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Biblical Archaeology

IN HIS STEPS: Biblical Archaeologists In Israel Make Stunning Discovery Of 2,000 Year Old Pilgrimage Road That Jesus Would Have Walked Up To The Temple

The discovery by biblical archaeologists of a 2,000 year old pilgrimage road in the City of David in Jerusalem is changing the way we view Israel.

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NEW DISCOVERY IN JERUSALEM'S CITY OF DAVID: 2,000-YEAR-OLD PILGRIMAGE ROAD
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The Pilgrimage Road goes all the way from the Shiloah Pool to the area adjacent to the Western Wall known as Robinson’s Arch, where today you can still see remnants of the ancient stairway that led into the Jewish Temple.

The deeper you dig anywhere in Israel, the more you discover remnants of the amazing and storied history of the Jewish people in the land. This latest find, a pilgrimage road dating back to the time of Jesus of Nazareth, is astonishing when you realize what it truly is. It’s the actual pathway that pilgrims, Jewish and gentile, walked to reach the Temple so they could worship God and offer sacrifice as commanded in the Law of Moses. Jesus Himself would have walked these steps, and very shortly you’ll be able to do the exact same thing when it will be opened to tourists.

“And at the fountain gate, which was over against them, they went up by the stairs of the city of David, at the going up of the wall, above the house of David, even unto the water gate eastward. And the other company of them that gave thanks went over against them, and I after them, and the half of the people upon the wall, from beyond the tower of the furnaces even unto the broad wall;” Nehemiah 12:37,38 (KJV)

When a sewage pipe burst in the middle of the neighbourhood of Silwan in southeast Jerusalem in 2004, workers were sent to fix the leak, accompanied by a team of archaeologists. During the repairs, workers stumbled upon some stairs close to where the Shiloah was believed to have once stood. This was the ancient pool Jewish pilgrims would dip in before beginning the religious ascent to the Temple. According to Doron Spielman, vice president of the Ir David Foundation (Elad), almost all Jewish pilgrims would have entered the city along this road. Spielman claims this is a road that Jesus almost certainly used during the Second Temple period.

To me, all these discoveries in the past few years relating to the last standing Jewish Temple sure makes me think that God is preparing the world to see the creation of another one. You know, the one that Daniel 9 and Jesus in Matthew 24 tell us will be used by Antichrist.

NEW DISCOVERY IN JERUSALEM’S CITY OF DAVID: 2,000-YEAR-OLD PILGRIMAGE ROAD

FROM THE JERUSALEM POST: In 2004, a sewage pipe burst in the middle of the neighborhood of Silwan in southeast Jerusalem. The municipality sent in a crew of construction workers to fix the leak, and as is the case in Jerusalem and especially in neighborhoods adjacent to the Old City, they were accompanied by a team of archeologists.

As the repairs progressed, the construction workers stumbled upon some long and wide stairs a few dozen meters from where the Shiloah – the ancient pool Jewish pilgrims would dip in before beginning the religious ascent to the Temple, until its destruction in 70 CE – was believed to have once stood. The steps were just like the ones that lead to the Hulda Gates, a set of now blocked entrances along the Temple Mount’s Southern Wall.

Discovery of the Shiloah Pool led to another monumental find – the central water drainage channel that had served ancient Jerusalem. This channel is the tunnel that visitors to the City of David – known as Ir David – get to walk through today, starting at the bottom of the Shiloah and emerging about 45 minutes later next to the Western Wall.

As is often the case with archeology, though, the first discovery or two are just the beginning. That is how a few weeks ago I found myself on an exclusive tour of an ancient road dug out beneath the village of Silwan and above the now well-known water channel (also the place where Jewish rebels made a final stand against the Roman invaders).

The ancient street is referred to as “Pilgrimage Road,” since archeologists are convinced that this is the path millions of Jews took three times a year when performing the commandment of aliyah l’regel – going up to the holy city of Jerusalem to bring sacrifices to God during Judaism’s three key holidays, Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot.

The Pilgrimage Road goes all the way from the Shiloah Pool to the area adjacent to the Western Wall known as Robinson’s Arch, where today you can still see remnants of the ancient stairway that led into the Jewish Temple.

