Megiddo: grain silo, 8th century BCE

Long, long ago in posts far away from here (June-Oct. 2013), I started posting a series of pics that I snapped on a trip to Israel in 2013. I posted at that time a bit in regard to Tel Aviv and neighboring Joppa (Jaffa; Yaffa), Caesarea Maritima, and Megiddo. However, life got full and the series ceased. However, with this post I’m finally getting back around to picking it up again. [Good things come to those who wait, right?]

Today, we began reading the book of Isaiah in MoSt Church’s year-long Bible reading effort (the ‘Read Scripture’ project). Isaiah opens with these words: “The vision concerning Judah and Jerusalem that Isaiah son of Amoz saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.” (Isa. 1.1) And, in fact, we can date Isaiah’s vision of the Lord (6.1) to “the year that King Uzziah [of Judah] died” – about 742 B.C.

Now the the book of Isaiah deals with far more than just matters pertinent to Judah (the southern kingdom). For example, we don’t read very far into the book before we learn that Isaiah has a message to deliver to Israel, the northern kingdom (9.8-10.4). And Jeroboam II, king of Israel, was Uzziah’s contemporary.

All of which set me to thinking and remembering one of the places I visited in Israel in 2013: Megiddo. There we saw the remains of a huge grain silo excavated by archaeologists. It had been constructed under the direction of Jeroboam II … the very time of Isaiah. A marker there reads: “A public grain silo from the time of King Jeroboam II (8th century BCE). The silo had a capacity of 450 cubic meters. Straw found between thee stones attests to the function of the installation.”

Here are some pics of that silo that I snapped while in Megiddo.


links to the land


Bethsaida: A Bethsaida Lesson—Jesus Wants to Teach You Much More [required reading]

“For the faithful follower of Jesus, there is another danger beyond complacency. … We limit our understanding of Jesus when we require Him to act within the limitations of our understanding. … To deepen your understanding of Jesus, set your mind on God’s interests above your own.”

Golan Heights: Golan Heights Tour

“The Golan Heights, Israel’s mountainous north-eastern region, is one of the most beautiful areas of the country.”

Tel Al-Elealeh: The Moabite city of Elealeh

“After the Israelites occupied the area the city was given to the tribe of Reuben as part of their territory (Numbers 32:3, 37).”

Temple Mount: The Most Contested Real Estate on Earth? [essential reading; outstanding diagram!]

“Muslims call it the Noble Sanctuary. Jews and Christians call it the Temple Mount. Built atop Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, this 36-acre site is the place where seminal events in Islam, Judaism and Christianity are said to have taken place, and it has been a flash point of conflict for millenniums.”

links to the land


Bird migration & Lake Hula: Cranes at the Hula

“… report 35,300 cranes at the park last Wednesday. They spend the night on the lake and in the early morning fly off to forage for food. It is an incredible sight to see thousands of cranes take to the sky.”

Hannukkah & the Temple Mount: Likud MK Regev: Police Must Allow Jews to Visit Temple Mount on Hanukka

“Jewish groups and activists who regularly visit the Temple Mount frequently complain that the police do not treat them appropriately and hamper their wishes to go up to the site, especially on Jewish festivals.”

Mount Precipice (aka: Mount Kedumim) & Nazareth: * Proposal for Huge Jesus Statue in Nazareth; * Mount Precipice

* “Bishara Shlayan, a Christian Arab from Nazareth, is hoping to build a huge statue of Jesus on Mount Precipice, near his home city. Shlayan … has already begun fund-raising for the project and … is getting positive feedback from the Israeli Arab Christian community as well as some Jews. He sees the statue as being similar to but larger than the huge Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.”

* “The hill that we call Mount Precipice is not the hill on which the ancient city was built.”

Patara: Patara (southern Turkey) and the US House of Representatives!

“… the ‘Lycian Confederation’ is mentioned four times in the Federalist Papers that were produced between 1787–1788 (#9, 16, 45). Over 2,000 years ago it met in Patara—the same place where Paul and Luke changed ships on their way to Jerusalem (Acts 21:1-3). … The Lycian Confederation is the first known democratic union in history!”

Tel Kabri & wine: One of Civilization’s Oldest Wine Cellars?

