“On the third new moon after the Israelites had gone forth from the land of
Egypt, on that very day, they entered the wilderness of Sinai. Exodus 19:1
(The Israel Bible™)
As researchers debate the location of Biblical Mount Sinai, the Saudi
Arabian government is moving forward with plans for a mega-city built on top of
one of the prime candidates.
Last year, Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed
bin Salman announced plans to create a mega-city named Neom on the coast of
the Red Sea. The plans for the city are ambitious indeed: at a cost of $500
billion, Neom will be 17 times the size of London and 33 times the size of
Manhattan. The city will cover 10,230-square-miles extending 285 miles along
the coast of the Red Sea and run entirely on renewable energy. The name “Neom”
was constructed from two words. The first three letters form the Ancient Greek
prefix neo- meaning “new”. The fourth letter is from the abbreviation of
Arabic Mostaqbal meaning “future.”
Though the designated area in northwest Saudi Arabia near the Jordanian
border is relatively desolate and empty, conflict arose when several people
asserted that one mountain, Jabal al Lawz (Mountain of Almonds) was where Moses
stood when he received the Ten Commandments from the hand of God.
In a recent documentary, Finding the Mountain of Moses, Ryan Mauro,
National Security Analyst for the Clarion Project, warned of the dire
consequences should the Saudi mega-city be built.
Many scholars claim that Mount Sinai is in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt but
Mauro rejected that claim based on the “more than 70 times the Bible says the
Israelites went out of Egypt.”
“If all of us don’t take action, Saudi construction in the area may destroy
key evidence and prevent excavation for the foreseeable future,” Mauro said in
Mauro is not alone in his assertion that Jabal al Lawz is the Biblical Mount
Sinai. After visiting the site in 2018, Bible scholar and bestselling author
Joel Richardson told WND,
“If those on the fence actually could visit the site, I guarantee they would be
fully convinced, or 95 percent there.”
“This is a mountain with a dark-colored basalt rock on the top, as well as a
cave on its front – ‘the Cave of Elijah’ – with an altar at its base with bulls
carved all over it, ‘the Golden Calf altar,’ he said. “It also has an animal
corral and altar, and pillars at its base, consistent with God’s command to
Moses to build at the base of the mountain,” said Richardson.
Researchers have proposed
about 20 different locations for Mt. Sinai and there is no consensus of
Scholars fall into two camps: those who suggest sites found in the modern
Sinai Peninsula and those who favor locations in Saudi Arabia. Of the five
proposed locations in the Sinai Peninsula, Jebel Musa (Moses’ Mountain), the
site of St Catherine’s monastery, is the most popular.
In addition to the conflicting opinions, there is also some confusion as the
location of the precise mountain. Jabal Maqlā (Burnt Mountain) located about
four miles to the south, is often misidentified as Jabal al-Lawz by various
authors such as Bob Cornuke, Ron Wyatt, and Lennart Moller as shown by local
and regional maps.
Mauro will be posting a website with a petition calling on the U.S. State
Department and Saudi government to preserve the sites and have them put on
UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Due to Saudi restrictions on visitors, the site
is difficult to research and if the Saudi plans go through, it will be
Newly discovered petroglyphs at the foot of mountain depict archers which
Richardson claimed are based on a warning by Moses that anyone who set foot on
the mountain would be shot with arrows. Another petroglyph depicts a
seven-branched menorah which Richardson maintained indicates the ancient
Hebrews visited the site. Consistent with the biblical account of water pouring
out of the rock, there are clear signs of water erosion in an arid area where
such erosion is evident nowhere else, said Richardson.
Moskoff, the author of the A.R.K Report, concurred that Mount Sinai
is in Saudi Arabia but disagrees with the theory that Jabal al Lawz is Mount
“The theory that Jebel al Lawz is the location of Sinai is very low on
Biblical facts,” Moskoff told Breaking Israel News. Moskoff explained
that the theory was first made popular by a book, The Gold of Exodus, published
20 years ago. “Other researchers followed that lead but there were a lot of
errors in that theory. In order to research this subject, it is necessary to go
back to the original sources which are Biblical and Jewish.”
As an example, Moskoff pointed out that Cornuke
based his theory on the Hebrews leaving Egypt 19 days before crossing the sea.
“I don’t know where he gets 19 days from,” Moskoff said. He cited Seder
Olam Rabbah, a 2nd-century CE Hebrew-language chronology detailing the
dates of Biblical events from the Creation to Alexander the Great’s conquest of
Persia. “The Seder Olam Rabbah states explicitly that it was seven days until
they arrived at the sea.”
Moskoff noted that in many cases, sites of Biblical importance were usurped
“There is a bit of tension between the religions when dealing with sites of
Biblical importance,” Moskoff said. He noted that the site of Christian
researchers do not typically refer to Jewish sources. Moskoff noted the irony
in the religious division over the site since Jethro, Moses’ non-Jewish
father-in-law, joined the Hebrews at Mount Sinai. This particular multi-faith
aspect of Sinai is described in the section of the Torah being read by Jews
around the world this week.
“There are monasteries and mosques at most of the holy sites as well,”
Moskoff noted. “This may be a religious conflict but it may also be just
staking out territory. The Palestinians are staking out territory, trying to
take over all of Israel. For the Christians, it is theological. Ideally, it
should not lead to a monopoly by one religion and the exclusion of all others.”
