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Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Extraordinary Original Kotel!

Tension, war and divergent world views juxtapose excitement at the City of David where opinions of archaeologists, students and operators are converging as excavations illustrate and inform long held narratives and traditions. This crucial land, immediately south of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount is fast becoming one of the most important excavations in history because Judaism, Christianity and Islam are directly vested in its outcome.


Ancient walls were built for many reasons, but a recent east facing wall discovered at the City of David was built to protect the ancient city. However, the soft earth discovered at its footings was deliberately placed to conceal important bedrock artifacts in the area immediately in front (east). These unique areas have not seen the light of day for more than 2600 years. The archaeological signs suggest that the concealed area behind the wall (west) housed the Ark of The Covenant where it would have rested for several decades before it was re-located to the Temple built by King Solomon.


Who built this First Temple period wall remains a mystery, but pinning down the responsible King will establish many supporting theories that interconnect and color the narrative. I constructed the visual collage below to compare the map archaeologist Montague Parker sketched almost 100 years ago when the bedrock was more accessible than it is today. I placed excavation images on the rendition backdrop of the Gihon Spring House (bottom right of image) demonstrate the context. As new discoveries are being made, Parker's map (below) detail evidently depicts overlapping features at various layers of earth from the top of the hillside to the valley floor..
The A Wall (above ground wall) was exposed for the first time in July 2014, but the B Wall (below ground wall), which was uncovered in 2008/9 remains housed below temporary ground covering. The present excavation boundary, of the underground B Wall stopped at its East facing wall. The new excavation objective of the above ground A Wall is to obtain western access behind the wall to assess the undiscovered archaeological features of the circled Area ‘G’ (also marked as G on the Parker map) and beyond.

3D Parker.JPG


In the upper left image marked ‘A’, I recently stood on the wall’s parapet inspecting the latest discovery and checking its relationship to the Parker Map. Area ‘B’ are the now familiar bedrock ‘V’ markings probably used to facilitate the dissection and preparation of sacrificed animals. Area ‘C’ is the matsevah (monument), which I believe was erected by Jacob. Area ‘D’ is the underground ziggurat structure leading from the Gihon pool to the upper ridge. I believe this was also constructed by Jacob almost 1000 years before the city wall was constructed. The cave home at Area ‘E’ (‘K’ on Parker’s map) may have been constructed by Shem, the RIghteous King of Salem several hundred years before Jacob’s constructions at this site.


The Wall.JPG


At this point it remains possible that area ‘G’ (on Parker’s map) is a room that is also capable of qualifying as a frame of the ramp to an altar. Frames like this were once filled with local stones and rocks during occasional sacrifices brought periodically through centuries of use. The area on which the lower section of the wall (The B Wall) is built will be revealed by the present excavation that will shortly allow archaeological teams to investigate its western face from the west.


This western wall face would not be the same as its famous Kotel counterpart the Wailing Wall, but an excavation that develops in the direction suggested would rapidly make an historical and spiritual dwarf of everything constructed on the Temple Mount higher up the mountain. It would be very hard for archaeological academia or intellectual students of Torah to ignore the signs appearing at the City of David, at some point they will be compelled to establish a view. As things stand, I’m convinced and if you don’t get the magnitude, follow the links in this article to learn more.

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Cruelest Cut!

The Temple Mount - Southern Wall - Hulda Gates
In a beautiful Jerusalem hotel, in the peak of Summer season I am alone, the only guest eating breakfast in an entire hotel of more than 200 rooms. Where are the families, the business people, the fans of this great city? I’m reminded of the words of Prophet Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah) inscribed in the years before Jerusalem’s destruction: “How does the city sit solitary, that was full of people. How has she become as a widow. She that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how has she become tributary. She weepeth sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks; she hath none to comfort her among all her lovers; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they are become her enemies.”

In Jew savaged Europe on Tisha B’Av, Napoleon once entered a village synagogue where Jews were lamenting over their destroyed Temple. There he stated; “A nation that cries and fasts for 2,000 years for their Temple will surely be rewarded with its rebuilding”. Little has changed, today Jews struggle to find sanctity in nations around the world, Israel fights wars on its borders, the media preys on the ever popular Jewish negative image and exiled Jews postpone their time to be present in Israel, body and soul. I’m not talking about a 50% decline in inbound tourism, it’s more than 90% in the top end hotels that would normally be teeming with guests. Being present in Israel at a time of conflict is a serious commitment, but for the most part many of her cities remain unaffected.

