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- Biblical Samaria Region: Capital of Northern Kingdom, Region, Northern Kingdom of Israel | HolyLandSite.com
Samaria Photo Gallery Places of Interest Samaria Location 1. The biblical city of Samaria, also known as Sabastia, today, is located at Samaria National Park (Shomron National Park). 2. The city of Samaria is located about 33 miles (54 km.) north of Jerusalem and about 20 miles (32 km.) east of the Mediterranean Sea. 3. The city of Samaria was in the Samaria region of Israel in the territory of Ephraim and Manasseh during Bible times. 4. It was on a main east-west route that linked the coastal plain of Israel with the Jordan Valley. Historical Background 1. Samaria was a central focus point in Israel and is mentioned around 117 times in the Bible. 2. The word “Samaria” is used 3 different ways in the Bible and can mean: The capital city of Samaria. The geographical region in the hill country north of Jerusalem. The entire Northern Kingdom of Israel. 3. After the nation of Israel was divided in around 936 BC (after Solomon’s reign), the capital of the Northern Kingdom was first established in Shechem and then moved to Tirzah. Both capitals were founded by Jeroboam (931 - 910 BC). 4. King Omri began his reign in 882 BC and moved the capital of the Northern Kingdom from Tirzah, and established it in the city of Samaria. 5. The city of Samaria was to the Northern Kingdom what Jerusalem was to the Southern Kingdom. As a result, it became the second most important city in Israel after Jerusalem. 6. The city sits on a flat-topped, oblong hill with steep slopes on all sides. It was a huge city fortified with walls. 7. King Omri named the city “Shomron” (Samaria). 8. King Ahab built a palace at Samaria and overlaid it with ivory (1 Kings 22:39). This palace has been discovered with ivory in it, as mentioned in Scripture. 9. Samaria fell to the Assyrians in 722 BC, after 3 years of battle. 10. Samaria was given to Herod the Great by the emperor Augustus. Herod rebuilt Samaria and called it Sebaste (Greek form of Augustus) in honor of the emperor. 11. In order to honor John the Baptist, a Byzantine church was built on the southern side of the Acropolis in the 5th century. It was believed John’s body was buried here, but this seems quite unlikely according to the evidence. 12. During the Crusader Period (12th century), a church was built on the ruins of the eastern gate. Places of Interest 1. Visitor Center 2. Western Gate 3. Colonnade Street 4. Ahab’s Palace 5. Temple of Augustus Caesar 6. Roman Theater 7. Acropolis 8. Hippodrome 9. Byzantine Basilica 10. Hellenistic Tower 11. Roman Basilica 12. Church of John the Baptist 13. Modern-day Sabastia (Sabaste) Samaria In the Bible 1. Samaria was established as the capital of the Northern Kingdom under King Omri’s reign. 1 Kings 16:24: He bought the hill of Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver, and he fortified the hill and called the name of the city that he built Samaria , after the name of Shemer, the owner of the hill. 2. King Ahab erected an altar to the false god Baal in Samaria. 1 Kings 16:29–33: In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab the son of Omri began to reign over Israel, and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years. 30 And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord, more than all who were before him. 31 And as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, he took for his wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal and worshiped him. 32 He erected an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he built in Samaria . 33 And Ahab made an Asherah. Ahab did more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him. 3. Because of Ahab’s great sin, God sent a famine upon Samaria, and the great prophet Elijah paid a visit here. 1 Kings 18:1–2: After many days the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth.” 2 So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Samaria . 4. Later, the great showdown between the 850 false prophets of Baal and Asherah and Elijah took place on Mount Carmel, just 28 miles (48 km.) north of Samaria. 1 Kings 18:20–21: So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 21 And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. 5. Ben-hadad, the king of Syria, came up against Samaria and attempted to defeat it. However, because he mocked God, God gave King Ahab victory over him. 1 Kings 20:26–28: In the spring, Ben-hadad mustered the Syrians and went up to Aphek to fight against Israel. 27 And the people of Israel were mustered and were provisioned and went against them. The people of Israel encamped before them like two little flocks of goats, but the Syrians filled the country. 28 And a man of God came near and said to the king of Israel, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Because the Syrians have said, “The Lord is a god of the hills but he is not a god of the valleys,” therefore I will give all this great multitude into your hand, and you shall know that I am the Lord.’” 6. King Ahab killed Naboth to acquire his vineyard. This event took place north of Samaria at Ahab's summer palace of Tel Jezreel. 1 Kings 21:1–3: Now Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel, beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria . 2 And after this Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house, and I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its value in money.” 3 But Naboth said to Ahab, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.” 7. God killed King Ahab because of his great wickedness. 1 Kings 22:37–38: So the king died, and was brought to Samaria . And they buried the king in Samaria . 38 And they washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood, and the prostitutes washed themselves in it, according to the word of the Lord that he had spoken. 8. God sent the prophets Elijah and Elisha to minister and perform many miracles to persuade the Northern Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) to turn from their false gods and serve Him. 9. Despite Israel’s great sins, God had mercy on them and delivered them from warring armies. 2 Kings 6:24–25: Afterward Ben-hadad king of Syria mustered his entire army and went up and besieged Samaria . 25 And there was a great famine in Samaria, as they besieged it, until a donkey's head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove's dung for five shekels of silver. 2 Kings 7:1: But Elisha said, “Hear the word of the Lord: thus says the Lord, Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour shall be sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria .” 2 Kings 7:3–7: Now there were four men who were lepers at the entrance to the gate . And they said to one another, “Why are we sitting here until we die? 4 If we say, ‘Let us enter the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. So now come, let us go over to the camp of the Syrians. If they spare our lives we shall live, and if they kill us we shall but die.” 5 So they arose at twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians. But when they came to the edge of the camp of the Syrians, behold, there was no one there. 6 For the Lord had made the army of the Syrians hear the sound of chariots and of horses, the sound of a great army, so that they said to one another, “Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Egypt to come against us.” 7 So they fled away in the twilight and abandoned their tents, their horses, and their donkeys, leaving the camp as it was, and fled for their lives. 2 Kings 7:16: Then the people went out and plundered the camp of the Syrians. So a seah of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the Lord. 10. The Northern Kingdom continued to reject God, so He allowed Assyria to conquer and lead them into captivity. 2 Kings 17:5–8: Then the king of Assyria invaded all the land and came to Samaria , and for three years he besieged it. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria , and he carried the Israelites away to Assyria and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. 7 And this occurred because the people of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods 8 and walked in the customs of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel, and in the customs that the kings of Israel had practiced. 11. As a common Assyrian conquest practice, the Israelite exiles were replaced by people from Mesopotamia and other areas. However, some of the Israelites were left in the land by the Assyrians. 2 Kings 17:24: And the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the people of Israel. And they took possession of Samaria and lived in its cities. 12. The beginning of the Samaritan people. Assyria led into captivity most of the inhabitants of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. However, some were left in the land. Those who were left intermarried with foreign unbelievers that were placed there by the Assyrians and were thereafter called Samaritans. When Ezra and Nehemiah returned with many Jews to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple, these Samaritans and others would attempt to stop them. The Samaritans established their own religion at Mount Gerizim and built their own temple. They were despised and rejected by the Jews and considered unclean because they weren’t pure bloodline Jews. The Samaritans, likewise, despised the Jews and had few dealings with them. The Samaritan people still exist today and only believe in the Torah (first 5 books of the Old Testament). 13. Part of Samaria was repopulated by Jews from Judah (Southern Kingdom of Israel), and worship of God was restored. 2 Kings 23:19: And Josiah [King of Judah] removed all the shrines also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria , which kings of Israel had made, provoking the Lord to anger. He did to them according to all that he had done at Bethel. 14. Jesus ministered in the area of Samaria. John 4:1–5: Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), 3 he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. 4 And he had to pass through Samaria . 5 So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar [Shechem) , near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 15. In the New Testament, believers from Jerusalem spread to the Samaria region due to persecution. Acts 8:1: And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria , except the apostles. 16. Philip preached Christ in the city of Samaria. Acts 8:4–8: Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word. 5 Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ. 6 And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip, when they heard him and saw the signs that he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was much joy in that city . Faith Lesson from Samaria 1. Unfortunately, the division of the Nation of Israel into two parts was born out of disobedience to God. 2. Nonetheless, God sent prophet after prophet to warn them to leave their false Gods and return to Him. 3. God extended mercy and patience upon them despite their continual rejection of Him. 4. Because of their hardhearted rejection, God had no choice but to discipline the Northern Kingdom and deport most of them to Assyria. 5. Do we really believe that disobedience to God causes pain and suffering (Rom 8:6)? 6. Do we understand that God is merciful and patient but disciplines those He loves (Heb. 12:7–11)? 7. The Samaritan people gladly received the gospel under Philip’s preaching. Do we realize that those living in darkness are the most receptive to the light?
- Tel Beersheba: Home of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Negev, Israel | HolyLandSite.com
Beersheba Photo Gallery Places of Interest Beersheba Location 1. Beersheba is located in the Negev, which is a semi-desert. 2. The tel of Beersheba lies a little east of the modern city, which is the region's largest city and administrative capital. 3. It’s about 45 miles (70 km.) south of Jerusalem and about 30 miles (45 km.) from the Mediterranean Ocean. 4. It’s located between the Beersheba and Hebron Streams (which are dry much of the time). 5. It was located on a significant travel route linking Africa and Egypt with Asia and Europe. The Nabateans, who were centralized in Petra, passed through here on caravans with trade goods. Historical Background 1. Beersheba is the beginning place of God’s master plan for the Nation of Israel. 2. In essence, each person has the same tendencies as the Nation of Israel. Therefore, when God wanted to speak to all mankind, He used Israel as the example (1 Cor. 10:11). 3. The name Negev means “dry land” in Hebrew, but the Bible often uses the term to refer to the southern part of Israel. 4. Because Beersheba is in the Negev, which receives an annual rainfall of 6–8 inches (18 cm.), there was not a lot of population in the area, and most of the people living here were nomadic shepherds. 5. Beersheba was in the territory of the Philistines (Gen. 21:33–34). 6. After a conflict over Abraham’s well, which he had dug in Beersheba, a covenant was made between Abimelech and Abraham to settle the dispute (Gen. 21:25–34). To ratify the covenant, Abraham gave Abimelech seven ewe lambs. Therefore, Beersheba means “well of the oath” or “well of the seven lambs.” 7. Later, Abraham's son, Isaac, would have another conflict with Abimelech, and would confirm an agreement as well: "So he made them a feast, and they ate and drank. 31 Then they arose early in the morning and swore an oath with one another; and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace. 32 It came to pass the same day that Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well which they had dug, and said to him, “We have found water.” 33 So he called it Shebah. Therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day" (Gen 26:30-33). 8 . When the writers of Scripture wanted to speak of all Israel, they would often use the expression “from Dan (the northern-most city) to Beersheba" (the southern-most city). Places of Interest 1. Four Horned Altar This altar belonged to cult worship or was misused by the Israelites as it doesn’t comply with Scripture. Altars were to be made of “stones on which you have not used an iron tool” (Deut. 27:5). This altar used hand-shaped stones. The altar was likely one of those torn down during the religious reforms of King Josiah (2 Kings 23:8). 2. Abraham’s Well – 230 feet deep (70 m.) 3. Outer Gate 4. Inner Gates 5. City Square 6. Governor’s Palace 7. Roman Bath Pools 8. Basement House 9. Four-room House 10. Casement Wall 11. Roman Fortress 12. Observation Tower 13. Storerooms 14. Street with Shops 15. Beersheba Stream 16. Hebron Stream 17. Water Cistern Beersheba in the Bible 1. About 2000 years before Christ, God called Abraham from Mesopotamia to leave his family and possessions and journey to a new land with the promise that his descendants would become a great nation. Genesis 12:1–3: Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation , and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” 2. After Abraham passed through the Land of Israel, he settled in the Negev area (Gen. 12:9). 3. When a severe famine came upon the land, Abraham left the Negev for a bit and went to Egypt (Gen. 12:10). 4. After the famine, Abraham returned to the Negev (close to Hebron), and God confirmed His covenant with him. Genesis 13:14–17: The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, 15 for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever . 16 I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth , so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. 17 Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.” The Abrahamic Covenant includes two promises: (1) a land, and (2) a nation of people. From this covenant comes the Nation of Israel and their land. 5. After the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham settled in Beersheba and “Lived there many days” (Gen 21:34), probably meaning the rest of his life. 6. Close-by to Beersheba, Hagar, the mother of Ismael, was sent away by Abraham and an angel of the Lord ministered to her, saying “Her offspring would be blessed” (Gen. 21:14–18). 7. Isaac, the son and heir Abraham and Sarah had waited all their lives to have, was born in Beersheba. 8. It was from Beersheba that Abraham journeyed with his son Isaac to Mount Moriah at Jerusalem, where God had ordered him to sacrifice his son Isaac as a burnt offering. Mount Moriah is the exact place that Solomon would later build the temple in Jerusalem where countless sacrifices would be made, the most significant being the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. Genesis 22:1-5: After these things, God tested Abraham and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I." 2 He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you." 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 On the third day, Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. 5 Then Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you." Genesis 22:10-19: Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. 11 But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I." 12 He said, "Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me." 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called the name of that place, "The LORD will provide"; as it is said to this day, "On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided." 15 And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, "By myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice." 19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beersheba. And Abraham lived at Beersheba. 9. It was at Beersheba that Isaac and Rebecca met, falling in love at first sight (Gen. 24:62–67). 10. Isaac’s son, Jacob, stole the birthright from his brother Esau while the family lived in Beersheba (Gen. 27). 11. Jacob lived in Beersheba when he and all his family moved to Egypt to live with Joseph (Gen. 46:45–47). 12. The Prophet Elijah came to Beersheba when he fled from Jezebel after the great showdown on Mount Carmel between God and the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah. Elijah had the prophets killed, whom Jezebel supported, so he was running for his life. Faith Lesson from Beersheba 1. Beersheba is the beginning place of God’s sovereign master plan for the Nation of Israel, and through them, all mankind. 2. Beersheba played a key role in the lives of all the Patriarchs. 3. Abraham left his family and country in Mesopotamia in obedience to God and settled in Beersheba. 4. God tested Abraham at Beersheba, and he proved he loved God more than any earthly treasure, even his own son. 5. Do we understand that God often tests us as well? 6. Do we understand that God’s greatest question for us is, “What do you love more than me?” 7. Do I have anything in my life that stands between God and me? 8. Do I know what my “Isaac” is, and would I be willing to give it up to God if He asked me to? 9. Abraham is called "Our father of faith" because of his obedience and devotion to God. Do we have like Abraham?