Neom was slated to be completed in 2025 but construction has stalled, if not
from heaven then due to political entanglements. Bin Salman’s government was
accused of murdering a journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. The crown prince admitted
in 2018 that, as a result of the ensuing scandal, “No one will invest [in
the project] for years.”
A Bedouin huntsman and his dog, climbing on rocky mountainous cliffs above
the Dead Sea, spotted a likely prey. The dog chased it into the mouth of a cave
where inside, the Bedouin discovered jars containing scrolls with writing upon
them. The find was reported to Jews living in Jerusalem, who mounted an
expedition into the Judean Desert to retrieve them. They discovered many
scrolls written in Hebrew script, including books of the Bible.
The year was 790 CE.
The events, recorded in a letter written by the East Syriac patriarch Timothy I in
800 CE, eerily anticipate the famous 1946 (re)discovery at Qumran of the trove
of ancient sacred texts we now know as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
For a new team of Qumran excavators, who this week finished a third dig
season high above the Dead Sea, the story is a beacon of hope.
“The Bedouin were not the first ones to find the scrolls in 1947,” said Dr.
Oren Gutfeld, co-director of the Cave 53-Qumran Excavation.
The question is, will looters be the ones to discover any remaining scrolls?
On Tuesday, The Times of Israel joined the Qumran expedition on the last day
of its three-week winter excavation of a new cave complex. Based on results
from two previous seasons, the team, led by Hebrew University archaeologist
Oren Gutfeld and Randall Price from the private Virginia-based Christian
institution, Liberty University, believes there are more undiscovered finds
that have slipped through the fingers of archaeologists — and even of intrepid
For example, no one knows the whereabouts of Timothy’s particular cave, described in his letter as being in the vicinity of
Jericho. Perhaps it was fully emptied, its scrolls used by the community and
eventually deposited in the Cairo Genizah. Or maybe it is one of the 11 major
caves that held the 900-plus manuscripts and 15,000 tiny text fragments that
have been unearthed since the besieged Qumran community stashed them away from
the Romans circa 68 CE.
Or maybe, just maybe, Timothy’s cave is still out there to be discovered. If
so, Gutfeld is positioning his team to find it — as well as a wealth of
information on the people behind the Dead Sea Scrolls and their everyday lives.
The previous two excavation seasons of Cave 53 bear out the possibility of
“We prove in Cave 53 that the caves
of Qumran were not excavated, they were surveyed,” said Gutfeld. The previous
archaeologists “just entered, they found the scrolls or the jars and they took
them,” he said. There was no digging, and certainly no fine sifting of
materials during the heady days of the first excavations.
Beginning in 1949, teams of excavators — authorized and not — combed the
cave-dotted cliffs of Qumran in search of scroll caches. For a while, the finds
were abundant. And then, after the mid-1950s, there was nothing new discovered
under the blazing Dead Sea sun.
For the past three winter seasons, Gutfeld’s team has re-examined previously
surveyed, but unexcavated caves. This year, the team took to the heights and examined
an uncharted cave to discern if more finds await in the sheer cliffs.
Before the expedition concluded, Gutfeld took a pair of journalists up to
the cave complexes numbered 52 and 53, based on earlier archaeological surveys
that found some 600 caves in the cliffs. After ascending the steep, often
unmarked path high above the Qumran National Park, the view is breathtaking
(and not only because this journalist needed to catch her breath from the
rope-aided climb) from the small man-made terrace outside Cave 52, some 212
meters (695 feet) above the Dead Sea.
It is commonly accepted that the major scroll finds originated in 11 caves,
explained Gutfeld before we entered the cave located high above the park’s
hiking trails. The assignation, he said, is often based on secondhand Bedouin
testimony, since several of the manuscripts were purchased, not excavated. He
thinks it possible that the massive hoard may have originated in other caves as
well, which have until now been overlooked by archaeologists.
A faint, spray painted 52 points out the mouth of the cave. In the 1950s, it
was surveyed by a member of the original Qumran excavations team, Józef Milik,
a one-time Catholic priest and archaeologist. Milik, said Gutfeld, wrote an
article in the 1950s suggesting that this spot was in fact the cave described
by Timothy. Milik hypothesized that it had been emptied of scrolls by monks
sent by Timothy from the Jericho Caranthal Monastery, over a thousand years
prior to his survey.
“We believe maybe — we don’t know, but it’s a possibility — that it’s not
the Bedouin who looted the cave, but that it was done hundreds of years earlier
by the monks of the Caranthal Monastery,” said Gutfeld.
In the three seasons of excavations so far, the team has discovered
indications of “scroll activity” — accessories including jars, textile
wrappings, leather ties. This winter, the team also examined a pair of
hard-to-enter elevated caves, reachable only with full climbing gear and metal
guides hammered into the rock.
Taking in the Dead Sea panorama, Gutfeld swept his arm out and said with a
smile, “This is my office.”
What Cave 52 yielded
Spoiler: No scrolls were discovered this winter, either.
From an academic point of view, the 2019 excavation was launched asking the
question of whether caves found so high on the cliff were used as living spaces
or only for hiding scrolls.
Through the excavation of Cave 52 this season, and the paucity of material
culture from every day life, the conclusion is that it was only meant as a
vault. A probe excavation of the even higher Cave 52B offered the same result,
“The story of the cave and the
excavation is more about the climbing, bringing up the tools, and rappelling
when going down,” he said. “Just think about the Essences who climbed with jars
in their hands — what we did with the ropes — how many jars fell?”
