Current Events Articles: May 2012

"Bethlehem" Seal Uncovered in the City of David posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

While sifting soil from archaeological excavations the Israel Antiquities Authority is conducting in the City of David, in the “Walls around Jerusalem National Park”, a bulla was discovered bearing the name of the city of Bethlehem, written in ancient Hebrew script.

Three lines of ancient Hebrew script appear on the bulla:

Bishvʽat בשבעת

Bat Lechem בת לים

[Lemel]ekh [למל]ך

According to Eli Shukron, director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “it seems that in the seventh year of the reign of a king (it is unclear if the king referred to here is Hezekiah, Manasseh or Josiah), a shipment was dispatched from Bethlehem to the king in Jerusalem. The bulla we found belongs to the group of “fiscal” bullae – administrative bullae used to seal tax shipments remitted to the taxation system of the Kingdom of Judah in the late eighth and seventh centuries BCE. The tax could have been paid in the form of silver or agricultural produce such as wine or wheat”. Shukron emphasizes,” this is the first time the name Bethlehem appears outside the Bible, in an inscription from the First Temple period, which proves that Bethlehem was indeed a city in the Kingdom of Judah, and possibly also in earlier periods”.

Picture Courtesy of IAA

For more, see:

Israel Antiquities Authority Report

Fox News


Rare Wooden Statue of Hatshepsut Discovered in Egypt posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

Queen Hatshepsut has been identified as a strong candidate for Pharaoh's daughter, the one who pulled Moses out the Nile River as a baby. For more on this, please see this article by ABR Associate Col. David G. Hansen, PhD: Moses and Hatshepsut.

For more, visit:

The Vancouver Sun

Book of Nehemiah Found Among the Dead Sea Scrolls posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

Now, two scholars are publishing research indicating that portions of Nehemiah are actually among the scrolls.

Read more at:

Evidence of Possible Israelite Religious Activity Discovered at Khirbet Qeiyafa posted by Henry B. Smith Jr. MA

According to Prof. Garfinkel, "This is the first time that archaeologists uncovered a fortified city in Judah from the time of King David. Even in Jerusalem we do not have a clear fortified city from his period. Thus, various suggestions that completely deny the biblical tradition regarding King David and argue that he was a mythological figure, or just a leader of a small tribe, are now shown to be wrong." Garfinkel continued, "Over the years, thousands of animal bones were found, including sheep, goats and cattle, but no pigs. Now we uncovered three cultic rooms, with various cultic paraphernalia, but not even one human or animal figurine was found. This suggests that the population of Khirbet Qeiyafa observed two biblical bans - on pork and on graven images - and thus practiced a different cult than that of the Canaanites or the Philistines."

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