Archaeology

Hezekiah: Archaeology and Armageddon

The most disputed and volatile 35 acres on earth is the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Ancient Hebrews believed that Jerusalem is the center of the universe. In particular, the rock upon which Abraham prepared to sacrifice his only begotten son, Isaac—which God stopped—is believed to exist in the Holy of Holies, which was central to the Jewish temple.
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Hezekiah: Archaeology and Armageddon

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GOD SAID, II Kings 20:20:

And the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made a pool, and a conduit, and brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

GOD SAID, II Kings 18:3-5:

3 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did.

4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.

5 He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.

MAN SAID: The historicity of the Bible is bogus—absolutely unreliable!  Anyone with any academic credentials at all knows this.

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The most disputed and volatile 35 acres on earth is the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  Ancient Hebrews believed that Jerusalem is the center of the universe.  In particular, the rock upon which Abraham prepared to sacrifice his only begotten son, Isaac—which God stopped—is believed to exist in the Holy of Holies, which was central to the Jewish temple.  The finale of the world-ending battle of Armageddon takes place in Jerusalem.  The world as we know it—including its governments and its armies—is annihilated at this battle.

The nation of Israel, after an over-2,000-year hiatus, was restored as a nation in 1948.  During the Six-Day War of 1967, the Jews defeated the Muslims and took control of the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount.  Israel’s right to its land and Jerusalem is hotly and consistently challenged, especially in the chambers of the United Nations. 

One of the four proof categories used by GodSaidManSaid to certify the beautiful and supernatural inerrancy of the Bible is research from the field of archaeology.  In this category, we include research from paleontology, geology, history, and ancient societal records.  The amalgamation of information from these disciplines establishes the impeccable history of Holy Writ and plays an important role in confirming the faith of the saints.  Archaeology will also play an important role in the upcoming battle of Armageddon. 

UNESCO, an arm of the United Nations whose acronym means United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, voted on a ruling in October of 2016 to deny Israel’s right to Jerusalem.  The dialogue is growing ever more inflammatory.  Excerpts from a few news features concerning this issue follow. 

On October 31, 2016, Eylon Aslan-Levy wrote under the heading, “The UNESCO Temple Mount Resolutions are Even Worse than You Thought—Here’s Why:”

UNESCO, the United Nations’ cultural agency, has recently angered the Israeli government by passing two resolutions that were reported to have been “denying,” “nullifying,” “ignoring,” “failing to acknowledge,” and “erasing” Jewish ties to the Temple Mount.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked sarcastically whether UNESCO would next “deny…the connection between peanut butter and jelly, Batman and Robin, and rock and roll.”  Israeli officials focused their public relations offensive around the message that UNESCO’s sin was the crude revision of history.  This was indeed how Jewish and Israeli media framed the matter.

This was not, however, the thrust of the resolutions, but a background assumption of an explicit attempt to portray Israel as a clear and present danger to a world heritage site.  In reality, the resolutions, in a bid by dictatorships (with the acquiescence of democracies) to render Israeli sovereignty over the Old City utterly illegitimate, do the most damage by prejudging how the international community should approach the question of the holy sites in any future accord.

Finally, UNESCO attempts to physically dislodge Israel from the Old City by condemning all projects that make it easier to visit.  UNESCO “deplores the damaging effect” of the Jerusalem Light Rail a short distance from the Old City walls, and requests that Israel dismantle it.  The tram currently provides the best public transport links to the Old City through the Damascus and Jaffa gates.  UNESCO also “deplores” a plan for a cable car connecting downtown Jerusalem to Gethsemane, to allow tourists to access an area difficult to reach by public transport.  Scraping the barrel, UNESCO “depreciates…the installment of an umbrella”—yes, an umbrella—at the Mughrabi Gate.  It further “deplores” the construction of new restrooms at the Western Wall, a new police station, and even a planned disabled elevator.  [End of quotes]

Sean Savage of JNS.org wrote on October 13, 2016, under the heading of “UNESCO Resolution Denying Jewish, Christian Ties to Temple Mount:”     

The United Nations’ cultural body, UNESCO, passed a resolution Thursday that condemns Israeli actions at Jerusalem’s holy sites and ignores any Jewish ties to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall complex. 

Calling the vote “another hallucinatory decision” by the group, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “To say that Israel has no connection to the Temple and the Western Wall is like saying that China is not connected to the Great Wall of China or that Egypt has no connection to the pyramids.  I believe that the historical truth is more powerful and this truth will prevail.”  [End of quote]

Rabbi Ken Spiro wrote under the heading, “Jerusalem: Jewish and Muslim Claims to the Holy City,” on AISH.com:

The late Yasser Arafat constantly repeated that there can be no peace without Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine and total Muslim sovereignty over the Temple Mount.  Indeed, the last Camp David Summit floundered over Arafat’s uncompromising position on the issue of controlling the site. 

In the Kabbalah, the Jewish metaphysical tradition, the rock of Mount Moriah is known as the “Even Shetiyah”—the Foundation Stone.  This is the metaphysical center of the universe, the place from which spirituality radiates out to the rest of the world. 

