At Biblical Elath, on the Red Sea

March 27, 2018

The past two days Ferrell Jenkins and I have explored various sites in the Arabah (see Deut. 1:1 & etc., NASB), using Elath (spellings vary) as our base. This evening I took a photo looking out to the Red Sea.

Looking out to the Red Sea from Elath. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

It was in this area that King Solomon stationed a fleet of ships: “King Solomon also built a fleet of ships at Ezion Geber, which is near Elath on the shore of the Red Sea, in the land of Edom” (1 Kings 9:26).  This was made possible through the cooperation of the Phoenicians. 2 Chronicles 8 records, “Then Solomon went to Ezion Geber and Elath on the seacoast, in the land of Edom. And Hiram sent him ships by the hand of his servants, and servants who knew the sea. They went with the servants of Solomon to Ophir, and acquired four hundred and fifty talents of gold from there, and brought it to King Solomon” (vv.17-18).

Note the location of Elath:

Location of Elath on the Red Sea. BibleAtlas.com.

Click images for larger view.

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Hazor, One of Solomon’s Fortress Cities

February 13, 2016

1 Kings 9:15 reads, “Now this is the account of the forced labor which King Solomon levied to build the house of the LORD, his own house, the Millo, the wall of Jerusalem, Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer.

During the time of pre-conquest Canaanite occupation, “Hazor formerly was the head of all these kingdoms” (Josh. 11:10), a reference to the city states of northern Canaan. It was located on the strategic Via Maris. This is a view of the tel:

Tel Hazor, one of the cities Solomon fortified. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Tel Hazor, one of the cities Solomon fortified. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

I have previously written on Hazor here.

Click image for larger view.


Gezer

November 18, 2010

I’m currently attending the ETS and SBL meetings in Atlanta, and enjoying sharing a room with bro. Ferrell Jenkins.

A couple of the presentationstoday have been on biblical Gezer.  This city was given as a dowry to Solomon by Pharaoh when he married Pharaoh’s daughter.  Gezer became a fortress city, guarding access to the south. Excavation is ongoing.

Today’s post features an aerial photo of Gezer, taken last year (Dec. 2009).

Aerial photo of Gezer. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

In the center of the photo you can see Gezer’s “standing stones.”  Upper right show an important area of excavation, including the six-chambered gate.

 


Gezer’s Defense Gate

March 28, 2010

Our previous post featured a photo of one of Gezer’s boundary stones.  We noted, “Excavations (1964–73) have uncovered a six-chambered gate and defenses” (NBD).  Pharaoh king of Egypt took Gezer from the Canaanites and gave it as dowry for his daughter, who became Solomon’s wife (1 Kings 9:16).  Because of its strategic location in the Shephelah in the south, Solomon made it a fortress city.  The six-chambered gate referenced in the NBD article was characteristic of Solomon’s other fortress cities, such as Hazor and Megiddo (both also strategically located).

This aerial photo shows the tel of Gezer from the south looking north.

Gezer Aerial Overview. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

In the right center in photo below you can see the 6-chambered  gate.

Gezer Aerial Detail. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

This shows the gate at ground level. You can see the central hill country in the background.

Gezer Six-Chambered Gate. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Inside the gates there were benches where people could sit and visit, or carry on business transactions. In Dec. 2009 my friend and former professor Ferrell Jenkins and I visited the site.  This photo demonstrates the concept of “sitting at the gates” references in such passages as Gen. 19:1; 2 Sam. 19:8; Prov. 31:23, etc. Visit his blog at http://ferrelljenkins.wordpress.com/

Ferrell Jenkins at Gate at Gezer. Photo by Leon Mauldin.