“A team of archaeologists discovered this storage room while excavating the site of Tel Kabri in northern Israel. The room measured approximately 15-by-25 feet, and held 40 wine jars that were 3,700 years old.”

links to the land


Bethesda: The Bethesda Pool

“Among the most famous of Jesus’ miracles is recounted in the Gospel of John, where Jesus heals the paralytic at the Bethesda Pool (John 5:2-9).”

Benjamin Plateau, Gibeon & Gibeah: Gibeon (part 2) & Gibeah (part 3)

* “… the plateau is guarded by four cities. The city on the western edge is Gibeon. Anyone who came from the coastal plain and through the Aijalon Valley would approach the area through Gibeon. … The picture at the top of this post is of Gibeon, as seen from Nebi Samwil. In the distance, you can see modern-day Ramallah in the West Bank.”

* “… the town of Gibeah guarded the southern end of the Benjamin Plateau. It is located about 2,800 feet in elevation on the watershed ridge along the central mountain range. As a traveler going north along the ‘Way of the Patriarchs’ out of Jerusalem, Gibeah would have been the first city that they would have come to. No doubt, many of the central figures of the Bible went through Gibeah.”

Lachish: Lachish: Open Access to BAR Articles on Lachish Archaeology

“To mark the opening of the fourth expedition to Tel Lachish, we’ve made a collection of seven BAR articles on the third expedition to Lachish free and publicly available …”

Mount Hermon: Autumn on Mount Hermon

“Mount Hermon is actually a cluster of mountains extending for about 150 km in a northeast-southwest direction with three distinct summits that straddle the border between Syria and Lebanon. The southern slopes of Mount Hermon extend to the Golan Heights and a peak in this area rising to 2,236 meters is the highest elevation in Israel. The Hermon range covers an area of about 1000 square km, of which about 70 km² are under Israeli control.”

Myra: Paul Visited the “Home City” of Santa Claus

“Myra is the ancient Lycian name of an important city located near the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. Today the city is called ‘Demre,’ or more recently ‘Kale.’ The apostle Paul visited Myra in A.D. 60. … In the Byzantine Period Myra was the provincial capital of Lycia, and in the fourth century St. Nicholas was its bishop!”

Patara: A Lighthouse Viewed by Paul and Luke?

“At the end of Paul’s third journey, as he was heading for Jerusalem, he and Luke changed ships at Patara—a port located on the Mediterranean coast of present day Turkey … A mysterious structure is located on the northern edge of the beach and on the western edge of the now silted harbor of Patara. It is claimed that this is the ‘oldest preserved’ lighthouse in the world! … a Greek inscription “naming Marcus Sextius Priscus” indicates that the light house was built prior to A.D. 54. Thus, the lighthouse may have guided the ship that Paul and Luke were on into the harbor of Patara (ca. A.D. 57/59).”

links to the land


Ashdod: Picture of the Week: Ashdod

“This site was occupied by Israel’s most notorious neighbor, was a flourishing city 100 acres in size, and was once a resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. Yet this site is hardly (if ever) visited by tourists in Israel today. … the Philistine city of Ashdod.”

Benjamin Plateau & Nebi Samwil: The Benjamin Plateau

“… the most important aspect of the land of Benjamin was location. Anybody traveling to or from Jerusalem from the west, north or east must go through this land, and in particular, they must pass through the Benjamin Plateau.”

Carchemish: Excitement at Carchemish

“Excavations are right on a military zone with 55 hectares in Turkey and 35 in Syria.”

Israel trip: 7 Ways Your Holy Land Tour Will Stay with You for Years

“A Holy Land tour exposes us to the context of the Bible in a way we never imagined. We gain a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the Word of God. And God uses Scripture to change us.”

James ossuary: * The James Box Has been Freed!; * Public Will Be Able to See Limestone Box That May Have Been Casket for Jesus’ Brother

* “… the James Ossuary, after a ten year battle, has finally been returned to Oded Golan, its rightful owner.”

* “The stone burial box bearing the inscription “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus” has been hidden from public view at the Israel Antiquities Authority since 2003.”

