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Biblical Archaeology

JURASSIC PARK: Scientists In Israel Able To Sprout Seeds From 2,000 Year Old Date Palm Trees Dating Back To When The Roman Army Controlled Jerusalem

A team led by Sarah Sallon in Israel has been able to sprout seeds from 2,000 year old date palm trees that have been named after people in the Bible.

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Five of the six date palm seeds that ultimately sprouted came from either Masada, the site of a famous siege in 74 AD that is said to have ended with the mass suicide of Masada’s defenders, or the Qumran Caves, best known as the site of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
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A team led by Sarah Sallon, which planted these six trees, first tried in 2005 to germinate a 2,000-year-old seed from the ancient fortress of Masada. To the surprise and delight of Sallon and her colleagues, it sprouted, and they named that first date palm tree Methuselah, who in the Bible lived to the age of 969.

At an astonishing rate, Israel is becoming reconnected with it’s storied biblical past, specifically the part on the timeline having to do when the Jews were under Roman occupation. We strongly recommend you take a quick trip to the NTEB Biblical Archaeology Archive to refresh your memory of just how much has been uncovered in recent years. Stories like this one today help to confirm my feelings that God is allowing these incredible finds in Israel’s past because future prophecy is getting ready to be fulfilled.

“The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;  To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.” Psalm 92:12-15 (KJB)

The fact that these 2,000 year old date palm seeds have been spouted is incredible, and even more so the fact that they have given the date palm seeds names from the Bible. They named the first one to sprout Methuselah, which put you right at the beginning of the days of Noah from Genesis. But I’m sure all that is just a coincidence. 🤔 Right?

After 2,000 Years, These Date Palm Tree Seeds Have Finally Sprouted And It’s Amazing

FROM THE ATLANTIC: “I was so not expecting it,” says Sallon, a doctor at Hadassah Medical Center who got interested in date palms as medicinal plants. At the time, the team didn’t even think to take basic measurements, such as seed weight or size, for comparison with modern date seeds. So after the success of Methuselah, they decided to try again, but more systematically. After all, was Methuselah a fluke, or were lots of date seeds viable after 2,000 years?

An archaeologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem allowed Sallon to sift through dusty boxes of plant material recovered from some of Israel’s most famous archaeological sites. She found plenty of seeds for her purpose. “They were in all various stages of disintegration,” Sallon says. “But some were in beautiful condition.” She picked 32 of the best-preserved seeds, and her collaborator Elaine Solowey planted them at a kibbutz in southern Israel. Solowey soaked the seeds in water and applied commercial plant hormones and fertilizer, but the protocol for planting them was essentially no different than for modern seeds.

Scientists Grow Date Palm Trees From 2,000-Year-Old Seeds

Scientists Grow Date Palm Trees From 2,000-Year-Old Seeds

Five of the six date palm seeds that ultimately sprouted came from either Masada, the site of a famous siege in 74 AD that is said to have ended with the mass suicide of Masada’s defenders, or the Qumran Caves, best known as the site of the Dead Sea Scrolls. (A sixth came from caves at Wadi Makukh.) At 2,000 years old, the seeds are in fact contemporaries of these ancient events. Around the time Romans were laying siege to Masada and the Dead Sea Scrolls were being written, these seeds were being formed.

 “It’s quite remarkable this team of researchers managed to germinate seeds of that age,” says Oscar Alejandro Pérez-Escobar, who studies ancient dates at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The fact that the team has done it not just once but now seven times suggests that ancient seeds could be used to resurrect genes that disappeared after thousands of years of breeding. “These ancient seeds might represent lost genetic diversity we don’t see any more,” Pérez-Escobar says. As date-palm growers adapt to climate change and battle pests and diseases, they might want to tap into the pool of ancient genes hidden in archaeological archives.

Why date palm seeds can remain viable for so long, no one is quite sure. The seeds are physically tough and, because they are adapted to the desert, especially tolerant of drying out. But Sallon also points to the environment where they were found, near the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is the lowest place on Earth’s land. That means it has an especially thick layer of atmosphere to protect from cosmic radiation that could damage the seeds.

 To understand how Adam, Jonah, Uriel, Boaz, Judith, and Hannah are related to more modern date palms, the team also analyzed genetic markers from the seedlings. The seedlings were genetically quite different from one another. Methuselah and Adam were most closely related to eastern varieties now found in the Arabian Gulf; Hannah and Judith to modern Iraqi varieties; and Uriel, Boaz, and Jonah to modern Moroccan varieties. The ancient seeds were also bigger and heavier than modern varieties.

Sallon helped name the seedlings. After Methuselah, she decided to continue with the biblical theme. Adam sprouted in the fall, around Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, which celebrates the creation of the world and of Adam and Eve. She originally named the tree Eve, but switched to Adam after genetic markers revealed that it was a male tree. Judith came up a few months later, around Hanukkah, and was originally named Judah for the hero of the Hanukkah story, Judah Maccabee. Two more seedlings germinated around the spring harvest festival of Shavuot, when the Book of Ruth is traditionally read. So Sallon named those trees after Ruth and Boaz, Ruth’s second husband—until genetic analysis revealed that Ruth was also male. So Sallon changed the name to Uriel, after, this time, her own son.

Methuselah is now mature enough to produce pollen, and he’s actually become a father. Solowey used him to pollinate a modern female, and they made dates. The two female date palms from ancient seeds, Judith and Hannah, have not yet reached sexual maturity, so no ancient date fruits have been resurrected yet. READ MORE

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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!!!

“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

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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