSALEM POST: In 2004, a sewage pipe burst in the middle of the neighborhood of Silwan in southeast Jerusalem. The municipality sent in a crew of construction workers to fix the leak, and as is the case in Jerusalem and especially in neighborhoods adjacent to the Old City, they were accompanied by a team of archeologists.

As the repairs progressed, the construction workers stumbled upon some long and wide stairs a few dozen meters from where the Shiloah – the ancient pool Jewish pilgrims would dip in before beginning the religious ascent to the Temple, until its destruction in 70 CE – was believed to have once stood. The steps were just like the ones that lead to the Hulda Gates, a set of now blocked entrances along the Temple Mount’s Southern Wall.

Discovery of the Shiloah Pool led to another monumental find – the central water drainage channel that had served ancient Jerusalem. This channel is the tunnel that visitors to the City of David – known as Ir David – get to walk through today, starting at the bottom of the Shiloah and emerging about 45 minutes later next to the Western Wall.

As is often the case with archeology, though, the first discovery or two are just the beginning. That is how a few weeks ago I found myself on an exclusive tour of an ancient road dug out beneath the village of Silwan and above the now well-known water channel (also the place where Jewish rebels made a final stand against the Roman invaders).

The ancient street is referred to as “Pilgrimage Road,” since archeologists are convinced that this is the path millions of Jews took three times a year when performing the commandment of aliyah l’regel – going up to the holy city of Jerusalem to bring sacrifices to God during Judaism’s three key holidays, Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot.

The Pilgrimage Road goes all the way from the Shiloah Pool to the area adjacent to the Western Wall known as Robinson’s Arch, where today you can still see remnants of the ancient stairway that led into the Jewish Temple.

Titus Flavius Josephus, the first-century Roman-Jewish historian, wrote that 2.7 million people used to visit Jerusalem during the various Jewish holidays, bringing with them some 256,000 sacrifices. Almost all of the Jewish pilgrims, according to Doron Spielman, vice president of the Ir David Foundation (Elad), would have entered the city on this road. It is a road that Jesus almost certainly used during the Second Temple period, alongside many of the famous Jewish scholars and leaders of that period.

“This place is the heart of the Jewish people, and is like the blood that courses through our veins,” Spielman said.

Here is one example: Hillel and Shammai – the famous first-century scholars who figure prominently in the Mishna – debate at what stage in a child’s development his father is obligated to include him in the pilgrimage. Shammai, the stringent one, says that a child should be included as long as he can sit on his father’s shoulders. Hillel says only if the child is able to walk up the 750-meter road need he be included.

Walking the road – as of now Ir David has excavated about 250 meters of it – you can imagine the throngs of people parading on it 2,000 years ago. Young boys walking next to their parents. Girls on their fathers’ shoulders. So far, only some of the stores that once lined the road have been partially uncovered, but with imagination you can hear the bartering that took place here – people trading leather for fur, seeds for honey, coins for wine.

For example, archeologists found a set of stairs in the middle of the road alongside one of the ancient shops. But the staircase doesn’t go anywhere. It ends in a platform. When Ir David checked, though, it found just one other similar set of stairs – in Rome, where it was used as something like a Hyde Park-style Speakers’ Corner. Basically, this was a place where people could make announcements and deliver speeches to the pilgrims as they climbed the road to the Temple.

Then archeologists found beside the stairs the burned remains of a male palm tree, one that doesn’t give fruit. Why would there be a non-fruit producing tree right there on the road? To provide shade for the speakers.

“To understand Jerusalem, you need to stand here,” Spielman said. “We were exiled in 70 CE and prayed three times a day and established a state. The last breath of Jews was here, beneath us.” Spielman pointed at some black ash discovered along the road and mentioned the thousands of coins the archeologists uncovered engraved with the words “Free Zion.”

“This was the battle cry during the fight against the Romans,” he explained. “They made coins and not arrowheads, because they knew they could not beat Rome, but they made the coins so there would be something left for the people who would one day come back.”

IR DAVID has changed our understanding of history. It is one thing to read the Mishna and imagine or visualize what life for Jews was once like. It is quite another to walk on the exact same road as they did.

For the last few months, Ir David has been working around the clock to connect the excavated part of the road with the Shiloah Pool. It is tedious work that has to be done slowly. Every inch excavated has to be reinforced with steel beams to protect the modern city above.

