The Bible As History Feed

Another Bible Story Becomes Fact- GIDEON was real!

Archaeologists digging in southern Israel may have found the name of Jerubbaal, scourge of the Midianites, on a broken fragment of a Judges-era clay pot.

The inscription in primitive  alphabetic writing from the time of the biblical Judges was found in Khirbat er-Ra’i, near Kiryat Gat in southern Israel. The extremely rare inscription, written in ink on a fragment of clay pot, apparently bears the name “Jerubbaal.” AKA Gideon...... Read on

Whatever else the pot may have said is lost to the mists of time, but that is a name known from the biblical book of Judges and the inscription is roughly from the time of the judges – about 3,100 years ago, the Israel Antiquities Authority reported on Monday. The coincidence is intriguing.

The shard with the rare ancient writing was found in a subterranean storage pit that had been lined with stones, the IAA says. The vessel was quite small, with a capacity of about a liter (a quarter of a gallon). The archaeologists therefore speculate that it held a precious liquid, such as a perfume or medical concoction, and that it may have belonged to a man named Jerubbaal, making it Jerubbaal’s pot.

Khirbat er-Ra’i is being excavated under the direction of Prof. Yossi Garfinkel of the Hebrew University, Sa’ar Ganor at the Israel Antiquities Authority, and Dr. Kyle Keimer and Dr. Gil Davis of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.

The stone-paved silo

The stone-paved silo where the Jerubbaal inscription was found.Credit: Yossi Garfinkel, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The name was written in an ancient alphabetic script, which derived from the earliest alphabetic script known (as opposed to cuneiform or hieroglyphics), which had apparently been invented by Canaanite merchants or slaves working in or with ancient Egypt around 4,000 years ago, during the Middle Bronze Age. The theory is that they invented phonetic letters because learning to write in hieroglyphics in adulthood was too onerous.

Very few inscriptions from such distant reaches of history have been found, but a handful exist from the Late Bronze Age – mostly from the town of Lachish, a mere 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from Khirbat el Ra’i.

The writing was deciphered by epigraphic expert Christopher Rollston of George Washington University, who discerned the letters yod (albeit broken at the top), reshbeitayinlamed – YRBA’L, i.e., Jerubbaal. The original inscription had been longer but is lost, the archaeologists surmise.

Drawing of the sherd with the ancient letters yod, resh, bet, ayin and lamed

Drawing of the sherd with the ancient letters yod, resh, bet, ayin and lamedCredit: Dafna Gazit / Israel Antiquities

As for who Jerubbaal may have been remains unclear - he could have been anybody. But based on timing and location, the archaeologists surmise that he may have been none other than the biblical figure Gideon (also known as Jerubbaal), son of Joash the Abiezrite, whose activities are described at length in the book of Judges.

Excavating a jar from the time of the biblical Judges at Khirbat er-Ra‘i

Excavating a jar from the time of the biblical Judges at Khirbat er-Ra‘iCredit: Saar Ganor / Israel Antiquiti

The 3,100-year-old inscription was found near Kiryat Gat, in excavations conducted by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Israel Antiquities Authority and Macquarie University, Sydney

Aerial view of Khirbat er-Ra'iCredit: Emil Aladjem, Israel Antiquities

It bears adding that inscriptions from the period of the judges, 3,100 years ago, are extremely rare. This is the first time, the archaeologists say, that the name Jerubbaal has been found in an archaeological context. It also bears adding that the inscription was in Canaanite script and it is possible that Jerubbaal the putative owner of the pot was, simply, a Canaanite.

Anyway, the biblical story (Judges 6) tells of an angel joining Gideon beneath a terebinth tree owned by his father, Joash. Gideon presses the angel over the Lord’s forsaking the people of Israel and abandoning them to the rule of Midianites. The angel explains that the Lord wants Gideon to save Israel from the Midianites. The man demurred that he was the least significant person in his family, which belonged to the least significant clan, Manasseh, but was assured that the Lord would be with him “and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man.”

Gideon makes an offering of meat and bread to the Lord, who accepts it. And that night, the Lord tells him:

“Take thy father’s young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it” (Judges 6:25; grove being translated by some as “Asherah” – figurine, wooden image, Asherah pole and more).

And that, Gideon did, anecdotally burning the bull as an offering using the wood of the figurine. The infuriated townspeople demanded Gideon’s head, but Joash suggested that Baal be left to defend himself – which, as we know, did not happen.