- Noah's Ark Location Discovered: Evidence for Its Location! Proof the Bible Is True! | HolyLandSite.com
Noah's Ark Location Noah's Ark This name means Noah's Ark Noah's Ark Scan 3 Noah's Ark 1/42 Noah's Ark & the Great Flood The story of Noah’s Ark is one of the most intriguing stories known to mankind. It can be found in around 200 different accounts around the world and on almost every continent. However, many people today believe Noah’s Ark and the Flood are just myths or some altered version of ancient beliefs. Of all the stories in the Bible, Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood is one of the most controversial. Is it all true? Did it really happen? How did it happen? And if it’s true, is there evidence of the Flood and the existence of Noah’s Ark today? I believe you will be fascinated and touched by the amount of evidence that exists for the truthfulness of Noah’s Ark and the Bible’s account of all that took place surrounding this catastrophic event. The Great Flood account is mentioned in writings or oral traditions found all around the world. The Great Flood Account is referred to in around 200 accounts. These flood legends are common across a wide range of cultures, extending back into Bronze Age and Neolithic prehistory. These accounts depict a flood, sometimes global in scale, usually sent by a deity or deities to destroy civilization as an act of divine retribution. They are found on virtually every continent and share very similar themes. This is so because Noah’s descendants stayed together until God confused their languages at Babel and they scattered as found in Genesis 11. As the various people groups spread around the globe, the story of the Flood was shared, until it became distorted and embedded in their respective histories. The oldest known recording of a global flood is the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh from the eighteenth-century BC. The Biblical Account of Noah and the Great Flood is the Most Complete and Trustworthy Account The most significant, complete, and trustworthy account is found in the Bible in Genesis chapters 6–8. Noah and the Great Flood are mentioned 47 times in the Bible. With references in 9 different books of the Bible such as Genesis, 1 Chronicles, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Matthew, Luke, Hebrews, and 1 Peter & 2 Peter. This means Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jesus, the Apostle Peter, and other biblical writers all attest to the truthfulness of this catastrophic event as literal and real. What is very notable is the fact that Jesus referenced Noah and the Flood 5 times in the Gospel accounts. This is weighty evidence to the reality of Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood because Jesus referred to it as being a literal event, not some myth or fairy tale. Places of Interest 1. Noah’s Ark National Park 2. Noah’s Ark Location 3. Noah’s Ark Visitor Center 4. Drogue – Anchor Stones 5. Noah’s Home 6. Noah’s Altar & Corrals 7. Mountains of Ararat 8. Mount Ararat 9. Wall of Heaven Site 10. Crow Won’t Land Site 11. Village of the Eight History of the Durupinar Site of Noah’s Ark We’ll now look at a brief history of this site and then look at the overwhelming evidence supporting this place as the best candidate for the location of Noah’s Ark. 1. In recent years it has been named after Turkish Army Captain Ilhan Durupinar, who shot an aerial photo of the site while on a mapping mission for NATO in October 1959. Durupinar informed the Turkish government of his discovery, and a group from the Archeological Research Foundation, which included George Vandeman, Ilhan Durupinar, and Arthur Brandenberger, professor of photogrammetry, surveyed the site in September 1960. After two days of digging and dynamiting inside the “boat-shaped” formation, the expedition members found only soil and rocks. Their official news release concluded that “there were no visible archaeological remains” and that this formation “was a freak of nature and not man-made.” 2. However, long before Durupinar photographed this site, there is evidence going back thousands of years of people venerating this area. We see evidence of carvings, writings, relics, stele, ostraca, drogue stones, name locations, the size and shape of the Ark in the landscape, and so forth. This evidence begins with Noah and continues to the early Christians, the Crusaders, and later. It all attests that this site seems to be the genuine place of Noah’s Ark. 3. After Durupinar’s time, the site was then ignored until 1977, when interest in it was renewed again and promoted by biblical researcher and explorer Ron Wyatt. Throughout the 1980s, Wyatt repeatedly tried to interest other people in the site, including ark hunter and former astronaut James Irwin and creationist John D. Morris. 4. In 1985, Wyatt was joined by David Fasold, and geophysicist John Baumgardner. This expedition is recounted in Fasold’s book, “The Ark of Noah.” As soon as Fasold saw the site, he exclaimed that it was a shipwreck. Fasold brought along state-of-the-art ground-penetrating radar equipment and a “frequency generator.” He put it on the wavelength setting for iron at the site and searched the formation for internal iron. Fasold and the team state that the ground penetration radar revealed a regular internal structure beneath the surface. Fasold believed the team found the fossilized remains of the upper deck and that the original reed substructure had disappeared. In the nearby village of Kazan, formerly called Arzap, they examined so-called drogue and anchor stones that they believed were once attached to the ark. Fasold kept repeating that no matter what the experts said, there was too much evidence at the Durupinar site for it to be dismissed. He remained convinced it was the fossilized remains of Noah’s Ark. 5. Due to the amount of evidence, in 1987, the Turkish government declared the site to be Noah’s Ark, and a Visitor Center was constructed. It was preserved and called “Noah’s Ark National Park.” 6. From 1987 to 1997, Ron Wyatt and others like Allen Roberts, Andrew Snelling, and David Fasold continued to research the site. It should be noted that Ron Wyatt was the most influential person who worked the hardest and was the most involved in the research and promotion of this site. In 1998 Fasold died, and in 1999, Wyatt died as well. 7. In 1997, Andrew Jones visited this site and would later become the main researcher and promoter of this site. 8. In late 2014, the Turkish government granted permission to allow the site of the boat-shaped object to be scanned using the latest deep penetration resistivity ground imaging technique known as Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT). The scans were carried out by John Larson. This was the first time equipment able to reach 125 ft. or 38 m. deep with sufficient resolution was used on the site to acquire 3D images of the structure that remains beneath the ground. Resistivity imaging is a technique that was developed during the 1920s, for deep oil and mineral exploration. More recently, new equipment has become available with vastly improved resolution capabilities, to the extent where now it has become an effective tool in the field of archaeology. Using this technology, John Larson did major work on the site in 2014 to produce scans that appear to provide more evidence that this site is a man-made object that fits the biblical measurements and descriptions of Noah’s Ark. 9. In 2015, Andrew Armstrong became the key biblical researcher and liaison between the Turkish government and foreign interests. In fact, Andrew is the one who has generously provided us with much of the media of the site to produce this video. Andrew is an American but lives in Turkey and resides about 11 miles or 17 km. from the Durupinar Site. 10. In 2017, the Noah’s Ark Visitor Center was renovated to accommodate tourists better. Another renovation of the Visitor Center is planned for the coming years as well. 11. In 2019, the Science Channel did a documentary on the site called: “Forbidden History.” 12. In 2019, ground-penetrating radar (GPR) surveys were conducted at the site by an Oregon-based business called Topa 3D. Their surveys showed further evidence supporting this site as Noah’s Ark. 13. In 2021, Ryan Mauro, president of the Doubting Thomas Research Foundation, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to investigating the historicity of biblical accounts, became involved in the site as well. 14. Currently, the Turkish government is working on its own scans. They are working in conjunction with Andrew Armstrong. 15. Plans are underway to do excavations of the boat-shaped object in the coming years. Evidence Supporting this Site as Noah’s Ark Now let’s look at the evidence supporting the Durupinar Site as the best candidate for the location of Noah’s Ark. 1. It’s in the mountains of Ararat as the Bible states. Genesis 8:4 says: Then in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat. Notice that the Ark came to rest in the mountains of Ararat. It doesn’t say it came to rest on the Mountain of Ararat, as some claim. This means it came to rest in the region of Ararat. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica: The name Ararat, as it appears in the Bible, is the Hebrew equivalent of Urardhu, or Urartu, the Assyro-Babylonian name of a kingdom that flourished between the Aras and the Upper Tigris rivers from the 9th to the 7th century BC. The Bible also confirms that Ararat was a kingdom at one time: Jeremiah 51:27: “Set up a standard on the earth; blow the trumpet among the nations; prepare the nations for war against her; summon against her the kingdoms, Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz; appoint a marshal against her; bring up horses like bristling locusts. 2. Evidence from the boat-shaped object. It fits the general Ark dimensions of 300 cubits long by 50 cubits wide by 30 cubits high. Its length is exactly 300 royal cubits, which is 515 feet long or 157 m. Its width is larger than 50 royal cubits, which is 86 ft. or 26.21 m. The ruins today measure 138 ft. or 42 m. wide. This extra width has been explained by understanding that the sides of the Ark fell outward as it decayed or that the 50 cubits were an average width of the Ark, not its width at its widest point. Three distinct layers or decks have been discovered from different geophysical scans, ground penetrating radars, and electrical resistivity images taken over the years. These scans reveal these layers only within the ship-shaped object and not outside of it. An earthquake in 1978 lowered the sides outside of the Ark considerably. Images taken before and afterward clearly reveal a change to the sides of the proposed Ark shape. Many believe the sides now reveal several vertical rib-timbers used in the Ark’s construction. Ron Wyatt dug a 6-inch round shaft tunnel into the side of the Ark-shaped formation and claimed to have found petrified animal dung, deer antlers, cat hair, human hair, and other fibers. Metal detector tests taken numerous times over the years all reveal a very distinct organized pattern of metal beneath the surface, which is consistent with the shape of a large ship. Four intact metal rods have been discovered by the Turkish government, each measuring about 4 ft. or 1.2 m. in length. In June of 1991, an interesting object was discovered, which seems to be a large rivet with a washer around it. It was believed to fasten the large timbers of the Ark together. An analysis of the rivet object showed it was made of various metals such as titanium, aluminum, iron, and other metals. Interestingly, just centimeters away from the rivet object, there were no traces of iron in the soil. The Encyclopedia Britannica tells us that because of its chemical activity, aluminum never occurs in the metallic form in nature. It should be noted that the Bible affirms the knowledge and use of iron in Genesis 4:22. It says: As for Zillah, she also gave birth to Tubal-cain, the forger of all implements of bronze and iron. Therefore, Noah certainly had access to iron for building the Ark. During a radar scan done by Ron Wyatt in the presence of the local Turkish governor, something unique seemed to appear. The Turkish governor ordered a soldier to dig up the ground, and a petrified piece of wood was uncovered. It was later tested and revealed it was indeed organic in nature and appeared to be four layers of wood laminated together. This is believed by some to be part of a deck timber. Even more surprising were laboratory analyses which not only revealed that the petrified wood contained carbon proving it was once wood, but there were iron nails embedded in the wood! The Turkish government also claims they have found additional petrified wood at the site. As mentioned, John Larson carried out Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) in 2014, which provides 3D images that are quite convincing that under the surface of the boat-shaped object are what appear to be different decks and structures of a ship. Researcher Andrew Jones and lead scientist Dr. Fethi Ahmet Yüksel of the Department of Geophysical Engineering, along with Applied Geophysics Department of Istanbul University, believe that the results of the scans indicate a man-made artifact beneath the surface that could well be the Ark, and are eager to continue studying the location. The team believes that the new GPR data shows parallel lines and angular structures 8 to 20 feet down and that these parallel lines and right angles below the surface are something you would not expect to see in a natural, geologic formation. Using 3D scans of GPR and ERT technology, the researchers claim that they uncovered a man-made boat structure beneath the ground. The formation identified in the scans, according to the team, matches the dimensions of the Genesis description of Noah’s Ark. Plans are underway to carry out Orthophoto photography, LiDAR imaging, and related mapping studies using aerial drones (UAV) in the region designated as Noah’s Ark. Core drilling plans are also underway for the boat-shaped object as well. 3. Drogue and Anchor Stones These drogue and anchor stones were used as ship stabilizers to better withstand storms and cause drag, so ships weren’t driven and tossed on the oceans. Found in this area are around 30 of these drogue and anchor stones. They are found scattered along a path running west to east. It appears as the waters were receding, the drogue stones began hitting the land under the water, so they were cut loose. The remaining stones are generally in the area where the Ark eventually came to rest. Many of these stones have holes carved in them for connecting ropes from the Ark to the stones. Some of the holes have broken over the years in some of the stones. These drogue stones were continually used in ancient times after the Flood and can be found in places like Israel and the Nile River in Egypt. Many of these stones in the vicinity of the Durupinar site have holes in them that ropes were tied to in order to stabilize the Ark. These drogue stones are over 200 miles from the closest ocean and about 5,300 ft. or 1,615 m. above sea level. They have no business being here other than that a huge ship like the Ark dropped them here. The numerous stones discovered near the Durupinar Site are the largest ever discovered in the world. This would make sense as the Ark was massive in size and would need extra-large stones to stabilize it. Many of these stones have crosses carved on them from early Christians visiting this site, and others have crosses that are from the Crusader Period from around 