Digging in the Golan for New Testament History, Archaeologists Find a Ruin from the Time of King David

June 25 2019

Experts are currently at odds about the location of the ancient city of Bethsaida, mentioned frequently in the New Testament as being somewhere in northern Israel. Now the team excavating one of two possible sites for Bethsaida has made an intriguing discovery: a city gate from the 11th century BCE that suggests that this was also the more ancient city of Zer, known from the Hebrew Bible. James Rogers writes:

“There are not too many monumental discoveries dating from the reign of King David,” Rami Arav, an associate professor at the University of Nebraska and the Bethsaida excavation director [stated]. “This is absolutely a significant contribution to biblical archaeology and biblical studies.”

Arav explained that Bethsaida/Zer was founded in the 11th century BCE as a pre-planned city and the capital of the biblical kingdom of Geshur. “The city included a marketplace, granary, city walls, city gate, a high place in the city gate, and a cobblestone courtyard in front of the gate,” he said.

The city was destroyed in 920 BCE. “Since this is the period of time of King David and since the Bible [states] that King David married Maachah the daughter of Talmai the king of Geshur, it is reasonable [to conjecture] that King David walked on these very cobblestones when he visited the city,” Arav added. An ancient stele, or monumental stone slab, was discovered adjacent to the gate’s tower. The stele depicts the moon-god worshipped by the ancient Aramean people.

According to the Bible, Geshur was an independent kingdom in David’s time, but was later conquered by King Hazael of Aram.

Read more at Fox News

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Golan Heights, Hebrew Bible, King David, New Testament


Israel’s Covert War on Iran’s Nuclear Program Is Impressive. But Is It Successful?

Sept. 26 2023

The Mossad’s heist of a vast Iranian nuclear archive in 2018 provided abundant evidence that Tehran was not adhering to its commitments; it also provided an enormous amount of actionable intelligence. Two years later, Israel responded to international inspectors’ condemnation of the Islamic Republic’s violations by using this intelligence to launch a spectacular campaign of sabotage—a campaign that is the subject of Target Tehran, by Yonah Jeremy Bob and Ilan Evyatar. David Adesnik writes:

The question that remains open at the conclusion of Target Tehran is whether the Mossad’s tactical wizardry adds up to strategic success in the shadow war with Iran. The authors give a very respectful hearing to skeptics—such as the former Mossad director Tamir Pardo—who believe the country should have embraced the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Bob and Evyatar reject that position, arguing that covert action has proven itself the best way to slow down the nuclear program. They acknowledge, however, that the clerical regime remains fully determined to reach the nuclear threshold. “The Mossad’s secret war, in other words, is not over. Indeed, it may never end,” they write.

Which brings us back to Joe Biden. The clerical regime was headed over a financial cliff when Biden took office, thanks to the reimposition of sanctions after Washington withdrew from the nuclear deal. The billions flowing into Iran on Biden’s watch have made it that much easier for the regime to rebuild whatever Mossad destroys in addition to weathering nationwide protests on behalf of women, life, and freedom. Until Washington and Jerusalem get on the same page—and stay there—Tehran’s nuclear ambitions will remain an affordable luxury for a dictatorship at war with its citizens.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, Mossad, U.S. Foreign policy