archeology

Are the Characters mentioned in the Bible  Rooted in History?  The continuing conflict

Since the dawn of the modern discipline of archaeology, its practitioners have been divided as to the usefulness of the Bible as a source book when searching for ancient locations and validating historic events.

This skepticism mystifies Christian laymen many of whom approach the Bible with an explicit acceptance of the accuracy of the Biblical text and acceptance of its supernatural origin. They are surprised when I advise them that, because a scholar is engaged in Biblical studies, this does not mean that they have any personal religious faith at all. In fact some mainline theological seminaries are populated by teachers some of who have little or no deep faith in God or the Bible. Some even seem to view their goal in life to strip away the faith of their young soon-to-be-pastors theology students which they may view as simplistic and based upon myth. Some become evangelists for unbelief

The Argument From Silence:

Skeptics have attacked the Biblical record using the argument from silence. The fact that for many Biblical characters, there is no mention of them outside of the Biblical record in the findings of archaeology or ancient inscriptions or manuscripts, calls their historicity into question…silence. This fact lends credence to the argument that many of these prominent-in-Scripture people, may not have ever existed

The argument goes that if such people really lived, one would expect to find some trace of them outside of sacred writ……..not silence

But: That argument has been found wanting on numerous occasions as further excavations and discoveries have been made over time, and challenged names eventually documented. As the digging continues we may expect even  more to be affirmed.

It occurs to me that one of the most vivid examples of this, is the New Testament case of Pontius Pilate.

Surely, it was argued, a person who was of such importance and prominence would leave some trace somewhere. An inscription? A mention in a document? A carving on a wall or monument?

Silence reigned for hundreds of years. No extra Biblical mention of this prominent Roman official. Curious!

And then recently  while excavations were underway in Caesarea Maritima, the ancient seaport built  around the time of the birth of Jesus by Herod the Great, a stone was uncovered that bore the name of Pilate. If you were to travel with me to the Holy Land in January 2015 I would take you to see the exact replica of that stone on display in the ruins in  Caesarea today.

The current issue of Biblical Archaeology Review sheds light on this argument from silence.   An  excellent article found there by Lawrence Mykytiuk, begins with

“How many people in the Hebrew Bible have been confirmed archaeologically?

The startling answer is at least 50!”.

In this article he confirms 50 important Biblical names that have been documented in the non Biblical record in some way. Many of the names of Hebrew Kings from both of the sub nations of Judah and Israel post civil war are to be found on his list.

One big one was the question about the historical existence of King David.

Surely Israel’s greatest king would be found mentioned somewhere outside of the Bible?  for almost 3000 years silence reigned. Is it possible that David was a myth created out of whole cloth as many skeptics surmised? Prominent scholars actually labored to make that case.

But then, in 1993,  David’s  name was found in the excavations of Tel Dan, written in Aramaic, found on a stela dating back to the mid ninth century, about 100 years after his Biblically recorded reign over Israel.

In summary, Mykytuik documents the following groups of Old Testament Biblical names as also being found in extra Biblical locations:

  • Five Egyptian pharaohs
  • One King of Moab
  • Nine Kings of the Northern Kingdom  of Israel
  • Fourteen Kings of the Southern Kingdom of Judah
  • Seven Kings of Assyria
  • Five Kings of Babylonia
  • Five Kings of Persia
  • All mentioned in the Biblical record              and elsewhere.

If you wish to pursue this study further you can go to the website  www.biblicalarchaeology.org/50 

This is the plaza at the base of the Western Wall in Jewrusalem

This is the plaza at the base of the Western Wall in Jerusalem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our next journey to the Holy Land will depart New York for 10 marvelous days on January 12, 2015 and you can come with us. Pastors and teachers can travel with us with little or no out of pocket cost by inviting as few as 5 people to accompany them on this reasonably priced journey under my personal oversight as the Holy Land Guru. Call me at 386 447 9473

Be sure to download my new book free here     A HOLY LAND ROMANCE      YOURS FREE

Mount of Olives

Mount of Olives

Click here  http://holylandguru.com/ebook-for-you/

STRANGE BED FELLOWS: JORDAN AND ISRAEL

Get your FREE copy of my new book A HOLY LAND ROMANCE here. http://www.holylandguru.com/ebook-for-you/

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                   Breaking news.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU, HOLY LAND GURU

In a surprise development, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Jordanian King Abdullah, met together last week in Amman Jordan to discuss their shared concerns: Muslim radicalism and national defense.