The project has so far cost several hundred million dollars, and while the government has provided a portion of the budget, most has come from private donors, such as Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, Oracle founder Larry Ellison and WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum. Ir David hopes that when the road officially opens in a few months, it will draw approximately one million visitors a year.

Yisrael Hasson, director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, noted: “The Road project is a part of the Shalem Plan, which was approved in a government cabinet meeting, the purpose of which is to preserve and develop the area of ancient Jerusalem. The plan relates to the sites of ancient Jerusalem from a comprehensive governmental planning and budgetary perspective, which will create a holistic visitor experience in this unique area. We are currently in the second phase of the plan, which will dramatically improve this entire area

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Biblical Archaeologists In Israel Uncover City Gate Dating To The Time Of King David In Ancient City Of Bethsaida In The Golan Heights

Although the area of the Golan Heights is not thought to be an Israelite kingdom, the archaeologists on the dig presume that Jerusalem and David’s capital in Bethsaida were actually quite similar to one another. Seven kingdoms are believed to have ruled the ancient Land of Israel. However, according to Arav, the researchers know little about the archaeology of these capitals since they have been destroyed and rebuilt many times over.

by Geoffrey Grider June 6, 2019

A city gate from the time of King David was discovered after 32 years of excavation in the ancient city of Bethsaida in the Golan Heights’ Jordan Park, opening up a world of new of opinions and theories about the ancient landscape of the Land of Israel.

The ruins of the New Testament city of Bethsaida is turning out to be a goldmine of amazing discoveries for biblical archaeologists because it has remained nearly completely untouched for almost 2,000 years. We told you last year about the discoveries in the lost city of Zer, and today’s article is a follow-up-to that.

“And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.” Luke 9:10,11 (KJV)

Do you realize that with all these new finds, that there has never once been anything that has contradicted or gone against what is laid out in the Bible? In fact, these incredible finds only add more light to the Bible passages that mention them. Compare that to the Book of Mormon, for example, that talks about dozens of people and places Joseph Smith said existed, and yet not one scrap of archaeological evidence has ever surfaced to support those claims. Hmm, I wonder why that is?  I thank God that He gave me a Book that is true and trustworthy.

Bethsaida is an almost untouched archaeological heaven for getting the real story about what happened during the times of the Hebrew Bible and the Second Temple period.

FROM THE JPOST: According to Professor Rami Arav of the University of Nebraska, chief archaeologist overseeing the excavations, told the Jerusalem Post that the gate and further findings found within the ancient city give the notion that it was possible that Solomon and David might not have been the sole kings of the Israelite kingdom at their respective times, but instead chieftains of large tribes of Israelites.

“And the fenced cities are Ziddim, Zer, and Hammath, Rakkath, and Chinnereth,” Joshua 19:35 (KJV)

The previously uncovered gate found in the area last year was cautiously identified to be a part of the biblical city of Zer, a name used during the First Temple period. However, the newly found gate dates back to the time and rule of King David, which is purportedly from the 11th to 10th centuries BCE.

“There are not many gates from capital cities in this country from this period,” said Arav. “Bethsaida was the name of the city during the Second Temple period, but during the First Temple period it was the city of Zer.” Arav cited Joshua 19:35, which says: “The fortified towns were Ziddim, Zer, Hammath, Rakkath, Kinneret.”

The excavation and research, sponsored by the Hebrew Union College of Jerusalem, has brought together archaeologists from all over the world to help.

Findings presented by the researchers point to the possibility that Bethsaida was not an Israelite kingdom but instead an Aramaic one. Within the city limits of Bethsaida, there was a stone stele bearing the image of their bull-shaped moon god, which dates back to the 11th century BCE. This monument is one of seven other similar tombstones found from the ancient world, from southern Turkey to Egypt. Two have been found in Bethsaida alone.

Some of these monuments have been found in cities dating to later periods, such as the 9th-8th century BCE. The rare stone stele dating back to the kingdom of Geshur was unearthed in the archaeological excavation.

“But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai, the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day.” 2 Samuel 13:37 (KJV)

The kingdom of Geshur is mentioned in the Bible as having co-existed alongside the Kingdom of David. It was eventually annexed by King Hazael, who ruled what is today modern Syria. The biblical kingdom of Geshur existed in parts of what is now the Golan Heights.

Although the area of the Golan Heights is not thought to be an Israelite kingdom, the archaeologists on the dig presume that Jerusalem and David’s capital in Bethsaida were actually quite similar to one another.

