Archaeologists Uncover a 2,000-Year-Old Jerusalem Marketplace

Jan. 19 2021

As documented in the Talmud and Hebrew Bible, the festivals of Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot—in the spring, summer, and fall, respectively—were pilgrimage holidays, when Jews throughout the Land of Israel, and even from the Diaspora, would visit the Temple and offer sacrifices. Jonathan Laden describes the recent discovery of remains of a market where these pilgrims might have made purchases on their way into Jerusalem:

Archaeologists have found rare 2,000-year-old measurement tools that indicate a major town square. [These include the] top of a table used to measure liquids. In the vicinity dozens of stone weights were also discovered.

The age of the artifacts and their location, along the path of the Pilgrimage Road from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple Mount, in the oldest part of Jerusalem known as the City of David, suggest that this was a main city square and market used by pilgrims . . . on their way to the Second Temple. . . . The pool’s usage 2,000 years ago is unclear; it might have provided cooking and drinking water to pilgrims, and may also have been used for ritual bathing prior to going to the Temple.

The agoranomos, the officer tasked with supervising measurements and weights for the conducting of trade in the city of Jerusalem, would have used both the stone weights and the measuring table as a standard to help traders calibrate their measurements. Weights were used to verify dry goods, and the measurement table for liquids. [This] is one of only three discovered from the time of the Second Temple.

Read more at Bible History Daily

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Jerusalem, Jewish holidays, Second Temple

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy