“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.
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
The site of Herodium was excavated by Professor Gideon Prester of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem from 1968 to 1969, during which the ring was found at the hilltop palace. Dr. Roi Porat of the Hebrew University headed the exploration of the site’s findings and led the team that worked to clean and examine the ring. Pilate’s name was not considered to be common during this time, and the seal is typical of the status of cavalry in Roman society, which is why the authors of the publication believe it belonged to the prefect.
An inscription on a copper-alloy ring that was found nearly 50 years ago at an excavation near Herodium has been deciphered and could have possibly belonged to Pontius Pilate.
Over 50 years ago, at the site of the ancient Herodium in Israel, a ring was found that dated back to the First Century AD. It bore an inscription that until very recently remained undeciphered. Archaeologists have now been able to decode it, and have found that it bears the words ‘of Pilate’. Interestingly, Pilate was the 5th of the Roman governors, or prefects, in ancient Judea, and 5 is the number of death and judgment in the Bible. So it is fitting that Pilate would be the one to pronounce death upon the innocent Jesus of Nazareth.
“The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.” Acts 4:26-28 (KJV)
The Bible tells us that while both Herod and Pontius Pilate were there standing against Jesus, so too were the people of the nation of Israel there to oppose thier king. That opposition continues to this day as you will note in the below article from the JPost. They refuse to give God the glory by using the global standard of BC – which stands for ‘before Christ’, and AD – meaning ‘in the year of our Lord’, when referring to Old and New Testament times, and have changed it to BCE – ‘before the common era’, and CE – ‘common era’.
“And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it. And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing. And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee. But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled.” Mark 15:2-5 (KJV)
Pray for Israel and the Jewish people, that the scales that cover their spiritual eyes, and that are over their hearts, will be removed and that some might be saved before the start of the time of Jacob’s trouble.
INSCRIPTION REVEALED ON JESUS’S KILLER’S RING
FROM THE JERUSALEM POST: The Roman prefect, who was notoriously credited with the death of Jesus, ruled the Judea province from 26 CE to 36 CE. The inscription, which was published in the latest edition of the Israel Exploration Journal, includes the words “Of Pilate” [πιλατο] on the small seal ring dated to the first century BCE to the mid-first century CE.
It also contains a depiction of a krater, a type of jar that originated in ancient Greece that was used for watering down wine. The newly published article also discusses the typology of ancient representations of kraters in Second Temple Jewish art.
The site of Herodium was excavated by Professor Gideon Prester of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem from 1968 to 1969, during which the ring was found at the hilltop palace. Dr. Roi Porat of the Hebrew University headed the exploration of the site’s findings and led the team that worked to clean and examine the ring.
Pilate’s name was not considered to be common during this time, and the seal is typical of the status of cavalry in Roman society, which is why the authors of the publication believe it belonged to the prefect. Though the ring is simple, it was likely to be used for daily functions, such as signing documents by officials or court staff who would have signed documents in Pilate’s name.
Pilate was the fifth of the Roman prefects in Judea. It is assumed by archaeologists that Pilate used Herodium, originally built in the first century CE by King Herod, as an administrative center.
The ring’s study was led and produced by Malka Hershkovitz and Professor Shua Amorai-Stark, and was co-authored by Gideon Foerster, Yakov Kalman, Rachel Chachy and Porat.
According to ancient historian Josephus and canonical gospel accounts, Pilate lobbied for Jesus to be spared his eventual fate of execution, but eventually gave into public demands for his death. He had famously sought to avoid personal accountability for Jesus’s death, as is seen in the Gospel of Matthew with his symbolic “washing of his hands.”
“And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? And they cried out again, Crucify him. Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.” Mark 15:12-14 (KJV)
The only other physical archaeological evidence that confirms Pilate’s existence is a Latin inscription found on a limestone block that is Pilate’s tribute to Tiberius. It was found as a reused block within a staircase at the Roman theater in Caesarea, and is now housed at the Israel Museum. The inscription on the stone also references Pilate as prefect of Judea
In a major shock to evolutionary science, a sweeping survey of the genetic code shows the human race sprang from a single adult couple.
The research was led by the Rockefeller University and the University of Basel, Switzerland, and stunned all involved.
“This conclusion is very surprising,” said David Thaler, research associate from the University of Basel. “And I fought against it as hard as I could.”
While still holding to an old Earth with these modern humans dating back between 100,000 to 200,000 years, it’s a time far more recent than other claims in the evolutionary theory.