One could say that this is a demonstration of the maxim:  “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. But that would be overly simplified.

The two leaders met to discuss shared concerns about the current increase in the level of Arab radicalism that threatens both countries, the conflict in Syria, and the continuing  fallout from the  so called “Arab Spring”.

Built in historic tension between Jordan and her Arab neighbors, results from the fact that  Jordan, is a Sunni Muslim State, that borders Shiite Iran and Shiite dominated Iraq and Iran-allied Syria.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 https://maps.google.com/maps?q=map+of+jordan&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x15006f476664de99:0x8d285b0751264e99,Jordan&gl=us&ei=fs3aUs6GLuzMsQTyiIGIDg&ved=0CC0Q8gEwAA

A fragile existence at best for Jordan.

Jordan is clearly a target of the Muslim radicals. With this very public meeting, that target just got a whole lot bigger.

Those above stated long standing inter Muslim tensions have been exacerbated by the current  flow of refugees from the turmoil in Syria now spilling over the borders into both Turkey and Jordan.

A Complicated History

It is important to understand that Israel has, since 1967, been maintaining a military presence along its Jordan River border with Jordan.

On our holy land tours we have often driven alongside the plowed strip of land with its wire  fence that has provided this necessary barrier. Fences really do work. We in the US have yet to understand that fact.

Jordan fears  that negotiations being pushed by the present  US Administration in its quest to fulfill an Obama  campaign promise, could result in the establishment of  an untenable  Palestinian State ( with borders agreeable to both the Palestinians and the US but not to other parties), that could result in a compromise of Israel’s stabilizing influence along the border with Jordan. Not good for either side.

Jordan river border,

Jordan river border,

Jordan wants the Israelis to maintain a presence there and is fearful that Israel could cave in to American demands. Such a compromise would not serve the interests of either country.

Hence this historic meeting.

What makes this meeting so significant is not that it was held but that it was held openly and in Amman. Clearly Jordan has chosen sides.

It is important to understand that Israel and Jordan have a complicated history.

When the UN declared the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 , the combined forces of all of her Arab neighbors, including Jordan, ganged up on the fledgling  Jewish state.

Israel more than survived that 1948 “War of Independence”.

It was victorious and extended its borders beyond those designated only days earlier by the UN. She was then in a stronger but not yet secure position.

Again in June 1967, 19 years later, under the prodding of then Arab nationalist Egyptian President Abdul Nasser, conflict broke out with the 6 day war.

Nasser was a client of the then Soviet Union and his motivations were clearly at the behest of the Soviet Union in its contest with the US to dominate the region.

Under the guise of spurring  nationalism Nassser orchestrated a combined attack on Israel from the South (Egypt) East (Jordan) and North East (Syria).

Jordan was a reluctant participant.

Again Israel survived and even prospered, primarily at the expense of Jordan which lost all of the West Bank of the Jordan River including the Old City of Jerusalem and including the valued Muslim holy place, the golden Dome of the Rock.

dome of the rock

dome of the rock

Israel gained its most precious site, the “Wailing wall” or Western Wall of the Temple Mount that goes back to the time of Jesus and is nearest to the location of the destroyed temple that Jesus frequented.

Wailing wall/Wetern Wall

Wailing wall/Western Wall

Then King Hussein (married to an American girl and father of the current King Abdullah, also western educated and an Oxford grad) was a pragmatist and had his own real politic problems to deal with including an unsuccessful attempt by Yasser Arafat and his PLO forces to overthrow the Jordanian monarchy.This failed coupe led to the expulsion of Arafat and  the PLO from Jordan and into Lebanon, where they remain.

King Hussein long rued the day he got sucked into the 1967 conflict. It cost him dearly.

