Category Archives: Old Testament

Some recommended resources

Sale Deadline on The Book of Ruth collection

If you received the BiblePlaces Newsletter for April  a few days ago you already know about the new volume in the Photo Companion of the Bible series. This one is on The Book of Ruth. I received a complimentary advance copy and found some of this material to be helpful on the recent study trip to Jordan. I am confident that anyone studying or teaching the book of Ruth will find the material helpful. You can download the recent BiblePlaces Newsletter filled with much helpful information here.

Available through April 22 for $20.

There are 350 images in PowerPoint to illustrate the four chapters of the Book of Ruth. The collection is on sale until midnight April 22 for $20. Bolen says, “Shipping is free in the US and satisfaction is guaranteed.” Go here for ordering information. Take a look at the four volume set on the Gospels.

Appian Media Producing New Series

Our friends at Appian Media have already produced a wonderful set of high-quality videos entitled Following the Messiah. They will soon be returning to Israel to film a new series dealing what many of us call the Biblical period of the United Kingdom. The series will be called Searching for a King.

Appian Media Searching for a King

Filming for this series begins very soon.

Appian Media provides membership access to their material, and they are seeking donations to assist in the work. See details here. Some videos are available for viewing on the website.

A New Video on Lachish

Lachish: The Epic Unearthed, a 48 minute video about the history and excavations of the biblical city of Lachish has been produced by Dr. Robert Henry and Rachel Martin. Henry summarizes the film:

This documentary brings you into the exciting world of Biblical Archaeology as it reveals the history of one of the largest Old Testament cities and tells the story of the volunteers who dig it up. This epic story reveals the turbulent warfare of the first temple period of Biblical history, the discoveries that expand the Biblical narrative and the impact this experience had on the people who came to Israel to dig. Watch as these determined volunteers unearth a Biblical land mark that hasn’t been touched in over two thousand five hundred years.

The video features comments by Prof. Yosef Garfinkle and Prof. Michael Hasel, directors of the fourth excavation at Lachish, as well as interviews with some of those working on the dig including my friend Luke Chandler.

Some viewers will be unfamiliar with the pronunciation of such sites as Lachish and Azekah. Instead of Lake-ish and ah-ZECK-ah, you will hear LAH-KISH and AZ-e-kah, pronunciations more common in Israel.

I am thankful to have provided a few of my aerial photographs for the video. Henry and Martin encourage you to use this video in your teaching and for personal study free of charge.

Walking the Bible Lands with Dr. Wayne Stiles

Wayne Stiles, whose web site we have mentioned several times, is now developing a video series called Walking the Bible Lands. This is old hat for Wayne who had been traveling to the Bible lands, teaching and writing about them for many years.

Wayne’s new material is available on a membership arrangement. Detailed information is available at his Walking the Bible Lands website here. You will find some samples there.

Welcome to

The change is so subtle that you probably didn’t even notice that the address bar or location line now reads

Anyone who can spell Will Ferrell and Florence Foster Jenkins can handle ferrelljenkins.

Our first post was dated May 2, 2007. This is now our 1984th post. Admittedly some of the posts are insignificant  (like this one). But I think that many of the posts continue to be helpful to Bible students and teachers who are searching for information, and photos, of Bible lands and customs.

You may ask, “Why did you change the domain, and if it is important why did you not do it sooner.” Here are a few reasons. This blog has been hosted free of charge by WordPress all these years. For a long time there were no advertisements appearing with the blog, but lately that has changed. I can’t blame WordPress. The company wants to make a profit. To do so they sell services including ads for the blogs they host. Sometimes these ads showed up in the right column. Others showed up at the bottom of a post. I noticed them especially when searching for a particular subject such as Bethlehem or shepherds (just examples). Some ads were innocuous, but others promoted viewpoints that I do not hold or approve.

WordPress has been peppering me with Emails advertising new URL’s. The hundreds of photos that have appeared here and the tremendous cost to procure them have been covered exclusively by me. It is true that I do license a few photos for various publishers, but this would not pay for my flight from Tampa to New York, let along to Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, or Greece, to mention a few of the places we have traveled to study and make photos.

It takes a lot of travel and work to prepare Ferrell’s Travel Blog.

No complaint. I consider this work part of my service to the LORD and His servants who want to enhance their understanding of the Bible.

Those who have followed the blog for any length of time have undoubtedly noticed that my posts have been few and far between in the past two or three years. This is due to some health issues in my family. Often I prepare photos for presentation but never get around to writing the information to accompany them. Not promising, but I do hope to do better in the months to come.

