Photo Credit: Dr. Mrdechai Avi'am

An archaeological discovery in the Tel Rechesh excavations at the Tabor River Reserve in northern Israel: a joint archaeological expedition, which included researchers from the University of Tenri, Japan, and the Institute of Archaeology of Galilee Kinneret Academic College, have unearthed a Canaanite cult ritual stone.

The excavations in this area have been going on for six years now.

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The same excavations also revealed large parts of a Jewish farmhouse dating back to the Second Temple. Researchers were able to establish that this was a place of Jewish dwellers based on typical stone tools, oil lamps and coins minted in the city of Tiberias.

“The diggers received a big surprise,” said Chairman of the Institute of Archaeology of Galilee Kinneret Academic College Dr. Mrdechai Avi’am. “In the ruins of the second floor of the farmhouse, they discovered a Canaanite cult statue, similar to a statue that stood in the sanctuary of a temple which is yet to be located.”

“Similar stones have been discovered in a number of Canaanite sites, such as Hazor,” Dr. Avi’am said. “The same stone was later used as part of a doorframe in one of the rooms of the Jewish structure. This is the unique development of archaeological hills in Israel, where successive generations mingle ritual objects on their way from the world of the Canaanite mythology to monotheism.”

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29 COMMENTS

  1. This idea of: “successive generations mingle ritual objects on their way from the world of the Canaanite mythology to monotheism” is a blatant disregard to Scriptural history. According to the Scripture, Israel was monotheistic and entangled themselves with the polytheism of its neighbors. It is not a movement toward but a stumbling stone away from monotheism.

  2. This idea of: "successive generations mingle ritual objects on their way from the world of the Canaanite mythology to monotheism” is a blatant disregard to Scriptural history. According to the Scripture, Israel was monotheistic and entangled themselves with the polytheism of its neighbors. It is not a movement toward but a stumbling stone away from monotheism.

  3. Archaeology in the last fifty years has rewritten the history of the Lavant so that it is now clear that Biblical history (at least much of the Torah) is mythological. Archaeologists and serious historians now believe that Israel and Judah were a restatement of the Canaanite people, who probably were responsible for the slow decline of the Canaanite City States. Polytheism was practiced by the Canaanites, and early Hebrew people. Monothism was not practiced exclusively until about 200BC, it seems. The whole idea of Monothism (the Cult of YHWH) was imposed heavily after the Babylonism conquest, not before.

  4. According to scripture (Deuteronomy 32:8, unless you’re using the late and post-Christian Masoretic Text), Yhwh is one of the “sons of God”, that is, a secondary divinity appointed to be the god of Israel by the Most High God (‘El ‘Elyon), just as other “sons of God” were appointed for the other nations. The existence and jurisdiction of the other gods is explicitly recognised: “All the nations walk each in the name of its god, and we will walk in the name of Yhwh our god forever and ever” (Micah 4:5). “Will you not possess what Kemosh your god gives you? So also whatever Yhwh our god shall seize for us, we will possess” (Jephthah’s message to the king of Ammon, Judges 11:24).

    The Bible is polytheistic and assumes a plurality of gods as the background context for focussing down on Yhwh as the national god of Israel. The issue between the squabbling Yhwh- and Ba’al-worshippers can be narrowly defined: who has authority to act as the nation’s ‘elohim (i.e. arbiter of its law)? As long as Yhwh alone was vested with that authority, there was no general perception in Israel throughout the Judges and First Temple periods that the rest of the gods were excluded from receiving due honour in other capacities. Indeed, anybody who mediates the authority of Yhwh (whether angelic or human, as Moses or Aaron) is counted by scripture as an ‘elohim.

    The judgment on pre-exilic Israel – that nearly the entire nation went astray in its polytheism – is anachronistic and evidently reflects textual revisions in the wake of Hezekiah’s and Josiah’s reforms. It would have been just as valid for the ordinary Israelite am-ha’aretz, who remained in occupation of the land through the Exile, to argue that the deportation of the upper-class to Babylon was divine punishment on the latter’s iconoclastic revisionism and contempt for national tradition.