Israel’s diplomatic machine is spinning to offset the global conditions closing in on her Jews in their other nations. Despite these unfamiliar geo-political occurrences, the magnetism of Israels strengthening Jewish cultural core continues to carry the loudest voice. In times of war when even the anti-religious dedicate time to lay tefillin or light candles and the cry for the Temple grows ever louder, loyalty to Israel's Torah ideal is more evident. Jerusalem’s Temple complexities on The Temple Mount are notorious. Jewish practices not to shave, launder clothes or eat meat for the first nine days of the Hebrew month of Av, the day of the destruction, amplify sentiments. Luxuries are denied by loyal Jewish families who yearn for the Temple rebuilding.

Most who connect with the Temple ideal fixate on the reclamation and building on the Temple Mount site. But, a location for the Temple altar has to first be decided by at least an authoritative body before a building can be planned on it's site on Mount Moriah. The authoritative religious body must be widely supported across the spectra of Judaism. It must arise to determine the nations legislation in deference to its Biblical or Talmudic law so that resolutions can be determined and new instructions issued before a new building can be erected.


Jerusalem's Temple will be built once the greater city is optimally prepared for its erection and can capitalize on the economic benefits that flow from it. Such benefits hold great hope for the eradication of poverty that presently distorts and exaggerates the importance of Israel's insurgents. Demand ushers in the developing opportunity for the realization of such an event. Napoleon was right, the Temple will be rebuilt because inherent in Jewish culture is a deep conviction to see it's return. Despite the views of Jews like M'eretz political party's Erel Margalit who has abandoned the ideal and opposes such activism, the traditional lament grows stronger. The Temple ideal directly serves Israel's spiritual and economic interest and for these reasons alone, even the most extreme opposition will progressively be muted as the nation discovers, adjusts and moves toward its internalized, native insurgency for peace.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hamas corrupt men of violence - Israel's heroes of peace!

For The Fallen Heroes of Peace 
Hamas; the word originates as a Biblical term to depict the corrupt psyche of man in the period before the great flood of Noah. Back then, the world was filled with people who had become corrupt by an alternate reality antithetical to Noah's. Mans distinctive, irreconcilable, schizophrenic condition was settled by the events of the flood that eliminated all corrupt, alternate thinkers except one - Og, King of Bashan!

Bashan, approximately Syria's Damascus, was the kingdom where this mental corruption had become entrenched.  During the flood Og held onto the back of Noah's Ark, the protective righteous cocoon that heralded Noah's new world.  The remnant Og, survived the watery onslaught allowing him to cast Hamas's psychological shadow to a lineage that would once again rise to perpetuate a corrupt mindset.

Moral reality is corrupted by the Hamas nemesis, the alternative where jealousy, envy and incest promote twisted conduct into apathetic society. In the way that inbreeding first affects core family groups, Hamas spreads its warped morality to greater communities like an infestation that demands rapid replication and influence. There, Hamas preys on the socially inept who succumb to their doomed future.

Today's 'conduct unbecoming' by prominent society members exploits Hamas corruption only highlighting the incestuous nature of its millennial psychosis.  Its far reaching influence into the mindset of cultures and civilizations since Noah demonstrates its remarkable resilience. Those corrupted by it will almost always fail to understand or sympathize with the view of those who recognize and are destined to destroy it.

Governments, including of some of the most populous nations have fallen victim to the moral repugnance that is Hamas. Their frequent liberal leaning permits authority to tolerate those who rally to publicly bash the moral dogma central to their eroding conservative culture, a sure sign that Hamas has achieved its infectious goal.

In Noah's day, the high moral scepter passed to his son Shem who became the high priest of Salem, Jerusalem. Shem personified this new moral reality to which Noah subscribed. Shem, Malchitzedek, The Righteous. King, fully embraced the moral code that will eventually defeat the Hamas remnant. The Jewish lineage carried that righteous moral standard through Shem.

For the entire time Noah's Ark bobbed in the turbulent waters, Og was maintained on a thin wooden ledge. Then, around 400 years after the flood we find a transformed Og, King of Bashan who himself had reformed to become Eliezer, the trusted servant of Abraham the moral monotheist. But, the cat was out of the bag and to this very day, Israel and the world's nemesis, Hamas also masquerades as a mindset, a dark infusion that penetrates the moral clarity of Israel, nations and their leaders.