Many thanks to our faithful readers. Will you do me a favor? Send an Email to a few friends and encourage them to follow this blog. This means they will be notified each time we post something. The blank to fill in to be added to the list is near the top of the right column.

By the way, if you have a link or bookmark to the old URL it will still work, but change it for future use.

Traveling through the Wilderness of Zin

Yesterday we traveled from Eilat to Jerusalem with stops at Mitzpe Ramon, Avedat, and Ein Avedat.

The ancient Israelites wandered in the wilderness of Zin (Numbers 33:36), an area that included Kadesh Barnea and was the southern boundary for the tribe of Judah.

The land allotted to the tribe of Judah by its clans reached to the border of Edom, to the Wilderness of Zin in the Negev far to the south. (Joshua 15:1 NET)

We enjoyed a burger at the McDonald’s at Avedat, an important town along the Nabatean spice route between Petra and Gaza. Having been at Petra a few days earlier made this stop especially interesting.

We walked to the cold water pool at Ein Avedat. As we drove to that area we stopped to make some photos of the wadi. Most wadis have less greenery, but this one receives some water from the spring. During the rainy season water would be rushing through it in abundance.

This photo shows a wadi in the wilderness of Zin at Ein Avedat. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

This photo shows a wadi in the wilderness of Zin at Ein Avedat. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Scenes such as this must have been especially refreshing to the ancient Israelites.


Traveling in Jordan again

For the past week I have been traveling in Jordan with long-time traveling friend Leon Mauldin on a personal study trip. We enjoy these trips going to places that  we miss during regular tours. That is because some of the places are difficult to reach and would have little interest to the first-time traveler to the Bible Lands. It sometimes takes us half a day to locate a place and visit it.

The tourist folks in Jordan like to call their country “the other Holy Land.” Not only did Jesus visit this area but it was often the area of travel for the patriarchs, prophets, and kings of ancient Israel.

Today we visited the Jabbok River a few miles east of the Valley Road (Roman Perea) and Deir Allah. This is thought by some to be the place where Jacob met his brother Esau on the return from Padan Aram. See Genesis 32 for the full story). This photo will give you some idea of the terrain and the small river, now called the Zarka.

The Jabbok River east of the River Jordan. Near here Jacob a life-changing encounter with the LORD. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The Jabbok River east of the River Jordan. Near here Jacob had a life-changing encounter with the LORD. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Has the seal of Isaiah the prophet been found?

The discovery of a bulla (seal impression) possibly bearing the name of the prophet Isaiah is announced by Eilat Mazar in the current issue of Biblical Archaeology Review (44:2, March/April; May/June 2018). I am not sure if this article is available to non-members of the BAS Library, but you may try this link.

This discovery was made nearly 10 years ago in the Ophel area south of the Temple Mount. Mazar announced the discovery of a bulla bearing the inscription “Belonging to Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz king of Judah” in 2015, and we reported it here with a nice photograph of the seal impression.

Now, imagine the excitement when the researchers found the name Isaiah on a bulla. Mazar says that Isaiah was a common name, but with the possibility that this particular Isaiah is called the prophet, that is super exciting.

Just one problem. One, or possibly two letters, are missing from the word for prophet. A National Geographic article by Kristin Romey explains,

The seal is impressed in Old Hebrew script with the name Yesha‘yah[u] (the Hebrew name of Isaiah), followed by the word nvy.

Because the seal is damaged at the end of the word nvy, Mazar suggests that our reading may be incomplete. If nvy was originally followed by the Hebrew letter aleph, the result would be the word “prophet,” rendering the reading of the seal as “Belonging to Isaiah the prophet.”

Drawing by Reut Livyatan Ben-Arie of the Isaiah Bulla, a 2,700-year-old clay seal impression which potentially belonged to the biblical prophet Isaiah. (Illustration: Reut Livyatan Ben-Arie/© Eilat Mazar; Photo by Ouria Tadmor/© Eilat Mazar)

Drawing by Reut Livyatan Ben-Arie of the Isaiah Bulla, a 2,700-year-old clay seal impression which potentially belonged to the biblical prophet Isaiah. (Illustration: Reut Livyatan Ben-Arie/© Eilat Mazar; Photo by Ouria Tadmor/© Eilat Mazar)

Could this last word on the bulla be the name of the Novi family, or the name of a town (Nob, is suggested)?