King David purchased the peak of Mount Moriah (II Samuel 24:18-25) as the site for the future Temple and gathered the necessary building supplies.  The Book of I Kings (chapters 6-8) describes in great detail how David’s son, King Solomon, built and dedicated the Temple. 

Although the Temple hasn’t stood for almost 2,000 years, Jerusalem continues to be the focus of the Jewish world.  The Temple may not be there, but Jews believe that the intrinsic holiness of the site always remains.  Jewish tradition also maintains that in the End of Days, during the Messianic Era, a third and final Temple will be built on Mount Moriah. [End of quotes]

The Muslim world refuses to recognize Israel’s right to the land God had promised them (with a fierce focus on Jerusalem).  Archaeological studies are deemed important for the purpose of establishing the Jewish peoples’ historical claims on their land.  GodSaidManSaid has published a plethora of features confirming the Hebrew root in the Promised Land.  The internecine challenge over their credentials will escalate to Armageddon. 

Hezekiah is back in the news once again, establishing Jewish claim to the land—and again confirming the accuracy of God’s Word.  King Hezekiah was the king of Judah and his capital was Jerusalem.  Before the latest discovery, paragraphs from the GodSaidManSaid feature, “King Hezekiah Back in the News” follow:

One of the four platforms employed in the GodSaidManSaid proof text is Archaeology, which includes paleontology, geology, ancient history, and societal records.  A plethora of amazing features address subjects such as creation, Adam and his rib-wife Eve, Noah and the flood, the Tower of Babel and the confounding of the languages, to Sodom and Gomorrah, the walls of Jericho, and all the way to St. Peter’s fish and the day Jesus died.  You’ll read beautiful discoveries that certify Scriptural accuracy. 

Skeptics of Biblical accuracy abound, but be assured they have never controverted one jot or tittle of Holy Writ.  Today’s feature concerns Israel’s great King Hezekiah, a man who was a lover of God’s Word.  GodSaidManSaid has published several features regarding King Hezekiah.  We will review one in particular before we proceed to today’s latest confirmation of the credibility of God’s Word.

GodSaidManSaid feature, “Tunnel of Hezekiah:”

Archaeology and paleontology have proven the reliability of the Scriptures over and over again, even in the most miraculous accounts such as Adam and Eve, the vegetarian state before sin, Noah’s Ark, the walls of Jericho, and more.

God’s Word says that Hezekiah, the King of Judah, made a pool and a conduit and brought water into the city. It also records that Hezekiah stopped the upper watercourse of Gihon and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David. Over the years, skeptics have denounced this account.

The following is a picture caption in The Jerusalem Post: "Research has confirmed the biblical account attributing the building of Jerusalem’s Siloam Tunnel to King Hezekiah." [End of quote]

The following article under the title "King Hezekiah’s Tunnel” was published in The International Jerusalem Post, September 19, 2003:

Radiometric tests conducted on the Siloam Tunnel, an underground aqueduct that served as the main water source for ancient Jerusalem, have confirmed that its construction dates back to about 700 BCE, verifying the Biblical account that credits its building to King Hezekiah. The results of the tests, conducted by researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Israel Geological Survey, and Reading University in England, were published last week in the scientific journal Nature.

 The Siloam Tunnel, a half-kilometer shaft that runs under the walls of Jerusalem to the Gihon springs in the City of David, is one of the capital’s major archaeological tourist attractions. Its construction has long been credited to Hezekiah, due to a passage in II Kings (20:20) that describes how the Biblical ruler "made a pool and a conduit and brought water into the city" when Jerusalem was under siege by the Assyrians. Hezekiah, according to II Chronicles (32:30), "also stopped the upper watercourse of Gihon and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David." This account was strengthened by the discovery in 1880 of an inscription inside the tunnel describing its building in a manner that matches the biblical account. But the "Siloam inscription" (today held by the Turkish museum) does not give a specific date or name Hezekiah as its builder, and in recent years some scholars have questioned whether the Biblical account was accurate. "There have been theories put forth that the tunnel dates back only to the Hellenistic period, about 200 BCE," says Dr. Amos Frumkin of the Hebrew University Geography Department. "However, the carbon-14 tests we carried out on organic material within the plaster of the Siloam Tunnel, and uranium-thorium dating of stalactites found in the tunnel, date it conclusively to Hezekiah’s era, around five centuries earlier."  [End of quote]

Headline, December 3, 2015, CBN News: “Hebrew U. Team Finds King Hezekiah’s Seal:”       

JERUSALEM, Israel: A team of Hebrew University archaeologists discovered a royal seal belonging to King Hezekiah, who reigned in Jerusalem during the First Temple times, some 2,700 years ago. 

Archaeologists discovered the seal, called a bulla, at the Ophel excavations at the foot of the Temple Mount’s southern wall.  It’s a significant discovery. 

“This is the first time that a seal impression of an Israelite or Judean king has ever come to light in a scientific, archaeological excavation,” said renowned Israel archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar, director of the City of David and Ophel excavations.      

