Evidence of the Biblical Tabernacle at Shiloh

Nov. 18 2019

The Hebrew Bible on several occasions describes altars as having “horns”—generally understood to be rectangular protrusions on the four corners of the altar’s surface. In the ruins of the ancient city of Shiloh, where the Bible states the Tabernacle was located for some time prior to the construction of the First Temple, archaeologists have recently discovered what seems to be the corner of a biblical-era altar, complete with horn. Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman writes:

The find, said Scott Stripling, director of excavations at Shiloh, is consistent with what he expected to find in the fields of the ancient city. . . . The group also discovered a koba’at, a goblet or ritual chalice, which could be linked to religious use.

A most exciting find at the end of summer 2018 . . . was a ceramic pomegranate. “The pomegranate is a sacred motif,” [Stripling] said. “The only sites in Israel where we have found pomegranates like this one have been Levitical sites.” The pomegranate measures between two-and-a-half and three inches and has hooks by which it could be hung. . . . Stripling said a similar pomegranate was found nearly 100 years earlier by another excavation team. The Bible describes pomegranates hanging from the bottom of the robe of the High Priest, who served in Shiloh for more than three centuries.

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More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Hebrew Bible, Tabernacle


Is There a Way Out of Israel’s Political Deadlock?

On Tuesday, leaders of the Jewish state’s largest political parties, Blue and White and Likud, met to negotiate the terms of a coalition agreement—and failed to come to an agreement. If none of the parties in the Knesset succeeds in forming a governing coalition, there will be a third election, with no guarantee that it will be more conclusive than those that preceded it. Identifying six moves by key politicians that have created the deadlock, Shmuel Rosner speculates as to whether they can be circumvented or undone:

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More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Election 2019, Israeli politics