When you next read the words of media giants, diplomats, religious or lay leaders or posters to social media, stop and think whether or not they are corrupted by the Hamas effect. Then thankfully consider this 4000 year inbred mindset is finally being confronted by Israel's righteous heroes in Gaza. Oppose the Hamas ethic, be strengthened, wish Israel's soldiers, who fight for Noah's reality, good-luck, God speed and pray that the souls of the fallen will be heralded by you and your descendants!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Dilemma of Jewish Sovereignty and Democracy.

Intrigued about the future of Jewish sovereignty over Israel, an often controversial topic? Most Jews rapidly retort and support, often without any real understanding of its implication. They probably mean Israel should never fall into the hands of any non-Jewish group or nation that doesn't identify themselves as Jews. But, how can such an outcome be assured given the democracy Israel’s modern state claims in it’s Basic Law of 1948. Surely a democracy means that people living within a nation’s borders must enjoy an equal right to vote, if so how long will Israel hedge as it defines its borders?
This thorny question is most perplexing and often the root cause of extreme disagreement among Jews. Some of the most religious claim Israel does not require a state, that Israel is a spiritual concept defined in the psyche of its people and reliance on international law to define borders is meaningless and unproductive. On the other hand those that rely on Israel’s State law and its response to International Law focus on the physical definition of national borders as determined by the laws of consensus. The diversity presents the dilemma of a nation seeking a sovereign guarantee for their Jewish ‘democratic’ Israel.
Under the two-state-solution, once the dream of Israel’s President Shimon Peres and his supporters, Israel would have been divided into a Jewish and a non-Jewish state under the Palestinian Authority. However, the internationally sponsored idea has formally been felled by the election of Reuven Rivlin Israel’s new President who for the next 7 years will promote his vision, a unified state of Israel, a democracy in which all citizens have the right to vote. In the midst of the furor in the middle east, Israel will begin to grapple with the eventuality this single state poses to its Jewish ideal.
The pressure exerted on Israel to adopt the two state solution with a partner who is ill defined, ideologically opposed and does not accept Israel’s Jewish status will continue to be formidable. No matter which way Israel’s future population forecasts fall, the risk to Jewish sovereignty in a single democratic state is too much for the Israeli electorate to bare. However, giving up security control to an enemy occupying land, not presently annexed by Israel is daunting and impractical. The status quo can only last so long without Israel moving in one direction or the other, but the untenable advance of regional terrorism and rhetoric will be more alarming to Israel's Jewish electorate than the prospect of losing its Jewish majority in a future single state.
The question, who will guarantee Jewish sovereignty is fast becoming serious for the future state of Israel. Existing mechanisms within the states legal construct are limited, but there is one which I favor and which fully satisfies the essential guarantee of Jewish sovereignty. Comparative states to a Jewish Israel are the Vatican, Iran and the present possibility of an Islamic State. Although other states may identify themselves as religious, they do not base their constitution on a religion and swear behind it, most separate church and state. Jews also believe a Jewish state is necessary to avoid a future holocaust. The good news, is that there is a model that works.
Jewish sovereignty, guaranteed by national rabbinical representation in a Senate or Upper House of Israel’s government may be a confronting prospect to many, but the national benefits for all groups are presently misunderstood and overlooked. The majority of Israel’s Jewish secular or religious electorate presently participate in the religious services of a local synagogue. Municipally appointed Town Rabbis are periodically nominated by members of these community synagogues to represent their communal religious interests. Elected Town Rabbi’s[1] are self-motivated to empower their framework and elevate it to take its place on Israels national political stage. Parliamentary representation in a bicameral government of a single Jewish state may be difficult to comprehend, but societal change can often be orchestrated through grass root participation. Town hall meetings, community activity and representations organized by appointed Town Rabbis and leaders will be hallmarks that signify the success of this future movement.
Simultaneously, shifting governmental priority from its present emphasis on energy and technology to labor intensive domestic industry is essential to satisfy Israel’s growing constituent underclass. Political parties that prioritize development of sustainable industries capable of employing a significant portion of the unemployed and non-participating[2] workforce will benefit. Israel’s indigenous cultural prerogative, including for the optimal growth of tourism is a principle that will serve Jewish and non-Jewish population groups of a single state. As such this is directly tied, specifically as the means to develop skills[3], economic benefits and ultimately deliver financial re-distribution to the broader population.
Jewish objectors may struggle to digest such a prospect, a democracy that stacks its constitutional sovereign deck in favor of its religion. But, the importance of Jewish sovereignty looms so large that the mountain placed over Jewish heads will spur them to embrace  unexpected models inspired by their ancient past.

