#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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#1608

2018-03-07

Governor of the City Seal

With Clyde Billington

Reviewing archaeology news reported in the latest issue of ARTIFAX, we cover a seal impression (bulla) which has the inscription, "Governor of the City." This conforms to two separate scriptural mentions of the Governor of the City of Jerusalem. This seal impression was found by Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists working in the western wall plaza area, near the Temple Mount. Also in this program, we discuss several reports from Egypt, including a new investigation of King Tut's tomb and the discovery of a void inside of the great pyramid. And finally, a few words about the great work done by Andrews University archaeologists over the past 50 years at the site of Tall Hisban in Jordan.

tags: Jerusalem Heshbon King Tut Western Wall Governor of the City Tall Hisban Andrews University

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#1607

2018-03-01

Signature of Isaiah

With Clyde Billington

We report the announcement of the discovery of a seal impression (bulla) that’s being connected to the prophet Isaiah, who wrote the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament. The seal impression was dug up in 2009 in excavations at the Ophel, near the Temple Mount by archaeologist Eilat Mazar. The name on the bulla is clearly Isaiah, in Hebrew characters. In the lower register, it could say prophet but the word is incomplete. But this bulla was found just a few feet from another bulla of Hezekiah, King of Judah. And Hezekiah and Isaiah are linked in the same verse in the Bible 15 times. So Bible scholars will be debating about this bulla for years to come.

tags: Jerusalem Ophel Eilat Mazar Bulla Hezekiah Isaiah

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