Rome: Tour Ancient Rome

[5 min. video]

Swine: Who’d Import Pigs to Israel? Ancient Europeans, Researchers Say

“… Israeli researchers involved in a lengthy project whose goal is to reconstruct ancient Israel have now established that the pigs here are of European stock, unlike their Middle Eastern counterparts elsewhere in the region, and that they probably arrived with the non-kosher Philistines about 3,000 years ago.”

links to the land


Caesarea Philippi: Jesus’ Promise at Caesarea Philippi

“The text does not specify that Jesus entered Caesarea Philippi, but that He came to the ‘region’ (NKJV), ‘district’ (NASB), ‘the area of’ (NET) Caesarea Philippi (Matthew 16:13).”

Corinth: The Meat Market at Corinth

“‘Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience.’ (1 Corinthians 10:25 ESV) The Greek word used here for ‘meat market’ is makellon. Archaeological discoveries at Corinth include inscriptions mentioning the meat market and the fish market.”

Hebrew manuscripts: The Aleppo Codex

“The oldest and most complete Hebrew Bible in existence is brought to you for the first time online. … The manuscript known as the Keter or ‘crown’ of Aleppo is the oldest existent manuscript known to us …”

Jerusalem: The Burnt House, Jerusalem

“… The Burnt House in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. … I don’t think it makes it onto the itinerary of many tours to the Holy Land so it qualifies as ‘obscure.’ This is a site that dates back to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in the first century.”

Nazareth: The Quest for the Historical Nazareth

“In the case of first-century Nazareth, religious scholars tend to talk up the size of Nazareth, while skeptics tend to question whether Nazareth even existed at the time. …  ‘Nazareth’ occurs 29 times in the Bible, all of them in the NT. Nazareth is never mentioned in the Tanakh or in any other Jewish writings of the period. … There are no references to Nazareth in the Apostolic Fathers, and just handful of references in Christian texts from the second half of the second century CE. …

“Nazareth probably did not have a synagogue in the first two decades of the first century. In the time of Jesus the population may have been fewer than 300 persons, and we might imagine that the majority of them would have been children.”

links to the land


Gezer: Gezer Excavations Uncover Previously Unknown Canaanite City

“The finds demonstrate that the residents of this 14th-century B.C.E. city were Canaanites with strong ties with Egypt. During the Late Bronze Age, Gezer and other cities in the southern Levant were under the reign of Egypt’s 18th Dynasty. … According to the Bible, Gezer, which had been captured by an Egyptian pharaoh, was given to the Israelite king Solomon as a wedding gift when he married the pharaoh’s daughter (1 Kings 9:15–16). In the Biblical account, Solomon was said to have built walls around Gezer as well as Jerusalem, Hazor and Megiddo.”

Magdala & mikveh: Mikveh at Magdala

“Last week I posted on the discovery of the 1st century synagogue at Magdala. Of interest there was the discovery of two mikva’ot (plural of mikveh). A mikveh was used by the Jews for ritual purification (not for bathing; they would bathe first).”

Maps: Barrington Atlas Coming to iPads

“… Princeton University Press will release an iPad app version of the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World next month. Release date is scheduled for November 21. The cost: only $19.95. For some comparison, the print publication runs $250-$400 via Amazon and lists at $400 at Princeton University’s website. … Upon its print publication in 2000, the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World was hailed by the New York Times as ‘the best geography of the ancient world ever achieved.'”

Mount Nebo: The Cross-Shaped Bronze Serpent at Mount Nebo, Jordan

“To stand at Mt Nebo looking across the Jordan Valley to Jericho is a great experience. There across the river is the Promised Land that typologically symbolizes the Kingdom of God, the hope of the Christian.”

Nemea: Nemea — A Marvelous “PanHellenic” Site to be Closed — I Weep

“Nemea is located only  11.6 mi. southwest of Corinth. There, one of the four PanHellenic festivals was held every two years in the stadium of Nemea. The other locations of these festivals were Delphi, Isthmia, and Olympia. Nemea has been well-excavated and presented to the public.  Its museum is outstanding for the extraordinary finds, and their presentation, contain therein.  It is a shame that this place is slated for closing (!#$%@!)  as the Greek government tries to balance its budget.”