Seven kingdoms are believed to have ruled the ancient Land of Israel. However, according to Arav, the researchers know little about the archaeology of these capitals since they have been destroyed and rebuilt many times over.

Arav said that these types of excavations are difficult in places like Jerusalem, because researchers need to get permission from landowners as well as the government to excavate these sites. In addition, other ancient cities, such as Damascus, have been destroyed and rebuilt multiple times in the past, making it difficult to connect inferences in what actually happened there during these time periods. Bethsaida is an almost untouched archaeological heaven for getting the real story about what happened during the times of the Hebrew Bible and the Second Temple period.

“Bethsaida is a unique example of a capital city from the 11th-8th century BCE that is available for archaeological research, as there has been no disturbance to this site,” said Arav. Excavations will continue on site as archaeologists attempt to discover everything dating from the 11th century BCE to the period of Roman rule following the end of the Common Era.

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Giants roamed the Earth as shown by enormous skeletons discovered around the world

By Strange Sounds

Mar 26, 2018

Researcher Graham Hancock coined the phrase, ‘we’re like a species with amnesia,’ and it’s true. Despite the fact that it seems the story of human history is well uncovered, every single year there are new discoveries made that challenge what we once held to be true. In some cases, there are discoveries which are concealed from the general public for various reasons. There also seems to be amazing discoveries that are completely ignored by mainstream media as most of these discoveries would shake the foundations of human history… Like GIANTS

Giants roamed the Earth in Ancient Times.

Out of all the information that’s out there regarding intelligent ancient civilizations, and more, even if just one of these stories are true, it would completely change what we thought we knew about human history and the history of our planet. I believe the story of our past might be different from what seems to be the only two available options, creationism and evolution. There may be a myriad of other factors involved.

These discoveries would also shake the foundations of many people’s belief systems. The human race has been kept from so much information, and forced into a specific worldview that’s designed to benefit the ‘1 percent.’ In today’s day and age, it’s always best to keep an open mind, especially when new information is constantly emerging (for those who are curious enough to actually look) which challenges the old.

Giants? Did giants once roam the Earth?

It’s been in the literature and lore of multiple cultures throughout human history, from the Maya, the global indigenous populations, the Bible and more since what we perceive as the beginning of time. For example, the Bible tells us that when the Gods were on Earth, they were giants. “This, when you bring up in conversation, normally brings up, you know, laughter and people giggling and thinking your joking, and yet, the Bible is full of references of giants in our history.

Tellinger is referring to the Nephilim, as referenced in Numbers 13:33 of the Bible: “We saw the Nephilim there (the defendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.Again, it’s not just the bible, it’s lore from cultures that pre-dated religion as well as the indigenous.

There are several examples of physical evidence which exists to support the idea that giants once roamed the Earth. For example, stored in the vaults of the medical school at WITS University, Johannesburg, there is part of an upper leg bone with a hip-joint that would have stood approximately 12 feet tall. It’s been there since the early 1960’s, and was found by miners in Northern Namibia. It is one of the most precious and rare specimens available today that clearly indicate the existence of giants in Southern Africa more than 40,000 years ago:

Apparently, in 1883 the Smithsonian, a United States government/military led organization at the time, sent a team of archaeologists to South Charleston Mound. According to the official report, the team discovered a number of giant skeletons ranging from 7 to 9 feet tall. Some of them had a “compressed or flat-head type” which would resemble similar skeletal characteristics to those found in Egypt and South America.

Whether or not this is ‘fake news’ is highly debatable, as there is a lot of evidence to suggest it’s not. The list goes on and on, and what’s interesting is an article published in the New York Times in 1902 that also deals with the subject.

The article goes on to describe two stones with “curious inscriptions” and underneath were the bones of a body that “could not have been less than 12 feet in length.” According to the NY Times article, “the men who opened the grave say that the forearm was 4 feet long and that in a well-preserved jaw the lower teeth ranged from the size of a hickory nut to that of the largest walnut in size. Apparently the chest of the body had a circumference of 7 feet.

The bodies were first discovered by Luciana Quintana, it was on his ranch these specific bodies were found, according to the article, “Quintana, who has uncovered many other burial places, expresses the opinion that perhaps thousands of skeletons of a race of giants long extinct will be found. This supposition is based on the traditions handed down from the early Spanish invasion that have detailed knowledge of the existence of a race of giants that inhabited the plains of what now is Eastern New Mexico. Indian legends and carvings also in the same section indicate the existence of such a race.