The discovery of the bulla with the name of Isaiah just ten feet from the one bearing the name of Hezekiah is significant. Mazar is quoted as saying,

The names of King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah are mentioned in one breath 14 of the 29 times the name of Isaiah is recalled (2 Kings 19–20; Isaiah 37–39). No other figure was closer to King Hezekiah than the prophet Isaiah. (TOI)

The Trumpet has published a well-done YouTube 13 minute video that will be of interest to some readers. The article in The Trumpet contains photos and drawings of the bulla.

The article in today’s The Times of Israel contains several good photos here.

HT: Joseph I. Lauer, et al.

“I will make your enemies your footstool”

A common motif found in Ancient Near East reliefs shows a monarch placing his foot on his enemy. One illustration of this is the large relief showing the Assyrian King Tiglath-Pileser III (reigned 745-727 B.C.) with his foot on the neck of an enemy. Tiglath-Pileser III is known as Pul in the Bible.

Pul the king of Assyria came against the land, and Menahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver, that he might help him to confirm his hold on the royal power. (2 Kings 15:19 ESV)

So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul king of Assyria, the spirit of Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and he took them into exile, namely, the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, and brought them to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the river Gozan, to this day. (1 Chronicles 5:26 ESV)

The Assyrian relief below is displayed in the British Museum.

Tiglath-Pileser III Subjugates an Enemy. British Museum. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins

Tiglath-Pileser III Subjugates an Enemy. Note the spear held above the body of the enemy. British Museum. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins

Here is a closeup of what we are seeking to illustrate.

Tiglath-Pileser III Puts His Foot on the Neck of an Enemy. BM. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Tiglath-Pileser III Puts His Foot on the Neck of an Enemy. BM. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Several biblical passages come to mind in this connection.

And when they brought those kings out to Joshua, Joshua summoned all the men of Israel and said to the chiefs of the men of war who had gone with him, “Come near; put your feet on the necks of these kings.” Then they came near and put their feet on their necks. (Joshua 10:24 ESV)

The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” (Psalm 110:1 ESV)

Peter quotes Psalm 110:1 to show that Jesus is now seated on the throne of David at the right hand of God (Acts 2:35).

And Paul says,

For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. (1 Corinthians 15:25 ESV)

The last enemy is death (1 Corinthians 15:26).

Note: This post is a repeat of one we published October 21, 2011, but we have exchanged the photos for more recent ones.

In the next post we plan to show an illustration from the Roman world.

Seal impression mentioning “governor of the city” discovered near Temple Mount

The Israel Antiquities Authority began the year with a great announcement yesterday. Many tourists to the Western Wall may have seen a covered area on the western side of the Western Wall Plaza. Here the archaeologists uncovered a 7th century B.C. four-room house. In it there was a seal impression which they refer to as a docket (also called a bulla) showing two men and a Hebrew inscription bearing the words translated as “governor of the city.”

Dr. Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, excavator of the site located in the northwestern part of the western Wall Plaza, on behalf of the IAA, believes that “the sealing had been attached to an important transport and served as some sort of logo, or as a tiny souvenir, which was sent on behalf of the governor of the city.”

Seal impression showing two men and bearing the inscription "governon of the city." IAA photo by Clara Amit.

Seventh century B.C. seal impression showing two men and bearing the inscription “governor of the city.” IAA photo by Clara Amit.

Prof. Tallay Ornan of the Hebrew University, and Prof. Benjamin Sass of Tel Aviv University, studied the sealing and describe it thus: “above a double line are two standing men, facing each other in a mirror-like manner. Their heads are depicted as large dots, lacking any details. The hands facing outward are dropped down, and the hands facing inward are raised Each of the figures is wearing a striped, knee-length garment. In the register beneath the double line is an inscription in ancient Hebrew: לשרער, with no spacing between the words and no definite article. It denotes לשר העיר, i.e., “belonging to the governor of the city.” Prof. Ornan and Prof. Sass add, that “the title ‘governor of the city’ is known from the Bible and from extra-biblical documents, referring to an official appointed by the king. Governors of Jerusalem are mentioned twice in the Bible: in 2 Kings [23:8], Joshua is the governor of the city in the days of Hezekiah, and in 2 Chronicles [34:8], Maaseiah is the governor of the city in the days of Josiah.

The original seal that made this impression may have belonged to one of these men, or to some other person not named in Scripture.

This discovery is another in a long list of those illustrating the historical setting and accuracy of the Bible.

Todd Bolen reported on this discovery, including a different photo of the seal impression, and several interesting links here.

HT: Joseph Lauer