February 10, 2012
Israel, The Scriptures, Uncategorized
Then he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor at Pethor, which is near the River in the land of the sons of his people, to call him, saying: “Look, a people has come from Egypt. See, they cover the face of the earth, and are settling next to me! Therefore please come at once, curse this people for me, for they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”
So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the diviner’s fee in their hand, and they came to Balaam and spoke to him the words of Balak.
Uncovered by Dutch archaeologists in 1967, the Deir ‘Alla inscription (located in Jordan) concerns a story about Balaam the prophet. The inscription has been dated to around 800 BC. This artifact confirms what the Bible mentioned in Numbers: Balaam was not a Jew, but was acknowledged throughout the area at the time as a powerful prophet. The inscription does not mention how old the story about Balaam is. While the inscription is incomplete, and archaeologists debate the entirety of its contents, the name of Balaam the Seer is not in dispute.
The Deir ‘Alla Inscription (Livius.org, accessed Feb. 2012)
The Balaam Text from Deir Alla Re-evaluated (Google Books, accessed Feb. 2012)
January 25, 2012
Israel, The Divided Kingdom, Uncategorized
1 Kings 12:28-29
Therefore the king [Jeroboam] asked advice, made two calves of gold, and said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, O Israel, which brought you up from the land of Egypt!” And he set up one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan.
Jeroboam was leading the other tribes of Israel to revolt against Judah; feeling nervous about the Temple in Jerusalem, he decided to designate areas within the northern kingdom for worship. He built high places in Dan and Bethel . 1966 excavations led by A. Biran found the high place at Tell el-Qadi (Tel Dan). The ruins have been dated to around the tenth century BC, during Jeroboam I’s reign.
Picture, Excavation Site from BAS Library (accessed Jan. 2012)
Archaeological Sites in Israel (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, accessed Jan. 2012)
December 19, 2011
Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, goddesses, gods, Greece, Israel, Kings, Mesopotamia, Mythology, Persia, Rome, The Divided Kingdom, The Scriptures, Uncategorized, Ur
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