Jerusalem and Jews: new evidence

Entering Jerusalem, ancient capital of Israel
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Today the Israel Antiquities Authority, and members of the Jerusalem Police, announced a major “bust” the police made on Friday. The police captured two grave thieves, one Israeli and one Palestinian. They also recovered some truly ancient loot: eleven ossuaries, or bone boxes. The suspects seem to have tried to sell these to an Israeli collector. The Antiquities Authority concentrated on describing four arrests, and the value of the recovered loot. But they ought to have  mentioned one other, far more important detail. This loot shows the Jews have the best claim to Jerusalem. Arabs, and Muslims, cannot deny this claim anymore.

Details of the loot

Jon Gerberg of the Associated Press had the more detailed report. Fox News Channel carried a shorter report. The eleven ossuaries come from Mount Scopus. The head of the Antiquities Authority, Eitan Klein, said they all came from a burial cave. He suggested construction crews might have entered the cave without meaning to. In any event, all antiquities in Israel are state property, by Israeli law. Whoever found the ossuaries tried to sell them, instead of turning them over to the Antiquities Authority. More important than the “bust” is how old these boxes are, and where the thieves found them. Mount Scopus overlooks Jerusalem. The Roman General Titus Flavius staged off that mountain when he laid seige to Jerusalem in 70 AD. Israelis and Arabs fought over Mount Scopus in 1948 and 1949. Thereafter it became a demilitarized zone. The Israelis took full control in the Six-day War. But Mount Scopus was important even before then. Those boxes all date from the Second Temple Period of 515 BC to 70 AD. So someone placed each box in that cave before Titus camped on that mountain.

Jerusalem and Jewish claims

A rainbow, symbol of the covenant of God with man, appears over Jerusalem.

A rainbow appears over the southern wall of Jerusalem. Photo: CNAV

Daniel Pipes has, for the last twelve years, followed the controversy over who has the better right to Jerusalem. According to Pipes, Muslims have long claimed that Muslims have a longer history in Jerusalem than the Jews, and even that Jerusalem doesn’t matter to the Jews. Anyone wishing to dispute the fourth point could cite any number of things to show how important the Jews regard Jerusalem. They could for instance cite the placement  and layout of Yad VaShem, the Jewish Holocaust museum. Anyone leaving the Hall of Remembrance, or the Children’s Memorial, sees Jerusalem laid out before him. These ossuaries are anywhere from 2000 to 2500 years old. They clearly show that Jews lived in Jerusalem during that time. Thus they demolish the first point. Before 632 AD, no such movement as Islam existed or bears mention in history. These boxes are at least five centuries older than that and could be more than a millennium older. Jews in Israel have long suspected Muslims of deliberately destroying Jewish antiquities. (See, for example, this article from Arutz-Sheva.) That a “Palestinian” was involved in selling 11 Jewish ossuaries to an Israel collector is doubly ironic. But these eleven boxes have a value far beyond a case of antiquity theft. They give evidence that Jerusalem is a very old city, and has  been a Jewish city for most of the time it has stood.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

2 Responses to Jerusalem and Jews: new evidence

  1. If this qualifies as proof of land ownership then I challenge you to applied it to America and the native American people as well.

  2. […] Jerusalem and Jews: new evidence […]

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