The opening of Cave 52 “was a rabbit hole tunnel,” which the team enlarged
with small picks. “Everything was sifted from the first bucket, even the dirt
piles outside the cave,” said Gutfeld, on the assumption that perhaps some of
the looters had dropped some pottery.
Inside Cave 52, the team found Second Temple scroll jar pottery sherds and a
few organic materials.
“The minute we lowered the level of the dirt we started to find the pottery
sherds from Second Temple period jars,” he said. But there were few other
finds, even after excavating a promising back tunnel. “Unfortunately we dug
here for two weeks, it’s a very nice tunnel, but we didn’t find anything,” he
“Our conclusion is that it was used as a scroll cave, but the minute the
jars were taken, it was empty,” said Gutfeld.
What was found in ‘juicy’ Cave 53
Excavation co-director Price, a pastor and Jewish Studies professor,
fervently believes there are more mysteries to be discovered here. Joining
Gutfeld and The Times of Israel at the mid-cliff level Cave 53, Price explained
how the cave — and its surprise adjacent Cave 53B twin — were excavated
beginning in 2017.
“We had hoped to find a scroll cave,” Price said honestly of his initial
goals. He told The Times of Israel that to find a cave holding the sacred
scripture given to the people of this land would be thrilling.
“This is one of the first caves
excavated south of the plateau. The more famous caves are in the north. And in
excavating this,” Price said, sweeping his hand around the cave, “we did find
scroll jars — seven in total.” But no scrolls.
The cave was identified in a 1993 IAA survey and has interesting man-made
features, including a column which supports an overhang ceiling at the cave’s
edge. Although it is has remained stable thus far, it is definitely not a place
to set a chair and enjoy the view.
A second, previously uncharted cave was discovered in an easy climb above
Cave 53, and is called Cave 53B.
The path to and from these caves is unmarked, but at only 100 meters (328
feet) above the Dead Sea it is much less strenuous than that of caves 52 and
52B, which were the focus of this dig season. (At its highest, this year’s path
is only accessible through rappelling).
Today, the mouth of Cave 53 gapes wide open, but during initial checks in
2010, it would have been more hidden from view. Then, Price and Gutfeld spotted
sleeping mats made of palm fronds next to the man-made pillar in the back of
the cave, as well as pottery.
Price secured funding for the excavation from private donations (digs are
not funded through the Israeli government or universities) and a license was
granted by the Staff Officer for Archaeology in the Civil Administration of
Judea and Samaria, which is responsible for excavations in the West Bank, where
Qumran is located.
Ahead of the 2017 winter excavation, all signs were positive. “The
expectation was that there was something here to be found,” said Price.
And there was: What was originally scheduled as a two-week excavation
stretched into an intense five. In addition to pottery pieces for seven scroll
jars, through careful sifting of the dust and dirt the team uncovered hundreds
of olive and date pits, as well as seeds, telling of ancient habitation of the
cave. There was “scroll activity,” including 15 fragments of linen textile that
used to cover the scrolls, cut leather straps, and a carved stick which Price
said was used to wound the manuscripts into the jars.
Through sifting, the team discovered “an acorn that was brought from the
Judean Hills over 50 kilometers [31 miles] away,” said Gutfeld. In sum, they
filled an almost unprecedented 450 bags of organic material.
The two most astonishing finds were discovered in Cave 53B: an intact
Qumran-style oil lamp that was discovered at the mouth of the cave, and a
beautiful bronze pot that was found in the back in a previously undiscovered
The cave complex also offered signs of much earlier habitation: Within
moments of arriving to the terrace outside its mouth, Gutfeld bent over and
picked up several pieces of pottery. In one hand he held a few sherds from the
Second Temple period. In another, prehistoric pottery from thousands of years
ago, possibly Neolithic or Chalcolithic.
Other prehistoric finds include arrow and spear heads, flint blades, an
interestingly carved carnelian seal and a piece of precious obsidian, which
would have somehow made its way from Turkey.
“There was a lot of activity here, but it wasn’t until the Second Temple
period that the jars were brought in, probably from the Qumran community, and
placed here,” said Price.
Price has a theory why the scrolls are absent from this spot: When the
Qumran community was attacked in 68 CE and the Romans turned the plateau into a
fortress, the northern path was closed. So the residents turned south, possibly
to Masada, and picked up their scrolls from this cave on the way.
Cave 53 is now excavated in parts down to bedrock. Charcoaled remains of
thousands of year old fires can be seen on the pillar next to straggly strands
of 2,000-year-old sleep mats. The team said there is no more work to be done
here, and it will soon look for another location.
Ahead of the 2020 excavation
In early February, Gutfeld will begin surveying for locations in the middle
terrace of the cliff for the 2020 excavation. “Hopefully we’ll find another
‘juicy’ cave, like Cave 53,” he said.
“There is still much more to do, especially in this region,” said Gutfeld.
According to a recent Haaretz article, head of the IAA Yisrael Hasson is
on board with the team’s goals. “The desert is full of hiding places. Until we
have thoroughly checked and mapped them all, we won’t declare the work
finished,” said Hasson.
Hasson said his archaeologists are also working in the area: “Six months ago
we excavated six caves and more recently we excavated two more caves in the
northern Dead Sea area, but I won’t say more because I don’t want to give
information to robbers… We’re doing ‘low profile’ work to stay ahead of the
competition,” said Hasson.
Each year the team must apply for a new dig license from the Civil
Administration of Judea and Samaria. Part of the application process includes
secure funding for both excavation and publication of finds. For this team, the
funding comes through private donations — not always easy to come by despite
its high-profile objectives.