Behind the scenes discussions have been ongoing between Israel and Jordan for a long time. Those meetings seldom appear in the press. (Can you spell clandestine?)

This inter country communication goes back as far as 1963 but in particular to the days leading  up to the 1973 Yom Kippur war.

Six years after the disastrous Arab losses of 1967, the Egyptians and Syrians were  plotting  to retake land lost to Israel.  They wanted Hussein to join them in this plan and fight Israel with an Eastern front.

Rather than support them, King Hussein actually tipped off then Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir (an American from Milwaukee who had emigrated to Israel)  that this was a foot.

Jordan  remained out of that conflict.

Israel and Jordan  have shared interests and shared concerns over the shape of and the terms of the establishment of any proposed Palestinian state.

The openness of this  meeting between Abdullah and Netanyahu on Arab soil is quite significant in what it says as to the cooperation between the two countries.

It also ramps up the enmity of the Muslim radicals against Jordan and their desire to unseat King Abdullah. Oh and by the way American forces are now quietly on the ground in Jordan to undergird the stability of the region.

My personal perspective

I first went to Jordan in early 1967 on my very first Holy Land tour and  returned as recently as our holy land tour in February 2013.

Petra where Paul may have stayed

Petra where Paul may have stayed

Jordan is a beautiful country with strong Bible roots of interest to Christians who visit there.                                                       Among those roots are:  the place where the children of Israel crossed over the Jordan River to conquer the promised land, the place where John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan River, the place where St Paul spent time preparing for his world changing ministry (Petra), Pella where the early Christians sought refuge as the Roman armies approached to sack Jerusalem in 70 AD, and the places where both Moses and Aaron are buried, to name just a few.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is another original contribution by Dr. Robert Grant aka The holy land Guru to help his  friends keep up to speed on all things holy land related and is based upon the perspective he has derived from 125 journeys to that part of the world during the past 46 years.    Each year he plans to take friends to the holy land.

His next  departures are December 1, 2014 and January 12, 2015. If interested please go to the website or call Dr. Grant at 386 447 9473.

Biblical Characters – Holy Land South Paws

THOSE STRANGE BIBLICAL CHARACTERS AND PEOPLE OF THE HOLY BIBLE?

 

The Sea of Galilee to the North of ancient Moab

The Sea of Galilee to the North of ancient Moab

A recent article in Biblical Archaeology Review by 2 distinguished scholars * triggered some  thoughts and brought to mind a story that could have been lifted right out of a tabloid like National Inquirer. It is a story of murder and deceit and international affairs  and Biblical characters  from the book of Numbers (3:12-29) and is about  how God used a south paw to deliver the death blow to one of Israel’s bitter political enemies.  But why a south paw? And was this a common trait?

As recounted in the New Living Translation of the Bible this story reads like today’s newspaper, and why not. People of the Holy Bible were no different at the time of the Judges 3100 years ago than they are today. Same lusts and drives just different toys and devices to act out on those human flaws.

Because of its frequent spiritual lapses, Israel was again under the domination of the king of Moab.  Follow the story line: Ehud, a judge of Israel during the time preceding the establishment of the monarchy under King Saul et al, was selected for a special assassination mission specifically  because he was a south paw. This particular trait gave him a tactical advantage in conflict as few south paws were encountered in battle and their protagonists would seldom be expecting the actions of a left handed opponent.

(Side Note: Think the modern Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on the East side of the Jordan River South of the Sea of Galilee. When we go on our Holy Land Tours it is easy to visualize this scene as often we find ourselves on both sides of that border. It is so very interesting because the terrain is the same as it was then. Nothing much has changed. And this is the value of travel to the Holy Land for Bible teachers and pastors and why I continue to offer to take them there on our annual Holy Land Tours)

Jordan River

Jordan River

 Biblical Characters:  South Paws From The One Tribe?

Apparently the south paws all came from one particular tribe of Israel, the tribe of Benjamin. How weird is that? The other player in the list of biblical characters in this drama is Eglon, the King of Moab who was a grossly overweight man with rings of fat amidst his belly. Seems Ehud came across the Jordan River heading East bearing the demanded tribute but with a foot long dagger strapped to his right leg where a lefty would easily reach for it but where those searching him would be least likely to discover it.