Titus Flavius Josephus, the first-century Roman-Jewish historian, wrote that 2.7 million people used to visit Jerusalem during the various Jewish holidays, bringing with them some 256,000 sacrifices. Almost all of the Jewish pilgrims, according to Doron Spielman, vice president of the Ir David Foundation (Elad), would have entered the city on this road. It is a road that Jesus almost certainly used during the Second Temple period, alongside many of the famous Jewish scholars and leaders of that period.

“This place is the heart of the Jewish people, and is like the blood that courses through our veins,” Spielman said.

Here is one example: Hillel and Shammai – the famous first-century scholars who figure prominently in the Mishna – debate at what stage in a child’s development his father is obligated to include him in the pilgrimage. Shammai, the stringent one, says that a child should be included as long as he can sit on his father’s shoulders. Hillel says only if the child is able to walk up the 750-meter road need he be included.

Walking the road – as of now Ir David has excavated about 250 meters of it – you can imagine the throngs of people parading on it 2,000 years ago. Young boys walking next to their parents. Girls on their fathers’ shoulders. So far, only some of the stores that once lined the road have been partially uncovered, but with imagination you can hear the bartering that took place here – people trading leather for fur, seeds for honey, coins for wine.

For example, archeologists found a set of stairs in the middle of the road alongside one of the ancient shops. But the staircase doesn’t go anywhere. It ends in a platform. When Ir David checked, though, it found just one other similar set of stairs – in Rome, where it was used as something like a Hyde Park-style Speakers’ Corner. Basically, this was a place where people could make announcements and deliver speeches to the pilgrims as they climbed the road to the Temple.

Then archeologists found beside the stairs the burned remains of a male palm tree, one that doesn’t give fruit. Why would there be a non-fruit producing tree right there on the road? To provide shade for the speakers.

“To understand Jerusalem, you need to stand here,” Spielman said. “We were exiled in 70 CE and prayed three times a day and established a state. The last breath of Jews was here, beneath us.” Spielman pointed at some black ash discovered along the road and mentioned the thousands of coins the archeologists uncovered engraved with the words “Free Zion.”

“This was the battle cry during the fight against the Romans,” he explained. “They made coins and not arrowheads, because they knew they could not beat Rome, but they made the coins so there would be something left for the people who would one day come back.”

IR DAVID has changed our understanding of history. It is one thing to read the Mishna and imagine or visualize what life for Jews was once like. It is quite another to walk on the exact same road as they did.

For the last few months, Ir David has been working around the clock to connect the excavated part of the road with the Shiloah Pool. It is tedious work that has to be done slowly. Every inch excavated has to be reinforced with steel beams to protect the modern city above.

The project has so far cost several hundred million dollars, and while the government has provided a portion of the budget, most has come from private donors, such as Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, Oracle founder Larry Ellison and WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum. Ir David hopes that when the road officially opens in a few months, it will draw approximately one million visitors a year.

Yisrael Hasson, director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, noted: “The Road project is a part of the Shalem Plan, which was approved in a government cabinet meeting, the purpose of which is to preserve and develop the area of ancient Jerusalem. The plan relates to the sites of ancient Jerusalem from a comprehensive governmental planning and budgetary perspective, which will create a holistic visitor experience in this unique area. We are currently in the second phase of the plan, which will dramatically improve this entire area.  READ MORE

New discovery in Jerusalem’s City of David: 2,000-year-old pilgrimage road

The City of David has already changed Jerusalem. A new discovery there opening soon will change the way Jews connect with their past in a way never seen before.

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Biblical Archaeology

Biblical Archaeologists Uncover Physical Evidence Of The Siege Of Jerusalem In 70 AD By The Romans, Proving The Josephus Account To Be Accurate

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For the first time in the research of ancient Jerusalem, physical evidence uncovered in recent excavations has proven Jewish historian Josephus Flavius’s account of the 70 AD conquest of the holy city.

It is always nice to see when 21st century technology catches up to your dusty, old and archaic King James Bible, as we see in the fantastic discovery of the Roman weapons used in the Seige of Jerusalem in 70 AD. As it turns out, Roman historian Josephus was telling the truth when he wrote his historical account of events happening during that time. Josephus also wrote that Jesus was the Christ, the promised Messiah of Israel foretold by the prophets. I wonder why they believe Josephus about the fall of Jerusalem but not about that Jesus is the Christ?