Monday, June 30, 2014

City of David, Gihon Spring and Archaeological Silence

Seven years of silence have descended - The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) have not said a word! Their silence is deafening, especially given the important information archaeological discoveries can shed on mysteries that have been buried for thousands of years. Although the IAA may argue ‘no intent to conceal’, their procrastination for so many years denies the public the ability to assess evidence and determine meaning.

I have been privy to two essential pieces of information at the City of David that I consider important and perhaps conclusive. The only report about the High Ridge at the Gihon Spring Excavation was a public challenge issued by the City of David to guess the meaning behind strange shapes discovered in the bedrock floor. But, the much more telling artifact, which I claim to be the monument Jacob anointed (Genesis 28:22) and other important features have never been officially disclosed.

Recently I was invited to climb from the Upper Gihon Pool to the High Ridge above it. On the way I was invited to inspect the mezzanine area, where an elevated cave dwelling hewn out of the bedrock is located. This hewn house between the Upper Gihon Pool and High Ridge dates back to Early Bronze Age II and has never been publicly reported. This was significant for me, because it validates the chronological construct I write about in my thesis on Jerusalem’s Origin. The next image highlights some of the main features.



Click to enlarge

These bedrock features are the oldest at the City of David, each imbued by very significant constructions. Although pottery shards and other incidental items are primarily absent from the times in which these structures were developed, the structures themselves are pieces of the chronological puzzle that cannot simply be ignored in the hope that some better evidence will come along. The very nature of archaeological interpretation must adapt to consider the entire construct of this important center of the City of David.

Israel Finkelstein, Ido Koch and Oded Lipschits reported their theories on the absence of evidence from the Iron Age periods at the City of David. They argue for a more northerly occupation of Jerusalem, which followed the location of the temple at the top of the “Mound on the Mount”. I agree with the logic of their theories although I believe that occupation on the southern slopes was directly on the bedrock, which has denied archaeologists the sedimentary layers that would normally retain evidence. Eilat Mazars stated discovery of the Palace of King David was also a movement northward from the area around the Gihon Spring, which I consider to be the southernmost origin of Jerusalem. Accordingly, she (following Macalister and Duncan) proposed that the Middle Bronze city was limited to the southern part of the City of David. 


My interest and protest centers on the much earlier Bronze age period. ~3000-2000 BCE through to the Middle Bronze Age ~1500 BCE at and around the Gihon. Very few archaeologists have addressed the significant evidentiary signposts at this enormously productive, yet under-reported excavation. I have devoted a lot of time effort and resource to this project because I believe it to be the very compelling source that motivated and inspired Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and ultimately King David to occupy and capture the site. .

I didn’t need more convincing because the features of the High Ridge were sufficient, but when I saw the hewn rock house my jaw dropped as I realized it dated permanent occupation, below the High Ridge to the earlier part of the Bronze Age. This would mark the time of Biblical Shem or Malchitzedek, the Righteous King, the son of Noah who was granted this land by his father. Was this actually the house of Shem, was this the kingdom of Salem (Gen. 14:18)?

The spectacularly hewn rock house comprises a major development of its time. Only someone with the power to command the dedicated resources could have commissioned such a significant work for that time frame. Its not the sort of house you or I may choose to live in and its not palatial by any means, but it is a permanent family residence that appears to be comfortable and well protected from potentially hostile surroundings.

As Israel Finkelstein, Ido Koch and Oded Lipschits report, occupation in the later periods appears to be directed north away from the central ridge of The City of David and bedrock living may have obfuscated much evidence. But, their is no doubt that the pooled water of the Gihon, the hewn cave dwelling, the ziggurat like ascending walls, the rooms for worship on the High Ridge and the monument or matsevah (of Jacob) make this an extraordinary area that deserves the attention and interpretation of Israel’s leading archaeologists.