Because of the very real threat of looting in the area, the dig is
considered a “salvage excavation” and is permissible by law in order to save
and rescue the potential precious heritage items. Likewise, he said, all
excavation is only conducted after securing a permit. (Asked whether the West
Bank location was an obstacle to garnering funding, Gutfeld said the only
blow-back he has felt so far was from a Jewish woman at a conference in the
But his third reason for why the excavation’s West Bank location is not
significant is that scrolls are overwhelmingly important to Judaism and early
Christianity. They are a direct tie to the historical Land of Israel, which
predates modern borders.
“When I take my kids to the [Israel Museum’s] Shrine of the Book and they
can read directly from the scrolls, it says everything,” said Gutfeld.
Israel and Iran are edging dangerously close to a state of all-out war. On Sunday night, Israeli forces rained missiles down on Iranian forces based in the Damascus area “for nearly an hour”. According to the IDF, this was a response to “dozens” of missiles that were fired by Iranian forces in Syria toward targets in Israel earlier that day. The Israelis were able to intercept the Iranian missiles, but if any of them had gotten through they could have caused a tremendous amount of damage. Some of the missiles that Israel fired at the Iranians were reportedly intercepted, but quite a few of them did hit their intended targets. If the violence continues to escalate, we could potentially soon be talking about an all-out war between Israel and Iran in which both sides use their weapons of mass destruction.
Syrian state media cited a Syrian
military source as saying Israel launched an “intense attack through
consecutive waves of guided missiles”, but that Syrian air defenses
destroyed most of the “hostile targets”.
Witnesses in Damascus said loud
explosions rang out in the night sky for nearly an hour.
The Syrians are boasting that they
were able to destroy quite a few of the Israeli missiles, but independent
observers confirm that quite a few Iranian targets were destroyed.
Targets striked by the IDF, which
number at around 10 according to its statement, include weapons warehouses at
the Damascus International Airport and in other locations, an Iranian
intelligence site and an Iranian training camp in Syria’s south.
Now that the Iranians have been hit
so hard, will they respond by striking back at Israel?
If both sides continue to escalate
the violence, eventually a “point of no return” will be reached, and then all
hell will break loose.
Prior to the IDF missile attacks on
Iranian targets, rockets were fired toward the Golan Heights from inside Syria,
and Israel blamed those attacks on the Iranians…
The Israeli military said earlier on
Sunday that missiles fired toward the northern Golan
Heights were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. It added in a statement on Monday
that an Iranian force fired these missiles, but said it holds the Syrian regime
responsible for any activity in its territory.
It seems extremely unlikely that
this conflict will be resolved any time soon. The Iranians are certainly
not going to leave Syria, and they are definitely going to continue to funnel
arms and resources to Hezbollah forces in southern Lebanon.
And the Israelis have clearly stated
that they are going to resist any Iranian attempts to strengthen Hezbollah or
to establish a permanent military presence inside Syria. In fact, Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu couldn’t have been any clearer when he said this to reporters…
“We have a permanent policy, to
strike at the Iranian entrenchment in Syria and hurt whoever tries to hurt us,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.
If a full-blown war erupts in the
days ahead, Israel will almost certainly find itself fighting Iran, Syria and
Hezbollah simultaneously. Of course Hezbollah is essentially an Iranian
proxy, and at this point they have between 130,000 and 150,000 missiles aimed at
Israel. When war finally comes, it
will be extremely bloody and extremely destructive.
Tonight, we are closer to such a war
than ever. The Iranians and the Israelis absolutely hate one another, and
now they are firing missiles at one another.
It isn’t going to take much to push
the two sides over the edge, and if that happens we are just a hop, a skip and
a jump away from the start of World War 3.
The Israeli military said early
Monday it was carrying out strikes against Iran’s Qud’s Forces, in a rare
statement on its military activities in Syria. “The Israeli missiles
managed to destroy weapons depots and military posts of the Iranians and the
Lebanese Hezbollah in the vicinity of Damascus International Airport and the
area of Al-Kiswah and Jamraya,” the Britain-based Observatory for Human Rights
Israeli airstrikes on Syria destroyed weapons stores and military positions
belonging to Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group, a war monitor said
On Monday, Israel began a massive campaign of air strikes on Iranian
and Lebanese military targets located in Damascus in Syria. The word Damascus appears
exactly 60 times in your King James Bible, and is heavily associated with
fulfillment of end times Bible prophecy, most of it still yet future.
“The burden of Damascus.
Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall
be a ruinous heap.” Isaiah 17:1 (KJV)
So it comes to no surprise to me at all that Damascus continues to be
in the exact epicenter of the action in the Middle East as Iran continues to
slither closer and closer to their dream of invading Israel by overrunning
their border with Syria at the Golan Heights border.
strikes said to destroy Iranian, Hezbollah sites near Damascus
FROM THE TIMES OF ISRAEL: The Israeli military said early Monday it was carrying out
strikes against Iran’s Qud’s Forces, in a rare statement on its military
activities in Syria. “The Israeli missiles managed to destroy weapons
depots and military posts of the Iranians and the Lebanese Hezbollah in the
vicinity of Damascus International Airport and the area of Al-Kiswah and
Jamraya,” the Britain-based Observatory for Human Rights said.
The monitor said there had been casualties and extensive damage, without
providing details. A news site in the southern Syrian city of Suweida reported
that eight soldiers had been brought to a local hospital with injuries
sustained during the Israeli strikes, including two who died.