The dirty act took place in the air conditioned (Don’t believe me? read the text) upstairs of Eglon’s house/palace with the door locked and with the dagger buried deep in the guts of Eglon and with Ehud making a safe retreat back West across the Jordan to safe territory, while Eglon’s confused servants searched for a key to open the door where they found their fat king dead. The Bible contains a graphic description of his death and body state.

The follow up scene was that of a decisive battle that resulted in the overthrowing of the kingdom of Moab and in 80 years of peace between Israel and Moab. Again I encourage you to read the account in the New Living Translation of the Bible. The designation of a person as being left handed is found in 3 places in the Bible and they are all from the tribe of Benjamin.  In Numbers 20:16 the account speaks of 700 left handed warriors of whom it was said that they could “sling a rock and hit a target within a hairsbreadth without missing”. They were the Special Forces of their day.

Later in 1 Chronicles 12:2 we are told that among David’s supporters, while he was still in Hebron before he took the hill side Jebusite city that became his capital Jerusalem, were a couple of dozen ambidextrous warriors who were not only adept with the sword but also with the sling and  left handed. The article in Biblical Archaeology Review offers interesting additional information as to why left handedness would be more seen in the tribe of Benjamin and not in all 12 tribes. Was it genetics at work? Apparently, they note,  studies of twins indicate that genetics could account for about 25% of the handedness issue. The remaining 75% being environmentally influenced.

Is it possible that the tribe of Benjamin actually encouraged left handedness?  The authors  observe that “The Hebrew term for ‘left hand’ …..literally means to “restricted (itter) in his right hand” and that raises the issue of child abuse.

Question: Did the Benjaminites bind the right arms of their kids in order to encourage this behavior? The name Benjamin actually means “son of my right hand”..

Just another example of why reading the Bible is so true to life and so beneficial to those of us who are living in today’s world. And no I am not advocating crippling your kids by binding their right arms to their bodies. A friend reminded me of an Italian custom of tightly binding an infant so that his feet always face perfectly straight-forward so they would not grow up with splayed feet. Similarly they would strike a child’s wrist with a ruler if they tried to use their left hand so as to discourage left handedness. In fact the Italian word for left is “sinestra” or sinister. Seems little has changed.

It is my intention to address a wide variety of issues related to the Holy Land. We cover the gamut of history, theology, current events, archaeology and the current political tides. As such we welcome and encourage your comments and healthy interchange as we continue to learn together. Consider coming along with us as we go to the Holy Land.

*Dr. Boyd Seevers , prof of Old Testament and Dr. Joanne Klein, associate prof of Biology, both from Northwestern College in St Paul Minnesota.

 

JEZEBEL THE MOST DESPISED WOMAN IN RECORDED HISTORY

A special article written by Dr. Robert Grant aka The holy Land Guru

to keep his friends up to speed on all things Holy Land related.

10/10/13

Known as the Holy Land Guru as a result of his vaste experience over 46 years of conducting Holy Lnd Tours ever 125 times there

Dr Grant personally escorts groups of friends to the Holy Land annually

In the 1950s the most popular hit song of the day at one time was Jezebel sung by the late Frankie Laine.

See the UTube link for this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fw9j2EN4TU4 (Preview)

If you are of an older generation you will now experience an immediate  burst of nostalgia.

 If you are in the 50 or younger crowd you will wonder what we ever saw in that song or in Frankie Laine for that matter.

Earlier in 1938, Betty Davis stared in a film called Jezebel about a scheming woman.

 In more contemporary history another popular song was written about Jezebel  with lyrics beginning with

“She’s on the prowl, She wants it all and she’ll stop for nothing everyone knows”

Skipping on it continues

 “The innocent look on her face is all fake. She’s worn out and worn down,  From all of the one night stands”

  And still  later

“What a waste of a beautiful face. Was it the way she was raised, Or just the terrible choices she’s chosen to make”

So clearly, Jezebel has left her mark on history

Just who was this woman  Jezebel who inspired such dislike and condemnation.