I encourage the IAA to say more about these special features than the usual technically descriptive statements archaeologists are trained to report about each discovery. I would like to hear their theories on the relevance and significance of the combined features located in this unique area of Jerusalem.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Beit El - and the future of Israel

I was  recently asked to elaborate about a previous post - Solving the Riddle of Beit-El and Beit-el - the confusing complexity it was intended to be. I find this particular subject important because it continues to incorrectly influence present day thinking, in the negative and the source is ancient. For example, Dr. Ben-Artzi, the brother-in-law of Israel’s present Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is a proponent of the negative view. Here is the alternative: That Beit el, north of Jerusalem was populated and re-established in 797 BCE to separate the tribes, north of Beit el from those of the south who had allowed Solomon’s Temple to supplant the cultural and historical importance of Beit El, South Jerusalem. This sup-plantation and separation continues to influence Israel’s views, sentiments and cultural integrity.

This story begins during the nations attempt to appoint their next King after the death of Solomon. The tribes of Israel struggled because Solomon’s son Rechavam of Yehuda, who was next in line was considered by many to be a shadow of his father. Against him was Yerovam (Jeroboam) of Ephraim who previously worked for Solomon, supervising construction in Jerusalem’s City of David, Shechem and collecting tax from the tribes of Joseph, but eventually he opposed Solomon. He fled to exile under the protection of Shishak, the Egyptian Pharaoh because of his outspoken views about the imposition of Solomon’s opulence. Yerovam returned from exile to challenge Rehavam and split tribal loyalty, in part by re-establishing an old center of worship at Beit el, north of Jerusalem on the border of land belonging to the tribe of Benjamin and Ephraim.

Yerovam was socially influential over the northern tribes, he aligned himself with prophets, priests and leaders of the north from Dan, Shilo, Shechem and Beit el. He used previous religious practices including idol worship to influence the tribes by placing two golden cow gods in temples and referring people to their significance as gods of people of prominence, including Moses brother and grandson who had engaged with them. During the southerly pilgrimage to Solomon’s temple, he blocked routes, diverted and attracted his tribesmen with bedazzling worship at the temples he constructed. Yerovam exposed Solomon’s impartiality toward idol worship, exemplified by the idol practices and requirements of Solomon’s Egyptian wife, to justify the disposition of his fellow northern tribesmen.   

For his new nation, he set up an alternative priesthood and offered temple worship extravaganzas at which he offered sacrifices. On one festive occasion that occurred on the same days as southern tribes worship, a man from Yehuda (south) who was a prophet from Shomron (north) stopped Yerovam at the altar in Beit el by freezing his hands whilst he prophesied there would come a King Yoshiahu (Josiah) who would destroy Yerovam’s altar.Then the prophet released Yerovam and on his way home was tempted by a false prophet to eat and bless food, which he was not permitted to do, as a result he died.

Three hundred and thirty years later, the prophecy came true. Yoshiyahu was one of the last kings of Israel and the great grandson of King Chizkiyahu. He quickly made it his mission to clear Israel of its idolatrous altars including Yerovam’s altar at Beit el. The destruction of these altars is the subject of my previous post from which I conclude, that Yoshiyahu rediscovered the high ridge at the Gihon which his great grandfather dug-up during his major excavation of the water tunnel from the Gihon Spring to the lower pool at Shiloah. The once land filled high ridge may fit the picture of an area known as the Milo, which 330 years earlier Yerovam had become intimately familiar during his construction tenure with King Solomon.



Archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon confirmed the landfill of the east facing terraces to be the Milo. More recently Eli Shukron who was responsible for the high ridge excavation, on the same eastern slope, confirmed that soft earth covering the high ridge seems to have been deliberately placed to protect it. These indications suggest the Milo was a land filled area adjacent to a wall and may indeed fit the description of the high ridge. Although some claim the Milo to be further up the hill toward the temple mount, I claim the area of the high ridge is the location of Beit El Jerusalem, which coincides with the Milo.

King David who came to Jerusalem to capture Beit El  and Yerovam, like Chizkiyahu may have known that it was the origin of Jerusalem, but each were unable to reveal it in their time.The concealment of Beit El’s centrality, on the border of Binyamin (Benjamin) and Yehuda subverts Israel’s culture, Jewish life and law, back then, Yerovam exploited it to split the tribes and the kingdom.


 



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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Censorship, Spies and Tzitzit.

Facebook - The information you are about to read was deleted by the administrator of The Archaeology News Network who would not endure my challenge to their fixed logic. Underlying my theory I proposed some archaeologists are so biased against the Biblical record they refuse to admit any evidence that would suggest its authenticity. Two wrestlers; the archaeologist first handicaps the biblical proponent tying both hands behind their back.

The information below are the immediate posts following the deletion. I started out with a general question:

“Can anyone help improve the theory that tassels on the skirt (relief in the tomb of Seti I) are also on the ivory from Megiddo, which are tzitzit worn by the Shasu/Israelites after they settled in Israel?” - see the full paper at the link below;.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/163659132/Understanding-the-Record-of-Ancient-Egypt-From-a-Biblical-Perspective



Kevin Bermeister's photo.
Kevin Bermeister's photo.
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  • Warriór Móuse' and 3 others like this.
  • Nicholas del Cioppo I think you're on to something. The tribes of Ysra'el were told by their god to put tzitzit on the "kanaf" of their garments (Bemidbar/Numbers 15:38) "Kanaf" means the borders or extremities, so Hebrews sewed tzitzit on the edging of their clothing,  mush like the above tribesman's loincloth. One of the strands of the tzitzit was dyed with tekhelet, the blue dye that was used on the tabernacle covering and for the high priest’s ceremonial robe. Thus, wearing a blue tzitzit was a sign of nobility because the blue dye suggested priestly status. But tzittzit were not restricted to royalty or priests. Every Hebrew was supposed to wear them. Here's more about Tzitzit:http://www.hebrewshepherd.com/mitzvah-tzitzit.html
  • Kevin Bermeister Nicholas del Cioppo Thanks - The site reference is excellent - i never knew about the red and blue tzitzit and was worried about their coloration on the modern render and the original relief. Now my concerns are satisfied. I'm still having difficulty with another group @https://www.facebook.com/.../thearcha.../702241073124107/... who believe the Megiddo reference to be a standard Egyptian Motif, but I am arguing about the specificity of the ivory as it relates to the Shasu relief at Medinat Habu - where the depiction is with strange headdress as in Megiddo ivory...the one image relates to Seti-Merenptah the other to RIII - so there is quite an apparent time gap between reliefs - one without and one being with headdress...
  • Kevin Bermeister's photo.
  • Kevin Bermeister Yesterday my extensive post was deleted by an administrator of The Archaeology News Network - a link to it is in my last post to you (above). In any event I slightly enhanced the image of the Meggido Ivory knife handle to emphasize the person on the throne is receiving a folded fabric to his left hand which I re-posted. I now suggest, based on the enhancement, the fabric on offer to be the kilts of the demeaned prisoners and their "holy" fringes, chopped off, are prominently floating in the image. Today I made a similar post to this one on The Archaeology News Network, which they deleted again - guess they don't like me or what I am saying...
  • Kevin Bermeister's photo.
  • Nicholas del Cioppo What ARE you saying?
  • Kevin Bermeister That the kilts of the prisoners are being presented to the person sitting on the throne and the tassels, which have been cut off the kilts, are prominently displayed to boast of victory over the holy kilt wearing Shasu and their tzittzit!


Modern archaeological dating, especially the Egyptian chronology is notoriously unreliable, yet it is often relied upon to obfuscate Biblical dating. Population regression estimates Israel, before their departure from Egypt may have been 5 to 10% of greater Egypt’s population. Some 430 years prior, Jacob’s grandfather Abraham established relationships in Egypt. The birth of Abraham's first child came from his marriage to Hagar who was a daughter of Egypt’s pharaoh, their son Ishmael was circumcised age 13. 


images.jpgEgyptian boys were circumcised as depicted in this ~2000-2300 BCE sixth dynasty relief. The Hebrew calendar precisely dates Abraham and Ishmael’s circumcisions to 3725 years ago or 1713 BCE. Therefore, by the Egyptologists approximate relief dating we are encouraged to assume circumcision was already common amongst Egyptians before Ishmael. After Jacob’s father Isaac was born (his descendants were circumcised on the 8th day after birth) the Torah and its traditional teaching relays that Hagar and Ishmael went back to live in Egypt. Sometime later Jacob’s brother Esau married Ishmael’s daughter (Basemath) Mahalath. This marriage aligned the lineage of Egypt with that of Abraham, Isaac and Esau.

