#1648

2019-02-12

Yahweh Worshiped at Tel Dan

With Clyde Billington

King Jeroboam I of Israel erected golden calf statues at Dan and at Bethel, saying, "Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt." (I Kings 12:28) The idols were meant to keep people from going to Jerusalem to worship in the temple. But who were the people worshiping when they came to Dan and Bethel? Apparently Yahweh and not pagan Canaanite gods, judging by a new analysis of archaeological finds from years of excavations at Tel Dan. Before that discussion with my colleague, professor Clyde Billington, we reviewed another news item from the news digests of the latest issue of ARTIFAX, our quarterly biblical archaeology magazine: the excavations at Tel Keisan, near Acre, the Persian military base from which King Cambyses II launched an attack on Egypt in 525 BC. Also discussed in this program, the discovery of a tiny beka stone, used for weighing the half-shekel temple tax that was assessed on each Jewish male.

tags: Persians Tel Dan Jezreel Valley golden calf idol Jeroboam I Tel Keisan Cambyses II beka temple tax half shilling

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#1647

2019-02-05

Beit Shemesh and Kiriath Yearim

With Clyde Billington

Two stories that are linked in the Ark of the Covenant tradition are reported in the news digest of the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine. After the ark was captured by the Philistines at the battle of Aphek, it was returned to the Israelites at Beit Shemesh in a cart pulled by two cows. (I Samuel 6:12) The men of Beit Shemesh didn’t know what to do with the ark, so they sent it to Kiriath Yearim. Both Beit Shemesh and Kiriath Yearim are under excavation at the present time. Beit Shemesh is yielding new information about the restoration of Judean cities after destruction by Sennacherib at the beginning of the 6th century BC. And Kiriath Yearim has an artificial mountain top, much like the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. These stories and the discoveries from Canaanite tombs excavated at Tel Megiddo are discussed in this week’s program.

tags: Israel Finkelstein Temple Mount Megiddo Beit Shemesh Olive Oil Aphek Sennacherib Kiriath Yearim Izbet Sarta Ebenezer Canaanite Tombs

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#1642

2019-12-25

The Mystery of the Magi, part 2

With Dwight Longenecker

The annual Christmas holiday has layers and layers of tradition that have accumulated over 2,000 years but in recent years we have tried to strip away some of the tradition and go back to the story of the birth of Jesus from the Gospels, particularly Matthew and Luke, and for some reason we've focused on the story of the Wise Men a lot in recent years. Dwight Longenecker, the author of a new book called The Mystery of the Magi, digs into this unusual story from Matthew's Gospel and suggests that these Wise Men did not come from Persia, which was quite distant from Jerusalem and Bethlehem, but rather from the Kingdom of Nabatea, which was right across the Dead Sea.

tags: Magi Wise Men Persia Nabatea Petra Aretas

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#1641

2019-12-24

The Mystery of the Magi

With Dwight Longenecker

The annual Christmas holiday has layers and layers of tradition that have accumulated over 2,000 years but in recent years we have tried to strip away some of the tradition and go back to the story of the birth of Jesus from the Gospels, particularly Matthew and Luke, and for some reason we've focused on the story of the Wise Men a lot in recent years. Dwight Longenecker, the author of a new book called The Mystery of the Magi, digs into this unusual story from Matthew's Gospel and suggests that these Wise Men did not come from Persia, which was quite distant from Jerusalem and Bethlehem, but rather from the Kingdom of Nabatea, which was right across the Dead Sea.

tags: Magi Wise Men Persia Nabatea Petra Aretas

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#1638

2018-12-04

Jezreel Valley Regional Project Update

With Matthew Adams

In the flat farm fields between the archaeological tel of Megiddo and the Megiddo prison a mile away lie the remains for the only major Roman Legion base known in the eastern Roman empire. Inside the prison itself, archaeologists have discovered the remains of a second century Christian prayer house, one of the earliest known Christian worship buildings. Matthew Adams, director of the Albright Institute in Jerusalem, fills us in on the latest details of the excavations that are part of the Jezreel Valley Project, and what will be happening when the prison is decommissioned and moved, by order of the Israel Supreme Court.

tags: Megiddo Roman Legion Legio prison Prayer house

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