First of all it needs to be noted that she was a real flesh and blood person.

It was a story in the Biblical Archeology Journal called  How Bad Was Jezebel? that caused me to go to the Bible and learn what I could about this unforgettable character who lived and died about 2900+ years ago and who still stirs passions and inspires poetry and song  to this day.

I get great pleasure in trying to understand Biblical characters as they would be today while recognizing that people have not really changed all that much over the centuries. The only things that have changed are their gadgets and toys. Same base emotions and drives and sins and temptations and weaknesses. And so we can learn a great deal from them.

Who was Jezebel?

 Her father was a Phoenician (read Lebanon) King who lived about 850 BC or almost 3000 years ago..

 

The Mediterranean  city state in which Jezebel was raised was devoted to the worship of the pagan nature gods of Baal and Asherah / Astarte (from which we get the word Easter).

Jezebel, as a young woman, was probably a priestess in that cult and so may well have engaged in temple prostitution as part of her duties.

She also gave cosmetic makeup such a bad name that for a long time Christians were discouraged from wearing such by their Christian culture. Some Christian denominations still frown upon its use today and that all traces back to the influence of Jezebel.

Marriages then were often arranged for political reasons and served to  build strong political ties between otherwise competing/warring factions. Solomon carried that crazy strategy to an extreme with his hundreds of “wives”.

God had given the Israelites specific orders to not make such alliances with the pagan nations around them. So when Ahab, king of Israel arranged for Jezebel to come to his kingdom as his bride  it might have made great political sense to him but he was in direct rebellion against the express wishes of God.

(This article in the Biblical Archeology journal predictably wanders off into applying the speculative “documentary hypothesis” used for the past 100 years  by theological liberals to try to dissect the authorship of the early books of the Bible and assign their authorship to others than stated. Having observed this, from my perspective, flaw, there is still much to be appreciated from this scholarly treatise.)

So this apparently very attractive and willful young woman was put into an impossible position by the choices of the 2 most important men in her life: her father who arranged this marriage for his own strategic political reasons, and Ahab her husband who agreed to it in spite of the warnings of the God of Israel: “Do not do this”.

Jezebel was a stranger in a strange and to her very different land, now married to a man she did not know, and in a culture that denied her gods and tried to force her to worship another God. Even the climate was different from the Mediterranean sea shore warm climate of Southern Lebanon where she grew up, to the stark interior of Israel in the mountains of its capital Samaria to the north of Jerusalem where it can get quite cold in the winter,

Her father apparently had raised her to be very strong willed and to push for her way. And so once  armed with the title of Queen she was able to exert her will strongly, which she did.

By contrast her husband Ahab was not a man of strong character and he readily gave in to the competing demands of his new wife to the point of joining her in the worship of the fertility gods of Baal.

Jezebel  made her first aggressive move by building a conspicuous place of worship dedicated to the worship of Baal in the middle of the capital of Israel.  It was not long before her husband Ahab joined her in this abomination (1 Kings 16:31 f )

Emboldened by this achievement Jezebel took it to the next step and launched a public campaign to discredit the God of Israel with the famous contest on Mount Carmel where we go on our Holy Land tours. This definitive contest matched the prophet Elijah against the 450 prophets of Baal with the resounding defeat of Baal . (1 Kings 18:4)

The capital of Israel was samaria north of Jerusalem where Jezebel was queena

Jezebel was queen of Israel in Samaria

it is interesting to note that Jezebel was not present to personally witness this confrontation which was only viewed by males and so she had to rely on the reports that were brought back to her by her husband Ahab who must have  had an “OOOPs” moment. She may not have been convinced as to what had occurred.