There was no immediate confirmation
of casualties from Damascus. Syria’s state-run media described the attack as
“heavy” and said Israel had launched “consecutive waves of guided missiles.”
However, it claimed the majority of the missiles were shot down.
“Our air defenses responded
effectively to an Israeli air attack targeting the southern region and
prevented it from achieving any of its objectives,”SANA quoted a military
The airstrike was the second attack
on the airport and al-Kiswah in as many days, after a rare daytime attack
attributed to Israel on Sunday morning. Both locations have been attacked by
Israel in the past and are thought to house Iranian or Hezbollah assets.
“Warehouses containing weapons for
Syrian regime ally Hezbollah and Iranian fighters are located in that area,”
Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor,
Israel has accused Iran of seeking to establish a military presence in Syria that
could threaten Israeli security and attempting to transfer advanced weaponry to
the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon.
Last year, the Israeli military said
bases near al-Kiswah were used by pro-Iranian militias. An Iranian weapons
depot at the airport was targeted in an airstrike a week and a half ago, Israel
said. Jamraya, which has also allegedly been attacked by Israel in the ast, is
thought to house a military facility and scientific research center.
This would be the largest pro-Iranian military increment into Syria since
the Hizballah intervention of 2014 – and Tehran’s rejoinder to Israel’s
The 10,000 troops massed on the Iraqi border belong to the large Iraqi
Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) aka the Hashd Al-Shaabi militia, DEBKAfile’s
military and intelligence sources report. They have been ordered to stand there
by Iran’s Middle East commander, Al Qods chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Their
commander is one of his deputies, Mahdi al-Muhandis, an Iraqi of Iranian
descent. This Iraqi force awaits a green light to cross into northern Syria
from President Bashar Assad.
It is intended to be Tehran’s response to Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu’s “advice” to Iran to “hurry up and get out of Syria” ahead of the
IDF’s action. Soleimani has responded by “hurrying up” to top up Iran’s forces
in Syria, before Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi has had three days to settle into his
new job as IDF’s Chief of Staff.
Our sources note that permission for this large force to cross the border
and link up with the Syrian government’s army would present Gen. Kochavi with
his first major test. Tehran is anxious to find out whether Israel – or the US
– means to actively halt this major troop buildup by bombing it from the air. If
the PMU fighters are not stopped as soon as they set foot on Syrian soil, the
Iranians will have won this round and feel able to safely augment the PMU force
of 10,000 fighters by pouring thousands more into Syria
They invite their kin to the mountain, Where they offer sacrifices of
success. For they draw from the riches of the sea And the hidden hoards of the
33:19 (The Israel Bible™)
A company founded on the prophetic advice of the Chabad Rabbi has found a
type of gemstone unique to Israel…and outer space.
Last week, the International Mineralogical Association recognized a new, distinct mineral
discovered by Shefa Yamim, the only mining
company searching for precious gems in Israel. The mineral is embedded in
sapphire and is named carmeltazite for the Carmel Mountains, the location of
its discovery, and the trace minerals it contains: titanium, aluminum, and
zirconium. It will be marketed under the name ‘Carmel Sapphire.” The largest
stone the company found to date weighed in at 33.3 carats. After density
testing, it was shown to be harder than diamond.
“We are delighted that our Carmel Sapphire has been recognized as a host to
many rare minerals,” Avi
Taub, CEO of Shefa Yamim, said in a statement. “In today’s world where the
prices of gems are determined predominantly by their rarity, the Carmel
Sapphire is a unique discovery because it has not been found anywhere else in
The quantity of carmeltazite hidden under the Carmel Mountains is still
unknown but if it is sufficiently rare, it may prove to be more valuable than
Taub’s statement was intentionally precise. The stone has been seen before,
but not “in the world.” The mineral has been found in rocks originating in
space, as described in Forbes
“Carmeltazite is found in corundum, an aluminum-oxide, embedded in volcanic
rocks mined in the Haifa District in northern Israel,” Forbes wrote. “It
is a complex zirconium-aluminum-titanium-oxide, with traces of scandium,
calcium, and magnesium to be found in its crystalline structure. Curiously, the
chemical formula resembles allendeite, a mineral identified for the first time
in the Allende meteorite,
a rocky meteorite that fell February 8, 1969, in the Mexican state of
Chihuahua. Its formation on Earth dates back 65 million years.”
Taub, a religious Jew and follower of Chabad branch of Hasidut, naturally
connects the recent find with the Temple.
“When I think of precious stones in Israel, my thoughts go straight to the
Temple and the vestments of the High Priest,” Taub told Breaking Israel
News. “No one thought we would find stones here in Israel but the Temple
and the Kohanic vestments required many precious
stones. Nowhere does the Bible say that these stones were brought from
outside. It was clear the stones from the Temple were from here.”
Taub noted that on the High Priest’s breastplate, every tribe was
represented by a precious stone. Coincidentally, in the high priest’s
breastplate, Zevulun’s name was engraved on a diamond. The only source of
native diamonds in Israel found by his company is in the territory belonging to
Taub’s vision was directed by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson who passed
away in 1994. Taub’s family had a diamond polishing plant and dealt in
manufacturing and marketing jewelry. In 1989, Taub, a follower of Chabad
Hasidut, visited the rabbi, known to his millions of followers simply as “the
Rebbe.” With very little explanation, the Rebbe told Taub to begin mining. Taub
entered into an unsuccessful project in Australia. He struggled to understand
the Rebbe’s message. Through a friend who was also a follower of the Rebbe,
Taub was made aware of a video in which the Rebbe made a remarkable statement,
given to then-mayor of Haifa, Arye Gurel in 1988.
