Israelites found in Ancient Egypt

Israelite house remains in Egypt

For a long time, archaeologists and biblical minimalists have renounced the idea of an Israelite captivity in Egypt corresponding to the biblical record of the Exodus. Today, evidence has been published to the contrary. Manfred Bietak, director of the Institute of Egyptology at the University of Vienna and of the Austrian Archaeological Institute in Cairo, has published an article in the Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) citing several evidences of the existence of ancient Israelite slaves in Egypt.

Although he draws on a number of sources, Bietak’s impetus was the recent unearthing of Israelite-style four-room homes found among Medinet Habu, opposite Luxor in Egypt near the remains of the temple of Ay and Horemheb. He compares these homes to the many which have been found in excavations in the land of Israel, and notes the distinct similarities of pattern & function, making a clear point to say they are not Egyptian at all in design.

This is an important discovery by which archaeology begins corroborating the evidences of the biblical record yet again. And although the timeline doesn’t seem to entirely match, this is a great moment for those anyone who both appreciates the science of archaeology, but holds to the authority of the biblical record.

Read the very detailed article here.

Update:

In 2009 there was evidence found in Egypt of the biblical Joseph. The coins contained both Joseph’s Hebrew and Egyptian name, along with an image of a cow to represent Pharaoh’s dream. You can read about it here and here.

Police find 2nd Temple-era coins, jugs during arms raid

Jerusalem Post reports the following:

Police officers stumbled on a large stash of jugs and coins dating back from the Second Temple era in the Galilee village of Mazara on Thursday, during an arms raid.

The archeological finds were kept in a yard belonging to family suspected by police of keeping arms.

After finding the artifacts, a representative of the Israel Antiquities Authority was called out to the scene, and he dated the findings to the Second Temple period.

Read the full report here.

Celebrate Tu Bishvat!

PLANT and BLOOM from FFOZ

What do wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, honey and/or dates and this month have in common? Two weeks from today is a minor holiday called Tu Bishvat. Tu Bishvat means the 15th (ו + ט) of the Hebrew month of Shevat. A few years ago our family started celebrating Tu Bishvat, and it has been a unique and fun time for the family to remember the provision of Hashem in our lives, as well as to do something for Him in a practical way.

So, you don’t understand Tu Bishvat and are not sure why you should celebrate it? First Fruits of Zion has just released two new resources to help believers both understand and celebrate this yearly event in a meaningful way, fully centered on Messiah Yeshua.

Since the second Temple, Tu Bishvat is a day that has been designated to demarcate time in regard to how the tithe from the produce of trees was given (I won’t go into the details now, but it is an interesting study). Since the destruction of the Holy Temple, this date has lost much of its significance. However, during the Middle Ages there was a resurgence which made the celebration of Tu Bishvat once again significant and meaningful. Once again, this date is being restored, but to believers.

PLANT, FFOZ’s first booklet, is designed to help you learn:

  • that the fifteenth of Shevat (Tu Bishvat) was recognized in Temple times as an important day in Temple worship
  • that Yeshua was aware of this day, and perhaps even taught about it
  • the evolving history of its observance post-Temple
  • activities and ideas about how to celebrate Tu Bishvat
  • stories and encouraging testimonies from believers in the land of Israel about modern observances

BLOOM is a Tu Bishvat Haggadah, similar to a Passover Haggadah, which will walk you through enjoying a Tu Bishvat seder in your home with family and friends. It is the most recent addition to the Vine of David “branch” of FFOZ.

BLOOM is inspired by the story of the early pioneers of the modern State of Israel. This seder reflects upon the dreams of a Jewish national homeland in the Promised Land throughout the centuries and its culmination with Zionism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Bloom is simple and not deeply mystical. It focuses the modern return of the Jewish people to their land as a part of the broader plan of world redemption.

Contemplate our Master Yeshua’s heart of thankfulness for the land and his lament as he perceived its destruction. Share in the vision of the Messianic Jewish luminaries who longed to see that hope restored in the State of Israel, the “beginning of the sprouting of our redemption.”

Since all of the observances related to Temple worship are not currently in effect, modern Tu Bishvat has observances similar to Arbor Day in which trees are planted in Israel, often in memory of a loved one. This year, we have a special goal. We want to send the funds to Israel to plant a sapling in the name of our unborn child we recently lost. Maybe you have a similar situation and would like to remember a loved one. The Jewish National Fund is a great place to accomplish this.

Tu Bishvat for 2011 is Thursday, January 20th

If you’ve never experienced Tu Bishvat, this year can be your first. Don’t delay. Order these resources today so that you will have them in time for your seder. Experience something unique and special with your family while making a difference in the world.

Temple Mount Awareness Day

Temple Mount Awareness Day image

I received an email from the Temple Institute with the following message:

“This month shall be to you the head of the months; to you it shall be the first of the months of the year.” (Exodus 12:2)

It was on this day, Rosh Chodesh, the first day of the month of Nisan that the creator of the world, the G-d of Israel, conferred upon His children the ability and the responsibility to make change in the world, to perfect His creation. And it was on this day, one year later, that the Tabernacle was dedicated in the desert. The Holy Temple is the very jewel in the crown of G-d’s creation, yet today the Temple Mount is desolate. The Holy Temple lies in ruins, and the Moslem Wakf has commandeered the Temple Mount, forbidding all but Moslems to approach the Mount freely and to raise their voices in prayer to G-d.