“Therefore on that day he was called Jerubbaal, saying: Let Baal contend against him, because he hath broken down his altar" (Judges 6:32).

This, then, is the putative Jerubbaal. Whether the pot belonged to him, we cannot know, but it is an intriguing theory.

Sa'ar Ganor of the Israel Antiquities Authority tends to the theory that it did, on the grounds of his interpretation that the syllables "Jeru" stem from the ancient root of "rav" in the sense of "fight" (not rabbi); and who did he fight? Baal.

"He broke Baal's altar," Ganor points out, according to the biblical narrative. Or alternatively - it could be interpreted as  "Baal will judge him," which obviously did not happen. 


Charlemagne, Holy Roman emperor: Europe's Amazing Rise Foretold in Bible Prophecy

image from i2.wp.com

Bible prophecy clearly shows that Jesus Christ will return to establish the Kingdom of God, a literal world-ruling kingdom, on earth. This hope is so fundamental that Jesus instructed Christians to regularly pray, “Your kingdom come” (Matthew 6:10; Luke 11:2). Prophecies throughout the Bible give many details about Christ’s return and conditions in the world leading up to that event.

The rise of this final world superpower is foretold primarily in the biblical books of Daniel and Revelation. We’ll begin with what God revealed to the prophet Daniel in Old Testament times.

After years of decline, the Roman Empire indeed received a “deadly wound” in A.D. 476 when Rome’s Emperor Romulus Augustulus was deposed by Germanic tribes led by Odoacer. But that was not the end of the Roman Empire. As we will see, that “wound” was indeed healed and the empire would rise again—and again and again through history.

 

Continue reading "Charlemagne, Holy Roman emperor: Europe's Amazing Rise Foretold in Bible Prophecy" »


Ancient Judeans often ate non-kosher fish around the time such food was prohibited in the Bible, new study suggests

  • Researchers examined fish bones dating back thousands of years from 30 sites
  • These archaeological dig sites date back from the late Bronze to late Iron Age 
  • Finding non-kosher fish species helps pin down the origin of Hebrew dietary law
  • The team hope to find out when Jewish people stopped eating finless fish 
This is the anterior vertebra of a catfish excavated at Jerusalem used as part of a study into the eating habits of Iron age residents of Judea. It found they regularly eat non-Kosher fish like catfish despite it being 'strictly forbidden' under Jewish dietary laws

This is the anterior vertebra of a catfish excavated at Jerusalem used as part of a study into the eating habits of Iron age residents of Judea. It found they regularly eat non-Kosher fish like catfish despite it being 'strictly forbidden' under Jewish dietary laws

Residents of Judea regularly ate non-Kosher fish like catfish despite it being 'strictly forbidden' under Jewish dietary laws, a new archaeological study found. Researchers from Israel's Ariel University examined fish bones dating back thousands of years, found at 30 archaeological sites in the country, to uncover the dietary secrets. The team found no evidence of people following rules banning the eating of fish species without scale or fin until the Roman era in the 6th century CE. 

The findings shed fresh light on the origin of Old Testament dietary laws still observed by Jewish people today, that mythology and religious history suggest were first introduced by Moses in the 12th century BCE.  The Torah, including dietary rules around forbidden foods and slaughter practices, began to be written down during the Persian period of Judea in the 3rd century BCE.

A set of passages repeated twice forbids the eating of certain types of fish, but the origins and history of the seafood ban have not been explored in detail until now. The Israeli team say their findings call for a rethink of assumptions that long-held traditions were the basis for the food laws outlined in the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, suggesting instead they were introduced when first written down. 

 

Continue reading "Ancient Judeans often ate non-kosher fish around the time such food was prohibited in the Bible, new study suggests" »


Dozens of new Dead Sea Scroll fragments are discovered in Israel's 'Cave of Horror'

Dozens of new Dead Sea Scroll fragments found in Israel

The Israel Antiquities Authority say they were found in a remote canyon in the Judean Desert, south of Jerusalem - the first find of its kind in 60 years. The fragments include lines of Greek text from the biblical books of Zechariah and Nahum and were radiocarbon dated to the 2nd century AD, experts confirmed.