“In Haifa, there is a sea. One shouldn’t become intimidated by something
that is deep,” the Rebbe said to Gurel. “This is the uniqueness of Haifa – that
it has a sea and that there is a valley and in the valley are precious stones
and gems. The Holy One, Blessed Be He, did a wondrous thing; he concealed them
in the depths of the earth, and in any case, in the depth of the river.”
Taub searched for more clues and found that the Rebbe discussed these hidden
gems again in a public lesson in 1991. The Rebbe explained new and
unprecedented knowledge and material resources, hidden since the Creation of
the World, will be discovered as the redemption approaches. The Rebbe specified
that precious stones and gems will be for the purpose of giving additional
charity and performing other mitzvoth (commandments) to hasten the Messiah in
its final stages.
Taub went searching for other clues to hidden gems in Israel and found hints
that the region assigned to the tribe of Zevulun was hinted at in the Bible as
the source of hidden wealth. This was based on Moses’ blessing to the tribe in
And of Zevulun he said: Rejoice, O Zevulun, on your journeys, And Yissachar, in your
tents. They invite their kin to the mountain, Where they offer sacrifices of
success. For they draw from the riches of the sea And the hidden hoards of the
The Meam Loez, an 18th-century commentary on the Bible initiated by Rabbi
Yaakov Culi, wrote the following on that verse.
“There are vast amounts of natural treasures that are hidden in the sea and
in the earth in the portion of the tribe of Zevulun. These treasures include
the rare “chilazon” from whose blood the aqua color is obtained for ‘tzitzit’,
precious stones and gems – diamonds – most of which afforded the Land of Israel
vast wealth, generally speaking, and especially for the tribe of Zevulun!”
Taub was satisfied that all of the clues pointed towards Israel to find
these hidden gems the Rebbe had told him to search for. In 1999, Taub and
several other Chabad Jews established Shefa Yamim Co. Ltd. with the intention
of locating precious stones and gems in Israel. As per the Rebbe’s instructions
to Haifa’s mayor, Taub focused his company’s efforts along the Kishon riverbed
in the Zevulun Valley, the Carmel Mountain Range bordering Haifa, and the area
of Ramot Menashe.
“Everyone thinks that Israel is a desert with no natural resources,” Taub
said. “The government discovered that under the ground we have vast reserves of
natural gas. Now we found precious stones that no other country has. When it
comes to the land of Israel, we have much to thank Hashem (God,
literally ‘the name’) for.”
Taub’s business model is “mine-to-market.” Sefa Yamim will not only mine the
stones but they will also produce a line of exclusive jewelry made from Holy
Land gemstones drawn from the mines of Shefa Yamin. The jewelry will be
designed by Yossi Harari, a
Taub noted that even the timing of their find is significant.
“These stones could have been discovered ten years ago, or 100,” he
emphasized. “The Rebbe told us to begin when he did because he knew the
Moshiach (Messiah) was coming and that was when these stones were to be brought
Once upon a time, a Turkish sultan in situ was good news, such as those, for
example, during the expulsion from Spain in 1492. The Sultan Bayezid II, who
ruled 1481-1512, sent ships to Grenada to save the dispossessed Jews and invite
them to live across the Ottoman Empire. Your loss, Bayezid tolds those who
signed the deportation order, is our gain. And gain they did. The Jews were not
only loyal, but also helped to develop the economy and spiritual life in every
place they reached across the empire.
Life was not always good for the Jews under the Ottomans and/or the Turks.
But what is very clear is that the current Sultan, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is an
impudent anti-Semite. His repeated statements make it clear that his role model
is former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and not sultans of yore who
treated the Jews fairly. This attitude of Erdogan’s did not start today, or
even with the 2010 Mavi Marmara crisis, when IDF troops and Turkish activists
clashed on board a Gaza-bound boat with deadly results. When he was younger,
Erdogan wrote a play called “Mas-Kom-Ya”, which depicts a conspiracy by the
Freemasons, the Communists, and the Jews.
Since 1984, Turkey has destroyed 3,000 Kurdish villages, implemented mass
transfer of the local population and caused a “Kurdish Nakba” of two million
people who became refugees in their own country. During this orchestrated war
on the Kurdish people, there have been massacres during which 30,000 people
were killed. Even if Israel made every effort, it could not scratch the surface
of the horrors perpetrated by the Turks, not those of recent decades and
certainly not those of the last century, including the genocide committed by
the Turks against the Armenians, and the atrocities committed in the framework
of the expulsion of Christians at the end of the First World War.
Erdogan himself is responsible for several massacres committed in recent
years. For example, his soldiers raided the city of Cizre, in
the northeast of the country, in February 2016. Hundreds of civilians hid in
three basements, but it did not help them as Erdogan’s soldiers massacred them
mercilessly. A total of 178 people were killed, most of them innocent
And this is one of many events. The list of crimes is long, but the world
barely pays heed with them, because the guiding principle is all too familiar:
As far as Muslims massacring Muslims is concerned – the world is silent.
Muslims are treated like stupid children, and allowed to get away with much.
The unfortunate Muslims on the receiving end complain bitterly about this
treatment, which is seen as a license to commit atrocities.
Erdogan has managed to raise this principle to new heights. He complains
about Israel, which is fighting jihad, while he also supports this jihad; he
has erased the gap (although it is doubtful this gap even exists) between
anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism; he commits massacres against his own people,
while accusing Israel of massacring the Palestinians.
