#1661

2019-05-21

Psalm 122: A Psalm of Ascent

With Gordon Govier

Last week I had three opportunities to share some thoughts about Psalm 122 and the archaeology of Jerusalem. One of those events was recorded, so I’m sharing a condensed version of that presentation on this week’s program. The Psalms of Ascent were a part of the pilgrimage experience of Jewish worshippers traveling to the Temple in Jerusalem for the three festivals: Unleavened Bread (Passover), Feast of Weeks (Shavuot), and Feast of Booths (Sukkot) [Deuteronomy 16:16]. In my short presentation I talk about some of the history of Jerusalem, as well as some of the biblical archaeology discoveries that connect Jerusalem with the biblical story.

tags: Jerusalem Pilgrimage Archaeology Psalm 122 Psalms of Ascent feasts

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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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#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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#1635

2018-11-13

Jerusalem Inscription/The Scroll vs. The Codex

With Clyde Billington

The cover story of the latest issue of ARTIFAX magazine reports on the discovery of an inscription from 100 BC that mentions Jerusalem. The inscription was found at the west end of modern Jerusalem, near the central bus station. It appears 2,000 years ago this was a small pottery village that served the nearby city of Jerusalem and the pilgrims who visited its temple. We also discuss a column by Larry Hurtado in the November/December issue of Biblical Archaeology Review which reports that it were the early Christians who pioneered a new innovation in writing, the codex, which eventually displaced the scroll. The evidence is overwhelming, and fascinating.

tags: Jerusalem Inscription Dodalos potter village scroll codex Christian writers Scripture

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