And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” Matthew 24:1,2 (KJB)

If you’re a Preterist, then all Bible prophecy related to the end times, for you, was fulfilled with the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and there is nothing yet future awaiting you. But if you’re a Bible believer, then you know that the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD was a type of the final fall that will come halfway through the 7 year time of Jacob’s trouble. Jesus calls this time the start of great tribulation such as the world has never seen, and it will take place after the Church is removed in the Rapture.

Proving Josephus: Research on Roman ballistics confirms Second Temple battle account

FROM THE TIMES OF ISRAEL: Through computer analysis of 2,000-year-old Roman ballistics uncovered in Israel Antiquities Authority excavations in Jerusalem’s Russian Compound near modern Jerusalem’s Municipality building, archaeologist Kfir Arbiv claims he has demonstrated the veracity of Josephus’s narrative charted in his book, “The History of the Jewish War against the Romans.”

“It is extremely exciting to be proving the narrative of Josephus onsite,” Arbiv told The Times of Israel on Sunday, Tisha B’av, the Jewish day of mourning that annually commemorates the conquests of Jerusalem.

All data gathered onsite was compared to Josephus’s contemporary descriptions of a battle near the city’s third line of defense — which were proven accurate, said Arbiv. This is significant because while Josephus’s histories are one of the sole contemporary sources of the fall of Jerusalem, they are treated carefully by scholars due to his colorful personal history.

“In the over 150 years that we are scientifically researching ancient Jerusalem, this is the first time that we’ve resurrected a battlefield that proves an account of the conquest of Jerusalem,” he said.

Born Joseph Ben Matthias to a priestly family circa 38 CE, Josephus was a leading Jewish military leader during the Jewish revolt until he was captured by the Romans in 67 CE. Taken in chains to Rome, Josephus eventually won his freedom through a “prophecy” that Vespasian would become emperor. Newly loyal to Rome, Josephus returned to Jerusalem with Vespasian’s son Titus for the conquest in 70 CE, ostensibly to act as a mediator. Reviled by both sides, Josephus failed to quell the flames of war and eventually returned to Rome where he composed his histories.

“With the help of the computer, I located all the ballista exactly where they were found. I took into account the local topography and the location of the Second Temple-period city fortification walls, and I made ballistic calculations, including the launching angle, and the throwing distance of the stones,” said Arbiv, who co-directed the excavations with the IAA’s Dr. Rina Avner. The research is part of Arbiv’s Tel Aviv University MA thesis.

According to the IAA, the Roman Arsenal exposed in the Russian Compound excavations so far includes hundreds of ballista stones. The sizes vary and some were launched from hi-tech bolt-throwing machines to a distance of 100–400 meters, whereas other small sling stones were used by infantry. Ancient arrowheads, projectile spears and swords were also discovered onsite. READ MORE

Josephus Account Of Roman Siege Of Jerusalem In 70 AD Proved To Be Accurate With Recent Discovery

In 2016, impressive and fascinating evidence of the battlefield and the breaching of the Third Wall that surrounded Jerusalem at the end of the Second Temple period was uncovered in the Russian Compound in the city center. In 2022, computer analysis of those artifacts yielded some amazing finds. 

Now The End Begins is your front line defense against the rising tide of darkness in the last Days before the Rapture of the Church

When you contribute to this fundraising effort, you are helping us to do what the Lord called us to do. The money you send in goes primarily to the overall daily operations of this site. When people ask for Bibles, we send them out at no charge. When people write in and say how much they would like gospel tracts but cannot afford them, we send them a box at no cost to them for either the tracts or the shipping, no matter where they are in the world. Even all the way to South Africa. We even restarted our weekly radio Bible study on Sunday nights again, thanks to your generous donations. All this is possible because YOU pray for us, YOU support us, and YOU give so we can continue growing.