Erdogan’s anti-Semitic campaign continues with full force. Last year,
Turkish TV aired an anti-Semitic series that included allegations of plots that
were allegedly the brainchild the Jew Theodor Herzl, which were “inspired by
real historical facts.” This was not the first antisemitic series. In Turkey,
One cannot easily dismmiss Erdogan, who in the past voiced opposition to
Bashar Assad’s continued rule in Syria, but soon joined the axis of evil that
includes Iran and Hezbollah. There are those who argue that Turkey’s economic
interests will lead to restraint, but that’s a mistake. History proves that
leaders of Erdogan’s ilk will pick ideological principles, especially those
rooted in hatred, over national interests. Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party
is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, whose founder, Hassan al-Banna, penned an
article on the importance of the “industry of death.” That’s the idea, those
are the principles that Erdogan follows.
It is important to note that the president of Turkey is not the enemy of
Israel, he is the enemy of the free world. Europe already detests him;
countries such as the Netherlands and Germany refused entry to ministers from
his party. But this did not stop Erdogan from becoming the contractor for the
project to stop the flow of refugees, for which he gets billions. This helps in
the short term, but in the long run, Europe is cultivating a monster who is
becoming increasingly racist and anti-Semitic.
Monsters like this must be stopped when they are small and toothless. But
Europe has forgotten everything and learned nothing. And the monster continues
The IDF destroyed a cache of
Iranian Fajr-5 missiles stored in a weapons depot near Damascus this
evening that had the potential to threaten the area surrounding the Galilee,
according to Israeli news agency Nziv.net. A second report released by Nziv,
says that a delegation of senior Hezbollah figures who arrived in Damascus came
under Israeli attack during the airstrikes.
Israel’s air defense system – likely the Arrow – was activated late Tuesday
night against a Syrian anti-aircraft missile, following an alleged Israeli air
strike over the capital of Damascus. Media reports claimed that Israel struck
weapon warehouses near the Syrian capital.
FROM THE JPOST: According to unconfirmed Israeli reports,
the launch was carried out from the northern city of Hadera, with pictures
published on social media of a large tail of smoke heading into the sky and
residents in the Hefer Valley Regional Council also reported hearing the sound
of loud explosion.
It is still unclear whether any Syrian missiles were intercepted from the
IDF’s reported perspective.
Syrian state media reported Tuesday night that regime air defenses
intercepted “hostile targets” west of Damascus during an alleged Israeli air
strike, which according to local reports involved 22 missiles targeting sites
including weapons depots belonging to pro-Iranian militias in Damascus.
Other locations reported by Syrian media to have been
struck during the strike are as follows: pro-Iranian military positions located
in the suburbs of Damascus, air defense facilities and headquarters of the 68th
Brigade and the 137th Brigade of the Syrian Army in the Damascus area, a
military headquarters belonging to the 4th Division of the Syrian Army in the
Al-Muna area surrounding Damascus and military Unit 10 in the district of
The IDF destroyed a cache of Iranian Fajr-5 missiles stored in a
weapons depot near Damascus this evening that had the potential to
threaten the area surrounding the Galilee, according to Israeli news agency
A second report released by Nziv, says that a delegation of senior
Hezbollah figures who arrived in Damascus came under Israeli attack during the
According to the Jerusalem Post’s sister publication Maariv,
the official Syrian news agency SANA reported that a Syrian military official
claimed, “Israeli air force planes attacked tonight, most of the missiles were
intercepted before hitting targets.” Later is was reported that three Syrian
soldiers were wounded and that an ammunition depot was damaged in the attack.
Several people on the ground filmed the rockets shooting
skyward, thought to be S-200 air defense, which is the main system Syria uses.
Locals reported debris and missile strikes near Dimas, Qatana, Saboura and near
Mazzah all west of Damascus. Some of these areas have been targeted in the
In September, Syrian air defense shot down a Russian Il-20 during an Israeli
air raid in Latakia and Russia blamed Israel for the mistake. Since then the
number of incidents in which Syria has alleged Israeli air strikes has
decreased. Syria was given the S-300 more advanced system by Moscow, but it is
not clear if the system is operational.
Earlier on Tuesday, Lebanese media reported that Israeli Air Force jets had
been circling over the southern part of the country before the strike on the
KAN reporter Amichai Stein wrote that this is a “possible
strike in west Damascus…heard all across the city.” Israeli media cited
accounts of eyewitnesses who claimed to see a column of smoke in the air over
Hadera. Additional reports were cited of people hearing loud explosions in
By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz/Breaking Israel
News December 07, 2018
“And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them
the names of the children of Israel.” Exodus 28:9
Sometimes incredible stories are actually true, and in this
case, experts agree that a small onyx stone, claimed to be given to a Knight
Templar over 1,000 years ago and handed down through one family from generation
to generation, is actually what the present owner claims: a gem from the
breastplate of the High Priest in Jerusalem.
A Prophetic Stone?
The stones of the choshen mishpat, the High Priest’s
breastplate, were referred to in the Bible as the urim v’tummim, a phrase that
And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim
and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aharon’s heart Exodus 28:30
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 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
According to the Talmud (Yoma 21b), the urim v’tummim were
lost when Jerusalem was sacked by the Babylonians. The Book of Ezra mentions
that individuals who were unable to prove, after the Babylonian captivity had
ended, that they were descended from the priesthood before the captivity began,
were required to wait until priests in possession of urim v’tummim were
In addition to the 12 stones mounted on the breastplate were
two sardonyx stones fixed in gold settings on the shoulders of the High
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.