1200 AD. Some of the stones have eight crosses on them, representing Noah and his family that were saved from the Flood. Several of the stones have been used as grave markers as well. One of these stones has an ancient carving that appears to be the Tower of Babel. Another stone has unknown ancient writings on it that have yet to be interpreted and translated. All these carvings reveal that this site was venerated long ago and visited by religious people for thousands of years. Another large stone is believed to have been used as a sounding stone for measuring the depth of the water under the Ark. 4. The names of the surrounding places affirm this site as Noah’s Ark location. Village of the Eight – This village was named after Noah and his family that God saved from the Flood. It used to be called Kazan and today is called Goller. Kargaconmaz – Means: The crow or bird won’t land. This refers to Noah letting birds out of the Ark to see if there was dry land. Ziyaret Dagi – Means: To make a voluntary pilgrimage. This likely refers to the pilgrimage of Noah and his family aboard the Ark. Uzengili Town – This was formerly called Mahser, which means: To be drawn out of the water or judgment day. The name Moses has the same root. In Genesis 10:30, it says regarding the descendants of Noah: Now their settlement extended from Mesha going toward Sephar, the hill country of the east. Mesha shares the same root word as Mahser. Mahser Location – This has the same meaning as the town of Uzengili but is the location of the area. Nasar – Means: To make a sacrifice. This likely refers to the sacrifices Noah made to God in worship after he and his family were saved from the Flood. Yigityatagi – Means: Hero’s anchorage. This refers to the place where the drogue and anchor stones came to rest in this area of the mountains of Ararat. Arz-zapt (Arzap) – Means: To capture the earth. In the Semitic version of Arz-zapt, which is Eretz-tsab, means: To cling to the earth. These names are linked to the place where the Ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The name for this town today is Sagliksuyu and is where some drogue stones, the ruins of Noah’s house, and Noah’s altar are located. Nuhun Gemisi – This name means Noah’s Ark in Turkish. It is referred to as the location of Noah’s Ark today, and road signs placed by the government use it to mark the route to Noah’s Ark National Park. 5. Due to the history and evidence at the Durupinar Site, the Turkish government designated this place as Noah’s Ark National Park. This gives more weight to this site as the location of the Ark. 6. There are many road signs today and from the past that mark this site as genuine. 7. Interestingly, what is believed to be the remains of Noah’s home, the grave of Noah’s wife, gravestone markers, a stream by Noah’s home that would have provided water for planting crops, vineyards, and animal husbandry, and a large rock that many believe was the altar Noah used for sacrificing animals to God has been discovered in the town of Arzap. The remains of Noah’s home are believed to be located here in this area. It was once somewhat erected but has been torn down over the years by treasure hunters. A sarcophagus was discovered by Ron Wyatt, which is a stone coffin or a container to hold a coffin that had skeletal remains of a person who was about 15 ft. or 4.5 m. tall. It’s believed before the Flood that people and animals were much bigger as they lived longer. The remains are believed to be those of Noah’s wife. The sarcophagus has been hauled off by treasure hunters and sold on the black market. However, its depression in the ground is still visible today. It’s also believed the jewelry she was wearing was robbed and sold on the black market for millions of dollars. Some of the skeletal remains have survived and reveal the size of the person who was in the grave. Two tombstones were found in front of what’s believed to be Noah’s home. On one of the tombstones found by Ron Wyatt, it had carvings of 8 people, a rainbow, and a dove on it. This tombstone is believed to be that of Noah’s wife, as the second-largest person is looking downward with their eyes closed. Remains of ancient corrals have been discovered where it’s possible Noah kept his animals are nearby, along with a stream, pastures, and so forth that could have been used by Noah and his family. A large rock nearby is believed to be an altar Noah could have used for animal sacrifice after the Flood. 8. There have been found in the area around the site many sea life fossils and an abundance of sea coral that give evidence that this area was once underwater for a significant period of time. This would match the Genesis account of the Great Flood as found in the Bible. 9. Broken remains of an ancient stele, which is a stone or wooden slab erected in the ancient world as a monument, were claimed to have been found on top of a ridge near the Iranian border by Ron Wyatt. The broken pieces were quite large, and most were exposed, which allowed Ron to photograph them for later piecing together. This stele contained numerous inscriptions of what looked like 3 different forms of writing. One segment was particularly legible. This was a scene depicting the unique ridge just above the site, a mountain peak in the background, a ship with 8 faces in it, and 2 ravens (one flying above the ship and one above the mountain.) The rest of the inscription featured several animals. But the importance of the stele was that the shape of the boat was almost identical to the 1950s aerial photo of the boat-shaped object. The 8 faces within the boat needed little explanation according to Wyatt. But most importantly, this stele was just beyond the site where Ron had found the 120 x 40-foot section he believed to be a portion of the bottom of the ship. He would study the inscription more later, but at that time, it appeared to him that it was marking the location of the original landfall of the ark. 10. An ostracon was found by Dr. Bill Shea around 100 ft. or 30.48 m. from the boat formation. An ostracon is a teaching tool usually made up of a piece of broken pottery that has something written or sketched on it that passes along an important story. On one side of the ostracon, as interpreted by Bill Shea, it has an inked-on drawing of a man with two birds. One is on his arm, and the other is being released. Below it is a bird flying back that has a branch in its mouth. The other side shows a man with a mustache and a beard, and has a hammer and spike in his hands. Shea interprets this as Noah likely building the Ark. 11. Dr. Robert Michelson discovered an ossuary in 1998 above the Durupinar site that dates back to around 1600 BC, 900 years after the Great Flood. This would have been the time Noah’s descendants inhabited the area. An ossuary is an item the deceased person’s bones are put in and kept for long-term purposes. This was only done for very important people. 12. There are also other ancient relics one would expect to find at a site that has been venerated for thousands of years. Historical Accounts of the Location of Noah’s Ark The Gilgamesh Epic gives Mt. Nisir as the landing place of the Ark. The local name for the town where the Ark was found is Nasar. The town just above the boat-shaped object was formerly called Nasar. This is similar to Niser that the Babylonian writer Berossus described as being near the Ark site in the third century BC. Flavius Josephus, a Jewish historian living around the time of Christ, wrote: “Its remains are shown there by the inhabitants to this day.” This means the Ark was not on top of Mt. Ararat as it’s covered in ice virtually year-round. Theophilus of Antioch (115-185 AD) said the Ark could be seen in his day in the Arabian mountains. Later, Church Fathers also mention the Ark as late as the mid-7th century AD. Ptolemy’s Geographia (1548) mentions the mountains of Armenia as the place of landing. So does the traveler Nicolas de Nicolay (1558). It was reported that Pilgrims visiting the site would gather bits and pieces of the petrified wood which would be used as charms to ward off evil. When they encountered the drogue and anchor stones, they had no doubt as to their association with the Ark. All these accounts suggest that the location of Noah’s Ark was in an accessible place like the Durupinar Site and not on the inaccessible upper part of Mt. Ararat. Is There Evidence for Noah’s Ark on Mt. Ararat? Over the past several hundred years, some have claimed to have spotted the Ark on the upper part of Mt. Ararat, but no substantial evidence has been produced. For example, Fernand Navarra claimed to have touched the Ark and supposedly brought down from the mountain wood from the Ark. However, when the wood was tested, it was far too young to be that of Noah’s Ark, and those accompanying him later revealed that Navarra carried the wood up to the mountain earlier and then brought it down to promote his book called, “Noah’s Ark: I Touched It.” There have been others as well who have claimed to have found pieces of the Ark, but they have been discredited as hoaxes. Many claim the evidence points to Mt. Ararat as being a more recent volcano that happened after the Flood. This is evidenced by the type of rock formations, the lack of sea fossil records, and no sentiment deposits that would result from the mountain being underwater. If this is the case, then it would be impossible for Noah’s Ark to be on Mt. Ararat because it wouldn’t have even existed when the Flood occurred. Another major reason why Noah’s Ark is unlikely on top of Mt. Ararat is that the Bible and geology support that before the Flood, there was a water canopy above the earth that caused a greenhouse-like effect on the whole earth. This is why there has been found lush tropical vegetation evidence at the northern and southern poles. When the Flood occurred, the water canopy in the sky came down upon the earth, and the earth’s climate was permanently changed. The earth was exposed to the upper atmosphere without a water canopy, causing instant freezing toward the northern and southern poles and the higher elevation mountains. Mt. Ararat is the tallest mountain in Turkey and is about 17,000 ft. or 5,165 m. above sea level. The claims to the locations of Noah’s Ark on Mt. Ararat are at the upper elevations where the glaciers are found. Most of these proposed sightings are above what is called the “tree line.” This is the level where vegetation stops growing. With this being the case, it seems illogical and contrary to God’s supernatural protection of the Ark, and those in it, to allow the Ark to rest on the upper elevations of Mt. Ararat as it would have been in a place of severe freezing temperatures, a harsh environment, extremely rough terrain, and hard to descend from to lower elevations. In fact, of the deaths occurring to those who climb Mt. Ararat, most happen on the descent down the mountain. All this causes me to question the validity of Noah’s Ark being on the upper part of Mt. Ararat, as some claim. It just seems unlikely that God would cause the Ark to rest on the top of a massive mountain with such a harsh environment for Noah and the animals to have to confront. Also, there would have been no vegetation at such a high altitude for survival. They would have had to rapidly descend the mountain in order to survive. Again, it all seems contrary to God’s nature and His care for those inside the Ark. It seems much more logical to believe the Ark came to rest at the Durupinar site, which is much lower, flatter, and environmentally friendly for life after the Flood. The Durupinar Site Is the Best Candidate for the Location of Noah’s Ark In summary, taking into account all the evidence at the Durupinar Site, it is by far the best candidate for the location of Noah’s Ark. Now while the boat-shaped formation is intriguing, I believe all the other evidence is sufficient to believe this area is the site of Noah’s Ark even without taking into consideration the boat-shaped formation. The names of the places in the area, the drogue stones, the relics, carvings on the stones, and so forth provide weighty evidence that this is very likely the true site of Noah’s Ark. In archaeology, the history and length of time a site has been venerated is highly valued. It’s certain that this site has been venerated for thousands of years and wouldn’t have been so if it wasn’t highly valued. This Durupinar Site certainly meets all the criteria of archaeology to be considered the most likely place of Noah’s Ark. Faith Lesson from Noah’s Ark 1. Do we truly believe that the biblical account of Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood really happened? Today, there is a raging battle taking place between those who want to eliminate a literal account of the creation of the universe and the Great Flood account as found in Genesis 1–8. The battle is between those who attempt to explain every earthly event by using only the natural laws of nature. In other words, they eliminate the existence of God and the supernatural. Therefore, they are only left with natural explanations for everything that occurred in the past. God tells us that the answer to these apparent dilemmas is faith. Hebrews 11:3 tells us that: By faith we understand that the worlds were framed [created] by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. Creation was a supernatural event that we should believe by faith. Additionally, God says that without faith it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6 says: But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Mankind’s problem is that they trust in their own intelligence and beliefs rather than trusting in God. Proverbs 3:5 clarifies this problem and the solution: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. God identifies unbelief as a sin in the Bible. Hebrews 3:12 says: Take care, brothers and sisters, that there will not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. What about us? Do we believe God created the universe and all that exists in six literal days, as the Bible says, or do we lean on the understanding of so-called scientists and others who say otherwise? Also, do we believe there was a literal flood like God says, or do we believe people instead? It’s really a matter of whom we choose to believe. Do we believe what God says in the Bible or people? It’s that simple. 2. Do we understand why God sent the Flood? The purpose of the Great Flood was to destroy all the wicked people on the earth. Now while this might sound cruel, it is actually an exercise of God’s mercy and justice. Sin causes heartache and suffering. When sin reaches such a severe state, then God will step in and eliminate it. This is what He did with the Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, the Canaanites, and so forth. Also, we believe children go to heaven if they die before the age of accountability. So, instead of having to suffer at the hand of the wicked, they go to heaven. And lastly, everyone will die sooner or later, so in the grand scheme of time, it doesn’t matter a whole lot if a person dies young or old. What matters is that they are right with God and following Him. Also, God is just in punishing the wicked, whether it be during their time on earth or after they die. So what about us? Do we realize that we all will stand before God and give an account of our lives? If we are believers, we will be judged for how we used our gifts and abilities for God, not whether we will go to hell. Those who reject God and His offer of salvation through Jesus Christ will be judged and sent to hell. 3. Do we believe Noah and the Great Flood are examples of judgment to come? Before God destroyed all the wicked in the Flood, He gave them sufficient time to repent. However, they continued in their wickedness and rejected their Creator. It is the same today. Jesus said in Matthew 24:37–39: But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the Flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the Flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. And 1 Peter 3:20 speaks of how God patiently waited for the wicked to turn to Him before He sent the Great Flood: When once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. Moreover, 2 Peter 2:4 says: For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the Flood on the world of the ungodly. 4. Do we believe God is patiently waiting, like in the days of Noah, for people to turn from their sin and get right with their Creator? 2 Peter 3:3–14 says: Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue just as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed by being flooded with water. 7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly people. 8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be discovered. 11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found spotless and blameless by Him, at peace. 5. What about us? Have we received Christ as our Savior, and are we right with God?
