The July Newsletter & Article Is Online
Commentary for July 1, 2003 - Archeology and Egypt
I am writing this from Israel. I am participating in an archeological dig at Tel Rehov in northern Israel near the Jordanian border, south of the Sea of Galilee for three weeks ending for me on the 4th of July. I will have worked the first 3 weeks of the 6-week dig for the summer of 2003. It will be a sort of personal Independence Day for me. An archeological dig is hard and difficult work, somewhat of a mix between boot camp and summer camp. There is physical labor involved which, though I am capable of doing it, is not easy for me to do at my tender age.
I felt it necessary to have the experience of an archeological dig because one day it may be possible and necessary to conduct a dig to locate the bedrock cuttings upon which rested the foundation stones for the Jewish Temples in Jerusalem. Such bedrock cuttings must still be extant. The bedrock cuttings to support the foundation stones should be large, particularly in the southeast corner of the Temple, which supported the weight of some 40 stories of heavy stone blocks. Foundation stones must rest on a flat surface, so the bedrock should be cut in a stairstep pattern as the southern and northern walls proceed up-slope from east to west just above and west of the Gihon Spring. There is reason to believe that the southern wall was the same used for all the Temples.
Any findings would be enhance the archeological knowledge of the tremendous water system at the Gihon, which Aristeas says were massive, noisy (from the rushing waters) and extensive. It might even be possible to discover the conduit that conducted water up to the Temple (in pre-Roman times) to form a fountain within the Temple itself. Archeologists who have worked at the Gihon complex would greatly desire to dig further "uphill" even though they do not believe in Dr. Martin's evidence.
Of course, such a dig would be financed and conducted by large institutions with substantial resources, and with permission and cooperation of government bodies, far beyond the capabilities or resources of ASK supporters.
Dr. Martin's literary and eyewitness evidence of the Jerusalem Temples, if viewed as a scientific theory (although it is much more than just a theory) fulfills the requirement of being 'disprovable' through testing. All good theories of science must be potentially disprovable to be valid. Dr. Martin's evidence fulfills that requirement.
The literary evidence (particularly the articles on the ASK website under "Temples" which were written after publication of the 1st edition of The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot) shows that little or no construction of any kind was conducted at the site of the Herodian Temple, except aborted attempts to rebuild the Temple in the 4th century C.E. This means that the foundation cuttings should still be extant from the Herodian period. It also means that there may be little or no other finds to be discovered at that location. The area has been worked over and reworked by reconstructions and destructions before and at the 9th of Ab, 70 C.E. The Roman destruction of 70 C.E. removed one stone from another as predicted by Jesus and verified by Josephus. Before that, the complete reconstruction of the Temple by Herod took place. Prior to that came the complete cutting down of the soil to bedrock by Simon the Hasmonean in his reconstruction of the Zerubabbel Temple. However, although it is unlikely, there may be artifacts and evidence of the Solomonic Temple destroyed by Nebuchednezzar.
I have noted while participating as a lowly digger at Tel Rehov dig, that one of the most sought-after items is to find any artifact containing an inscription. This is one of the great desires in any archeological dig.
Jewish author Herman Wouk (The Caine Mutiny; The Winds of War; War and Remembrance; Marjorie Morningstar, and other great novels) wrote an excellent book on the Jewish experience through history called This is My God: The Jewish Way of Life, 1959 (revised ed. 1973). In this book he pointed out that Israel and the Jews would hardly be known to world history at all except for the existence of the Old Testament. This is certainly true. Without the records of the Old Testament writings of Israel are far and few between, mere references in the annals and records of other peoples and all too few inscriptions by Israelites themselves.
The reason for the paucity of written records outside of the Bible is because the people of Israel did not write their history on stone like the Egyptians or on clay tablets like the Assyrians and Babylonians (so far as has been discovered) collected in libraries of great kings. They apparently wrote their records on parchments which have been copied and recopied faithfully throughout generations through God's grace to preserve for us the records, experiences and failures of the chosen people of God. These records are literally written for our benefit and use,
"Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world [ages] are come."
• 1 Corinthians 10:11
And, as has been pointed out in the information by Dr. Martin, in the article "Prophetic Birth of Our Civilization," there would be considerably more records than just the Old Testament if the destruction by Nebuchednezzar's army had not been so complete. Daniel, as a high official of the Babylonian and Persian governments, maintained what records he could, and Ezra took back to Israel the essential Sacred Scriptures that became our final canon of the Old Testament. (See Dr. Martin's book Restoring the Original Bible for the complete story of the preservation and canonization process of the Old Testament.)
In Egypt there are extensive written records, but little apparent correlation with the biblical record. This is not because the Bible is faulty, but because the Egyptian chronology of the dynasties is misunderstood. Identification of biblical characters and events with corresponding Egyptian historical players and events should meld together like the light and dark of a bundt cake. Instead total confusion is the present situation. Dr. Martin's contribution to solving the problem of confusion is a transcribed taped lecture presented in 1981. Unfortunately he did not follow-up this research. It would have been interesting to have Dr. Martin's intellectual and research powers directed further toward these problems of correlating Egyptian and Israelite history. However God and his studies took him in other directions.
This article shows Dr. Martin's great range of historical and biblical study. Perhaps some of you can take up the mantle and go further in the tremendous project of reconciling the history of Egypt with the history of Israel. Anyone would be well advised to consider the Bible as a guide and rule to begin such research. Truth is the final goal. Enjoy the article on Egypt.
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