The Temple Institute has, along with other organizations, declared today, March 16, 2010, the first day of the month of Nisan, the month of our redemption from Egypt and the month of our future redemption, to be THE FIRST ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL TEMPLE MOUNT AWARENESS DAY. We have called upon all who wish to ascend the Mount, Jews and Gentiles, in accordance to Jewish law, to gather at the foot of the Mount this morning. The Israeli police have declared the Mount off limits on this day to all but Moslems, citing Arab threats to commit violence as a response to our desire to ascend the Mount to mark this holy day. The police are thereby by preventing us from fulfilling our commitment to G-d and Torah, and from exercising our inalienable rights as citizens of a democratic society.

Once again, following a decades-old pattern, the police have abandoned the task which has been entrusted to them to uphold, and rather than punish the inciters to violence, they have punished the intended victims of the calls to violence.

Nevertheless, the police cannot prevent us from performing the most important and essential task of petitioning the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, and demanding immediate change: Jews and Gentiles must be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount. Today is the day that together we can make our voice heard. Below are the telephone, fax and email contacts for the Prime Minister’s office:

Telephone number: 011-972-02-6705555

Fax number: 011-972-02-5664838

email address: bnetanyahu@knesset.gov.il

additional email address: PMO.HEB@it.pmo.gov.il

Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu,
I am writing to express my deep concern regarding the Temple Mount. As you know, the Temple Mount is the holiest site in the world for the Jewish people, yet the Muslim authorities, aided by Israel Police, systematically deny the right of religious expression on the Mount to all non-Moslems. On numerous occasions the High Court of Justice has upheld the Jewish people’s right to pray at the site, yet the police continue to prevent this. Furthermore, Jewish visitors are harassed and degraded. This discrimination is a grave trampling of civil rights. Israeli law is not recognized by the Wakf authorities; illegal digging has destroyed priceless historical remnants of Jerusalem’s Jewish history.
Please, end this travesty and allow Jewish freedom of expression at the Temple Mount. I urge you to include the Temple Mount in your “Heritage Plan” of sites significant to the Jewish people.
Sincerely,

Whether you copy and paste this message, or write your own message, please keep your words courteous, respectful and focused on one thing only:

GRANTING FREEDOM OF ACCESS AND FREEDOM OF WORSHIP ON THE MOUNT.

The Prime Minister’s office will receive and be strengthened and encouraged by our thousands of messages. We are taking a stand for our futures and our children’s futures and making a difference. Together we will perform the task which G-d bequeathed us when we left the Egyptian house of bondage and became free men and women forever.

What does this have to do with believers in Messiah? Why should we have any concern over the Temple Mount or the Temple? The short answer is that it was (and will be again) the House of God. It was (and will be again) the House of Prayer for All Nations. It was (and will be again) the place Yeshua loved, spent countless days in and called it “my Father’s House.” If nothing else, Yeshua’s love for his Father’s House should spark a love within us as well.

However, if these answers are not satisfying, then please allow the Scriptures to have a voice in the matter. Search out the prophets such as Zechariah and Ezekiel to find where Hashem will re-institute the Temple in the olam hazeh (this present age) as a means of serving Him properly. If you need still further study to help understand these passages, I highly recommend the audio series by Daniel Lancaster of First Fruits of Zion called “What About the Sacrifices?” You may order them here. Until then, may we pray:

May it be Your will, O LORD, our God and the God of our fathers, that the Holy Temple will be rebuilt quickly and in our days, and give us our portion in Your Torah, and may we server You there in fear, as it was in days long ago and in ancient times. And may the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem be sweet to the LORD, as it was in days long ago and in ancient times.

Israel Updates

Let’s just say I’m glad my expectations didn’t come true regarding Hizbullah’s plan for striking hard on Tisha b’Av. There must have been some serious t’shuva (repentance) going on around the world, for which we are all grateful. Here is an overview of the attacks to date:

Chronology of Rocket Attacks
14:08 Aug 04, ’06 / 10 Av 5766

(IsraelNN.com) Following is a chronology of rocket attacks during the past weeks.

July 12, 2006 – Six rockets were fired – 1 person wounded seriously, 2 moderate and 1 light.
July 13th – 133 rockets: 2 dead, 2 serious, 5 moderate, 112 light
July 14th – 108 rockets: 2 dead, 1 serious, 3 moderate, 50 light
July 15th – 126 rockets: 3 moderate, 13 light
July 16th – 36 rockets: 8 dead, 3 serious, 5 moderate, 54 light
July 17th – 95 rockets: 1 serious, 2 moderate, 18 light
July 18th – 127 rockets: 1 dead, 1 serious, 9 light
July 19th – 107 rockets: 2 dead, 1 moderate, 25 light
July 20th – 33 rockets: no injuries
July 21st – 92 rockets: 4 moderate, 18 light
July 22nd – 122 rockets: 2 serious, 2 moderate, 22 light
July 23rd – 88 rockets: 2 dead, 2 serious, 1 moderate, 44 moderate
July 24th – 103 rockets: 2 serious, 12 light
July 25th – 118 rockets: 2 dead, 7 moderate, 37 light
July 26th – 125 rockets: 1 serious
July 27th – 106 rockets: 26 light
July 28th – 107 rockets: 1 moderate, 19 light
July 29th – 93 rockets: 5 light
July 30th – 148 rockets: 2 moderate, 8 light
July 31st – 5 mortar shells: no injuries
August 1st – 12 mortars, 7 rockets: no injuries
August 2nd – 225 rockets: 1 dead, 1 moderate, 14 light
August 3rd – 163 rockets: 8 dead, 12 serious, 88 light

Update: Today (August 4th) there were reported to be over 200 rockets that landed, with numerous injuries (42 injured in the last wave of attacks alone).

Please continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem that all of her children will turn to Hashem, and that the entire world will say, “Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you” (Zechariah 8:23).