'Star of Bethlehem' to grace the sky after sunset TONIGHT:

image from i.dailymail.co.uk
  • The celestial conjunction will be visible in the night sky tonight until Christmas
  • Jupiter and Saturn have been appearing closer in the sky since the summer
  • Viewers worldwide will able to see the show — but most easily from the equator
  • In the UK, the best view, weather permitting, will occur in the hour after 3.48pm 
  • The planets will appear in the western sky, low above the horizon after sunset
  • The duo will not seem to come this close together again until March 15, 2080 

Those in London and New York will see the planets close to the horizon — at around 5.3° and 7.5°, respectively - around an hour after the sun sets tonight. 


Rare 'Star of Bethlehem' to Appear Dec. 21:

Here's What Astronomy Says About the Biblical Star at Christ's Birth

FROM CBN.COM

image from www1.cbn.com

Later this month, you can witness a rare event in the night sky that has not been seen in almost eight centuries. 

FOX5NY.com reports the two largest planets in our solar system, Jupiter and Saturn, will align on Dec. 21 to create what's sometimes referred to as the "Christmas Star" or the "Star of Bethlehem." 

When the planets line up on the day marking the start of the winter solstice, they will appear to form a double planet. It's a rare event and one that hasn't been seen since the Middle Ages, according to Forbes.com. But in reality, the planets won't be close at all. It will just look like that to viewers on Earth. 

Theories About the 'Star of Bethlehem'

As CBN News has reported, while there have been many theories about the identity of the biblical star of Bethlehem that appeared at Christ's birth, a combination of historical research, astronomical insight, and biblical understanding has come together to present a plausible explanation that is both miraculous and understandable.

This theory finds the planet Jupiter to be part of that star. In the ancient world, all heavenly bodies were considered "stars". 

The Magi or the three wise men were, most likely, court advisers to Babylon who used the stars to give guidance to the ruler. Why would God guide astrologers, of all people, to the King of Kings? This example, according to some writers, was Christ's first human ministry to unbelievers.

Who Exactly Were the Magi? 

But who were these mysterious wise men? One ancient Jewish writer Philo speaks of them.

Star of Bethlehem expert Rick Larson once told CBN News that Philo "describes a particular school of Magi, calls it the Eastern school, and these Magi he praises. He says these guys understood the natural order and are able to explain the natural order to others.  And they were, according to Philo, probably what we might call proto-scientists." 

Early church historians had been giving a date of around 3 BC for Christ's birth, though other scholars had been saying 7 BC because of what appears to be a misunderstanding of King Herod's death in between those two dates.

What the Magi likely saw were five astronomical conjunctions that took place over a span of time from August of 3 BC to June of 2 BC. When one planet passes another and, as seen from earth, they line up – that would have been of great significance to these astrologer-advisers.

We now know what these conjunctions meant to these Magi as they would have observed from their far-off land. The conjunctions involved the constellation Leo the Lion, the planet Venus, the planet Jupiter and the star Regulus. 

To the Babylonians, the lion represented Israel. Venus was motherhood. Jupiter stood for fatherhood or kingship. And Regulus symbolized royalty.  

Put these together in the Babylonian mindset and what do you get? A clear and repeated message that a grand king had been born in Israel. 

Larson used computerized astronomical tools to track the convergence of these heavenly signs involving Jupiter, Venus, Leo, and Regulus, back to when they would have occurred. 

"Nine months after that first conjunction – nine months – the gestation period of a human. We see Jupiter and Venus come together to form the brightest star anyone had ever seen," Larson said.

That would have been in mid-June of 2 BC – again near Regulus in Leo. Eventually, Larson traces it all to a conclusion on Dec. 25, in 2 BC. 

"Of course, they didn't use our calendar – you know December 25th meant nothing to them. They never heard of December, but to us, it could be a sign and it is interesting that the gifting did occur on December 25th," he said.

The Heavens Declare the Glory of God

With today's telescopes, the grandeur of the skies is more visible than ever before. Yet even with the naked eye, the Psalmist proclaimed "the heavens declare the glory of God."

How can he do that? Could the Star of Bethlehem be an example in announcing the Messiah? Or is this some kind of misguided astrology?

"The Bible comes down extremely hard on astrology. Reverence for the stars, the idea that stars order your life or guide you or whatever – did you know it was a killing offense in the Old Testament?" Larson said.

But the Bible also says that God put signs in the sky. Perhaps the Star of Bethlehem was like a thermometer.

"A thermometer can tell you if it's hot or cold but it can't make you hot or cold – because it's not an active agent. Stars are like that. According to the Bible, they can tell you things; they can be signs from a higher power, from God on high. But they can't make you do anything, they're burning balls of gas, you know," Larson said.  

The Romans Thought the Star Was About Them -- Instead, It Announced the King of Kings

Of course, the Romans who ruled most of the known world at the time thought the star was about them and they even put the star on one of their coins with an image of Caesar Augustus, which represents how impressive the star was. A sort of Star of Rome rather than the Star of Bethlehem. And that's probably what made the Magi ride toward Israel.

While the mortal Augustus has long passed from history, Jesus is worshipped by millions around the world as the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, The Eternal One Who created the heavens and the signs of His own coming – who said that one day he would also return. 

So the Magi went looking for this infant king to the capital city of the Jews, Jerusalem, and the Jews sent them into Bethlehem, a place from which the Jewish scriptures prophesied a king would come. The rest is history. 

Editor's Note: Much of the material for this story was originally researched and written by Gailon Totheroh.

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What was the Star of Magi that they followed and when was Jesus Really Born?

THE MAGI:

By Bob Barney

1 Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea when Herod was king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who is born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him." When Herod the king heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

 Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he asked them where the Christ would be born.nThey said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written through the prophet,  'You Bethlehem, land of Judah, Are in no way least among the princes of Judah: For out of you shall come forth a governor, Who shall shepherd my people, Israel'". Micah 5:2

Then Herod secretly called the wise men, and learned from them exactly what time the star appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem, and said, "Go and search diligently for the young child. When you have found him, bring me word, so that I also may come and worship him."

 They, having heard the king, went on their way; and all at once they saw that the star, which they followed from the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the young child was.

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.  They came into the house and saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Opening their treasures, they offered to him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Notice these wise men (and we do not know the number) came to a house to visit the baby Jesus, not to the manger. They were not present when he was born, but came upward to 2 years later! Notice that in verse 16, Herod orders all children two years and under to be killed!

Starofbethlehem

The wise men (Magi) were probably scientists and came presumably from Babylon, but possibly from Assyria or Chaldea. Scientists of this day were also considered religious figures as the ancients rightly knew that science and God go together, unlike today. When Daniel was in captivity in Babylon, he eventually became the leader and the teacher of a group known as Magi... It can be assumed, since Daniel knew the future, he instructed his students to look for signs of the coming Messiah.

At about the sixth century Catholic tradition changed the Magi into Kings and their number was fixed at three because of the threefold nature of their gifts gold, frankincense and myrrh (but six Kings in the eastern tradition), yet the Bible nowhere mentions their number. It could have been two, three, four or forty!

The star was not very bright and obvious to everybody, but must have held astrological significance. Also it must have been a fairly long lasting phenomenon. Possibly Daniel knew what this astrological phenomenon would occur!

It was only in medieval times that the star got to be depicted as very bright and with a tail, suggesting a comet or a meteorite, but again, the Bible makes no such statement! In fact, there is a possibility that the “star” was actually an angel, as the Bible refers to angels as “stars!”

Still we may wonder what has caused the story and what information on the dating of the birth of Christ it may contain.

After many years of research, I have come to the conclusion that the star was actually the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, something, by the way, is going to happen this December 21st2020.

We know from the Bible that Jesus was born during the reign of King Herod. Herod died sometime around a lunar eclipse seen from Jericho and around passover time, so probably eclipse of March 12, 4 BC. We also know it was during the time of the census, which Augustus proclaimed in 8 BC! Reasonably, Christ was born between this years....

The famed German astronomer Johannes Kepler  observed the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in 1603-04, which caused him to calculate back in time and to suggest that the one in 7 BC was the star of Bethlehem. I believe he was right. Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) was one of the great mathematical minds of human history. As Arthur Koestler wrote in The Sleepwalkers, “Kepler and Galileo were the two giants on whose shoulders Newton stood.”

In the ancient world planets were symbols. Jupiter was the planet of Kings, Saturn was the planet of the the priestly class, and happening in the constellation of Pisces, representative of the Jewish people. So this meant to the Daniel taught Magi, was a King of the Jews was to be born and this King would be the priestly Messiah!

The Conjunction occurred 3 times over the course of a year. The year was probably 6 BC, but some argue 7 BC. Both years would fit...It occurred over a period of time---which would cover the period of Christ's conception and the Magi's journey to Bethlehem, as recounted in Matthew 2:9–10.The first was May 29th which is Pentecost and probably the day John the Baptists was born. The next conjuncture was at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles and Atonement. THIS IS WHEN JESUS WAS BORN! Remember the Magi did NOT visit Jesus in the manager! That is paganism! The Bible clearly shows they visited Jesus in a HOUSE! Herod himself, when meeting the Magi, ordered all male children in Bethlehem to be murdered up to 2 years old, showing you that the Magi knew the child was no longer an infant in a manger! The third conjuncture happened in December (like this year) around the 21st, when they found the baby Jesus in a home! He was either 3 months old, or possibly 15 months old, depending on possible calendar error.

It is clear the Christ was not born in December. The flocks were still in the field, and in December in Israel, flocks are in barns. Luke 2:8 provides the first indication, as flocks were still in the fields at night. The flocks were brought in for the winter season of mid-October to mid-March.

The next proof is the fact that Jesus was born six months after John the Baptist (Luke 1:24-2636). When was John the Baptist born? May 29th! Because Zacharias’ (his Father) he priestly functions during the 7th Month Feast of Tabernacles, which starts Sept 29th, when he was told he would have a child, and nine months later would be as late as May 29th, when the same “STAR” appeared, but more likely during Passover times as he was six months older than Jesus. Therefore, Christ’s birth had to be in early autumn or during the feast

Christ was probably born on either the Day of Atonement or during the Feast of Tabernacles (First or Last Great Day?). The Magi got to the house much later, during December, leading to the false Christmas manager scene we see today during the pagan XMAS celebration. Christ was not born December 25th, but tradition holds it the Lucifer (Satan) was created on that day! Think about that.

 The next great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn will be on the day of the solstice: December 21, 2020. Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions happen every 20 years; the last one was in the year 2000, but wasn't visible during the daytime. The 2020 great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn will be the closest since 1623 and the closest observable since 1226! On December 21, 2020, Jupiter and Saturn will be only 0.1 degree apart. Some say the pair will look like an “elongated star” on that date. Will they? We’ll have to look and see! They’ll surely be an appealing and mind-expanding sight. This extra-close Jupiter-Saturn conjunction won’t be matched again until the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction of March 15, 2080.

What you will probably see this solstice will be what the Magi's saw over 2000 years ago on the same day! A “star” leading to the baby Jesus. Not Jesus' birthday, but their visit!


Childhood Home of Jesus may have been found

British researcher details the 'childhood home of Jesus Christ'

A British researcher claims to have excavated what was the childhood home of Jesus Christ, in a new book. Professor Ken Dark (inset), an archaeologist from the University of Reading, has spent 14 years studying remains under the Sisters of Nazareth Convent in Nazareth, Israel. He says a stone and mortar dwelling (pictured), which was first uncovered in the 1880s, was partially cut into a limestone hillside in the city by a skilled craftsman - likely Joseph, father of Jesus.


'Once-in-a-lifetime discovery': Archaeologists uncover pieces of palace connected to King David

image from pbs.twimg.com

Archaeologists have discovered three 2,700-year-old relics of the ancient Kingdom of Judah during ongoing excavations in Jerusalem.

The three decorated column heads bear the same style as others of the kingdom, a symbol of the Davidic dynasty. Experts believe the column heads date from the time of King Hezekiah, a descendant of King David.

“This discovery is really a once-in-a-lifetime discovery,” City of David Foundation Vice President Doron Spielman told The Jerusalem Post.

“It’s not every day that we’re able to discover something that four billion people around the world -- who have some type of identity to the bible, to ancient Jerusalem, to the idea of discovering the Bible and unearthing the archaeology underneath the ground and connecting it to the actual place -- can relate to," he said.

The stones, known to archaeologists as "capitals," appeared to have been carefully hidden amid the wreckage of the site, according to the BBC.

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Book of Judges Find! Ancient Israeli fortress unearthed

Fortress dating back to the 12th-century BC found Israel matches a structure described in

Archaeologists in Israeli uncovered a massive fortress dating to the 12th-century BC that matches a structure described in the bible built by Canaanites to fend off invading Philistines. The formation is 60 feet by 60 feet and once included watchtowers and a courtyard when it was formed 3,200 years ago. The team also unearthed hundreds of pottery vessels (bottom inset) during the excavation.


Archaeologists speculate exploding meteor could have destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah

SodomThe Bible describes why God unleashed his wrath on the ancient cities Sodom and Gomorrah, but archaeologists have explained, in a 2018 study, how they think it happened, which may offer unique, relevant insight into the ways of the Creator.

In the book of Genesis, and also included in the Torah and Quran, is an account of the cities whose sin was so depraved that God meted out immediate justice.

Abraham tried to intercede on their behalf, pleading for God to spare them even if there were only 10 good people left in Sodom. God agreed, and sent two angels to meet Abraham's nephew Lot there.

Lot took the angels into his home, where the wicked men in Sodom came after them, wanting to "know" the angels (largely understood as wanting to have sexual relations with them), proving their sinfulness and justifying God to go ahead with the destruction, but not before warning Lot to flee the city with his wife and daughters.

"Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven. And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. But Lot's wife, behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt."

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Ancient Jerusalem’s Rural Food Basket

The Daily Stew? Everyday Meals in Ancient Israel

By Cynthia Shafer-Elliott

Introduction

What did the ancient Israelites eat and how did they cook? Unfortunately, the Hebrew Bible doesn’t contain as much information on daily cooking and meals as one would like. The limited amount of information on food in the Hebrew Bible relates to the kosher dietary laws (Lev. 11), the sacrificial system (Lev. 1-7; Num.), or elite feasting or meals.

For example, 1 Kings 4:22-23 lists the daily provisions for King Solomon’s table: thirty cors of choice flour, sixty corsof meal, ten fat oxen, twenty pasture-fed cattle, one hundred sheep, deer, gazelles, roebucks, and fatted fowl. These are daily provisions for the king and do not reflect what the average ancient Israelite man, woman, or child ate.

Meals in Biblical and Ancient Israel

Textual resources are an important source of information on any ancient society but their original purpose was to provide accounts of monumental people and events such as military conquests and the reigns of kings. Even the Hebrew Bible was written and edited by the literate elite and not the average Israelite man or woman, and as such it infrequently reflects the daily lives of the average person. It should come as no surprise that the Hebrew Bible isn’t especially concerned with what the average Israelite cooked and ate.

We must therefore turn to other sources to understand the daily preparation and consumption of food in Iron Age Israel, especially archaeology. Archaeological evidence related to cooking includes features like ovens and grinding installations, artifacts such as cooking pots and bowls, and plant and animal remains. Another essential resource is ethnoarchaeology, which observes traditional societies and how they prepare items related to food. Ethnoarchaeology provides insights into food preparation techniques and technologies used by ancient predecessors. A final resource is non-biblical texts that mention food and food preparation, including ancient Near Eastern recipes.

Meals

One particular dish is rarely included in discussions of ancient Israelite food and cooking. At the end of the day, the average Israelite meal consisted of a stew. Meat was not consumed on a regular basis by the average Israelite, so most stews were made from legumes and vegetables. This can be seen in the use of the Hebrew word nazid, which is used to describe stews (or pottage) of vegetables and/or legumes (Gen. 25:29, 34; 2 Kgs. 4:38–40; Hag. 2:12).

 
Three types of lentils
Cooked broadbeans
Old Babylonian stew recipes. Yale Babylonian Collection 4644.
Philistine style cooking jugs from Tel Miqne and Tel es-Safi. From D. Ben Shlomo et al. Cooking Identities: Aegean-Style Cooking Jugs in the Southern Levant, and Cultural Interaction between the Philistines and Their Neighbors during the Iron Age, American Journal of Archaeology 112 (2008): 225-246, Figure 3.
Experimental archaeology: making a tannur and baking bread in it. Tel Halif, 2015. Photo courtesy of Seung Ho Bang.

Biblical village of Bethsaida where Jesus fed the 5,000 is Found

A Biblical village where Jesus is said to have performed some of his most famous miracles really existed, and today lies in ruins only a mile from the Sea of Galilee, archaeologists believe.

In the Bible, Bethsaida was home to disciples Peter, Andrew and Philip, and was where Jesus purportedly fed the 5,000, walked on water and helped a blind man to see.  

Archaeologists have been working for 32 years to find the lost city, which was eventually cursed to destruction by Jesus because residents failed to repent in spite of his miracles. 

Now professor Rami Arav of the University of Nebraska says he is in no doubt that Et-Tell, in the Golan Heights near the Jordan River estuary, is the location of the biblical village.

A biblical village cursed to destruction by Jesus really existed and today lies in ruins only a mile from the Sea of Galilee, archaeologists believe
Professor Rami Arav thinks the lost city of Bethsaida, where Christ also fed the 5000, is today the excavation site of Et-Tell
The professor also highlights Josephus' description of how Bethsaida was later 'advanced unto the dignity of a city' and renamed Julias, after the wife of Roman emperor Augustus

Hebrew University scholar: Names can vouch for Bible's historicity

By WND News Services 

image from aleteia.org
One of the worst and most embarrassing things a journalist can do is misspell a person’s name. Those who passed down and wrote down the oral traditions that became the Bible seem to have had a similar attentiveness to names.

That’s the theory of Mitka R. Golub of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In the Summer 2020 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, Golub argues that biblical editors were less likely to alter personal names than events with theological importance.

And that makes personal names a good area to look at when determining the historical accuracy of the Bible.

Read the full story ›


2,700 years ago, new deadly weapons changed wars in biblical Israel

image from images.jpost.com

 

Around 2,700 years ago, a new type of deadly weapon debuted in biblical Israel: socketed copper-alloy arrowheads were employed by the Assyrian army which brought the region to its knees during the 7th century BCE.
 
A group of Israeli researchers documented their use in the battles waged in the area over the next centuries, offering new insights on some key historical moments, including the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE.
“There is no question that the Assyrian army could count on significant technological advancements on the battlefield. No one could stand up to them when they laid siege for example,” said Lipschits, who co-authored a paper on the topic in the latest issue of the Israel Exploration Journal together with Dr. Guy Stiebel and Sean Dugaw.
 
Scythian-Iranian arrowheads, which  acquired this name because they were first associated with a nomadic people from the Eurasian steppe who were referred to as Skythai by the ancient Greeks, were also uncovered in many different sites outside Israel, with the earliest known samples found in the Volga region, dating back to the late 8th or early 7th century BCE.

Winery from bloody biblical land dispute discovered?

A winegrower and a covetous king had a famous face-off in the Old Testament; new analysis of an ancient winery in Israel suggests it could have been the ill-fated Naboth’s vineyard

image from img.winespectator.com

They never got quite the press David and Goliath did, but the clash between Naboth and Ahab in the Bible’s Book of Kings packs a little extra resonance for the wine-faithful. In this tale, the little guy with the Lord on his side is the winegrower Naboth, owner of a modest vineyard outside of the town of Jezreel in the Kingdom of Israel. King Ahab tries to acquire it, only to be rebuffed; as he sulks, his wife, Jezebel, takes matters into her own hands, framing the vintner for blasphemy and having him stoned to death. Ahab gets his vineyard, but then God hears about what happened ….

Fast-forward three millennia: In 2012, a team of archaeologists led by Profs. Jennie Ebeling at the University of Evansville in Indiana and Norma Franklin of the University of Haifa decided to survey a site outside the ruins of Jezreel. An excavation the following year revealed a treading floor and two vats: a winery. Recent analysis of the excavation and others in the region suggest it may have fit the time and place where Naboth made his last stand.

 

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

Once again Archeology proves the Bible's accuracy!

image from static.timesofisrael.com

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

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


Archaeologists Discover Evidence That Bethlehem Existed Centuries Before Jesus

image from i.huffpost.comJERUSALEM, May 23 (Reuters) - Israeli archaeologists said on Wednesday they had discovered the first physical evidence supporting Old Testament accounts of Bethlehem's existence centuries before the town became revered as the birthplace of Jesus.

The proof came, they said, in a clay seal unearthed near the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem and imprinted with three lines of ancient Hebrew script that include the word "Bethlehem".   MORE>>>>>>>>>


'Joshua's altar site may be outside of Israel's borders' - settler leader

Mount Ebal and an explanation of its standing at the altar (photo credit: TAMAR HAYARDENI)
Mount Ebal and an explanation of its standing at the altar
(photo credit: TAMAR HAYARDENI)
 
Concerns have been raised by settler leader Yossi Dagan that the archaeological site where the Biblical figure of Joshua is supposed to have erected an altar could end up being outside Israel’s borders under the Trump peace plan.
 
