Earthquakes can cause catastrophic loss of life and devastate buildings of all sizes. Is it possible to discover evidence for an earthquake that happened in the distant past? Today, modern scientific methods coax the Earth into giving up her secrets. New fields of archeology and geology have revealed convincing evidence of ancient earthquakes and astonishingly, may even have illuminated a couple of well known earthquakes from the Bible.
A number of earthquakes are recorded in the Bible. In most cases, these are not natural events but manifestations of divine power. The inauguration of the Mosaic law covenant at Mount Sinai was accompanied by a fear-inspiring earthquake and possibly even volcanic action (Exodus 19:18). The rebel Levite Korah, along with his co-conspirators were executed by means of what may have been a divinely sent earthquake (illustrated above): 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
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
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
Were the Canaanites merciless child killers or gentle nature worshipers?
Warning: Subject matter may disturb
Historical revisionist theories regularly receive more traction among Bible critics than the facts would warrant. For example, consider the case of polytheism verses monotheism. Most religious history books teach that cultures that were polytheistic (believers in many gods) naturally progressed towards becoming monotheistic (believers in one God). This is seen, even by agnostics as being a necessary step toward becoming a more mature society. Increasingly however, Bible critics challenge that idea. They see the move from polytheism to monotheism as a negative thing. According to their revisionist version of history, gentle nature worshiping polytheistic societies such as Canaan were supplanted by aggressive monotheistic cultures like the Hebrews which were less tolerant, sexually repressed and war-like. Continue reading
Post 15 – As recorded in 2 Chronicles chapter 12 (and 1 Kings 14:25), early in the reign of King Rehoboam, the newly separate Kingdom of Judah is invaded by Shishak of Egypt. Is there any evidence for this in the archeological record? On the wall of the temple of Amon-Ra in Karnak Egypt, there is a Continue reading
Photos by author except for bottom right. Photo Credit: Mboesch (CC BY-SA 4.0) Wikimedia Commons
Post 13 – The building projects of King Solomon, this week in #weeklybiblereadingarcheology. In addition to building the Temple, 2 Chronicles 1:14 speaks of Solomons “chariot cities”. 1 Kings 9:15-17 states that Solomon Continue reading