The ongoing effort to erase evidence of historical Jewish connection to the land of Israel and delegitimize Jewish growth in the land continues apace. Secretly and overtly fueled by hatred from those in and supporting the Palestinian Authority, the attempts out of Europe itself to undermine the Jewish state and rewrite her history are becoming ever more apparent.
During Hanukkah, on December 23 a European Union secret document was leaked in which a plan is detailed to help the Palestinians take over Area C of Judea and Samaria, the parts of the so-called West Bank that are actually under full Israeli control currently. The document is headed “European Union Joint Development Plan for Area C.”
The document details many ways in which the EU intends to and can actively be seen to be implementing methods to extend Arab presence and control into area “C” of Judea and Samaria. Included in this is the intention to “keep tabs on” Israeli Archaeological digs.
"The Jewish News Syndicate reported the reaction of Naomi Kahn, the director of an Israeli NGO that deals with land issues: “one element of the report that did surprise her was its call to keep tabs on Israeli archaeology in Area C. The E.U. document calls for monitoring archaeological research because it says Israel politicizes archaeology to thwart Palestinian expansion.
"Kahn said what’s actually happening is that the P.A. has destroyed “countless archaeological sites” in Judea and Samaria with the goal of erasing Jewish ties to the land. They use several methods, either destroying them, plowing them under, or redefining them as “Palestinian,” she said.”
Judea and Samaria are the very heartland of Biblical history, including areas in even Jerusalem herself most notably the Old City and the City of David, these areas are full of the rich history of the Jews that lived there for thousands of years. Though these years were interrupted by destructions and judgements a remnant always remained, and the evidence of their lives is guarded by the soil. But this is now being weaponized. As the brilliant power of the evidence comes out of the ground, the strong desire is to stop it at any cost is revealed as well.
Even back on February 2, 2018, the JewishNews in the UK reported the following:
“...a report, leaked to The Guardian...accuses Israeli authorities of using excavation and findings “as political tools to modify the historical narrative and to support, legitimize and expand settlements”. Among the examples listed was that of the City of David...”
However, Israeli authorities are not weaponizing archaeology. Archaeological finds are supporting the history of the Bible and its people, and for those who deny it, that is not a convenient find. Since about 1967, the Palestinians have been trying to pretend that there were no Jewish temples on the Temple Mount, despite its name and many historical Muslim documents which also claim that the Jewish temples stood on the Temple Mount. Historically, this was not a fact disputed by Muslims.
Nadav Shragai wrote a very well-documented piece for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs in which, among many others, he quotes Persian historian Abu Jafar Muhammad bin Jarir al-Tabari (838-923):
“one of his ancient manuscripts, which carries a seal of al-Azhar – the world’s most important educational institution for Sunni Islam” says that “Beit al-Maqdis was built by Solomon, son of David, and was made of gold, pearls, rubies, and of the precious stone peridot, paved with silver and gold, and its columns were of gold.”
(The reference to “Beit al-Maqdis” is of Hebrew origin meaning The Holy House”, Hebrew Bait HaMikdash and is a reference to the Jewish Temples.)
So, what are some of the recent finds that have the world so concerned that their narrative will be exposed as false?
New discoveries are constantly being made. Those who wish to deny are rightly afraid. Some of these are: The stone marked as the house or place of trumpeting, many seals of officials, which are the little bits of clay used to tamperproof and sign documents. One of these is a seal impression or bula of Hezekiah king of Judah, the bullae of three officials that locked up Jeremiah for prophesying of the destruction that would come because of their refusal to obey God. They were found near each other along with ashes and arrowheads from the destruction. A seal impression was recently found that appears to have sealed a fabric sack during the first temple period. It bears the name of a person from the family of Immer, but the first name is partly cut off. What’s left would translate to (Belonging to) […]lyahu (son of) Immer”. Another son of Immer is mentioned in Jeremiah, Pashhur son of Immer is mentioned in the Bible as “Chief officer in the house of God” (Jer. 20:1). A bell from the High Preists garments was found in the drainage channel under the recently excavated road that leads up to the temple mount from the pool of siloam. That road its self is an amazing find. Many ritual baths or Miqvaot have been found in the area as well which will be because cleansing was necessary before ascending to the temple. Lavish paving has been found from the temple mount dating back to the Herodian era. It was found as part of the Temple Mount sifting project.
I would like to detail today a couple of other finds.
Around 1500 Ivory inlay pieces were recently found believed to be from a lavish royal room from the time of Hezekiah. An interesting thing about them is that out of all of the inlays found, none depict figurines or false Gods as is usually the case in ones found elsewhere, including those from the Northern kingdom, which we know had an almost unbroken idolatry problem. King Hezekiah was a righteous king that abolished idolatry from Judah.
Solomonic Gates. A gate has been found in Jerusalem, and as Archaeologist Dr. Leen Ritmeyer pointed out, it is strikingly similar to those found in other cities from the time of Solomon.
“15 And this is the reason of the levy which king Solomon raised; for to build the house of the LORD, and his own house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo, and Gezer.”
(1Kings 9:15, AV)
This find provides evidence of the expanse of Solomon’s kingdom, which is important as there are those who try to diminish him to a mere tribal ruler, something insignificant.
Back in Jerusalem, the actual Palace of David has been unearthed. The first clue that was found was a Phonciean capital (decorative pillar top) that was at the bottom of the previously excavated stepped stone structure believed to be what the Bible describes as “milo”. What was Phoenician architecture doing in Jerusalem? Second Samuel 5 fills us in:
“11 And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons: and they built David an house.”
(2Samuel 5:11, AV)
So sure was the late archaeologist Eliat Mazar, before beginning the excavations that they must be right below the palace that she published her conclusion beforehand.
She was not disappointed. Above the stepped stone structure a royal building was found with all of the expected trappings of a royal residence.
All of these finds, and the many more that there are, show that the record that we have in the Bible is historical. The people were real, the places were as described and evidence of the events that happened there are being extracted from the dust of the Holy Land.
We have also seen that there is a contest for the land today and a serious effort to suppress the truth about it. This battle is itself a fulfillment of prophecy. The Bible prophecies that the enemy would appoint his land to their own possession. He tells us that Jerusalem would be controversial with phrases such as “the controversy of Zion”, Jerusalem to be “a burdensome stone”, “aha even the ancient high places are ours...” and “when I bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem I will also gather all nations...” The six-day war of 1967, which returned these lands to Jewish control were indeed took the conflict to a global level and opened up situations that are fulfilling so many of these prophecies.
Unfortunately, another great battle is predicted. It is known by the Jews as the “battle of Gog and Magog”, it is the “year of recomposes for the controversy of Zion. The exciting part is that out of it comes the destruction of those who lift themselves up against God and his people. Those that are left, we are told, will come up from year to year to worship God at his Temple in Jerusalem.
Tim Billington for The Bible in the News.