Here’s another New York Times article about skeletons that were discovered in 1885.

Going back further still, in 1774 settlers found what they called “The Giant Town,” which housed several gigantic skeletons, one being an eight foot tall male.

“In addition to the human skeletons found in NY State, there is also the famous case of ‘The Cardiff Giant,’ a white alabaster-like statue of an 11-foot man who showed an exposed penis and hieroglyphic inscriptions. This statue caused a worldwide sensation and was exhibited in New York City to thousands of paying customers before it was declared a fake by the NY newspapers, despite the fact that scholars from Harvard and elsewhere insisted that the statue was genuine.” – Richard Dewhurst

And you cannot discuss about GIANTS without looking at the amazing work of STEVE QUAYLE and his very well-researched and deeply informative Documentary Film Series: True Legends – Episode 3: Holocaust of Giants, showing indiscutable proofs of Giants roaming Earth in Ancient Times.

What we have today, in large part, is dogma, instead of actual fact. With all of the discoveries being made, and all the discoveries that have been made which mainstream media completely ignores, we are clearly not being told something about the true origins of humanity. The idea that a powerful group of people protecting their interests by suppressing information in multiple fields is unsettling.

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‘Simply Mind-Blowing’: Researchers Believe They’ve Discovered the Route Moses Took Out of Egypt

04-16-2019

Bible scholars from the Doubting Thomas Research Foundation (DTRF) believe they may have discovered the route Moses took when he led the Children of Israel out of slavery from Egypt and to the Promised Land. 

The group told the Daily Star Online that they traveled to Saudi Arabia three times during their research and found evidence that the Israelites traveled through the modern-day kingdom to get to Israel. 

DTRF researcher Ryan Mauro is still working on this theory but said the most “plausible” route is one where the Israelites left Egypt through Cairo and crossed into the Sinai Peninsula. He believes they crossed into ancient Midian and stopped at Mount Sinai, which he claims is the peak of Jabal al-Lawz in eastern Saudi Arabia. 

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“After three trips to Saudi Arabia, and I’m fully convinced that the Israelites went into the ancient land of Midian when they fled slavery in Egypt,” he told the Daily Star Online

Last year, the organization released a documentary detailing their quest to find Mount Sinai in Saudi Arabia. 

Mauro said he and his team discovered several pieces of evidence that Jabal al-Lawz is where Mount Sinai was located. 

“The golden calf, the split rock, Moses’ altar, the Red Sea crossing site; all of these pieces need to fit, and they fit at this site in a way that no other site does,” he said. 

Mount Sinai is traditionally associated with Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. The St. Catherine Monastery was built over what is believed to be the site where God spoke to Moses in the burning bush. 

“Perhaps these (skeptics) have doubted the historical account of the Exodus story because of a lack of evidence at the traditional site at St. Catherine’s, but what we have found appears to fit the ancient accounts,” Mauro said of the Jabal al-Lawz peak. 

Jabal al-Lawz has been previously been identified as the possible site of Mount Sinai, but scholars doubt this theory. 

“There is no credible historical, geographical, archaeological or Biblical evidence for the thesis that Mt. Sinai is at Jabal al-Lawz in Saudi Arabia,”  said creationist researcher Gordon Franz.

Mauro also told the Daily Star Online there is evidence that Moses split the sea at the Gulf of Aqaba on the modern-day beach of Nuweiba. There, the crossing would be just eight miles wide and a depth of only 33 meters (108 feet).

“It’s going to take some time to bring this alternative theory into mainstream historiography, but I believe that our work is going to seriously shift the landscape on this subject,” Mauro said. 

Mainstream scholars seriously doubt the historicity of the events recorded in Exodus due to a lack of archaeological evidence. 

Mauro encourages them to have an open mind. 

“I would basically say to someone who’s (skeptical) about the Exodus to keep an open mind about the subject,” he said. “These events really did happen. It doesn’t require belief in one of these faiths to accept the evidence.”

Mauro said his team is currently trying to piece together an exact timeline and map structure for Exodus based on their findings.  “What I found there was simply mind-blowing. I couldn’t believe that there was all this evidence for the Exodus and hardly anyone outside this region was aware of it.

