Biblical Sites in Israel: Gath of the Philistines

April 9, 2016

A visit to the biblical site of Gath, Tel es Safi, on Israel’s coastal plain is worthwhile. Gath was the land of giants (Josh. 11:22). Goliath was from Gath: “Then a champion named Goliath, from Gath, came out from the Philistine camp. He was nine feet, nine inches tall” (1 Sam. 17:4, Holman’s Christian Standard Bible).

It is sad to read how that David (after killing Goliath) had to flee from Saul. He fled to Gath of the Philistines, but there, fearing for his life, pretended to be insane (1 Sam 21:10-15; cf. Psalms 34 and 56). Later David again fled to Gath and was given refuge (1 Sam. 27); the king of Gath gave David and his 600 men the city of Ziklag.

When David was residing when he heard news of the death of King Saul, and his three sons (1 Sam. 31) he composed a song which included the words “Tell it not in Gath, Proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon — Lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, Lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph” (2 Sam. 1:20).

Our photo here gives a view of the large tel.

Tel Gath of the Philistines. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Tel Gath of the Philistines. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

We were also able to see some of the excavations of the cities lower wall.

Recent Excavations at Gath. Lower wall of city. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Recent Excavations at Gath. Lower wall of city. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

I have previously posted on Gath here (aerial photo).

Dr. Aren Maeir maintains a blog here devoted to news about Gath, Tel es Safi.

Tonight we are at Tiberias, on the Sea of Galilee; more photos and info to come. Thanks for following our travels.

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2014 in review

December 30, 2014

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 49,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 18 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


Balance and Caution in Use of Archaeology

September 4, 2014

A question from a friend:

It concerns the crossing of the Red Sea. There is an awful lot of talk about the “traditional” Red Sea crossing maps versus the so-called “archaeological findings” purportedly found at the Gulf of Aqaba.

. . . However, some of our brethren have begun using maps and pictures that show what is believed to be possibly the “real Mt. Sinai” with charred rock covering its cap, a “split rock” in the wilderness, chariot wheels, etc… (I’m not buying it.) All of these things I see look like the work of Ron Wyatt, but all sorts of people have these things on their internet sites.

. . . All of that said, I was wondering if you had any material or resources dealing with the subject head on. I do not plan on making this an issue… nor do I plan on bringing anyone else’s name into the mix. I would just like to be able to give a “ready defense” if I am ever called upon. I’d greatly value your input on the matter. Thank you.
Others more qualified that I have dealt with the claims of Mr. Wyatt. As a starting point I can recommend the following sources: Ferrell Jenkins has an article entitled, “Pharaoh’s Chariot Wheels and Other Things that Won’t Float — Examining the Claims of the Late Ron Wyatt ,” that you can access here, plus another article entitled, “Pseudo Archaeologists”here. These articles have numerous related links for further reading. Additionally I would recommend Gordan Franz’s site, Life and Land, here. Use the search box. He has several entries under “Cracked Pot Archaeology.” The use of caution in using Mr. Wyatt’s material/claims would be prudent.
While no one can be certain of the exact location of Israel’s crossing. the best evidence would be somewhere along the Suez.

From Sinai looking across Suez to Egypt. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

I took the above photo in 2003, having crossed the Suez. We are standing on the Sinai side looking back across Egypt.

I personally conclude that the traditional Mt. Sinai (Jebel Musa) best fits the biblical criteria.

The above info was posted Sept. 28, 2013.

See Ferrell Jenkins’ current post, “The Route of the Exodus and the Location of Mt. Sinai,” for a number of links and as well as balanced observations. I recommend it. Click here.

Click photo for larger view.


Recommended Resource: “With the Bible in the Israel Museum” DVD by Ferrell Jenkins

March 14, 2014

It is only in the last two years that photos have been permitted in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. There are so many wings with so many artifacts, it is helpful to have some sort of guideline to serve as a starting point to make the most of a visit to the museum.

Ferrell Jenkins delivered a lecture entitled, “With the Bible in the Israel Museum” during the 2014 lecture series at Florida College, Temple Terrace, FL. In the lecture he selectively (because of so much to choose from) makes use of recent photos to deal with artifacts beginning with time of the patriarchs, continuing through Old Testament history (United Kingdom, Divided Kingdom, Captivity, Persian Period) and concluding with the Roman and Early Christianity. Included are numerous examples from various sites of Israel’s propensity to engage in idolatrous worship. Also there is insightful information on burial customs for different periods.

