Monthly Archives: January 2010

Searching for Joshua’s Ai: the ABR dig at Khirbet el-Maqatir

Associates for Biblical Research announces plans for their 2010 dig at Khirbet el-Maqatir here. This dig, under the direction of Dr. Bryant Wood, is scheduled for May 19-June 6. Dr. Wood says,

Topography, fortifications, and pottery finds all suggest that Kh. el-Maqatir is a candidate for the Ai of Joshua 7-8.

In the air above Gezer

Gezer is described by William G. Dever, one of the archaeological excavators, as “a site in the foothills of the Judean range.” He continues,

Ancient Gezer has been located at Tell Jezer (Tell el-Jazari), a 33-acre mound 5 miles SSE of Ramleh, … since C. Clermont-Ganneau first made the identification in 1870. Gezer is situated about 750 feet above sea level, on the last of the foothills of the Judean range where it slopes down to meet the Shephelah. It guards one of the most important crossroads in ancient Palestine, where the trunk road leading to Jerusalem and sites in the hills branches off from the Via Maris at the approach of the Valley of Aijalon. It is mentioned not only in the Bible, but in several Egyptian and Assyrian texts. (Anchor Bible Dictionary)

In a previous post (here) we showed the coastal plain. As we approach Gezer, looking east, we see the mountains of Judea. Click on the image for one large enough to use in PowerPoint presentations for classes and sermons. This is our New Year’s gift to our faithful readers.

View of Tell Gezer looking E toward the Judean Mountains. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

View of Tell Gezer looking E toward the Judean Mountains. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins

Here are a few things we learn about Gezer from the Bible.

  • The king of Gezer fought against Joshua and the Israelites during the conquest (Joshua 10:33; 12:12).
  • Gezer was allotted to Ephraim (Joshua 16:3).
  • Gezer became a city of the Levites (Joshua 21:21). It was designated as a city of refuge (1 Chronicles 6:67).
  • Israel failed to drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer (Joshua 16:10; Judges 1:29).
  • By the time of David the Philistine seem to be living at Gezer (2 Samuel 5:25; 1 Chronicles 14:16; 20:4).
  • Pharaoh, king of Egypt, captured Gezer, burned it, and gave it as a dowry to his daughter, Solomon’s wife (1 Kings 9:16).
  • Solomon (re)built the cities of Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer (1 Kings 9:15-17).

Blog about Jordan sites

Dr. David Graves writes an infrequent blog called Deus Artefacta. When he does write, the material is worthwhile. David has been participating in the excavation of Tall el-Hammam in the Jordan Valley (Transjordan) east of Jericho for several years. He is working on locating the site of Roman Livias.

Tall el-Hammam in the Jordan Valley. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins 2008.

Tall el-Hammam in the Jordan Valley. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins 2008.

Dr. Steven Collins, Dean, College of Archaeology, Trinity Southwest University, thinks that Tall el-Hammam is the site of Sodom. Info about the excavation may be located here. Other scholars suggest that Tall el-Hammam is the site of Abel-shittim (Numbers 33:49; Shittim, Numbers 25:1), in the plains of Moab. See Rainey and Notley, The Sacred Bridge, 125. The Israelite spies went out from here to view the land, especially Jericho (Joshua 2:1).

The excavation at Tall el-Hammam is now in progress through January 29, 2010. Graves has posted some good photos, and associated information, about Heshbon, Umm Quis [Gadara], and Jerash in the land of Gilead. Before crossing into Jordan he spent some time with the Temple Mount Salvage Operation in Jerusalem, visited Qumran, Masada, and Jericho.

For seasons, days, and years

2010. We say it is a New Year. All of this depends on the goodness and lovingkindness of the Lord. Today I will post a few scriptures to remind us of the source of all material blessings.

God created the earth, and the entire universe, as a place for man to dwell. He arranged the sun, moon and stars so we might have seasons, days, and years.

Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. (Genesis 1:14-15 NAU)

The New Testament teaches that Jesus, the Word, was active in creation, and that He keeps everything going as it should.

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16-17 NAU)

The words of Psalm 106 express an appropriate thanks to the Lord for His provisions.

Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (Psalm 106:1 NAU)

Happy New Year!

A lone fisherman on the Sea of Galilee at sunrise. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

A lone fisherman on the Sea of Galilee at sunrise. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.