Efforts are currently underway to map out the precise areas in the West Bank which the current US administration is allowing Israel to annex, but Dagan, who opposes the aspects of the Trump plan granting the Palestinians a sovereign state, said that “sources” of told him that Joshua’s alter may be on the Palestinian side of the border. MORE

Ancient Israelites burned cannabis to 'stimulate ecstasy'

Frontal view of shine's cella - a small room containing cult objects - at Arad, as rebuilt in the Israel Museum from the original archaeological find
 

Worshippers at a Jewish temple dating back more than 2,700 years likely smoked cannabis during cultic ceremonies, ancient Israeli limestone reveals.

Analysis of material on two Iron Age altars, discovered at the entrance to a shrine in Israel, were found to contain cannabis, as well as frankincense. 

Renowned as one of the gifts brought by the Three Wise Men, the aromatic resin was regularly burned by priests during ancient ceremonial rituals. 

But the presence of cannabis suggests the use of a deliberate psychoactive, to stimulate ecstasy as part of esoteric ceremonies. 

Tel Arad is one of the most important archaeological sites in Israel, on which remains of a fortified city was found. It's located west of the Dead Sea, about six miles from the modern Israeli city of Arad

Horn of the Stone Altar Discovered at Shiloh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Prophetic Lost Stone From High Priest’s Breastplate Believed Found After 1,000-Year Journey

“And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel.” Exodus 28:9 (The Israel Bible™)

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 Magical, 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 defies translation.

And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aharons heart Exodus 28:30

 

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Dead Sea Scroll thought to be blank is covered in ancient inscriptions that are invisible to the naked eye

Fragments from the Dead Sea Scroll thought to be completely blank, are actually covered in ancient Hebrew and Aramaic inscriptions, study reveals.

Pieces of the scroll held by the University of Manchester were examined by experts from Kings College London and the University of Malta who found the tiny letters.

One of the fragments has four lines of text with 15-16 letters including the word Shabbat (Sabbath) that could be related to the biblical book of Ezekiel (46:1-3). 

Using a multispectral imaging technique that involves looking at it through different wavelengths, Professor Taylor also found the Hebrew letter for L on a fragment.

The discovery means that the pieces held by the University of Manchester are the only authenticated fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls in the UK.

One of the fragments (pictured) has four lines of text with 15-16 letters including the word Shabbat (Sabbath) that could be related to the biblical book of Ezekiel (46:1-3)
 

One of the fragments (pictured) has four lines of text with 15-16 letters including the word Shabbat (Sabbath) that could be related to the biblical book of Ezekiel (46:1-3)

Four fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls held by the University of Manchester were put through detailed imaging by Professor Joan Taylor from Kings College London.

Professor Taylor found letters, sewn thread, ruled lines and even discernible words on the ancient pieces of parchment previously assumed to be blank.    

All of these small pieces of parchment were unearthed in the official excavations of the Qumran caves, and were never passed through the antiquities market.

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Evidence Noah's Biblical Flood Happened, Says Robert Ballard

Note: Ballard is probably wrong on the timing and the actual event, but we are running the story as proof that even mainstream evidence always points to the Bible as being quite accurate!

PHOTO: This ark, located an hour south of Amsterdam, is a replica of Noahs Biblical boat. Underwater archaeologist Bob Ballard is in Turkey, looking for evidence that the Great Flood happened.ABC News
more +   The story of Noah's Ark and the Great Flood is one of the most famous from the Bible,
and now an acclaimed underwater archaeologist thinks he has found proof that the biblical flood was actually based on real events.

Robert Ballard, one of the world's best-known underwater archaeologists, talked about his findings. His team is probing the depths of the Black Sea off the coast of Turkey in search of traces of an ancient civilization hidden underwater since the time of Noah.

 

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Canaanite temple invaded by biblical Joshua unearthed

New find again validates the biblical narrative, and shows similarities with Solomon’s Temple

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Letter samech, 2nd row on right, inscribed on storage jar. Photo: T. Rogovski

“And the Lord delivered Lachish into the hand of Israel, which took it on the second day, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and all the souls therein…” (Joshua, 10:32)

The Book of Joshua tells the story of the ancient Israelites’ entry into the Promised Land after a 40-year sojourn in the desert.  Now, a team of archaeologists led by Professor Yosef Garfinkel at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology and Professor Michael Hasel at Southern Adventist University in Tennessee, have opened a window onto the Canaanite society that inhabited the land during that era.

Another temple from ancient Israel