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Tiny First Temple find could be first proof of aide to biblical King Josiah

Rare seal impression from 8th century BCE, bearing the name Nathan-Melech, found in dig at large Iron Age administrative center in Jerusalem’s City of David

By Amanda Borschel-Dan 31 March 2019, 12:48 pm 23 Edit

Two minuscule 2,600-year-old inscriptions recently uncovered in the City of David’s Givati Parking Lot excavation are vastly enlarging the understanding of ancient Jerusalem in the late 8th century BCE.

The two inscriptions, in paleo-Hebrew writing, were found separately in a large First Temple structure within the span of a few weeks by long-term team members Ayyala Rodan and Sveta Pnik.

One is a bluish agate stone seal “(belonging) to Ikkar son of Matanyahu” (LeIkkar Ben Matanyahu). The other is a clay seal impression, “(belonging) to Nathan-Melech, Servant of the King” (LeNathan-Melech Eved HaMelech). Nathan-Melech is named in 2 Kings as an official in the court of King Josiah.

This burnt clay impression is the first archaeological evidence of the biblical name Nathan-Melech.

The inscriptions are “not just another discovery,” said archaeologist Dr. Yiftah Shalev of the Israel Antiquities Authority. Rather, they “paint a much larger picture of the era in Jerusalem.”

According to Shalev, while both discoveries are of immense scholarly value as inscriptions, their primary value is their archaeological context.

The ‘Natan-Melech/Eved Hamelech’ bulla found in the City of David. (Eliyahu Yanai, City of David)

“What is importance is not just that they were found in Jerusalem, but [that they were found] inside their true archaeological context,” Shalev told The Times of Israel. Many other seals and seal impressions have been sold on the antiquities market without any thought to provenance.

This in situ find, said Shalev, serves to “connect between the artifact and the actual physical era it was found in” — a large, two-story First Temple structure that dig archaeologists have pegged as an administrative center.

“It is not a coincidence that the seal and the seal impression are found here,” said Shalev.

It is not a coincidence that the seal and the seal impression are found here

According to archaeologist Prof. Yuval Gadot of Tel Aviv University, in the 8th century BCE, this area of the City of David becomes the central administrative center of Jerusalem. The newly unearthed two-story public building, constructed with finely cut ashlar stones shows, illustrates the beginning of a westward move of the administration area in the large sprawling city.

Mendel-Geberovich believes “Ikkar” refers to a personal name rather than an occupation. If so, this would be the first evidence of such a name. The other portions of the inscription are more familiar to biblical Hebrew linguists: “The name Matanyahu appears both in the Bible and on additional stamps and bullae already unearthed,” said Mendel-Geberovich.

What is most likely to capture popular interest is the burnt clay seal impression, which features the words: “(belonging) to Nathan-Melech, Servant of the King” (LeNathan-Melech Eved HaMelech).” The fact that it was written without a surname indicates his fame is on par with celebs of today, such as singers Madonna or Adele.

The name Nathan-Melech appears once in the Bible, in the second book of Kings 23:11. An official in the court of King Josiah, the biblical Nathan-Melech took part in implementation of widespread religious reform: “And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entrance of the house of the Lord, by the chamber of Nathan-Melech the officer, which was in the precincts; and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire.”

While the biblical account uses a different title than that impressed on the ancient clay, the title “Servant of the King” (Eved HaMelech) does often appear in the Bible to describe a high-ranking official close to the king. According to the IAA, the title appears on other stamps and seal impressions that were found in the past. In ancient times, seal impressions, or bullae, were small pieces of clay impressed by personal seals (such as the “Ikkar” seal) to sign letters.

But is this the very same biblical Nathan-Melech? That’s still a matter of interpretation.

Doron Spielman, vice president of the City of David Foundation, which operates the City of David National Park, said, “This is an extremely exciting find for billions of people worldwide. The personal seal of Natan-Melech, a senior official in the government of Josiah, King of Judah, as described in the second book of Kings. The ongoing archaeological excavations at the City of David continue to prove that ancient Jerusalem is no longer just a matter of faith, but also a matter of fact.”

However, scholar Mendel-Geberovich isn’t as quick to confirm the tie.

“Although it is not possible to determine with complete certainty that the Nathan-Melech who is mentioned in the Bible was in fact the owner of the stamp, it is impossible to ignore some of the details that link them together,” said Mendel-Geberovich diplomatically.

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