- Chorazin (Korazim): Jesus Cursed Chorazin, Capernaum, Bethsaida | HolyLandSite.com
Chorazin (Korazim) Photo Gallery Places of Interest Chorazin Location 1. Chorazin (Korazim) is located about 2 miles (3 Km.) north of the Sea of Galilee. 2. From Chorazin, you can see the Sea of Galilee, Bethsaida, and some of Capernaum. 3. It’s located a little off the beaten path. 4. It was built out of black basalt stone which was common in the Galilee area. 5. The construction of the homes in Chorazin are quite well preserved and show how the home where Jesus lived in Capernaum might have looked. 6. The walls of the homes consisted of stone, and the roofs were of either mud bricks, or branches and leaves. 7. This area is very dry, and the water supply was essential for sustaining life in this town. A spring is located on the north-east side of the town, which was the source of the city's water in addition to the cisterns under the houses. 8. In the time of Jesus, Chorazin was about 15 acres (7 hectares) in size and had an estimated population of around 500–1,000. Historical Background 1. Chorazin was one of the three towns (Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum), which made up what scholars call “The Evangelical Triangle.” 2. Jesus set up His home ministry base in Capernaum which was close-by to Chorazin. 3. Jesus spent around 50-70% of His ministry time around the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee so those in Chorazin would have repeatedly heard and seen all Jesus did. 4. A Tree with the kind of thorns that would have been used for the crown of thorns Jesus wore at His crucifixion can be found here. Places of Interest 1. Synagogue Most of the ruins we see today are from the 3rd century. Jesus would have taught here frequently. It has an ornamental shell which would have been the top part of the cabinet where the Torah and Old Testament Scrolls would have been kept. 2. Seat of Moses An unusual find in the ruins of the synagogue was a Seat of Moses carved out of a single basalt block. From it, the Torah would have been read The chair seen here is a replica of the original one found. The original is in a museum in Jerusalem. The “Chair of Moses” was a phrase used by Jesus to signify the place of authority that the Scribes and Pharisees had in interpreting the Law and exercising their authority over the Jewish people. Matthew 23:1–3: Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. 3. Mikveh baths 4. Residential homes 5. Trees with thorns (the kind used for Jesus’ crown of thorns) 6. Public buildings 7. Sea of Galilee Chorazin in the Bible 1. Christ pronounced judgment upon the cities and towns that rejected the gospel. Luke 9:1-6: And He called the twelve together, and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing. And He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, neither a staff, nor a bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not even have two tunics apiece. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that city. And as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” Departing, they began going throughout the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere. 2. Jesus cursed those in Chorazin because they rejected Him, His teachings, and the many miracles He had done in their midst. Matthew 11:21-24: Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles had occurred in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. Nevertheless, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. Nevertheless, I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you. 3. To whom much is given, much is required. Luke 12:48: Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more. 4. Instead of being blessed, Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum chose to be cursed. Today, each town is a testament to God’s curse upon them. Faith Lesson from Chorazin 1. Chorazin is a testament to Christ’s judgment on a people who rejected His teachings, miracles, healing, and salvation. Are we guilty of rejecting Christ and His teaching in some way? 2. Chorazin stands as a warning to us today not to do the same. Are we walking in close obedience, or living in casual obedience to Christ, or even disobedience? 3. In the same way this town lies in ruins, our lives will lie in ruins if we reject Christ and the life He offers. Are we genuinely living for Christ and putting His Word into practice? 4. It appears there will be different degrees of torment and judgment in hell because Christ said it would be more tolerable in the day of judgment for other cities than for Chorazin. What do you think? 5. Following Christ brings life and blessing, rejecting Him bring death and destruction. Romans 8:6–8: For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
- Noah's Ark & the Great Flood: It's Location, Evidence | HolyLandSite.com
Noah's Ark & the Great Flood Noah's Ark This name means Noah's Ark Noah's Ark Scan 3 Noah's Ark 1/42 Noah's Ark & the Great Flood The story of Noah’s Ark is one of the most intriguing stories known to mankind. It can be found in around 200 different accounts around the world and on almost every continent. However, many people today believe Noah’s Ark and the Flood are just myths or some altered version of ancient beliefs. Of all the stories in the Bible, Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood is one of the most controversial. Is it all true? Did it really happen? How did it happen? And if it’s true, is there evidence of the Flood and the existence of Noah’s Ark today? I believe you will be fascinated and touched by the amount of evidence that exists for the truthfulness of Noah’s Ark and the Bible’s account of all that took place surrounding this catastrophic event. Is There Worldwide Historical Evidence for the Great Flood? The Great Flood account is mentioned in writings, or oral traditions found all around the world. In fact, as mentioned, it’s referred to in around 200 accounts. These flood legends are common across a wide range of cultures, extending back to shortly after the flood account. These accounts depict a flood, sometimes global in scale, usually sent by a deity or deities to destroy civilization as an act of divine judgment. They are found on virtually every continent and share very similar themes. This is so because Noah’s descendants stayed together until God confused their languages at the Tower of Babel, and they scattered as found in Genesis 11. As the various people groups spread around the globe, the story of the Flood was so important and monumental that it was taken with them and shared. Over time the Great Flood account became embedded in their respective histories and cultures. The oldest known written account of a global flood is the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh from the eighteenth-century BC. The most significant account of Noah and the Great Flood is found in the Bible in Genesis chapters 6–8. It’s also mentioned 47 times throughout the Bible with references in 9 different books such as Genesis, Chronicles, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Matthew, Luke, Hebrews, and 1 & 2 Peter. This means Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jesus, the Apostle Peter, and the author of Hebrews all attest to the truthfulness of this catastrophic event as being literal and real. What is very notable is the fact that Jesus referenced Noah and the Flood 5 times in the Gospel accounts. This is weighty evidence of the reality and truthfulness of Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood because Jesus referred to it as being a literal event, not some myth or fairy tale. Why Do Many People Dismiss the Great Flood and Believe It’s a Myth? The creation of the universe, along with Noah and the Great Flood, are some of the most attacked writings by critics. Why is this so? I believe it’s because creation deals with the fact that we have a divine Creator to whom we must give an account. Sinful humanity desires to be the lord of their lives and refuses to submit to their Creator. In order to justify their sinful lifestyles, they attempt to eradicate their Creator so they can do as they please. This is the root source of evolution. It denies the existence of God and tries to explain the existence of the universe by time and random chance. However, everywhere we look we see intelligent design, which attests to the existence of God. According to God, every person knows in the depths of their hearts that God exists. Therefore, there is really no such thing as an atheist. Romans 1:18–21 addresses why no one is truly an atheist. It says: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, being understood by what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their reasonings, and their senseless hearts were darkened. This same attitude of rejecting our Creator was prevalent in the days of Noah. This is the main reason God sent the Great Flood. Today, many choose not to believe the Creation and Great Flood accounts because they try to understand them using the natural laws of science. However, these events were supernatural and superseded natural laws. In fact, the whole Bible is full of supernatural events we call miracles because God is supernatural and is involved in His creation. Whenever God moves, it is supernatural. God also has created all the laws of nature as well. So, whether something is supernatural, or natural, everything that happens is due to God making it happen. In fact, nothing that happens does so without God working. When we understand and believe these truths, then the events of Creation and the Great Flood are very believable. Those who claim there is no evidence for the Great Flood do so by using their preconceived belief that there was no flood to begin with and then attempt to explain away the evidence using eons of time and random chance. Moreover, the creation of the universe was one of God’s greatest miracles. It was completely supernatural, and when He was done, it was a mature, fully functioning system that had apparent age to it. Adam and Eve were created mature, along with the animals and some plants for food for them. This was also the case with the stars. They had apparent age, and as mentioned, God’s creation was mature and fully functional. It did not evolve over time. Other than the creation of the universe by God almighty and the works of Christ, there is no greater miracle recorded in the Bible than the Great Flood. It was a catastrophic event that altered the terrain, climate, and makeup of the earth. It lasted for around a year and wiped out everything that had the breath of life in its nostrils except Noah, his family, and the animals on the Ark. Why Did God Send Such a Catastrophic Flood Upon the Earth? Genesis 6:5–8 tells us why: Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of mankind was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. 6 So the Lord was sorry that He had made mankind on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 Then the Lord said, “I will wipe out mankind whom I have created from the face of the land; mankind, and animals as well, and crawling things, and the birds of the sky. For I am sorry that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Did God Give the Wicked the Opportunity to Repent before the Flood? In 2 Peter 2:5, Noah is referred to as a “preacher of righteousness.” This means Noah was a preacher who preached to the people of his day to repent and turn from their wickedness to God. However, like most people today, the people of Noah’s day were too busy enjoying the pleasures of life and did not believe Noah or care that judgment was coming upon them. We don’t know how long Noah preached to the people of his day, but it could easily have been around 50–100 years. And for those who didn’t directly hear Noah’s preaching, they had a conscience given to them by God, God’s laws written in their hearts, and God’s Spirit convicting them of their wickedness, as it says in Romans 2. How Big was the Ark, and How was It Built? In Genesis 6:13–16, it says: Then God said to Noah, “The end of humanity has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of people; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth. 14 Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with compartments, and cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 This is how you shall make it: the length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits [515 ft. or 157 m.], its width fifty cubits [86 ft. or 26 m.], and its height thirty cubits [62 ft. or 19 m.]. 16 You shall make a window for the ark, and finish it to a cubit [20.61 inches or 52.35 cm.] from the top; and put the door of the ark on the side; you shall make it with lower, second, and third decks. The royal cubit was around 20.61inches, or 52.35 cm. long. This was the standard measurement used around the known world at that time. It’s like the metric system today. We see the royal cubit measurement used in the great pyramids of Egypt, gates at Tel Megiddo, Temple Mount Platform in Jerusalem, and other places. Moses wrote Genesis, so it stands to reason he would use this royal measurement as he was raised in Egypt, and it was universally used by all. This old cubit measurement seems to be referred to as well in Scripture: 2 Chronicles 3:3 says: Now these are the foundations which Solomon laid for building the house of God. The length in cubits, according to the old standard, was sixty cubits, and the width, twenty cubits. The reference to the “old cubit” seems to be speaking of the “royal cubit” used before the Israelites established a newer cubit that was a little shorter in length. Using the royal cubit, the Ark would measure 515 ft. or 157 m. long, 86 ft. or 26.21 m. wide, and 52 ft. or 15.70 m. high. Scripture also indicates the Ark had three levels and many compartments for the animals. What Did God Destroy by the Flood? Genesis 6:17–22 says: Now behold, I Myself am bringing the Flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which there is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish. This would eliminate all humans and animals as they lived by breathing oxygen. The sea and water creatures were not destroyed. What Kinds of Animals Did God Save from the Flood? There were two kinds, or animal families God saved from the Flood. The first type was: Regular Animals Genesis 6:18–22 states: But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall enter the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female. 