#1657

2019-04-23

Natan-Melech, Servant of the King

With Clyde Billington

One of the most exciting discoveries announced in biblical archaeology so far this year is highlighted on the cover of the latest issue of our quarterly magazine ARTIFAX, a seal impression bearing the name of a man who is referenced in II Kings 23:11: Nathan-Melech. The seal impression, or bulla, was found in the ruins of a burned out administrative building dating to the 5th-6th century BC at a site known as the Givati Car Park excavation. This is a 12-year (so far) excavation just outside the gates of the Old City of Jerusalem, next to the entrance to the City of David, the oldest part of Jerusalem. The biblical reference and the text of the bulla both describe Nathan Melech as "servant of the king." It might not be the same guy, but odds would say it probably is. Along with this bulla, an actual stamp seal was also found in approximately the same place, with the inscription "(belonging) to Ikar son of Matanyahu." Ikar is not known from the Bible. Also on this program, we discuss the 50-year anniversary of the Madeba Plains Project. This is an ongoing excavation involved three major sites in Jordan, handled principly by archaeologists connected with colleges of the Seventh Day Adventist Chuch. The Madeba Plains Project is widely regarded as an exemplary archaeological operation.

tags: Jordan Seal Heshbon Bulla excavation Natan Melech Givati Madeba Plains Jalul

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#1652

2019-03-13

From Dan to Beersheva

With John DeLancey

The traditional description of all of Israel is, “From Dan to Beersheva.” And on our Israel tour with John DeLancey last March, we visited both locations. Tel Dan is located in northern Israel, next to one of the sources of the Jordan River, and has been excavated for decades with some intriguing results. In particular, we visited the high place at Dan, where Jeroboam, king of Israel, erected a golden calf for his people to worship, so they wouldn’t go to the temple in Jerusalem, in the kingdom of Judah. At Tel Beersheva, we gathered at the gate of the city and reviewed the story of Abraham and the well of dispute recorded in Genesis 21.

tags: Altar Tel Dan Abraham golden calf idol Jeroboam I House of David Tel Beersheva well tamarisk tree horns

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#1651

2019-03-05

From Qeiyafa to Lachish

With John DeLancey

The archaeological sites of Khirbet Qeiyafa and Tel Lachish give us biblical connections to the reign of King David and to the conquests of the Assyrians and the Babylonians. We visited both sites during the same day during our 2018 Archaeology Adventure Study Tour and we also have them on our itinerary for our March 2020 tour. Khirbet Qeiyafa overlooks the Elah Valley, where David met Goliath. This unusual city may or may not be mentioned in the Bible, depending on the clues you read. Lachish is mentioned prominently, it was the most important city in Judea outside of Jerusalem.

tags: Khirbet Qeiyafa Elah Valley Goliath King David Azekah Tel Lachish Sennacherib Assyrians

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#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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