Genesis : What Was “the deep”, and How Deep Was It? (4Q4)
What was “the deep” over which lay darkness? How deep was it and what was it doing there before Creation? Good questions with surprising answers. It turns out that “the deep” was originally named after a goddess! Her name was Tiamat, and she was the goddess...read more
A Song of Ascents: Geographically?
Fifteen of the 150 psalms found in the Bible — Psalms 120-134 — are labeled “a song of ascents”. The English translation accurately reflects the Hebrew שיר המעלות, which means simply a song of ‘going up’. The question occupying many commentators has been, going up...read more
Warning Inscription on the Temple Gates!
Why did they need a warning on the gates of the Temple? The Temple that Herod rebuilt in Jerusalem was the center of Jewish life in the world. It was the place where man met God. It was the largest religious structure (35 acres of space) ever built by one man. And it...read more
Why is Everybody So Excited About the Two Amulets Found in Jerusalem?
The Silver Amulets: Part 4 The amulets are vitally important not simply because of what they say, but because they are very old. They are dated to approximately 600 BCE and contain actual lines from the Bible: the Priestly Blessing (Numbers 6:24-26), ^24 The Lord...read more
Was Bar Kokhba a Real Person At All?
There are some references, usually disparaging, to Bar Kokhba in the Talmud. They concern the proclamation of Rabbi Akiva, who seems to have been the spiritual leader of the revolt and who is credited for changing the leader’s name from Bar Kosiba to Bar Kokhba (in...read more
The Bar Kokhba Letter
Who Was Bar Kokhba? Judea rose in revolt against Rome in 66 CE. That revolt was crushed by the Romans within four years, ending when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in the late summer of the year 70 CE. A few isolated places, most famously Masada, still held out. In...read more
The Oldest Synagogue Ever Found?
The discovery of a room on Masada they could confidently call a synagogue caused great excitement in the scholarly world. It had long been believed that the synagogue, an institution in which Jews prayed, was a later invention, created after and because of the...read more
What Kind of Names Are These on the Lots?
Ten names are recorded on the lots—pieces of pottery with names written on them—found at Masada, replicated and offered here by Biblical Reproductions. Professor Yigael Yadin, who directed two great seasons of excavation at Masada between 1963 and 1965, believed these...read more