In addition, this Adam and Eve, the researchers say, arose after a catastrophic event than nearly wiped out the human race. The Bible’s a story of a couple created by God as a adults.
Another surprise for the scientists, however, was that nine of every 10 animal species also come from a single pair of beings.
Senior research associate Mark Stoeckle and Thaler, the two scientists who headed the study, concluded 90 percent of all animal species alive today come from parents that all began giving birth at roughly the same time, less than 250 thousand years ago — throwing into doubt the patterns of human evolution.
“At a time when humans place so much emphasis on individual and group differences, maybe we should spend more time on the ways in which we resemble one another and the rest of the animal kingdom,” said Stoeckle.
The study also suggests people and animals are very similar genetically to each other.
“If a Martian landed on Earth and met a flock of pigeons and a crowd of humans, one would not seem more diverse than the other according to the basic measure of mitochondrial DNA,” said Jesse Ausubel, director of the Program for the Human Environment at the Rockefeller University.
Stoeckle agrees, adding: “Culture, life experience and other things can make people very different but in terms of basic biology, we’re like the birds.”
During the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research in Denver, Colorado, scholar Phillip Silvia reported the preliminary findings of their excavations in the area, which some scientists consider to be home to the Biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The results suggest that cities and settlements in the Jordan Valley’s Middle Ghor region, where up to 65,000 people lived around that time, were obliterated with a powerful wave of heat, wind and tiny particles, the outlet Science News reports.
According to the Bible, the ancient cities, thought to have been located on the Dead Sea, were wiped away by God for the sinful behaviour of their people. The preliminary findings of US scientists suggest that this region witnessed a major calamity almost 4 thousand years ago, which left it uninhabited for centuries.
God looks down on man’s nuclear weapons, and I believe He laughs at our puny attempts at warfare. He has things in His arsenal that make our most powerful nukes look like firecrackers. We first read about these weapons in the 38th chapter of the book of Job. The weather is the strongest weapon that has ever been created, and there is no defense against it. Think about that the next time your ‘small talk‘ revolves around the weather, no small matter there.
“But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly. Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.” Genesis 13:13, 19:24,25 (KJV)
Contrary to modern-day Laodicean revisionists, the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of unrepentant homosexual behaviour. This was the place where the original LGBTQ lifestyle was founded, and when God pronounced judgement on it in a fiery blast from above, Sodom and Gomorrah ceased to exist. That area today, as you see in the photo, resembles a bomb blast crater after an horrific explosion has taken place. It remains uninhabited to this day.
“And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD: And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.” Genesis 19:27,28 (KJV)
Bible Revisited: Alleged Sodom Site Thought to Have Been Hit by Cosmic Blast
FROM SPUTNIK: Archaeologists from Trinity Southwest University, a Christian higher educational institution in Albuquerque, New Mexico, have claimed civilisation in the Dead Sea region was destroyed 3,700 years ago following a meteor explosion in the atmosphere.
During the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research in Denver, Colorado, scholar Phillip Silvia reported the preliminary findings of their excavations in the area, which some scientists consider to be home to the Biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. The results suggest that cities and settlements in the Jordan Valley’s Middle Ghor region, where up to 65,000 people lived around that time, were obliterated with a powerful wave of heat, wind and tiny particles, the outlet Science News reports.
Waives also pushed salty water from the Dead Sea, which devastated the soil. The explosion, the researchers argue, “not only wiped out 100% of the Middle Bronze Age cities and towns, but also stripped agricultural soil from once-fertile fields,” Newsweek reports.
According to the scientists, a low-altitude meteor explosion caused the catastrophe which wiped out the region, including the ancient city of Tall el-Hammam, where the researchers worked for years. Radiocarbon dating reportedly revealed that mud-brick walls suddenly disappeared in the Middle Ghor city, as only stone foundations remained.
A pottery surface found on the site was melted into glass, which may be a result of extreme temperatures. Following the alleged blast, people wouldn’t return to the region for 600-700 years.
Humanity has seen several space explosions before. Five years ago, a near-Earth asteroid exploded in the atmosphere near the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, making headlines around the world and even worming its way into a Hollywood movie. This resulted in over 1,000 people being injured (mostly by broken glass from windows blown out by the shockwave). A more powerful blast came in 1908, when an asteroid exploded over a scarcely populated Siberian region on the Tunguska River, wiping away 2,000 square kilometres.
