Where was Shulam, home of the beautiful Shulammite (Shulamite) maiden of the Song of Solomon? Some have suggested that since the word Shulammite is similar to the Hebrew name Solomon, that the designation is simply an indication that she was married to Solomon. In this theory, the title Shulammite was in fact the maiden’s married name. But this would contradict the account which indicates that she never married Solomon but was returned to her true love the handsome shepherd.
Most scholars think it likely that the term “Shulammite” indicates that she was a person from Shulam, which they believe to be synonymous with Shunem, a small town in northern Israel. Supporting this view is the fact that the ancient Greek Septuagint (Vatican Manuscript No. 1209) translation of the Hebrew scriptures calls the girl the “Sunamite.” Also, the fourth century church historian and writer Eusebius referred to Shunem as Shulem. Continue reading
Something exciting is happening in the ancient hills of Judah. An archeological dig in progress since 2007 is illuminating a period in history once only known from the Biblical account of King David.
The place is called Khirbet Qeiyafa, an Arabic name that may mean “the place with a wide view”. Israeli archeologists working on the site have given it a Hebrew name meaning the “Elah Fortress”. The site is a hilltop, 30 kilometers southwest of Jerusalem overlooking the famous valley of Elah. That valley is instantly recognizable to Bible readers as the site of one of the most famous battles in history, the battle between the shepherd boy David and the giant Philistine soldier Goliath. Continue reading
(Alternate Title: The Wrong Kind Of Throne!)
About 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Jerusalem is a massive mound that was once the Biblical city of Lachish. Only Jerusalem was more important in all the cities of the ancient Kingdom of Judah. Bible students are grateful for years of careful archeological study of the site as it has enriched our understanding of important Biblical events like the Assyrian invasion of Judah and the later Babylonian invasion.
Recent work shines a light on another important Biblical event: the religious reforms of King Hezekiah. When Hezekiah was enthroned, the worship of Jehovah, centered around the temple in Jerusalem, had been neglected for decades, certainly during Continue reading
Has archeological evidence been found of the Tabernacle?
During the conquest of Canaan, the Tent of Worship or the Tabernacle was set up in a hill town named Shiloh. It was here that Joshua, successor to Moses, completed the apportioning of the Land of Promise. The Tabernacle, the portable Temple built according to the exact design specifications given by God to Moses was to remain in Shiloh for over 3 centuries. It would stay here for most if not all of the era of the Judges (356 years). According to Talmudic sources, it was in place in Shiloh for a total of 369 years. Continue reading
In reading the Bible, one often comes across the expression, “torrent valley”. The Arabic word, “Wadi” is sometimes used in its place and it is a proper name for a geographical feature that does not have a single English word to describe it. Continue reading
Every once in a while, a breathless headline promises that some new discovery will turn upside-down everything you ever knew about Christianity. Bible students know to treat such claims with great skepticism. If you are patient, it won’t be long before the claim is exposed as being much less than what it was advertised to be, or even exposed as being fraudulent. This very recent story is one such case. It provides an instructive look at the prejudices and predilections of Bible critics.
The controversial text was revealed to the world in a conference held in the shadow of Vatican City on September 18, 2012. Dr. Karen King, an American woman who is the Continue reading
Without doubt, the most sought-after tree of Bible times was the majestic cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus Libani). The Bible mentions the cedar of Lebanon or cedar wood over 70 times! At one time, vast forests of these graceful trees covered the mountains of Lebanon and the eastern Mediterranean region. They grow at low elevations as well as high, but growing in the rugged and arid conditions of the Lebanese mountains, contributes to a hardy tree with a reputation for wood that is all but indestructible. Continue reading