20 Of the birds according to their kind, and of the animals according to their kind, of every crawling thing of the ground according to its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. 21 As for you, take for yourself some of every food that is edible, and gather it to yourself; and it shall be food for you and them.” 22 So Noah did these things; according to everything that God had commanded him, so he did. Of the regular animals, two of every kind went aboard the Ark. A “Kind” of animal is similar in meaning to a “family” of animals. A kind of animal, or family of animals, is very different from a species of animals. A species deals with all the varieties within a kind or family of animals. So this doesn’t mean God brought every species or variety of every animal, but two of every family of animals. This would reduce the number of animals that would have been on the Ark considerably. For example, today, there are around 300–400 different species of dogs. However, they all come from one kind of dog. From one pair of dogs, all the different varieties are derived. Clean Animals The second type of animals were called clean. Genesis 7:1–5 says: Then the Lord said to Noah, “Enter the ark, you and all your household, for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this generation. 2 You shall take with you seven pairs of every clean animal, a male and his female; and two of the animals that are not clean, a male and his female; 3 also of the birds of the sky, seven pairs, male and female, to keep their offspring alive on the face of all the earth. 4 For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights; and I will wipe out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made.” 5 So Noah acted in accordance with everything that the Lord had commanded him. Of the clean animals, there were seven pairs brought aboard the Ark. This would allow for Noah and his sons to be able to offer some of them as sacrifices after the Flood and not jeopardize their extinction. Both the regular and clean animals were most likely young and small so that they wouldn’t take up a lot of space, would not eat as much, and would have many years of reproductive life ahead of them after the Flood to repopulate the earth again. This means that the dinosaurs brought aboard the Ark were most likely young and small as well. How Did the Animals Come to the Ark? It was God who supernaturally gathered the animals and brought them to Noah, and the Ark. Genesis 6:20 says, Of the birds according to their kind, and of the animals according to their kind, of every crawling thing of the ground according to its kind, two of every kind will come to you to keep them alive. Who Closed the Door of the Ark? Genesis 7:15 tells us: So they went into the ark to Noah, by twos of all flesh in which there was the breath of life. 16 Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; and the Lord closed the door behind him. When Did the Great Flood Begin? By the best records found in the Bible, the Great Flood took place around 2500 BC. Also, according to a literal interpretation of the Bible, God created the universe in about 4000 BC. This means the Flood happened 1,500 years after creation. Where Did the Water Come from to Flood the Whole Earth? Genesis 7:11–12 says: In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened. 12 The rain fell upon the earth for forty days and forty nights. This means that water came from two sources: (1) from the fountains of the deep and (2) from the floodgates of the sky. It appears the continental plates were shifted, and the continents formed when the fountains of the deep opened and water gushed out. It’s also believed that the water canopy God created at creation came down upon the earth. Before the Flood, the earth was like a huge greenhouse that was tropical in nature worldwide. Therefore, we find tropical fossils in places like the north and south poles. When this canopy came down, the earth’s atmosphere changed drastically. Because there was no longer a water canopy to protect the earth and keep the heat in, rapid cooling took place at the northern and southern poles and the higher mountains. This is evidenced by animals found frozen instantaneously in ice at both the southern and northern poles. Did the Great Flood Cover the Whole Earth? Genesis 7:17–23: Then the Flood came upon the earth for forty days, and the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth. 18 The water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 And the water prevailed more and more upon the earth, so that all the high mountains everywhere under the heavens were covered. 20 The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher [26 ft., 8 m.], and the mountains were covered. 21 And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. 22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died. 23 So He wiped out every living thing that was upon the face of the land, from mankind to animals, to crawling things, and the birds of the sky, and they were wiped out from the earth; and only Noah was left, together with those that were with him in the ark. Scripture is clear that the Flood covered all the mountains everywhere under the heavens and that all flesh died that breathed air. It’s also clear from the Bible and archaeological evidence that the Great Flood covered all the earth under the heavens. Those who say the flood account was just a local event and not worldwide overlook the fact that all people and animals not in the Ark could have easily left the area of a local flood and migrated to higher ground. In doing so, they wouldn’t have been destroyed, as Scripture indicates. Also, much more than just a local area of the earth was populated, so the Flood had to be global to destroy all the other animals and humans. How Long Was There Water on the Whole Earth? 1. Day 1: The Flood begins in the 600th year of Noah’s life, in the 2nd month, on the 17th day of the month, the fountains of the great deep broke apart, and the windows of heaven were opened, and it began to rain as found in Genesis 7:11. It should be noted that Noah entered the Ark seven days before the flood began, as found in Genesis 7:1–5. 2. Day 40: The massive deluge of water ends after forty days and nights in the 3rd month, on the 27th day of the month, as found in Genesis 7:11–12 and Genesis 7:17–20. 3. Day 150: The waters continue to prevail on the whole earth 110 days after the deluge stops in the 7th month, on the 17th day of the month, as found in Genesis 7:24 and Genesis 8:4. 4. Day 150: The waters begin to recede, and the Ark rests on the mountains of Ararat in the 7th month, on the 17th day of the month, as found in Genesis 7:24 and Genesis 8:4. Scripture says that the Ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat. Ararat was a territory originally called Urartu. Notice that the Ark didn’t rest upon Mt. Ararat but upon the mountains of Ararat. Now when we look carefully at verses four and five, they seem hard to understand. Genesis 8:4 says: Then in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat. Genesis 8:5 says: And the water decreased steadily until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains became visible. It seems confusing as the Ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat 74 days before the mountains were visible. How could this be? This becomes very clear and understandable when we realize that the Ark had drogue stones that were used to stabilize the Ark. These were massive stones that hung down under the ship and were used to stabilize it. They were used in ancient times and acted like sailboat ballasts today. They created a drag in turbulent waters to prevent a ship from slipping sideways against the waves. In calmer waters, they hung deep sounding for the bottom underwater. Therefore, the drogue stones of the Ark caused it to stop and rest on the mountains. Afterward, when the water level dropped, the Ark touched down and sat on the land. Interestingly, these stones have been found in the area where it’s believed Noah’s Ark came to rest. We will be looking at these drogue and anchor stones in more detail in a moment when we look at all the evidence for the location of Noah’s Ark in Eastern Turkey in the mountains of Ararat. 5. Day 224: The tops of the mountains become visible in the 10th month, on the 1st day of the month, as found in Genesis 8:5. Between days 150 and 224, the Ark touched down upon dry land. 6. Day 264: Noah sent out a raven in the 11th month, on the 11th day of the month, as found in Genesis 8:6. 7. Day 271: A dove is sent out and returns to Noah in the 11th month, on the 18th day of the month, as found in Genesis 8:6–12. 8. Day 278: The dove is sent out again and returns with an olive leaf in the 11th month, on the 25th day of the month, as found in Genesis 8:10–11. 9. Day 285: The dove is sent out again and does not return in the 12th month, on the 2nd day of the month, as found in Genesis 8:12. 10. Day 314: The earth’s surface is dried up in the 601st year of Noah’s life, in the 1st month, on the 1st day of the month, as found in Genesis 8:13. 11. Day 370: Noah, his family, and the animals leave the Ark in the 2nd month, on the 27th day of the month, as found in Genesis 8:14–17. Taking all this time into account, the earth wasn’t dry until 314 days after the Flood began. This is the equivalent of over 10 months. Altogether, Noah and the animals were in the Ark for 370 days total. This is equivalent to over a year. We often overlook how much time the event of the Great Flood actually took place. What Did Noah Do Shortly After the Great Flood? Genesis 8:20–21 says: Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took some of every kind of clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 The Lord smelled the soothing aroma, and the Lord said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. So, Noah worshiped the Lord after the Flood, and God instituted the rainbow as a promise He would never again destroy those upon the earth with another Great Flood. So again, if the Flood would have been just local as some claim, then every time there is a local flood, God would be breaking His promise He established regarding the rainbow. Is There Evidence Today for the Location of Noah’s Ark? Yes, there is a ton of evidence for the location of Noah’s Ark, and I am really excited to share it with you. The site we’ll be looking at has far more evidence than any other proposed place. It’s known today as the Durupinar Site but is not new as it has been venerated for thousands of years. We have another website page dedicated to the overwhelming evidence that can be seen today for the location of Noah's Ark. Here's the link: Noah's Ark Location Places of Interest 1. Noah’s Ark National Park 2. Noah’s Ark Location 3. Noah’s Ark Visitor Center 4. Drogue – Anchor Stones 5. Noah’s Home 6. Noah’s Altar & Corrals 7. Mountains of Ararat 8. Mount Ararat 9. Wall of Heaven Site 10. Crow Won’t Land Site 11. Village of the Eight Faith Lesson from Noah’s Ark 1. Do we truly believe that the biblical account of Noah’s Ark and the Great Flood really happened? Today, there is a raging battle taking place between those who want to eliminate a literal account of the creation of the universe and the Great Flood account as found in Genesis 1–8. The battle is between those who attempt to explain every earthly event by using only the natural laws of nature. In other words, they eliminate the existence of God and the supernatural. Therefore, they are only left with natural explanations for everything that occurred in the past. God tells us that the answer to these apparent dilemmas is faith. Hebrews 11:3 tells us that: By faith we understand that the worlds were framed [created] by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. Creation was a supernatural event that we should believe by faith. Additionally, God says that without faith it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6 says: But without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Mankind’s problem is that they trust in their own intelligence and beliefs rather than trusting in God. Proverbs 3:5 clarifies this problem and the solution: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. God identifies unbelief as a sin in the Bible. Hebrews 3:12 says: Take care, brothers and sisters, that there will not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. What about us? Do we believe God created the universe and all that exists in six literal days, as the Bible says, or do we lean on the understanding of so-called scientists and others who say otherwise? Also, do we believe there was a literal flood like God says, or do we believe people instead? It’s really a matter of whom we choose to believe. Do we believe what God says in the Bible or people? It’s that simple. 2. Do we understand why God sent the Flood? The purpose of the Great Flood was to destroy all the wicked people on the earth. Now while this might sound cruel, it is actually an exercise of God’s mercy and justice. Sin causes heartache and suffering. When sin reaches such a severe state, then God will step in and eliminate it. This is what He did with the Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, the Canaanites, and so forth. Also, we believe children go to heaven if they die before the age of accountability. So, instead of having to suffer at the hand of the wicked, they go to heaven. And lastly, everyone will die sooner or later, so in the grand scheme of time, it doesn’t matter a whole lot if a person dies young or old. What matters is that they are right with God and following Him. Also, God is just in punishing the wicked, whether it be during their time on earth or after they die. So what about us? Do we realize that we all will stand before God and give an account of our lives? If we are believers, we will be judged for how we used our gifts and abilities for God, not whether we will go to hell. Those who reject God and His offer of salvation through Jesus Christ will be judged and sent to hell. 3. Do we believe Noah and the Great Flood are examples of judgment to come? Before God destroyed all the wicked in the Flood, He gave them sufficient time to repent. However, they continued in their wickedness and rejected their Creator. It is the same today. Jesus said in Matthew 24:37–39: But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the Flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the Flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. And 1 Peter 3:20 speaks of how God patiently waited for the wicked to turn to Him before He sent the Great Flood: When once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. Moreover, 2 Peter 2:4 says: For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the Flood on the world of the ungodly. 4. Do we believe God is patiently waiting, like in the days of Noah, for people to turn from their sin and get right with their Creator? 2 Peter 3:3–14 says: Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue just as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed by being flooded with water. 7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly people. 8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be discovered. 11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found spotless and blameless by Him, at peace. 5. What about us? Have we received Christ as our Savior, and are we right with God?