For villagers and Bedouins in northwest Saudi Arabia, it’s simply a matter of fact that the “mountain of Moses,” where the great prophet received the Ten Commandments directly from God and other iconic biblical events took place, is in their midst.
That assertion conflicts with the conventional wisdom of scholars who believe the site is in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.
But the few Westerners who have visited the highly restricted area in the highly restricted Islamic kingdom insist that seeing is believing. And there are others who have done extensive research over the years who agree.
In May, WND reported the findings of Bible scholar and author Joel Richardson, who embarked on his journey to the mountainous area known as Jabal al-Lawz with skepticism but returned “fully confident that this is the real Mount Sinai.”
“At every turn, everything lines up with the biblical narrative. Everything falls into place,” Richardson said. “If this is not Mount Sinai, then God Himself has masterfully created the greatest hoax in human history.”
Now, Ryan Mauro, a national security analyst who frequently appears on Fox News, is producing a video documenting his own trips to the area, titled “The Mountain of Moses,” so people can see the evidence for themselves.
Mauro, who was also an adjunct professor for Liberty and Regent Universities until recently, has been covertly traveling to Saudi Arabia to obtain unprecedented footage of the sites.
They include many landmarks and other evidence that fit the biblical descriptions of the rock at Horeb struck by Moses, the golden-calf altar made by the Israelites and the altar constructed by Moses.
It’s the region that the Bible calls Midian, where Moses married Jethro’s daughter and shepherded Jethro’s flocks.
Mauro points out that the Bible says more than 70 times that the Israelites went “out of Egypt.”
“If this is Mount Sinai and the sites seen in this video are evidences of the Exodus, then this will impact the billions of people of faith, and those with no faith at all,” he told WND.
‘Where Moses walked’
Mauro said local Saudis were “excited to tell us that we were traveling where Moses and the Israelites walked.”
“Some Saudis were coming from across the country just to see the area believed to be the land of Jethro and the well where Moses met Jethro’s daughters. Muslims from around the world visit the area, believing it is related to the Exodus.”
The video he is producing includes the testimony of a former member of a jihadist group who claims he and other jihadists knew Mount Sinai was in Saudi Arabia, protected by fences and guards.
The jihadist believes Saudi Islamic Law has saved the mountain from being ruined, explaining it otherwise would have been turned into an oft-visited site of idolatry.
“Local Saudis we met were proud of the fact that Moses and the Israelites were there,” Mauro said.
One local said, “This is our land, but it is also the land of the Yahud [Jews] who came here long ago.”
Remarkably, the “mountain of Moses” is within an area designated by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud as the site of his $500 billion, futuristic megacity called Neom.
Thirty-three times larger than New York City, it’s to be an autonomous zone with its own legal and taxation system, independent from Riyadh.
A promo video shows the prince’s utopian vision to “set aside a part of the world for those who want to change the world,” providing “the blank page you need to write humanity’s next chapter.”
Mauro said he’s already seeing construction in the area and a sharp increase in security.
“Even if the Saudi construction does not directly harm archaeological artifacts, it could prevent future excavation and ruin the scenery that allows you to envision the Exodus right before your eyes,” he said.
“We are calling for the entire plain in front of Mount Sinai to be preserved so that artifacts are not damaged and so the Exodus story can come to life for everyone.”
He said his video will be released along with a comprehensive website to house the research and provide updates.
The website will post 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.
Mauro said he’s concerned that the Saudis might preserve the sites but not the Exodus-like environment.
“We don’t want it to become like the pyramids in Giza, Egypt. The pyramids are an impressive sight, but there are streets, stores and hotels so close by that it’s hard to feel like you’re in ancient Egypt. We don’t want that to happen to these sites in Saudi Arabia.”
Rock of ages
Joel Richardson at the “split rock of Moses at Horeb” (Courtesy Joel Richardson)
In the May interview with WND, Richardson noted that within the academic community, some have reacted harshly to the claim that Mt. Sinai is at al-Lawz, while others cautiously believe it’s a possibility.
“If those on the fence actually could visit the site, I guarantee they would be fully convinced, or 95 percent there,” Richardson said.
Scholars such as James Karl Hoffmeier, a professor of Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern History and Archaeology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and creationist Gordon Franz have argued against the Saudi site as the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments.
Richardson argues that no scholar has sufficiently addressed the fact that among the various petroglyphs found in the area is an image of an ancient menorah, offering evidence of a Hebrew community.