satelite.jpgTorah tells us the Israelites under Jacob were settled in Goshen and that Hebron, in Israel was established seven years before Tzoan in Egypt. According to the dating, Abraham on his journey South probably established Hebron and Tzoan. A recent discovery using infrared technology, revealed a massive and ancient buried city called Tanis. Tanis was known by many names. Ancient Egyptians called it Djanet, and Torah refers to the site as Tzoan. There is no Hebrew letter for “J” or “Dj” it would have been substituted over time with “G” making - Ganet. The sound for “t” in Hebrew can be substituted with the sound “s”. Therefore its possible that Djanet, Ganet, Ganes and Ganesh proceed Torah’s Tzoan and Goshen. Remarkably the modern name of the town Sân el-Hagar relates to the Egyptian princes Hagar.
After Israel left Egypt, crossed the sea and miraculously escaped Egyptian revenge, they are said to have lived in an elevated spiritual state. Many did not want to leave the desert and confront the prospect of entering and fighting wars for their land in Canaan. Instead, Moses sent out spies to investigate, they came upon Hebron which Torah said was 7 times more fertile than Tzoan. The spies specific depiction of the allegedly unconquerable Canaanite land was informed by encounters with Canaanites living around Jericho on the planes of the Dead Sea, Hittites living around Hebron, Jebusites living in the approach to Jerusalem and Emorites living in the immediate proximity of the holy mountain of Jerusalem. But it would take another 38 years before they entered the battle for their land in the year 1273 BCE. 

49-1.jpg
The Merenptah Stele (~1207 BCE) in the Egyptian museum boasts victory in a campaign in Canaan against Israel. Most of the text glorifies Merenptah's victories over enemies from Libya and their Sea People allies, but the final two lines mention a campaign in Canaan, where Merenptah says he defeated and destroyed Ashkalon, Gezer, Yanoam and Israel.

Immediately following Israel’s re-entry to the land under Joshua, no king was appointed by the tribes to unify the nation. The tribe of Dan had been allocated the smallest portion of land. Despite their relatively large numbers, they failed to conquer it and surrounding land from the occupants along the Mediterranean in the approximate area of Gaza to Ashdod and Ashkelon. To accommodate the growth of their tribe, they discovered land in the North. Beyond the Biblical boundaries they conquered the city known to them as Laish where some of the tribe immigrated. Laish is the source of the Jordan River’s water, later it became known as Banias. Unlike all the other tribes, Dan were dominated by one primary family, the Shuamites.They frequently travelled the trail from Gaza/Ashkelon/Ashdod through Beit El (north of Jerusalem) and up to Laish in the north (Syria)
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Kevin Bermeister's photo.The story of Micah from the book of Judges, reveals that the tribe of Dan, the Shuamites are referred in the Egyptian record as the Shasu of YHW, with their strange headdress, depicted in the images displayed in Karnak. The Shasu, true to their tribal emblem, snaked through Israel from South to North and harassed the Egyptian army as they travelled on the same migratory paths to Kadesh on the Orentes river near Laish. Although no direct match for Merenptah’s might, the Shasu made life very difficult, particularly in the hill country, as such they won frequent mention on the battle scene reliefs of Karnak. 

Now we can finally understand the hieroglyphic translation on Merenptah’s Stele - ‘Israel as people without a city,state’. The author referring to Israel, without a king, personified the Shasu, the tribe of Dan who had not conquered their land like the other tribes had already done. Merenptah used the Shasu to describe Israel’s retribution in the process of his Canaanite campaigns.

Kevin Bermeister's photo.Megido was a strategic location, the convergence of the ocean path north to the inland and the return of of the northelry path on the Judean ridge to the flatland. A carved ivory knife handle discovered in the Megiddo excavation revealing two captives being presented to a bearded leader.The men wearing the strange head dress are circumcised. Megiddo discoveries are attributed to two time periods based on the stratum analysis up to the earlier 950-1050 BCE and later period to ~550 BCE, but Megiddo also presents chronological difficulties.The ivory depicts a harp that does not appear to be an Israelite instrument, more likely an ancient Egyptian lyre and the throne is typical and may have followed the design of prophetic visions. In any event the King on the throne is bearded as are his soldiers. The two Semites may be Israelite Shasu, bearded and circumcised.