Ferrell Jenkins' DVD on biblical artifacts in the Israel Museum.

Ferrell Jenkins’ DVD on biblical artifacts in the Israel Museum. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

I recommend the DVD both as helpful to prepare for a visit to the museum, as well as to review and restudy if you have had opportunity already to go to.

You can place your order here with the FC Bookstore. Use the search box to enter keywords. Cost is $5.00 plus shipping.


Some Sources for Dealing with Ron Wyatt’s Claims

September 28, 2013

I recently received a question from a friend, which says in part:

It concerns the crossing of the Read Sea. There is an awful lot of talk about the “traditional” Red Sea crossing maps versus the so-called “archaeological findings” purportedly found at the Gulf of Aqaba.

. . . However, some of our brethren have begun using maps and pictures that show what is believed to be possibly the “real Mt. Sinai” with charred rock covering its cap, a “split rock” in the wilderness, chariot wheels, etc… (I’m not buying it.) All of these things I see look like the work of Ron Wyatt, but all sorts of people have these things on their internet sites.

. . . All of that said, I was wondering if you had any material or resources dealing with the subject head on. I do not plan on making this an issue… nor do I plan on bringing anyone else’s name into the mix. I would just like to be able to give a “ready defense” if I am ever called upon. I’d greatly value your input on the matter. Thank you.
Others more qualified that I have dealt with the claims of Mr. Wyatt. As a starting point I can recommend the following sources: Ferrell Jenkins has an article entitled, “Pharaoh’s Chariot Wheels and Other Things that Won’t Float — Examining the Claims of the Late Ron Wyatt ,” that you can access here, plus another article entitled, “Pseudo Archaeologists” here. These articles have numerous related links for further reading. Additionally I would recommend Gordan Franz’s site, Life and Land, here. Use the search box. He has several entries under “Cracked Pot Archaeology.” The use of caution in using Mr. Wyatt’s material/claims would be prudent.
While no one can be certain of the exact location of Israel’s crossing. the best evidence would be somewhere along the Suez.

From Sinai looking across Suez to Egypt. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

From Sinai looking across Suez to Egypt. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

I took the above photo in 2003, having crossed the Suez. We are standing on the Sinai side looking back across Egypt.

I personally conclude that the traditional Mt. Sinai (Jebel Musa) best fits the biblical criteria.

Click photo for larger view.


“Conviction Versus Mercy” by Gardner Hall

May 27, 2013

I’d  like to make our readers aware of a new resource by my friend Gardner Hall, a new book entitled Conviction Versus Mercy.

Gardner writes:

Conviction or Mercy? Which characteristic should most exemplify those who want to follow Christ? Many Christians tend to emphasize one or the other but not both. This book (144 pages) emphasizes the importance of merging the two to be truly like Christ. Though combining mercy and conviction has been a challenge throughout history, it is especially difficult now as our culture is increasingly affected by a Postmodern worldview and the backlash against it.

 

Three formats available
 
Paperback ($8.85) – Click here to order from Amazon.com. (Also, ask for this book in any bookstore you know that is operated by brethren. I’ve found that they respond more to requests from customers than to me!)
 
Kindle (99 cents) – Click here for kindle version
 
Audio (free) – Click here for free audio. Free audio available on same page for Foy Short biography.
 
I purchased mine on Kindle Fire, and am looking forward to reading it.

 


New Resource: The Big Picture

December 4, 2012

Ferrell Jenkins reviews and recommends a new resource, The Big Picture: A Guide to Learning the Bible’s Story, by Marc Hinds. You may read that review here, including ordering instructions.

I received my copy in yesterday’s mail, and would like to also give my recommendation. This book will be a great resource for beginners as well as for those needing to see the unity and connectivity of the Scriptures.  Marc is a careful student, and capable preacher/teacher.

From Sept. through early Nov., in about an 8 week period, we conducted 6 meetings in several states and Canada. Then on Nov. 12 I had a total knee replacement, with subsequent complications that required more surgery. But things seem to be leveling off now. That has hindered my ability to post on this blog, but we hope to be more regular now. Thanks for your patience.