Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Finding the Fortress of Zion or Citadel by Israeli Archaeologists Defies Naysayers

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                 

                                          Tower of David in Jerusalem
In the Second Book of Samuel, it is written that King David captured Jerusalem, then under Jebusite control, using a water shaft to penetrate the city’s defenses." 

Associated Press does a number today in their small article called Middle East Archaeology about Eli Shukron, a 20 year well-known Israeli archaeologist who works for Israel's Antiques Authority,  "who found the legendary citadel "captured" (in reality he had built it)  by King David in his conquest of Jebus."  A citadel is a fortress that commands a city, a stronghold. Above is the Tower of David that he also had built.  He also found the water shaft mentioned above which is was a water tunnel.  AP has followed the lead of other writers on the web in questioning the authenticity of King David's existence.  King David to Jews was a member of the Tribe of Judah, the largest of the 12 tribes.  Shukron made important finds in 2004, 2007, 2009, 2012 and now in 2014.  Of the the finds was " a shard from a bulla bearing the name of the city of Bethlehem. This is the first time that Bethlehem is mentioned outside the Bible from the period of the First Temple.  How about that for the atheists?

"Shukron's dig, which began in 1995, uncovered a massive fortification of five-ton stones stacked 21 feet wide. Pottery shards helped date the fortification walls to be 3,800 years old. They are the largest walls found in the region from before the time of King Herod, the ambitious builder who expanded the Second Jewish Temple complex in Jerusalem almost 2,100 years ago. The fortification surrounded a water spring and is thought to have protected the ancient city's water source."

King David was Israel's 2nd king who ruled from 1010 BCE to 970 BCE.  He was the father of King Solomon, whose reputation was to have been extremely wise.  It was Moses (1391-1271 BCE) who lead the Israelites into Canaan where they created Israel with Joshua leading them in 1271 BCE when Moses died.
The article brings out the fact that using the Bible as a field guide to identify ancient ruins has become a longstanding debate.  We Jews regard our Tanakh (Old Testament to Christians) as quite accurate, especially in such matters concerning policy, government, geography, wars, etc,  It's to us a regular history book.  The article even used the adjective, "legendary" for King David, evidently not even accepting his existence, along with the Palestinian Muslims who are also in denial as to Israel's ancient history of living on the land since Joshua.  Associated Press say that King David" has long eluded historians looking for clear-cut evidence of his existence and reign."

 I've seen where people of little faith do not believe anything in the bible.  They're called atheists.  Here we have on record a 4,000 year old history of our people and because it isn't copyrighted in New York, is unacceptable to them.  Too bad.  That's not stopping our archaeologists who keep unearthing treasures of history every day.

Every day Israeli archaeologists have found evidence of our existence there from coins to artifacts to structures.  Jews have been writing since Moses in 2,000 BCE, who we accept as the writer of the "Five Books of Moses", Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers,  and Deuteronomy, or our Torah.  Jews had been writing when other peoples were still living in trees.  Genealogies were kept and articles of trade. Poetry, literature, rules were all part of our writing history as long with geography.  It's quite hypocritical to think that our history is  nothing but legend.  I haven't forgotten that early in one of Israel's many wars, soldiers with their Torah with them used it to find a faster path to safer ground not known to them but found in the good book, and this saved their lives.   I wonder if they were surprised to find its accuracy.

We know that the earliest evidence of man in the Jerusalem area was found in the Old Stone Age or Paleolithic Age.  The foundation of the city of Jerusalem took place in the Early Bronze Age about 3500 BCE to 2000 BCE when Abraham appeared on the scene and when the Caananites first came to this country.

Our history and excavations tell us that Jebus had been inhabited  from 2000 to 1550 BCE by the Caananites, just like Salem which was ruled by Melchi-zedek, a priest of the most high god who was honored by Abraham as told in Genesis 14:18-19.  The Hyksos had a revolution and left behind in this Canaanite village of Jebus signs of Hittite and Hurrite habitation.  Then in the Tel el Amarna Period of the 15th century BCE, the town was ruled by a king who was attacked by the Habiru invaders and he sent a request to his suzerain, the pharaoh, for help.  Now, if we know all this pre-Jerusalem period of our Jewish history, certainly our archaeologists were capable of finding out more, and they did.

The Egyptians kept a Cushite garrison in Jebus.  At the time of Joshua's conquest in about 1320 BCE, Adoni-zedek, king of Jebus, was defeated at Aijalon.  His city stayed as an independent enclave between the tribal areas of Benjamin and Judah, 2 of the 10 Tribes of Israel.  By the 12th century, Jebus-Jerusalem stayed independent with Philistine help until David captured it in 1010 BCE.  Jerusalem was made capital of his united Israel as told in II Samuel 5: 6-8.and again in Chronicles 11:4-6. The last Jebusite king was apparently Araunah as found in II Samuel 24:15.   David was lenient with the Jebusites.  The Jebusites became tributary under King Solomon and then assimilated. Many wound up intermarrying with the tribal members.    David added the Fortress of Zion then which must be the  citadel that AP described as being captured by King David, so somebody has his facts incorrect.
                                          Tower of David in Jerusalem, different angle

King David also built a "House of Heroes" for his guard.  Then he built a tomb inside the city  for himself and his dynasty, which many of us do in our cemeteries.   David transferred the Ark of the Covenant there.  He made Jerusalem the religious center of Israel.  King David was a warrior who conquered.  He built his empire which reached from the Red Sea to the Euphrates River.  He was too much of a warrior to be allowed by G-d to build such as building as a Temple, so that remained for his son, a man of peace, to do.  Solomon built the Temple for G-d as a place to keep the Ark with the 10 Commandments and other artifacts.

" Virtually all of the holy sites, including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Western Wall and Temple Mount, are located in the Old City which is in the eastern part of the city."  The Muslims demand this as the capital of their future Palestine-which is to be minus any Jew.  They expect to practice apartheid and love it.  This is one reason why the peace talks have failed.  In the meantime, the Muslims are quite free to pray in their mosques at the Temple Mount.  

Elad 's foundation is said to have a nationalist agenda.  Of course.  Any proof Israel can find to prove our history is proof needed in the attack from Palestinians that Jews never lived in the land.  The foundation's funding is from private donations from American and UK Jews.  They then have money to buy Arab homes that lie near the excavated area where Jews have moved in, often under heavy guard because of the danger of the neighborhood.  The land in Israel is full of history, so in this case, is just as fair as the Jewish community who had to move out of South Portland in the 50's for Portland's new growth.  I lost my synagogue to this, Neveh Zedek with Rabbi Kleinman.  

Resource:  The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia
Oregonian Newspaper, May 7, 2014, page A12 AP, right-side at bottom of page under BUZZ. on Eli Shukron

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