But whatever you do, don’t do nothing. Time is short and we need your help right now. The Lord has given us an open door with a tremendous ‘course’ for us to fulfill that will create an excellent experience at the Judgement Seat of Christ. Please pray for our efforts, and if the Lord leads you to donate, be as generous as possible. The war is REAL, the battle HOT and the time is SHORTTO THE FIGHT!!!

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Biblical Archaeology

Jerusalem Institute of Archaeology Uncovers The Ritual Bath From Second Temple Period Described As The ‘Upper City’ By Roman Historian Josephus

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A salvage excavation conducted by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology near the Temple Mount has unearthed a unique ritual ‘Upper City’ bath (“mikveh”) dating back to the Late Second Temple period, and written about by Josephus.

I love it when biblical archaeologists make new discoveries that shed light on events that took place in Bible times, such is the subject of our story today about the ‘Upper City’ written about by Roman historian Josephus and related to the destruction of the Second Temple.

“And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” Revelation 11:1,2 (KJB)

The Upper City described by Josephus is directly connected to the period of time Jesus said would result in the total destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, which is connected to the rebuilding of the Temple that takes place in the time of Jacob’s trouble. Here in 2022, we are watching regathered Israel being lured into the Two State Solution via the Abraham Accords, so you know that the next Temple is right around the corner. Exciting times we live in!

Ritual bath used by elites on eve of Second Temple destruction uncovered

FROM THE JERUSALEM POST: The ritual bath is located on top of a cliff in the “Upper City,” a phrase coined by historian Josephus Flavius to describe the area of Herod’s City which housed Jerusalem’s elites. It was found within a private villa, built into the bedrock and featuring a vaulted ceiling with fine masonry typical of the Herodian period.

A plastered water cistern was uncovered near the same villa.  It had been in use until the destruction of the Second Temple by Rome in 70 CE, and held the remains of nearly 40 cooking pots, some still intact. These excavations began in February 2021 to provide handicap access between Jerusalem’s Old City and the Western Wall. The operations were overseen by Hebrew University’s Michal Haber and Dr. Oren Gutfeld, funded in part by Israel’s Ministry for Jerusalem Affairs and the William Davidson Foundation, and spearheaded by the Company for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.

“The excavation revealed remains dating from the Second Temple, Roman-Byzantine, and Ottoman periods. The number of water channels, cisterns and pools discovered in the area reflects the central role played by Jerusalem’s water supply throughout the ages,” Dr. Gutfeld shared while surveying the unique finds.

“The excavation revealed remains dating from the Second Temple, Roman-Byzantine, and Ottoman periods. The number of water channels, cisterns and pools discovered in the area reflects the central role played by Jerusalem’s water supply throughout the ages.” Dr. Oren Gutfeld

The excavations also unearthed additional artifacts that span the Second Temple, Roman-Byzantine and Ottoman periods, including a network of plastered pools and channels. Among the finds were a section of the Ottoman-period phase of the “Lower Aqueduct” which transported water from Solomon’s Pools near Bethlehem all the way to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during the Second Temple period. READ MORE

Now The End Begins is your front line defense against the rising tide of darkness in the last Days before the Rapture of the Church

When you contribute to this fundraising effort, you are helping us to do what the Lord called us to do. The money you send in goes primarily to the overall daily operations of this site. When people ask for Bibles, we send them out at no charge. When people write in and say how much they would like gospel tracts but cannot afford them, we send them a box at no cost to them for either the tracts or the shipping, no matter where they are in the world. Even all the way to South Africa. We even restarted our weekly radio Bible study on Sunday nights again, thanks to your generous donations. All this is possible because YOU pray for us, YOU support us, and YOU give so we can continue growing.

But whatever you do, don’t do nothing. Time is short and we need your help right now. If every one of the 15,860+ people on our daily mailing list gave $4.50, we would reach our goal immediately. If every one of our 150,000+ followers on Facebook gave $1.00 each, we would reach 300% of our goal. The same goes for our 15,900 followers on Twitter. But sadly, many will not give, so we need the ones who can and who will give to be generous. As generous as possible.

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:13 (KJB)

“Thank you very much!” – Geoffrey, editor-in-chief, NTEB

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Biblical Archaeology

The Israel Antiquities Authority Claims They Have Uncovered Archaeological Proof Hanukkah Actually Happened

This week marks the beginning of Hanukkah, the “festival of lights”, and the Israel Antiquities Authority has made a great discovery.