Joel Richardson and Egyptian bull petroglyph (Courtesy Joel Richardson)
Archer petroglyph (Courtesy Joel Richardson)
A Wikipedia entry on Jabal al-Lawz contends investigators who believe it’s the location of Mt. Sinai such as Ron Wyatt, Bob Cornuke and Lennart Moller have misidentified a mountain called Jabal Maqla as Jabal al-Lawz.
Richard explains Jabal al-Lawz, which means “Mountain of Almonds,” is the name of the entire range.
In biblical times, the range was called Horeb.
Jabal Maqla, also rendered Jebel al-Makklah, is the specific mountain in question. It’s also known as “Jabal Musa,” the “Mountain of Moses.”
“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.”
In addition, he said, newly discovered petroglyphs at the foot of mountain depict archers, echoing a warning by Moses recorded in Exodus that anyone who set foot on the mountain would be shot with arrows.
“Jethro’s view,” with Horeb on the left and the triple peak believed to be Mount Sinai on the right (Courtesy Joel Richardson)
“When you go there, it becomes very obvious that this is the real site,” Richardson told WND. “The other large granite mountain just to the north of it is what the Bible called Horeb. The split rock of Horeb is just to the northwest of it.”
The split rock (Courtesy Joel Richardson)
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.
“It borders on the absurd to think all of these things are all coincidences. Further, all of the locals would have to be deceived, because they all call it the mountain of Moses, or the rock of Moses,” he said.
“I was picturing red spray paint in my mind and couldn’t understand how that happened because the latest dating could only be 2,000 years ago or earlier,” said Levi. But when she saw the professionally chiseled Hebrew lettering inscribed into the stone column, she realized it was something unusual. Brushing off the dirt, she began to read what was written. “My heart started to pound and I was sure everyone could hear it. My hands were trembling so badly I couldn’t properly take a picture,” said Levi, who dates the column and its inscription to 100 BC.
The earliest stone inscription bearing the full spelling of the modern Hebrew word for Jerusalem was unveiled on Tuesday at the Israel Museum, in the capital.
This earliest known engraving of the word ‘Jerusalem’ in Hebrew is a stunning discovery that has archaeologists in Israel weeping for joy. Jerusalem, the City of David, is the capital city of the only land on earth known as God’s Land.
“The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.” Psalm 147:2 (KJV)
FROM THE TIMES OF ISRAEL: While any inscription dating from the Second Temple period is of note, the 2,000-year-old three-line inscription on a waist-high column — reading “Hananiah son of Dodalos of Jerusalem” — is exceptional, as it is the first known stone carving of the word “Yerushalayim,” which is how the Israeli capital’s name is pronounced in Hebrew today.
“A worker came to me in the office towards the end of the day and excitedly told me to grab my camera and writing materials because he’d found something written,’” Levi told The Times of Israel, ahead of the column’s unveiling Tuesday.
At first, the excited worker could not clearly explain what he had found, and Levi thought it was graffiti.
“I was picturing red spray paint in my mind and couldn’t understand how that happened because the latest dating could only be 2,000 years ago or earlier,” said Levi. But when she saw the professionally chiseled Hebrew lettering inscribed into the stone column, she realized it was something unusual. Brushing off the dirt, she began to read what was written.
“My heart started to pound and I was sure everyone could hear it. My hands were trembling so badly I couldn’t properly take a picture,” said Levi, who dates the column and its inscription to 100 BC.
The 80 cm. high column has a diameter of 47.5 cm, said Levi, and would have originally been used in a Jewish craftsman’s building. It presumably belonged to or was built with money from Hananiah son of Dodalos.
While inscribed in a Jewish village — Levi said there is evidence of ritual baths as well as other finds bearing Hebrew lettering at the site — the column was eventually reused in a plastered wall, found in a ceramic construction workshop in use by the Tenth Roman Legion, that would eventually destroy Jerusalem in 70 AD
During an interview on Tuesday, Clinton said that Democrats can be civil toward Republicans when they take back the House, Senate or both.
“You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about,” the former secretary of state said.
Clinton would rather see the country thrown into chaos, Ingraham said, than admit Trump’s policies are succeeding.
“This is all about foisting a liberal construct on America,” she said.
Democrats are actually resentful that the country is prospering, Ingraham added, and they’re displaying Antifa-like resistance.
“The Democrats have decided to run on just a platform of demonization.”
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