Headline, December 2, 2015, The Atlantic: “Unearthing King Hezekiah’s Biblical-Era Seal:”

On Wednesday, archaeologists in Jerusalem announced the discovery of a rare Biblical-era seal.  The mark of the seal is said to belong to King Hezekiah, who ruled in the Levant in the eighth-century B.C. and got a glowing review in the Book of Kings.

According to Hebrew University, the inscription reads: “Belonging to Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz king of Judah.” 

“It’s always a question, what are the real facts behind the Biblical stories,” said Dr. Eilat Mazur, who led the excavation.  “Here we have a chance to get as close as possible to the person himself, to the king himself.” [End of quotes]

The headline from CBN News, September 30, 2016, reads, “Israeli Archaeologists: King Hezekiah Really Did Destroy Idols.”  Excerpts follow:

JERUSALEM, Israel—Israeli archaeologists believe they have evidence that the Biblical King Hezekiah did indeed destroy the high places and idols in the land of Israel as described in the Bible, evidence officials say highlights Israel’s past connection to the land and helps draw the country’s boundaries today. 

Calling it “an important and unusual discovery,” the Israel Antiquities Authority said excavations in the Tel Lachish National Park in central Israel revealed a “gate-shrine” from the First Temple period, about the 8th century B.C.  It’s the largest known gate from the First Temple period in the country. 

II Kings 18:4 records this concerning Hezekiah:

He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.

“The size of the gate is consistent with the historical and archaeological knowledge we possess, whereby Lachish was a major city and the most important one after Jerusalem,” excavation director Sa’ar Ganor said. 

According to the Biblical narrative, everything took place at the city gates where the elders, judges, governors, kings, and officials sat on benches. 

“These benches were found in our excavation,” Ganor said. 

The 80-by-80 foot Lachish city gate is preserved to a height of 16 feet.  It consists of six chambers—three on each side, with the city’s main street passing between them. 

Artifacts discovered in its rooms give clues as to how they were used 2,800 years ago.  Benches with armrests were in the first chamber.  At the foot of the benches were many finds, including jars, scoops for loading grain and jar handles bearing the name of the official or a seal impression indicating they belonged to the king. 

The IAA said the jars seem to relate to the Kingdom of Judah’s military and administrative preparations for the war against Assyrian King Sennacherib in the late 8th century B.C. 

According to Ganor, “A staircase ascended to a large room where there was a bench upon which offerings were placed.  An opening was exposed in the corner of the room that led to the holy of holies.” 

Ganor said they were excited to find two four-horned altars and scores of ceramic finds, including lamps, bowls, and stands in the room.  He said the horns on the altar had been “intentionally truncated.” 

“That is probably evidence of the religious reforms attributed to King Hezekiah, whereby religious worship was centralized in Jerusalem and the cultic high places that were built outside the capital were destroyed,” Ganor said. 

Besides cutting off the horns of the altar, apparently Hezekiah had a toilet installed in the “holy of holies” to further signify the abolition of worship and as the “ultimate desecration” of the place. 

The “toilet” was a chair-shaped stone with a hole in the middle found in the corner of the room.  It was apparently symbolic, as tests showed it had never been used. 

According to the IAA, archaeological research has identified stones like this as toilets.  The idea of using a toilet to defile cultic locations is even mentioned in the Bible, as in the case of Jehu when he destroyed the cult of Ba’al (II Kings 10:27).  It’s the first time the phenomenon has been confirmed archaeologically.

Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev said the discovery deepened Israel’s “connection to our ancestors who walked this land.” 

“The uncovering of these finds joins a long list of discoveries that enlighten us about our historic past, a past that is manifested in our country’s soil and in the writings of the Book of Books,” Regev said. 

“The Bible—the founding book of the Jewish people—draws the country’s boundaries and the heritage of the Jewish people that was exiled from its country and returned to its homeland.  It boldly commemorates the way of our forefathers, the prophets, the kings, and the judges,” she said.  [End of quotes]

God’s Word is high and lifted up; it resides far beyond the power of the world’s academic skeptics.  It is a true and perfect record of that which was and of that which is to be.  Embrace it with your might and hold on tight.  Troublesome times are ahead. 

GOD SAID, II Kings 20:20:

And the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made a pool, and a conduit, and brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

GOD SAID, II Kings 18:3-5:

3 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did.

4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.

5 He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.

MAN SAID: The historicity of the Bible is bogus—absolutely unreliable!  Anyone with any academic credentials at all knows this.

Now you have THE RECORD.

 

 

References:

Authorized King James Version

Aslan-Levy, E., “The UNESCO Temple Mount Resolutions are Even Worse Than You Thought—Here’s Why,” TheTower.org, October 31, 2016

GodSaidManSaid, “King Hezekiah Back in the News

Savage, S., “UNESCO Resolution Denying Jewish, Christian Ties to Temple Mount,” JNS.og, October 13, 2016

Spiro, K., “Jerusalem: Jewish and Muslim Claims to the Holy City,” AISH.com

Stahl, J., “Israeli Archaeologists: King Hezekiah Really Did Destroy Idols,” CBN News, September 30, 2016

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