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This week marks the beginning of Hanukkah, the “festival of lights.” The holiday commemorates an event during the Maccabean revolt in the second century BC, when the candelabrum in the Jerusalem Temple miraculously burned for eight days despite only having enough oil for one.

While Hanukkah is not in the Bible per se, and the events around it not scripture, it certainly is an interesting story and a recent discovery outside of Jerusalem by the Israel Antiquities Authority is adding credibility to the beloved tale of the Maccabees and their fight for Jewish sovereignty.

“And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” Genesis 32:28 (KJB)

Pray for the Jews and the nation of Israel as they celebrate Hanukkah this year, they grow ever-closer to the coming time of Jacob’s trouble and the great Tribulation. It will be during that time when they truly will discover Who the real ‘light of the world’ is, and it will come at great cost. Hanukkah this year runs from November 28th to December 6th.

“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see himand they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” Revelation 1:7 (KJB)

Did Archaeologists Just Find Evidence of Hanukkah Stories?

FROM YAHOO NEWS: But Hanukkah isn’t just about energy efficiency; broadly speaking it celebrates the successful struggle for Jewish independence. Now archaeologists have unearthed the charred remains of a fort destroyed by Jewish rebels more that 2,000 years ago and claim that it offers evidence of the Hanukkah-related rebellion.

In a statement released last week, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced that they had discovered the burned wooden beams and ruins of a fortified Hellenistic structure in the Lachish Forest. The remains of the small 15m (50-foot) x 15m fort were unearthed about an hour’s journey to the southwest of Jerusalem on the summit of a high hill in the Judean foothills. The position of the structure gave it a clear vantage point over the neighboring city of Maresha, the largest Hellenistic center in the area.

Minister of Construction and Housing, Jerusalem and Heritage, Zeev Elkin: “The impressive discoveries from the excavations in the Lachish region demonstrate the history of our great and wonderful land and the story of Hanukkah. The Landmarks program led by the Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage, for which I am responsible, continues to develop national and historical heritage sites on a daily basis. Over the upcoming Hanukkah holiday, we will be marking Heritage Week throughout the country and I invite the general public to visit, discover and experience our national heritage sites.”

Minister of Culture and Sports, Chili Tropper: “The Israel Antiquities Authority’s fascinating new discovery is a classic example of how traditional, well-known and well-loved stories become part of the historical and archaeological record. The building’s excavation reflects the glorious roots of the  Jewish people in the Land of Israel and brings the Hanukkah stories to life.

Saar Ganor, Vladik Lifshits, and Ahinoam Montagu, excavation directors on behalf of the IAA, said that the site “provides tangible evidence of the Hanukkah stories. It appears that we have discovered a building that was part of a fortified line erected by the Hellenistic army commanders to protect the large Hellenistic city of Maresha from a Hasmonean offensive. However, the finds from the site show that the Seleucid defenses were unsuccessful; the building was badly burnt and devastated by the Hasmoneans.” READ MORE

Now The End Begins is your front line defense against the rising tide of darkness in the last Days before the Rapture of the Church

When you contribute to this fundraising effort, you are helping us to do what the Lord called us to do. The money you send in goes primarily to the overall daily operations of this site. When people ask for Bibles, we send them out at no charge. When people write in and say how much they would like gospel tracts but cannot afford them, we send them a box at no cost to them for either the tracts or the shipping, no matter where they are in the world. Even all the way to South Africa. We even restarted our weekly radio Bible study on Sunday nights again, thanks to your generous donations. All this is possible because YOU pray for us, YOU support us, and YOU give so we can continue growing.

But whatever you do, don’t do nothing. Time is short and we need your help right now. If every one of the 15,860+ people on our daily mailing list gave $4.50, we would reach our goal immediately. If every one of our 150,000+ followers on Facebook gave $1.00 each, we would reach 300% of our goal. The same goes for our 15,900 followers on Twitter. But sadly, many will not give, so we need the ones who can and who will give to be generous. As generous as possible.

“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:13 (KJV)

“Thank you very much!” – Geoffrey, editor-in-chief, NTEB

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