Experts believe this is one of those stones. If this is so,
contained within it is the power of prophecy and it may play an important role
in returning the Priestly Caste to serve in the Temple.
Discovery: Too Incredible to Believe
In 2000, Dr. James Strange, a noted professor in religious
studies and archaeology, traveled to South Africa. An acquaintance suggested
Dr. Strange contact a family she had met there and if he could, help them with
a pro-bono appraisal of a gemstone. They were of humble means and Dr. Strange
was a certified appraiser whose services were highly sought after.
Dr. Strange met with the family, intending to humor them.
Instead, he was astounded by what they showed him. “I was indeed amazed at
the gemstone,” Dr. Strange told Breaking Israel News. The stone itself was
nothing special. A semi-precious sardonyx, it had little intrinsic worth.
But Dr. Strange was puzzled by the object he held in his
hands. “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 said.
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
Dr. Strange was an expert but when faced with such a
mystery, he sought help. He turned to Ian Campbell, Director of the Independent
Coloured Stones Laboratory in Johannesburg and a leading South African
gemologist. Campbell was equally dumbfounded.
He studied the stone, trying to ascertain its origin. The
owner’s story placing it on the High Priest’s breastplate were too incredible.
But the family had documentation that traced its descent from a Crusader-period
male ancestor who had been in the Holy Land in the Middle Ages and claimed the
stone was a reward from the High Priest. Could it be true?
The Thousand-Year Story
According to the Auret family tradition, the ancestor, named
Croiz Arneet deTarn Auret, received the stone from “the High Priest”
in gratitude for his part in freeing Jerusalem around 1189. 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 wishes to remain anonymous.
It has been strongly transmitted to each member of the
family through the centuries that it was God’s hand that inserted the
mysterious inscription inside the stone.
The mystery of the writing remained. Dr. Strange noted that
the stone had no external markings, so it clearly hadn’t been set in a ring or
a necklace. He was forced to conclude that it had probably been set in a large
plate or breastplate. He dated production of the stone to approximately the 5th
As an appraiser, Dr. Strange could not erase all doubt, but
he could certainly evaluate it as a one-of-a-kind. He appraised the stone’s
value at $175-$225 million.
The gemologist, Mr. Campbell, photomicrographed
(photographing via a microscope) the stone, confirming it had not been cut open
to make the inscription. When asked to estimate the value of the stone, Mr.
Campbell wrote, “How does one logically go about putting a value to
something like a proven religious artifact that is a ‘one of’ article?”
He estimated that $200 million was a “fair starting
The owner of the stone also consulted Professor M. Sharon
from the University of Witwatersrand. The professor, an expert in ancient
Hebrew, was given a photo of the stone. The blurry photographs hinted at
something astounding but he had to be sure. Intrigued, he asked to examine the
In his written report, he said that when he held it to the
light, he was amazed to see very clearly inside the stone itself, two letters
in ancient Hebrew. The letters seemed to be engraved or burnt into the heart of
“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.”
He 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
In 1994, Dr. Joan Goodnick Westenholz, who served as Chief
Curator at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem, examined the stone. She
concluded, “It is a unique object that has no similar or identical
counterpart; it is the only one of its kind in the world.”
Dr. Goodnick Westenholz believed that the gem was
“priceless”, estimating the date of the stone’s production to be
approximately the 7th century BCE. She noted the inscription “in the shape
of a possible letter is a ninth century form of an archaic Hebrew letter
In her notarized report, she observed next to the letter bet
“what can be perceived as the image of 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
But Is It True?
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.
Dr. Strange remembers the stone very well, and is more
convinced than ever of its authenticity. “A lot of water has flowed under
the bridge since then,” Dr. Strange told Breaking Israel News. “I
calculated then that if it were a fraud, then one or more very similar others
would show up on the international market rather soon, but to my knowledge none
He called for new examination of the gem. “I think this
object needs a new appraisal and as many scientific tests as possible to
determine whether it is genuine,” said Dr. Strange. “If it turns out
to be an artifact important to the history of the Jewish people, then that is
truly wonderful. If it turns out to be a masterful fraud, then I will be
pained that I was duped.”
The Journey Home
The present owner has contracted with a South African
businessman to find investors who are willing to purchase the stone and bring
it home to Israel. Both parties prefer to remain anonymous. When he saw the
stone and understood what it was, the businessman was dismayed, understanding
that it could easily turn into a commodity, an object of greed.
He recognized that this small stone was an enormous part of
Jewish history and set out to find an investor who would recompense the owner
with the intention of bringing it to Israel and donating it to the Temple.
“I’ve been involved with deals like this before,”
he told Breaking Israel News. “There are pieces of Egyptian heritage in
museums all over the world. People find something and sell it, without thinking
about what it is. That is what is done and it is a shame, even more so with
this stone. Several people have been trying to buy or sell this stone, turning
it into a business. All I really wanted to do was get the stone back to Israel
where it belongs.”
Many people have begun to discount the Jewish connection to
Israel and the Temple Mount, claiming the Jewish Temples are fairytale
accounts. This small stone and its miraculous engraving that once lit up the
High Priest’s breastplate are proof that the Temple stood in Jerusalem, and may
signal the return of more artifacts that have been misplaced, waiting to return
Revelation 1:3 "Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near".
Watchman for Christ