 An interesting aside: Fresh from this amazing victory the prophet  Elijah immediately had a spiritual   collapse and a fear driven emotional breakdown that seems classic in its description as he fled from  the reach of an angry Jezebel (1 kings 19:3f)

(An interesting aside: serious religious apostasy often lasts for generations and is difficult to uproot  apart from a major religious revival. Flash  forward to the next generation after Ahab and Jezebel  and the king that ruled after Ahab died, Ahaziah. He apparently fell through the roof of his palace in Samaria and seriously injured himself. His immediate inclination was to send for the help of Baal despite the warnings to the contrary by Elijah the prophet of God who had recovered his courage by this time. 2 Kings 1)

Greed to acquire valuable  real estate by any means necessary  is not a modern development. It was alive and well in Jezebel’s time. Ahab wanted a neighboring piece of land that produced grapes. It was prime land and was located right next to the palace. Ahab, allowed Jezebel who was not sensitive to the God given laws of Israel, to intervene.

She conspired to misuse the modern American doctrine of eminent domain, plus a dose of foreign intrigue and perjury to seize the man’s property by conspiring to have him executed by stoning. Poor Naboth was doomed and lost his life and Ahab got the land he wanted. This experience caused Jezebel to view her husband as weak because where she came from the King would just seize whatever he wanted and that was that.

Interestingly that piece of land was probably located in the wide now lush valley of Jezreel. We also call that valley the valley of  Armageddon.

We travel though that wide and fertile valley on our Holy land Tours as we travel across it to Megiddo where, 300 years earlier, Solomon had built a fortress city to guard the important trade route, the via Maris (way of the Sea),  that passed through the valley near by.

So Ahab  may have felt some guilt about the matter but he got what he wanted and so Jezebel probably won his respect. But she was repelled by his vacillation which she interpreted as weakness while she,  Jezebel was behaving exactly as she was raised to behave  and just arranged to seize the land. So Ahab should have been under no illusions when he married her.

Not long ago the archeologists uncovered a remarkable ancient stone seal. The Biblical Archeology Journal reports as follows concerning the details found on the seal:

“Four paleo-Hebrew letter- two just below the winged sun disk at center, two at the bottom left and right-spell out the name YZBL or Jezebel, on the seal. The Phoenician design, the dating of the seal to the ninth century or early eighth century BCE and of course the name, have led scholars to speculate that the Biblical queen may have used this gray opal to seal her documents. In the Phoenician language Jezebel’s name may have meant ‘Where is the Prince?’ which was the cry of Baal’s subjects, But the spelling of the Phoenician name has been altered in the Hebrew Bible perhaps in order to read as ‘Where is the excrement (zebel, manure)?’- a reference to Elijah’s prediction that her carcass shall be like dung on the ground 2 Kings 9:36”

Jezebel did not end well.

She so alienated the population that they turned on her. Her son Joram assumed the throne after the death of Ahab. His loyal general Jehu killed him and then took upon himself the job of ridding Israel of this Phoenician queen who had so disrupted the nation. It was his declaration that labeled her a prostitute as he proclaimed:  “How can all be well when your mother Jezebel carries on her countless harlotries and sorceries” (2 Kings 9:22)

Reports the Biblical Archeology Journal :

“Jehu with the blood of Joram still on his hands, races his chariot into Jezreel to continue the insurrection by executing Jezebel……………realizing that Jehu is on his way to kill her, Jezebel does not disguise herself and flee the city as a more cowardly person might do. Instead she calmly prepares for his arrival by performing three acts: ’She painted her eyes with kohl and dressed her hair and she looked out the window”(2 Kings 9:30)

Was she plotting to seduce him as often is concluded? Or does she hope to become part of his harem? Not likely as she is no longer the seductive chick but an aging grandmother.

“Applying eye makeup (Kohol) and brushing one’s hair are often connected to flirting in Hebraic thinking. Isaiah 3:16, Jeremiah 4:30 Ezekiel 23:40 and Proverbs 6:24-26 provide examples of women who bat their painted eyes to lure innocent men into adulterous beds. Black Kohl is widely incorporated in Bible passages as a symbol of deception and trickery and its use to paint the area above or below the eyelids is generally considered part of a woman’s arsenal of artifice. In Jezebel’s case however the cosmetic is more than just an attempt to accentuate the eyes. Jezebel is donning the female version of armor as she prepares to do battle……………When she dies she wants to look her queenly best”

 

How did the story end?

