Black Spirituality Religion : Archaeology and the Old Testament

In 572 B.C. the city of Tyre forced the withdrawal of the most powerful army in the world following a 13 year siege. Despite the success of this impregnable fortress, the scripture boldly predicted the future destruction of Tyre. "...they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water." (Ezekiel 26:12, dated around 570 B.C. by most scholars).

Adding to the odds against this prediction was the fact that most Middle East cities had their ruins covered with soil and used as a fresh foundation. Despite these facts this prophecy was literally fulfilled in 332 B.C. by Alexander the Great. After demolishing the city he cast all of the debris (right down to the bare rock) into the sea to create a giant land bridge out to the island stronghold. This bridge still exists today and contains the ruins of Tyre right down to the very dust. A fulfillment confirmed by such sources as The Encyclopedia Americana (volume 27, page 331, 1995). Another block for Biblical faith.
Monday, January 13, 2014
It is probably one of the greatest finds of all time and, by the bizarre rules of biblical archeology, it’s also one of the least reported. Basically, in 1967, in Deir Alla, Jordan, Dutch archeologists discovered some kind of pagan house of worship or seminary. On its walls, there was a 2,800-year-old inscription in black ink. Key phrases are highlighted in red ink and the whole writing is framed in red.

First of all, this is the oldest Aramaic inscription ever found. But if that’s not enough to make it a world-headline, the inscription is 600-800 years older than the Dead-Sea Scrolls. And if that’s not enough to merit international attention, the inscription mentions a prophet, or “seer”, named “Balaam son of Beor”. This is the exact name mentioned in the Torah/Bible (Numbers 22:2–24:25). This is the only instance where a specific individual mentioned in the story of the biblical Exodus can be pointed to in archeology. So who is Balaam, and where is this inscription now?

Balaam is the bad guy of the Torah. He is the Darth Vader of the biblical Exodus. According to the Talmud, Balaam had the potential to be Moses, but he turned to the dark side (Av. Zar. 4a–b; Sanh. 105b; Avot 5:19). In a famous incident, as the Israelites are about to enter the promised land, Balak King of Moab asks Balaam to curse the children of Israel. Balaam is unable to do so. The Talmud explains that he looked at the Israelite tents and saw an amazing thing. The tents were rotated so that people could not see into each other’s bedrooms, so to speak. At that point, Balaam realized that the only way to weaken Israel was to corrupt them through sex.

According to the biblical narrative, Balaam was in charge of sex priestesses made up of Moabite and Midianite women. These women successfully seduced the Israelites in an orgy of sex and idolatry (Numbers 31:8, 16). 24,000 Israelite men were punished by God with death. At one point, the Israelite prince, Zimri son of Salu, publically fornicated with a Midianite princess named Cozbi, daughter of Zur, in the name of some kind of fertility rite. Apparently, these rituals were drawing big crowds until Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the High Priest (brother of Moses), picked up a spear and killed Zimri and Cozbi with one thrust while they were, so to speak, thrusting. This act ended Balaam’s attempt to subvert Israel through pagan sex (Numbers 25; 6-15). According to the book of Joshua, Joshua took revenge by killing Balaam during the Israelite conquest of Canaan (Joshua, 13:22).

So… back to the Deir Alla inscription. The amazing thing is that it is found on the border of ancient Israel, exactly where you would expect to find it given the biblical narrative. The people writing it are Balaam’s people. Meaning, for them he’s a hero, not a villain. So we’re getting the opposition point of view. They refer to him, just as in the Torah, as “Balaam Son of Beor”. Meaning, there is a letter-perfect synchronicity between the archeology and the Bible. But it gets better. According to the Torah, Balaam does have prophetic powers. According to the inscription, he is a prophet. According to the Torah, he gets his visions at night. According to the inscription, he gets his visions at night. According to the Torah, he worships false gods, but also dialogues with the God of Israel. According to the Deir Alla inscription, Balaam speaks to the “gods” and to “El” i.e., the God of Israel. But more than this, Balaam seems to be devoted to a goddess of fertility. Lest anyone think that the orgy episode in the Torah is exaggerated, the Deir Alla inscription refers to a “girl” or priestess who is “used” for the purpose of making one “saturated with love” (Combination 2, ii 4). It talks about God himself being “satisfied” with love making (Combination 2, ii 6).