  5. Archaeology in the last fifty years has rewritten the history of the Lavant so that it is now clear that Biblical history (at least much of the Torah) is mythological. Archaeologists and serious historians now believe that Israel and Judah were a restatement of the Canaanite people, who probably were responsible for the slow decline of the Canaanite City States. Polytheism was practiced by the Canaanites, and early Hebrew people. Monothism was not practiced exclusively until about 200BC, it seems. The whole idea of Monothism (the Cult of YHWH) was imposed heavily after the Babylonism conquest, not before.

  6. According to scripture (Deuteronomy 32:8, unless you're using the late and post-Christian Masoretic Text), Yhwh is one of the "sons of God", that is, a secondary divinity appointed to be the god of Israel by the Most High God ('El 'Elyon), just as other "sons of God" were appointed for the other nations. The existence and jurisdiction of the other gods is explicitly recognised: "All the nations walk each in the name of its god, and we will walk in the name of Yhwh our god forever and ever" (Micah 4:5). "Will you not possess what Kemosh your god gives you? So also whatever Yhwh our god shall seize for us, we will possess" (Jephthah's message to the king of Ammon, Judges 11:24).

    The Bible is polytheistic and assumes a plurality of gods as the background context for focussing down on Yhwh as the national god of Israel. The issue between the squabbling Yhwh- and Ba'al-worshippers can be narrowly defined: who has authority to act as the nation's 'elohim (i.e. arbiter of its law)? As long as Yhwh alone was vested with that authority, there was no general perception in Israel throughout the Judges and First Temple periods that the rest of the gods were excluded from receiving due honour in other capacities. Indeed, anybody who mediates the authority of Yhwh (whether angelic or human, as Moses or Aaron) is counted by scripture as an 'elohim.

    The judgment on pre-exilic Israel – that nearly the entire nation went astray in its polytheism – is anachronistic and evidently reflects textual revisions in the wake of Hezekiah's and Josiah's reforms. It would have been just as valid for the ordinary Israelite am-ha'aretz, who remained in occupation of the land through the Exile, to argue that the deportation of the upper-class to Babylon was divine punishment on the latter's iconoclastic revisionism and contempt for national tradition.

  7. It is so that man today thinks he is so wise as to say what other peoples thought and practiced 3000 years ago, especially when it comes to esoteric practices. There is only one that can give us any insight into much of that time period and that is God. We have such disregard for a belief in God that we see scripture as an ordinary piece of literature written by man. The testimony of the historical evidence will convince any seeker of the truth but any skeptic is taught to disregard scripture because he is a skeptic and a true skeptic believes in nothing. Some believe in the existence of God but do not believe He can convey truth to us through a written record i.e. the Scripture – holy writings. We cannot prove or disprove the Bible no more than we can prove or disprove Creation or Evolution. Once again we come back to the element of faith. Faith to believe the proven record or faith in something that we have found like some little piece of archeological evidence that we don’t really know what it is all about to try to hold up our humanistic thinking.

  8. It is so that man today thinks he is so wise as to say what other peoples thought and practiced 3000 years ago, especially when it comes to esoteric practices. There is only one that can give us any insight into much of that time period and that is God. We have such disregard for a belief in God that we see scripture as an ordinary piece of literature written by man. The testimony of the historical evidence will convince any seeker of the truth but any skeptic is taught to disregard scripture because he is a skeptic and a true skeptic believes in nothing. Some believe in the existence of God but do not believe He can convey truth to us through a written record i.e. the Scripture – holy writings. We cannot prove or disprove the Bible no more than we can prove or disprove Creation or Evolution. Once again we come back to the element of faith. Faith to believe the proven record or faith in something that we have found like some little piece of archeological evidence that we don't really know what it is all about to try to hold up our humanistic thinking.

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