- History of Israel: Walls, Gates, Wars, People | HolyLandSite.com
History of Israel
- Dead Sea, Israel: It's History, Future, Sites of Interest, Beaches, Sodom, Gomorrah | HolyLandSite.com
Dead Sea Area Photo Gallery Places of Interest Dead Sea Area At the very lowest point on earth, at about 1,410 feet (430 meters) below sea level, lies a natural wonder replete with its own unique ecosystem, breathtaking desert views, and mineral treasures that have attracted visitors for thousands of years. Because of its unique location, healing properties, geological and historical background, surrounding ecosystem, and the epic biblical events that have happened around it, the Dead Sea is an irresistible venue for tourists. Location 1. The Dead Sea is a large salt lake located in the Judean desert of southern Israel. It's about 15 miles (25 km.) east of Jerusalem and is Israel's largest body of water within its borders. It also forms part of the border between Israel and Jordan, with Jordan being on the east side. Historical Background & Info 1. The Dead Sea is one of the world's four saltiest bodies of water. These special conditions are an outcome of its extreme geomorphological structure alongside a harsh desert climate. These create constant dramatic changes that form a landscape different from any other in the world. The unique mineral content of the air, land, and water in the area is globally renowned for its therapeutic qualities. Even since the time of Herod the Great (37-4 BC), it has been a health resort. 2. The Jordan River is the only major water source flowing into the Dead Sea, although there are small perennial springs under and around the lake, forming pools and quicksand pits along its edges. Today, after diversifying the waters from the Sea of Galilee in the 1960s, the only incoming water sources are from sulfur springs and wastewater, along with rare drizzles and flash floods. 3. The water level of the Dead Sea has been receding gradually, at an average yearly rate of about 3 feet (1 meter). This is causing large concern about the Dead Sea drying up. This drop in water level is caused by evaporation under the harsh desert sun, but also because little water is now flowing into the Dead Sea. 4. Why is it called the Dead Sea? For several reasons. Because it has 10 times more salt than other oceans. Because of this, fish and plant life cannot exist. There is absolutely no life whatsoever in the Dead Sea. In various languages, the Dead Sea is referred to by different names, all reflective of its characteristics. The earliest known name is recorded in the Hebrew Bible, referred to as “the Salt Sea," due to its significantly high salt content. It was also called the "Sea of Arabah." It's called in Hebrew "Yam HaMelaẖ" (Salt Sea), and in Arabic "Al-Baḥr Al-Mayyit," ( Sea of Death). Salt was a highly valued commodity in the later Roman era – Roman soldiers were paid in salt rather than money! This is also the source of the Latin word “salary,” which comes from “salt.” In a spiritual sense, some have likened it to being dead because water comes in but doesn't leave. That's what happens to us. If we only receive but don't give, then we will also be spiritually dead. 5. The Dead Sea is globally renowned for the therapeutic effect of the minerals in its waters and mud, which are especially high in concentration. Dead Sea minerals in the water and mud have helped improve many skin conditions, such as psoriasis, vitiligo, atopic dermatitis, and acne. 6. Why is the Dead Sea so salty? It appears that after the Great Flood, this body of water was landlocked. Like the other oceans, this water had a certain level of salt. Then, over the years, its salt content was derived from the erosion of rocks on land, with their salt ions driven by rivers into the landlocked lake. Its extremely low elevation means that water cannot escape the Dead Sea once it enters, and exposed to the intense heat, the water evaporates more quickly, leading to an intense salinity. Another reason it is so salty appears to be because God destroyed the area, as found in Genesis 19:23–29. Deuteronomy 29:23 mentions, "All its land is brimstone and salt , burned debris, unsown and unproductive, and no grass grows on it, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in His anger and in His wrath." 7. Why do you float in the Dead Sea? Because of the high concentration of salt, the water is much denser than plain fresh water, meaning that our body weight is lighter – which causes us to float! It's important not to say in the water for long periods as it can be dangerous. B e careful about getting water in your eyes or open cuts. It's best not to shave too soon before entering the water as this can cause burning and irritation. Lastly, it's best not to dunk your head under the water. 8. The drop in the level of the water after 1960 or so, has changed the physical appearance of the Dead Sea. Most noticeably, the peninsula of Al-Lisan gradually extended eastward until a dry land strip separated the lake’s northern and southern basins. In addition, the southern basin was eventually subdivided into dozens of large evaporation pools (for the extraction of salt), so by the 21st century, it had essentially ceased to be a natural body of water. The northern basin—effectively now the actual Dead Sea—largely retained its overall dimensions despite its great loss of water, mainly because its shoreline plunged downward so steeply from the surrounding landscape. 9. The Dead Sea lies in a desert. Rainfall is scarce and irregular. It averages about 2.5 inches (65 mm) of rain a year. Because of the lake’s extremely low elevation and sheltered location, winter temperatures are mild, averaging around 63 °F (17 °C) in the winter months. Freezing temperatures never occur. Summer is oppressively hot, averaging 93 °F (34 °C) in August, with a recorded maximum of 124 °F (51 °C). Evaporation of the lake’s waters often creates a thick mist above the lake. Places of Interest 1. Sodom Lot’s Wife Mount Sodom 2. Gomorrah Sphinx Pyramid 3. Zoar 4. Admah 5. Zeboiim 6. Jericho 7. Jordan River Crossing Site 8. Baptismal Site of Jesus (Qsar al-Yahud) 9. Judean Desert 10. Jordan River Inlet 11 . Northern Beaches 12. Qumran (Dead Sea Scrolls) 13. Avnat (Kidron Valley Drainage from Jerusalem) 14. En Gedi 15. Sink Holes 16. Masada 17. Southern Beaches 18. Dead Sea Mineral Factories The Dead Sea in the Bible There are many mentions of the Dead Sea in the Bible, and it has long been associated with mysticism, wonderment, and religious significance. 1. It appears the area around the Dead Sea was lush and well-watered before God destroyed the area with fire and brimstone. Genesis 13:10: Lot raised his eyes and saw all the vicinity of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere—this was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah—like the garden of the Lord , like the land of Egypt going toward Zoar. 2. It appears that after God destroyed the area, it changed to the state it is today, a dry, barren desert. Deuteronomy 29:23: All its land is brimstone and salt , burned debris, unsown and unproductive, and no grass grows on it, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in His anger and in His wrath . 3. It is referenced often to describe the borders of Israel. Numbers 34:12: And the border shall go down to the Jordan, and its termination shall be at the Salt Sea . This shall be your land according to its borders on all sides. 4. It was a densely populated area during the time of Abraham before God destroyed the area. Genesis 14:1-3: And it came about in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim, 2 that they made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). 3 All these kings came as allies to the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea). 5. Sodom and Gomorrah, along with the other cities of the valley, were wicked, sinful people. Genesis 18:20–21: And the Lord said, “The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave. 21 I will go down now and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know.” 6. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Genesis 19:23–29: The sun had risen over the earth when Lot came to Zoar [located south of Sodom and Gomorrah]. 24 Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven, 25 and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26 But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. 27 Now Abraham arose early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood before the Lord; 28 and he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the valley , and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land ascended like the smoke of a furnace. 29 Thus, it came about, when God destroyed the cities of the valley , that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot lived. 7. The slopes of Mount Sodom are located in the southeast corner of the Dead Sea, and they feature salt formations that look like pillars – which are traditionally referred to as Lot’s wife. 8. At the end of the Tribulation Period, when God judges the nations in the Kidron Valley (Valley of Jehoshaphat), the blood will flow from Jerusalem down to the Dead Sea, and south. The drainage system from the Kidron Valley empties into the Dead Sea at Avnat. Revelation 14:20: And the wine press was trampled outside the city [Jerusalem], and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses’ bridles, for a distance of 1,600 stadia [185 miles, 300 km.]. The Kidron Stream is about 30 miles, 50 km., from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea. This blood river will then flow south from Avnat for a distance of 150 miles, 241 km., to the Red Sea. 9. During the Millennial Reign of Christ on earth after the Great Tribulation Period, a supernatural river will flow from Jerusalem, using the same Kidron Valley drainage system, and will change the Dead Sea area entirely. Ezekiel 47:7-11: Now when I had returned, behold, on the bank of the river there were very many trees on the one side and on the other. 8 Then he said to me, “These waters go out toward the eastern region and go down into the Arabah; then they go toward the sea [Dead Sea], being made to flow into the sea, and the waters of the sea become fresh . 9 And it will come about that every living creature which swarms in every place where the river goes, will live. And there will be very many fish, for these waters go there and the others become fresh ; so everything will live where the river goes. 10 And it will come about that fishermen will stand beside it; from Engedi to Eneglaim there will be a place for the spreading of nets. Their fish will be according to their kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea, very many. 11 But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. 12 And by the river on its bank, on one side and on the other, will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month because their water flows from the sanctuary, and their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing.” Zechariah 14:8-9: And on that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem , half of them toward the eastern sea [Dead Sea] and the other half toward the western sea [Mediterranean Sea]; it will be in summer as well as in winter. 9 And the Lord will be King over all the earth; on that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one. Faith Lesson from the Dead Sea Area 1. The main lesson we'll take from this area is that of Sodom and Gomorrah. The reason it was destroyed is a serious, sobering message we should allow to sink in deeply. 2. The primary sin for which God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah was homosexuality. However, they sinned in many other ways as well. 3. Sodom and Gomorrah are a foreshadow of what hell will be like. 4. Jesus talked about how His second coming would be like that of Sodom and Gomorrah. Jesus also spoke more about hell than heaven. 5. If God, the prophets, Christ, and the apostles used Sodom and Gomorrah as an example of the eternal judgment in hell that awaits the ungodly, then we should do the same today as well. 6. God is a God of love and has done everything He can to save us, but for those who reject His offer of salvation, eternal suffering in the Lake of Fire awaits them (Rev. 20:10).
- Mt. Sinai Location, Mountain of Moses, Altar, Golden Calf, Exodus, Ten Commandments | HolyLandSite.com
Mount Sinai In Saudi Arabia Photo Gallery Places of Interest Mount Sinai Location For many years the believed site of Mount Sinai has been in the Sinai Peninsula at the place called, "St. Catherine's Monastery." However, many recent archeologists and scholars now believe the Israelites crossed the Red Sea at the Aqaba finger of the Red Sea and that Mount Sinai is in Midian, which is part of modern-day Saudi Arabia. Historical Background 1. God called Abraham and promised him He would make a great nation out of his offspring. Abraham obeyed and left everything to follow God. 2. Abraham birthed Isaac, who birthed Jacob, who birthed 12 sons. God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. 3. Jacob and his 12 sons moved to Egypt according to God’s sovereign plan (about 70–75 total people). 4. The Israelites spent 430 years in Egypt (30 years as free people under Joseph, and 400 years as slaves). During this time, they grew into a nation of around 2.5 to 3 million people. 5. God performed a miraculous deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt by performing 10 amazing miracles. 6. The last miracle, known as the Passover, happened when God killed the firstborn of all the Egyptians who did not put the blood of a lamb over the doorposts of their homes. 7. God then miraculously led the nation of Israel through the Sinai Penisula to the Red Sea crossing at Nuweiba Beach, and then to Mt. Sinai. Evidence for all these events and places are quite astounding. Places of Interest 1. Egypt 2. Goshen 3. Suez Finger of the Red Sea 4. Traditional Red Sea Crossing Place 5. Sinai Peninsula 6. Aqaba Finger of Red Sea 7. Nuweiba Beach 8. Saudi Arabia Beach 9. Red Sea Crossing 10. Marah 11. Elim 12. Magna Oasis 13. Wilderness of Sin 14. Caves of Jethro 15. Rephidim 16. Mount Sinai Evidence that the Israelites Crossed the Red Sea at the Aqaba Finger of the Red Sea at Nuweiba Beach 1. How many Israelites left Egypt and crossed the Red Sea? Exodus 12:37: Now the sons of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, aside from children. Using the number of 600,000 men only, we can estimate that there were probably 2.5 to 3 million Israelites. 2. How many Egyptian soldiers were chasing them? Exodus 14:6–7: So he made his chariot ready and took his people with him; 7 and he took six hundred select chariots, and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. According to Josephus, a historian writer, there were 50,000 horsemen, and 200,000 footmen, all armed. 3. Did the Israelites cross the Red Sea by Egypt? It has been generally believed for many years that the Israelites crossed the Suez finger of the Red Sea just east of Cairo, Egypt. However, the sea is not very deep there so many have discredited the biblical miracle by claiming the Israelites crossed in shallow marshes of water. It should be noted that over the years no archaeological evidence has supported this Red Sea crossing location. It also would have been virtually impossible for such a large army to drown in the shallow lakes and marshes in this area. 4. Over the past several decades there has been substantial archeological investigation that shows convincing evidence for a different location for the Red Sea crossing. The new location places the crossing at Nuweiba Beach on the Aqaba finger of the Red Sea about 40 miles (64 km.) south of Eilat, Israel. 5. God said he brought the Israelites out of Egypt on the very same day they left. Exodus 12:51: And on that same day the Lord brought the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts. The Red Sea crossing happened after they had left Egypt. The border of Egypt at that time was the Suez finger of the Red Sea. Any place the Israelites would have crossed the sea in this area they would still have been in Egypt and not outside of it. 6. The Suez finger of the Red Sea is about 72 miles (116 km.) south of Goshen (place where the Israelites lived and departed Egypt). However, the land directly east of Goshen is dry and easily crossable. The Israelites had exited Egypt on the same day they left. The route directly east of Goshen would have allowed them to leave Egypt on dry ground. Afterward, they would have been in the wilderness of Sinai, which fits well with the biblical narrative as we will see in the next point. 7. Scripture strongly indicates that the Israelites traveled a long time through a wilderness before crossing the Red Sea. Exodus 13:18-22: Hence, God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea ; and the sons of Israel went up in martial array from the land of Egypt. 19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had made the sons of Israel solemnly swear, saying, “God will surely take care of you, and you shall carry my bones from here with you.” 20 Then they set out from Succoth and camped in Etham on the edge of the wilderness. 21 The Lord was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night . 22 He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people. These verses clearly reveal that the Israelites walked a long way traveling both day and night through a wilderness before crossing the Red Sea. Because the miracle of the Red Sea crossing happened several days after the Exodus, it couldn’t have happened at the Suez finger of the Red Sea because Goshen is just 20 miles (32 km.) from the sea, a distance of just a few hours walk. Moreover, between Goshen and the believed traditional crossing place of the Red Sea is not a wilderness. The Sinai Peninsula is a wilderness that would fit the biblical narrative of the Israelites traveling by day and by night before crossing the sea. Research shows that a person could cross the Sinai Peninsula in 3 days traveling day and night at a normal walking pace of just 3 or so miles an hour. Scripture also says that there were no feeble ones among them and that God carried them supernaturally on eagle’s wings during their exodus. These factors provide more evidence that the Israelites could have easily crossed the Sinai Peninsula and arrived at the Aqaba finger of the Red Sea at Nuweiba Beach. Meaning of Yam Suph Now the reason some believe that the Israelites crossed the Sea close-by to Egypt is because of how the Hebrew words Yam Suph, and specifically, Suph is translated. The translation of the word Yam means sea, or large body of water, and Suph mainly means end, edge, shoreline, red, and a few times as reeds. Therefore, some believe the Israelites crossed just east of Egypt because there are many shallow waters with reeds there. However, the words Yam Suph together are mentioned 24 times in the Old Testament, with 7 of them referring to specific locations which are around the Aqaba finger of the Red Sea and not by Egypt. For example, in Exodus 23:31, the word is used to describe the boundary of Israel going from the Aqaba northern tip of the Red Sea by Eilat to the Sea of the Philistines which would be the Mediterranean Sea. In 1 Kings 9:26, Yam Suph refers again to the northern tip of the Aqaba Finger of the Red Sea and is where Solomon had a fleet of ships stationed at Eloth, which is modern-day Eilat. Therefore, the term Yam Suph does not only mean reeds and refer to the area east of Egypt. The term is mainly used of the Aqaba finger of the Red Sea. Taking this into account, the Aqaba Finger of the Red Sea is referred to as Yam Suph as well in the Bible. 8. There has been found in the Aqaba finger of the Red Sea at Nuweiba Beach amazing evidence of coral growth on objects that look like old chariot wheels, axles, etc. These same objects have also been found on the shore across from Nuweiba Beach on the Saudi Arabian side of the Red Sea. Coral doesn’t grow in sandy areas and must have some object to grow on. The Red Sea is very sandy from Nuweiba Beach to the Saudi Arabian shore, so there’s no reason coral would grow in this area unless there were foreign objects for it to grow on. 9. Nuweiba Beach is very large and could have easily accommodated the 3 million or so Israelites. The beach at Nuweiba is large, flat, and sandy, the perfect place for the 2.5 to 3 million Israelites to camp. 10. The ocean floor of the Red Sea by Nuweiba Beach gradually goes down and then gradually goes up to the shore of Saudi Arabia. Just north or south of this area there are deep impassible ravines on the ocean floor. The Nuweiba Beach location is the only place on the Aqaba finger of the Red Sea that would have allowed the Israelites to cross. It seems reasonable to suggest that God, in His sovereignty, divinely created this sandy, gradual crossing place for the Israelites to use for this magnanimous miracle. The maximum depth of the ocean floor at this crossing place is about 2,500 ft. deep (762 m.). This fits the biblical narrative that God divided the “mighty waters” of the sea. Exodus 14:29: But the sons of Israel walked on dry land through the midst of the sea , and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. Exodus 15:10: You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them; They sank like lead in the mighty waters . Isaiah 51:10: Was it not You who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep ; who made the depths of the sea a pathway for the redeemed to cross over? The shallow lakebeds and marshes by Egypt were certainly not waters of the great deep. 11. Solomon referred to the Aqaba finger of the Red Sea, and archaeological discoveries have found two pillars he erected on each side of the Red Sea crossing. 1 Kings 9:26: King Solomon also built a fleet of ships in Ezion-geber, which is near Eloth [modern-day Eilat] on the shore of the Red Sea , in the land of Edom. At Nuweiba Beach, and on the beach of Saudi Arabia across from Nuweiba Beach, are pillars Solomon erected marking the crossing of the Red Sea by the Israelites. 12. When the Israelites arrived at the location of Nuweiba Beach, they were certainly hemmed in as Scripture says. Exodus 14:1–3: Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “Tell the people of Israel to turn back and encamp in front of Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea , in front of Baal-zephon; you shall encamp facing it, by the sea . 3 For Pharaoh will say of the people of Israel, ‘They are wandering in the land; the wilderness has shut them in .’” The landscape at Nuweiba Beach is unique and mountainous and would fit the biblical narrative. 13. As a result of being hemmed in and threatened by the Egyptian army, the Israelites cried out to Moses in anger and desperation. Exodus 14:13-14: But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. 14 The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.” 14. Then the hand of God performed one of the greatest miracles ever recorded in Scripture. Exodus 14:15-31: Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. 16 As for you, lift up your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the sons of Israel shall go through the midst of the sea on dry land. 17 As for Me, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 Then the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord, when I am honored through Pharaoh, through his chariots and his horsemen.” 19 The angel of God, who had been going before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them. 20 So it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud along with the darkness, yet it gave light at night. Thus, the one did not come near the other all night. 21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord swept the sea back by a strong east wind all night and turned the sea into dry land, so the waters were divided. 22 The sons of Israel went through the midst of the sea on the dry land, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 23 Then the Egyptians took up the pursuit, and all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots and his horsemen went in after them into the midst of the sea. 24 At the morning watch, the Lord looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion. 25 He caused their chariot wheels to swerve, and He made them drive with difficulty; so the Egyptians said, “Let us flee from Israel, for the Lord is fighting for them against the Egyptians.” 26 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and their horsemen.” 27 So Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its normal state at daybreak, while the Egyptians were fleeing right into it; then the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea . 28 The waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen, even Pharaoh’s entire army that had gone into the sea after them; not even one of them remained. 29 But the sons of Israel walked on dry land through the midst of the sea , and the waters were like a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. 30 Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. 31 When Israel saw the great power which the Lord had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in His servant Moses. Evidence that Mt. Sinai Is In Saudi Arabia After crossing the Red Sea, the Bible says the Israelites then traveled to Mount Sinai. Does the location of Mount Sinai in Saudi Arabia, which was biblical Midian, fit the biblical narrative? When Moses fled to Egypt, to save his life, Scripture says he went to Midian. Exodus 2:15: When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he tried to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the presence of Pharaoh and settled in the land of Midian , and he sat down by a well. Midian is in Saudi Arabia, not in the Sinai Peninsula. Galatians 4:25: Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. When God appeared to Moses in a burning bush at Mount Sinai, God said that Moses would bring the people out of Egypt and they would worship at the same Mount Sinai (also known as Mount Horeb). Moses was in Midian when this event occurred, so it seems very convincing that Mount Sinai is in Midian. Exodus 3:1–2: Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian ; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God . 2 The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. Exodus 3:12: And He said, “Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain .” Evidence from the Places the Israelites Camped on Their Way to Mt. Sinai 1. Location of Elim Exodus 15:27: Then they came to Elim where there were twelve springs of water and seventy date palms, and they camped there beside the waters. The location of Elim has been identified in Saudi Arabia about 26 miles (42 km.) south of the Red Sea crossing. 2. Magna Oasis We then find in Numbers 33:10 that the Israelites then journeyed from Elim and camped by the Red Sea. Now we have strong and convincing evidence of where Elim is so taking into consideration the geography of the land, the most obvious place would have been south of Elim a bit at the modern-day location of Magna Oasis by the Red Sea. You can see that this is a large area with plenty of water that would fit the biblical requirements for this place. There is also a well here called by the Saudis as the well of Moses. 