Evidence of the Biblical Tabernacle at Shiloh

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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Read more at Jerusalem Post

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

 

The Arab Press Blames Iran Rather Than Israel for Gaza’s Woes

Following the fighting between Israel and Islamic Jihad over the weekend, many journalists and commentators in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia didn’t rush to condemn the Jewish state. Instead, as the translators at the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) note, they criticized the terrorist group for “operating in service of Iranian interests and thus inflicting suffering on the Gaza Strip’s residents.” One Saudi intellectual, Turki al-Hamad, wrote the following on Twitter:

It is apparent that, if at one time any confrontation between Israel and the Palestinian organizations would attract world and Arab attention and provoke a wave of anger [against Israel], today it does not shock most Arabs and most of the world’s [countries]. Furthermore, even a sense of human solidarity [with the Palestinians] has become rare and embarrassing, raising the question, “Why [is this happening] and who is to blame?”

I believe that the main reason is the lack of confidence in all the Palestinian leaders. . . . From the Arabs’ and the world’s perspective, it is already clear that these leaders are manipulating the [Palestinian] cause out of self-interest and diplomatic, economic, or even personal motives, and that the Palestinian issue is completely unconnected to this. The Palestinian cause has become a bargaining chip in the hands of these and other organizations and states headed by the [Iranian] ayatollah regime.

A, article in a major Arabic-language newspaper took a similar approach:

In a lengthy front-page report on August 7, the London-based UAE daily Al-Arab criticized Islamic Jihad, writing that “Gaza again became an arena for the settling of accounts between Iran and Israel, while the Palestinian citizens are the ones paying the price.” It added that Iran does not want to confront Israel directly for its bombings in Syria and its attacks on Iranian scientists and nuclear facilities.

“The war in Gaza is not the first, nor will it be the last. But it proves . . . that Iran is exploiting Gaza as it exploits Lebanon, in order to strengthen its hand in negotiations with the West. We all know that Iran hasn’t fired a single bullet at Israel, and it also will not do this to defend Gaza or Lebanon.”

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Read more at MEMRI

More about: Gaza Strip, Iran, Islamic Jihad, Israel-Arab relations, Persian Gulf