Not well for Jezebel.

Her executioner had her– now dressed in her finest and with her makeup in place and her hair looking like a Loreal  tv commercial –thrown to her sudden death out of the upper story window of her palace.

Her own eunichs were ordered to throw her to her death.

Her executioner then went to have lunch and, after later giving orders to have her buried,  found to his surprise that in the intervening time, her body had been completely eaten by wild dogs and all  that was left was the skeleton.

Biblical Archeology Journal raises the question in conclusion: How Bad Was Jezebel?.
The author was impressed by the way that she died with dignity. At the end she still remained a child of her pagan Canaanite culture.

 At the time of her death Jezebel was no longer a sexy seductive chick but a heavily made up  aging grandmother who had ticked off almost everyone.

The author makes the following interesting somewhat sympathetic, perhaps feminist tainted, observations:

 “Jezebel is an outspoken woman in a time when females have little status and few rights; a foreigner in a xenophobic land, an idol worshiper in a place with a  Yahweh-based state sponsored religion, a murderer and meddler in political affairs in a nation of strong patriarchs, a traitor in a country where no ruler is above the law, and a whore in the territory where  the Ten Commandments originate”

Having personally traveled frequently through all of the places mentioned in this intriguing story, it is interesting for me to note just how very  close they all are to each other.

If you come with us on a future journey to the Holy Land we will pass by most of the area where this fascinating  story took place.

What a fascinating book the Bible is as it reports on the lives of these real people who, though they lived many years ago, are very much like us today. Human nature remains constant and the only thing that really changes is our toys.

Each year we invite friends to travel with us on personally escorted journeys to the Holy Land. Currently there are  two   2014 departures scheduled for February 10 and December 1, 2014.

Special arrangements are available for pastors who host a small groups of their family and friends and church members .

Be sure to check www.holylandguru.com and Facebook.com/HolyLandGuru

Also feel free to call me at 386 447 9473.

There are no dumb questions. Please  get in touch so that I can help make this experience real for you.

 

 

olholylandguru.com-archeology

 

I understand the role that MONEY plays in the field of archeology. Fortunes are made and reputations established by a major find particularly if it overturns accepted assumptions.

But what about POLITICS? I earlier wrote an article you can find when you like  Facebook.com/HolyLandGuru entitled “A strange pillar Jutting Out” that spoke of the recent discovery by an Israeli guide of a column jutting out of the ground when he was resting in the Arab village of Silwan (aka the City of David from 1000 BC) And that in a snapshot demonstrates the toxic mix: Archeological find AND Jewish guide AND Arab  village.

Well it has happened again. Israel Today (8/20/13) reports “a major Biblical Archeology find in the Judean hills is apparently being covered up by the government ” (Israeli government that is)

It is unusual to come across an archeological site that has not been disturbed. Why?

In the ancient world it was common to cannibalize old buildings for materials to be used in the construction of the newer buildings. So the possibility of uncovering a find that was not subjected to this destructive stress is remarkable in and of itself.

Seems the Israeli archeologists stumbled upon “an ancient ornate pillar” as they entered a cave in the wilderness. From the appearance of this ornate column it is thought that it may even go back to 1000 BC and to the time of King David himself. Because the site appears to be larrgely undisturbed they suspect that much more exists beneath the surface……perhaps the entire fortress.

One prominent archeologist, Yaron Rosenthal, surmised that “We appear to have a complete castle here………….Those who lived here after it did not know of its existence and thus, instead of using its stones to build a new structure as was the usual practice, left it intact”.

So what about the POLITICS?

Seems the Israeli Antiquities Authority has known of the existence of this find for more than a year but said nothing. So when Rosenthal approached them about excavating the site they hushed Rosenthal up because the find is located in territory claimed by the Palestinian Authority.

And here is the killer observation:”Uncovering a major and even unprecedented archeological site that solidifies the ancient Jewish presence in and control of these lands could upset the peace process”. Enough said.

This is yet another original article written by Dr Robert Grant the Holy Land Guru to keep his friends up to speed on all things Holy Land related.

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