Saturday, August 20, 2005

'Now the Stones Will Speak'

Courtesy Shalem Center
Jonathan Tobin has written an interesting article in the Jewish World Review about a discovery made during an archeological dig in Israel that is mind blowing.

As professor Jonathan Rosenbaum, president of Gratz College here in Philadelphia and himself a leading authority on Ancient Near East studies, said: "If you can upend the idea that King David was a historic figure and that ancient Israel was real, then you can delegitimize modern Israel."


But last week, the debunkers of Jewish history got some bad news. And all it took was for a dedicated archaeologist to start digging.

Dr. Eilat Mazar, senior fellow of the Jerusalem-based Shalem Center's Institute for the Archaeology of the Jewish People, announced that she's uncovered ruins of what she believes was the palace of David.

"[This] fantastic building [is a] big, obvious answer to those who say Jerusalem was an unimportant settlement."

I can't even imagine what it must be like to discover something that brings the pages of the Bible to life.

Just as telling was an artifact only 1 centimeter long, uncovered from a slightly later period. It was an impression of an ancient seal, or "bullah," which bore the name of Jerucal, son of Shelemiah, son of Shevi.

Who was he? Nothing less than a minister of the Kingdom of Judah in its last days before the Babylonian destruction of the city in 586 BCE. We know of him only because he is mentioned in the book of Jeremiah. But the bullah proves his existence isn't a literary flight of fancy.

Unreal. While I imagine most of you had faith that the Bible was indeed written about actual occurrences, for those who were skeptics, this find has to be overwhelming.

The find shows again, as many other archeological discoveries have also proven, that the Tanach is a credible historic source. For Mazar, this tiny piece of clay — found amid thousands of years of remains — "goes straight to the point" to understanding the role of the biblical text in reconstructing history.

"Layer by layer, we must take the Bible much, much more seriously than was ever thought, and treat it as a most important historic document that contains a lot of realistic descriptions," declares Mazar.


Though Mazar says she "welcomes controversy over the meaning of the evidence," she urges her colleagues to deal with facts and not fantasies.

But by uncovering the remains of David's palace, Mazar has struck a blow not only for the cause of archaeology, but helped make clear just how deep the Jewish roots of this place run.

Amen to that.


At 10:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 1:00 PM, Blogger Gindy said...

Very interesting. Unfortunatley, you could find King Soloman's stables and many people would still deny the existence of Israel.

At 2:06 PM, Blogger Mark said...

As Gindy says, (I was thinking the very same thing), while any rational, educated person with an objective POV will accept this as fact, what in hell does that have tio do with the blithering idiots who think the Jews are interlopers in a land where their history predates the "Palestinian" Arabs' by thousands of years????

At 2:07 PM, Blogger Mark said...

BTW - I now make it a point to leave all comments. Shows people's true character, no matter how vile the comment.

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Esther said...

You guys are so right. Some will never believe.

Oh so do I, Mark. What I removed was spam. That I remove.

At 5:33 PM, Anonymous seawitch said...

What a great find! According to the Jewish review article she made her decision to dig in that particular place, 2 Samuel 5.11.

At 7:13 PM, Blogger RomanWanderer said...

This is mind blowing.
BTW, I recently was pointed to and as you can immagine he is really up to date on archeologicL findings, and as a professor he adds hiw own research as well.

At 7:40 PM, Blogger beakerkin said...

The actual findings do not matter to the far left. I almost lost it at the Jesus was a Palestinian bit.
The Christian left is trying to dejudiaze Jesus again. The fact that Arabs arrive 600 years after Jesus is an inconvenient detail.

At 1:38 AM, Blogger patrickafir said...

Wow, that is awesome. Only those who are cerebrally challenged or irredeemably hateful (or both) can deny Israel's long established existence (and right to exist).

As far as the Bible goes, I've always figured that, outside of a spiritual and moral guide, it's historical as well as being allegorical and mythical.

At 11:03 AM, Blogger Always On Watch said...

There is indeed much history in the Bible. Each find confirms faith, but some will never accept (as Gindy said), no matter what the digs uncover.

Great article here, Esther!

At 8:10 PM, Blogger drummaster2001 said...

that is one hell of a find. my views of the Old Testament are that some is true and some is myth. this is proof.

i have been questioning religious things more and more over the last few years. i have had this conversation with people before and in the end, its what you personally believe.

At 7:07 AM, Blogger birdwoman said...

1) didn't they just find some biblical baths in that area, also?

2) I wasn't aware that anyone ever disputed the importance of Israel in general and Jerusalem in particular as the center of the Jewish faith. Hell, we've got written history from Romans proving it. NOW, disputing its importance to Muslims, except as a place they conquered, is quite common. It isn't one of their major original holy places, as far as I know.



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