3. Caves of Jethro There are caves named after Jethro the Midianite (Moses’ father-in-law) that have been found by the route the Israelites took from the Red Sea crossing to Mount Sinai. This shows that Jethro lived in this area and that it was the land of Midian at that time. 4. Split Rock at Rephidim Exodus 17:1: Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed by stages from the wilderness of Sin, according to the command of the Lord, and camped at Rephidim , and there was no water for the people to drink. Exodus 17:6: Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it , that the people may drink.” This rock at Rephidim is believed to have been found. It is a large rock that is split from top to bottom and shows water grooves where massive amounts of water ran down from it. Evidence at Mt. Sinai 1. Large area to camp at the base of the mountain. Exodus 19:2: When they set out from Rephidim, they came to the wilderness of Sinai and camped in the wilderness; and there Israel camped in front of the mountain. 2. Burnt top of the mountain and surrounding mountains. Exodus 19:18: Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. 3. Plateau partway up the mountain where the seventy elders could have worshiped while Moses continued up the mountain. Exodus 24:1: Then He said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and you shall worship at a distance. 4. Altar of Moses at the base of the mountain. Exodus 24:4: And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. Then he got up early in the morning, and built an altar [b]at the foot of the mountain with twelve memorial stones for the twelve tribes of Israel. 5. Speaking platform partway up the mountain. Exodus 24:3: Then Moses came and reported to the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words which the Lord has spoken we will do!” 6. Golden Calf Altar. Exodus 32:1: Now when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled around Aaron and said to him, “Come, make us a god who will go before us; for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt—we do not know what happened to him.” 7. Streams of water and dry lakebed at the base of the mountain. Exodus 32:19-20: And it came about, as soon as Moses approached the camp, that he saw the calf and the people dancing; and Moses’ anger burned, and he threw the tablets from his hands and shattered them to pieces at the foot of the mountain. 20 Then he took the calf which they had made and completely burned it with fire, and ground it to powder, and scattered it over the surface of the water and made the sons of Israel drink it. 8. Wells at the base of the mountain. 9. Massive graveyard closeby to the mountain. Exodus 32:27-28: And he said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: ‘Every man of you put his sword on his thigh, and go back and forth from gate to gate in the camp, and kill every man his brother, and every man his friend, and every man his neighbor.’” 28 So the sons of Levi did as Moses instructed, and about three thousand men of the people fell that day. 10. Cave of Elijah at the mountain. 1 Kings 19:8-9: So he arose and ate and drank, and he journeyed in the strength of that food for forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 Then he came there to a cave and spent the night there; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 11. Artifacts found in the area. Items like a menorah drawing, writings, and footprint drawings all give further evidence that the Israelites were in this area. 12. This area is a designated archaeological site by the Saudi government. Today, sections of the area, along with the mountain, are fenced off by the Saudi Arabian government and designated as archeological sites. However, there are no excavations permitted on them at this time. Evidence from Ancient Sources Several Jewish, Christian, and Muslim documents dating 600 years before Christ locate Mount Sinai in Midian. Philo and Josephus (Jewish historians) also locate Mount Sinai in Midian of Arabia. Faith Lesson from the Exodus, Red Sea Crossing, and Mount Sinai 1. The miracles of the Exodus, Red Sea Crossing, God’s supernatural leading of the Israelites, and all that happened at Mt. Sinai, are massive miracles that reveal God’s glory and greatness. 2. They teach us deep theological truths that God wants us to believe and embrace. Truths like God’s greatness, ability to help and rescue us out of our sin and problems, how God is able to provide for us, protect us, and lead us are foundational concepts these miracles communicate. 3. God wants us to believe them instead of doubting and trying to explain them away, or believe they happened by natural means, as many liberal scholars attempt to do. 4. God calls unbelief a sin in His Word, the Bible. Hebrews 3:12 says: Take care, brothers and sisters, that there will not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. 5. While the miracles of the Exodus, Red Sea Crossing, and the events that happened at Mt. Sinai are massive in size, they are tiny in comparison to God’s greater miracles of creating everything that exists, giving life to everything that exists, and sustaining everything that exists. Acts 17:27 says: He [God] is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist. It is God who gives life to our bodies and spirits and is allows us to live, move, and exist. 6. When I listen to liberal theologians explaining away the miracles of the Exodus, Red Sea crossing, events at Mt. Sinai, and so forth, I can’t help but think that if God was to remove His sustaining power from their lives they would cease to exist in the very moment they are speaking and denying God’s power. 7. God was deeply grieved with the Israelites who doubted His power and ability on many occasions. He can also be deeply grieved with us today when we do the same. 8. Unlike Moses, who tried to fulfill God’s promise in his own strength and wound up killing an Egyptian, we should wait on God’s timing and not force things when they don’t happen as we think they should. We should never have to do evil or manipulate things in fulfilling God’s will for us.
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- Tel Jezreel: Wicked Jezebel, King Ahab, Vineyard of Naboth | HolyLandSite.com
Tel Jezreel Photo Gallery Places of Interest Tel Jezreel Location 1. Tel Jezreel was a biblical fortified city located on the southern ridge of the beautiful Jezreel Valley in the Lower Galilee region of northern Israel. 2. The tel sits 100 meters above the valley and covers approximately 22 acres. It is strategically located close to the ancient Via Maris trade route running from north to south and was an important stop along the way. 3. Its strategic location on the entrance to the north-south trade route made the city a gatekeeper like Lachish, Gezer, Megiddo, and Hazor which were located on the international highway known as the Via Maris (way of the sea). Historical Background 1. Tel Jezreel was a major Biblical city in the northern Kingdom of Israel. 2. The Bible tells about many events associated with the city. 3. Excavations reveal that the city was inhabited in the Canaanite/Late Bronze period in around the 15th Century BC, and then later in the Israelite/Iron period. 4. The city belonged to the region of the tribe of Issachar. 5. Archaeological findings dating to the Iron age include a large enclosure surrounded by a moat, a gate with six chambers, and large towers. These findings are dated to around 880 BC, which would have been during the reign of King Omri and Ahab. 6. In 722 BC, the Jezreel and the northern Kingdom of Israel were conquered by the Assyrians and many of the people were led away to Assyria as captives. 7. During the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine Periods, the city continued to be an important gateway along the main road from north to south. 8. Jesus would have passed through the city of Jezreel on his journies from the Galilee area to Jerusalem. 9. The Crusaders who followed also left structures and remains of a medieval church which were uncovered in excavations. 10. The Ottomans inhabited the Tel in the 19th century. 11. In more recent history, the Tel was the site of major battles in 1948 when the State of Israel was established. On the Tel, you can see a memorial to the Palmach fighters who died in the battle. Places of Interest at Tel Jezreel 1. Biblical walls that are mentioned several times in the Bible. The walls once enclosed the ancient fortress complex. One of the famous Biblical scenes is of Queen Jezebel being thrown over the walls: “The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the walls of Jezreel.” 2. Likely place of King Ahab's Palace 3. Winepress 4. Spring 5. Tower Places of Interest Around Tel Jezreel 1. Jezreel Valley (Valley of Armageddon) 2. Mountains of Gilboa ~ Place King Saul and his sons were killed by the Philistines. 3. En Dor ~ Place King Saul met with a woman diviner who contacted Samuel from the dead. 4. Mount Tabor ~ Likely place of the transfiguration of Jesus. 5. Gideon's Spring ~ Place God chose 300 men to defeat the Midianites. 6. Beth Shean ~ Place the bodies of King Saul and his sons were hanged after the Philistines killed them in battle. Samaria In the Bible 1. The City of Jezreel was in the territory of the tribe of Issachar as found in Joshua 19:17-18. 2. King Saul, on the eve of the fatal battle with the Philistines, camped with his army near the spring of Jezreel. The battle was fought in Jezreel Valley and on mount Gilboa the followowing day. King Saul died fighting this battle together with his 3 sons. 1 Samuel 29:1: Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek, while the Israelites were camping by the spring which is in Jezreel . 1 Samuel 31:1: Now the Philistines were fighting against Israel, and the men of Israel fled from the Philistines but fell fatally wounded on Mount Gilboa. 2 And the Philistines also overtook Saul and his sons, and the Philistines killed Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchi-shua, the sons of Saul. 3 . The great showdown between the 850 false prophets of Baal and Asherah and Elijah took place on Mount Carmel, just 30 miles (50 km.) north of Samaria. 1 Kings 18:20–21: So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel . 21 And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. 4. After the prophet Elijah's great victory over the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, Elijah instructed Ahab to return home to Jezreel, to report the news to his wife, Jezebel (Jezreel is around 30 miles or 50 km. from Mount Carmel). 1 Kings 18:45–46: Meanwhile the sky became dark with clouds and wind came up, and there was a heavy shower. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel . 46 Then the hand of the Lord was on Elijah, and he belted his cloak around his waist and outran Ahab to Jezreel . 6. King Ahab had a palace in Jezreel. 1 Kings 21:1–3: Now Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel , beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria . 7. King Ahab killed Naboth to acquire his vineyard. This event took place north of Samaria at Ahab's summer palace of Tel Jezreel. 1 Kings 21:1–3: Now Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard in Jezreel, beside the palace of Ahab king of Samaria . 2 And after this Ahab said to Naboth, “Give me your vineyard, that I may have it for a vegetable garden, because it is near my house, and I will give you a better vineyard for it; or, if it seems good to you, I will give you its value in money.” 3 But Naboth said to Ahab, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers.” 7. God killed King Ahab because of his great wickedness. 1 Kings 22:37–38: So the king died, and was brought to Samaria . And they buried the king in Samaria . 38 And they washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood, and the prostitutes washed themselves in it, according to the word of the Lord that he had spoken. 8. The fall of wicked Queen Jezebel took place as prophesied by Elijah. 2 Kings 9:30–37: When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard about it, and she put makeup on her eyes and adorned her head, and looked down through the window. 31 As Jehu entered the gate, she said, “Is your intention peace, Zimri, his master’s murderer?” 32 Then he raised his face toward the window and said, “Who is with me, who?” And two or three officials looked down at him. 33 Then he said, “Throw her down.” So they threw her down, and some of her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses, and he trampled her underfoot. 34 When he came in, he ate and drank; and he said, “See now to this cursed woman and bury her, for she is a king’s daughter.” 35 So they went to bury her, but they found nothing of her except the skull, the feet, and the palms of her hands. 36 Therefore they returned and informed him. And he said, “This is the word of the Lord, which He spoke by His servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, ‘On the property of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel; 37 and the corpse of Jezebel will be like dung on the face of the field in the property of Jezreel, so they cannot say, “This is Jezebel.”’” In 2 Kings 10:8 Jehu orders the death of 70 descendants of Ahab, and has their heads sent to the new king in Jezreel and piled up in "two heaps at the gate entrance." Jezreel is also mentioned in the book of Hosea where God commands Hosea to name his son "Jezreel, because I will soon punish the house of Jehu for the massacre at Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of Israel" (Hosea 1:4). God also tells Hosea as to a future event, "I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord. And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the Lord, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel." (Hosea 2:21–22). Hosea also mentions, "In that day I will break Israel’s bow in the Valley of Jezreel." (Hosea 1:5). Faith Lesson from Samaria 1. Unfortunately, the division of the Nation of Israel into two parts was born out of disobedience to God. 2. Nonetheless, God sent prophet after prophet to warn them to leave their false Gods and return to Him. 3. God extended mercy and patience upon them despite their continual rejection of Him. 4. Because of their hardhearted rejection, God had no choice but to discipline the Northern Kingdom and deport most of them to Assyria. 5. Do we really believe that disobedience to God causes pain and suffering (Rom 8:6)? 6. Do we understand that God is merciful and patient but disciplines those He loves (Heb. 12:7–11)? 7. The Samaritan people gladly received the gospel under Philip’s preaching. Do we realize that those living in darkness are the most receptive to the light?
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