And so we get back to the controversial tassels, the Tzitzit worn by the Shasu. According to my analysis they belonged to the captives depicted in the Megido artifact. However, my viewpoint was dismissed with such vigilance because it opposed the archaeological fraternity, that my post was deleted entirely. Deniers of the Biblical record who penalize anyone from using it, claiming their techniques and knowledge to be more reliable must surely be seen for the bigoted views they promote. Beware the spies among us!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Elation, The King, Two Noon's and The Ark of The Covenant

A good friend and refined Torah scholar reflected on King David's aborted attempted to bring the Ark of The Holy Covenant to The City of David after it had been shunned by the Philistines who had captured it. Immediately before David, the state of the nation is retrospectively apparent because the tribes had failed to consolidate their power to protect their nations most holy object.  


David was anointed king in Hebron in the Hebrew year 2884 considered to be the midpoint of Jewish history and the year Prophet Samuel passed away. Seven years later he entered the city that was to become known as the City of David where he consolidated power, including by him returning the Ark of The Holy Covenant to its people. King David was elated by the prospect that the Ark would finally be settled in its permanent and eternal place. However, the elation was short lived because the poles, once used to carry the Ark were removed when the Ark was placed onto an Ox drawn wagon. During the journey the Ark jolted with the wagons movement and tragedy struck when Uzza touched the Ark and died. The ominous sign halted immediate attempts to move it and it was housed on a farm of a prominent family outside of Jerusalem till another attempt could be mustered.


Following the first attempt, King David motivated national leaders to participate in moving the Ark to its temporary location in the City of David. He officially re-appointed the tribal priesthood who had retained their family lineage through Moses brother High Priest Aharon. Their job was to re-insert the poles, to lift the Ark and carry it back, on their shoulders up the mountains surrounding Jerusalem to the City of David. The mission was successfully accomplished and the Ark finally rested in a temporary dwelling the King had erected for it.


After these events, King David proceeded to cement political and supply agreements to construct his palace, but it bothered him that he would live in a permanent dwelling while the Ark rested in a tent. The Prophet Nathan advised him; not he, but his son would be the one to build the temple as a permanent dwelling for the Ark. Intent on facilitating the process and his son, the King did everything in his power to prepare the Divine decree. This included the King locating the altar, the ultimate requirement, according to Jewish law for identifying the precise relative position for the Ark of the Covenant to finally rest. During approximately 37 years of King David’s reign the Ark rested at the City of David and served people as one of the nation’s principal places of worship.


Toward the end of the King’s reign, he desperately struggled, spiritually and politically to locate the altar. He had experienced many difficulties including his controversial marriage to Bathsheba and his oldest son Absalom attempting a coup d'etat that forced the King to temporarily leave his City with the Ark. Finally he ordered an ill fated census of the nation that was directly attributed to the death of more than 70,000 people. But, the national pandemonium also brought opportunity and with it the King momentarily unified the disparate nation by his public display of soul searching and personal repentance. During these whirlwind events he bought the crest of the mountain, above the City of David, from the Jeubusite King on which he built an altar and offered personal sacrifices. The public took favor and the site was declared as the national location for the future temple altar to be located. The King was then able to complete the temple plans and progress the construction of its foundation including the preparation of materials, making it all but ready for his son Solomon to construct.


When the King first attempted to move the Ark to the City of David, he was impassioned. Elated by the prospect that the Ark was going to finally rest, he quashed the legally prescribed requirement to maintain the attachment of the poles to the Ark. With the building of the permanent location so close to being achieved, he believed the messianic era, the permanent temple and peace in the world would prevail during his reign, but it wasn’t to be. Similarly Moses had become elated, on the nation’s first journey after receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai he began in earnest marching toward Israel, believing he would enter the land, bring the nation Israel to settle and build a permanent temple for the Ark. However, it wasn’t to be, that brief, painful moment for Moses was recorded for posterity. Written in 85 letters, placed between two backward letter Noons, isolated it separates Torah’s five traditional books into seven with the words of Moses; “Arise Hashem and disperse Your enemies and those that hate You shall flee from before You.” And when it came to rest he would say: “Return Hashem, the myriads of the thousands of Yisrael.” (10:35-36)”.


The end point of Israel’s history, the year 5768 (2008) has already marked the nations redemptive return. Now the moment awaits for Israel to return, for the world to mature, for the messianic era to be recognized and ultimately for the Ark to finally rest in the permanent holy temple in Jerusalem.