So here you have a perfect synchronicity between the story in the Bible and the story that archeologists have discovered in a pagan temple in Jordan. But except for a few scholars, very few people have even heard of this discovery. More than this, the inscription has been removed from Deir Alla and put in drawers – I’m not kidding, drawers – in the Archeological Museum of Amman, capital of Jordan. Meaning, you could be standing right next to the greatest archeological match to the Bible and not know it.

The ultimate irony: in the Archeological Museum of Amman, they have a fragment of the Dead-Sea Scrolls. It is a quote from the Bible – the story of Balaam! So the amazing thing is that about 20 feet from each other are the Deir Alla inscription and the Dead-Sea Scroll, both quoting the exact same story – and both matching the Bible perfectly.

Yahweh Ṣebaot Inscription

This limestone inscription from a burial cave in Judah c. 800–750 B.C.E. is written in Paleo-Hebrew script and reads “Cursed be Hagaf son of Hagab by Yahweh Ṣebaot.” The phrase Yahweh Ṣebaot, often translated as “Lord of Hosts,” appears over two hundred times in the Hebrew Bible, especially in prophetic books such as Isaiah and Jeremiah. The museum’s inscription is perhaps the earliest non-Biblical evidence for this name. The name Hagab, which means “grasshopper,” also appears in Ezra 2:46.

Stone block bearing invocation of a curse by Yhwh, Lord of Hosts (BLMJ 4663). Photo: BLMJ Collection.
Six Hebrew Fiscal Bullae from the Time of Hezekiahmore
by Dr. Robert Deutsch

The ancient site of Keilah was a biblical fortified town (Josh 15:44), located 13.5 kilometers northwest of Hebron. Keilah has preserved its name in Arabic as Qila.The name of this town is mentioned in the Amarna letters during the conflict between Abdi-Heba of Jerusalem and Shuwardata of Hebron.

David established his headquarter at Keilah and used the town as a place of refuge from Saul (2 Sam 23:1–13). During the First Temple Period the town of Keilah was a part of the district of Mareshah and later, during the Persian period, Keilah was a district capital in the province of Judah.At the turn of the millennium, over one thousand Hebrew bullae were recovered in nonprofessional excavations at the site and found their way to several private collections. The rich assemblage was discovered in a library from the time of Hezekiah, king of Judah. This epigraphic treasure contained many royal bullae,including bullae of high officials in the royal court. Over six hundred bullae have been published in the past, and several hundred are still to be published this year by the author.

The discovery is of prime importance for the study of ancient Israel and its geographical history. The aim of this paper is to present a group of
six “fiscal bullae,” seal impressions used for taxation, revealing the names of biblical towns, some previously unknown from extra-biblical sources.

All six bullae are inscribed in Hebrew script and in the Hebrew language. Four bullae are dated and described as belonging to the king who is unnamed,and two are undated. The bullae presented in this paper belong to Group I. The formula used on the fiscal bullae of this group is constant: 1) The date, marked in hieratic numerals; 2) the name of a town; and 3) the king’s ownership.

The use of Egyptian hieratic numerals is due to the fact that an individual Hebrew numeric system had not yet developed in Judah in the First Temple period; they are also used on Hebrew ostraca and weights.

Two bullae feature Egyptian iconography, a four-winged serpent
uraeus wearing the horned sun disk crown of Hathor. Egyptian iconography is often used in the glyptic art of the Iron Age and is also found on seals and seal impressions.

complete here:
This is some great an very interesting stuff. I am so amazed. Keep feeding the knowledge.

Biblical Archaeology Review 40:2, March/April 2014

Archaeology Confirms 50 Real People in the Bible​

By Lawrence Mykytiuk


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