From: Messianic Bible
Sent: Thursday, January 05, 2012 1:07 PM
“On the tenth day of the month [Tevet], Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon
marched against Jerusalem with his whole army. He encamped outside the
city and built siege works all around it.” (II Kings 25:1)
While some people deny that Israel is the rightful Homeland of the Jewish
People as stated in the Bible, there are at least three other sources that
- A variety of Jewish observances originating in historical events,
including Fasts like the Tenth of Tevet;
- Jewish literature, such as the Mishnah; and
- Archaeological evidence—solid proof, such as a recently discovered
Temple seal, which we will explain to you further in this article, Bjoern.
Orthodox Jews watch an Israeli Antiquities Authority excavation on the the
Today on the Jewish calendar it is the 10th of Tevet.
Here in Israel, this day is a minor fast day known as Yom Ha’kaddish
Ha’klali—the day we nationally grieve those whose date or place of death
is unknown, including those who died in the Holocaust.
However, the Fast of the Tenth of Tevet also commemorates something of
more ancient origin.
Orthodox Jews around the world keep this extra-Biblical fast, which
originates in events recorded in the Tanakh (Hebrew Scriptures).
On this day, in approximately 589 BCE, Nebuchadnezzar, the King of
Babylon, laid siege to Jerusalem. (II Kings 24-25)
A model of the Temple Mount during the Second Temple period. The
Romans destroyed the Second Temple in 68AD.
Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem was a long one. In the third year of
his siege, Jerusalem’s walls were breached on the ninth day of the
Hebrew month of Av.
“The whole Babylonian army under the commander of the imperial guard
broke down the walls around Jerusalem.” (II Kings 25: 11)
That tragic event is also commemorated later in the Jewish year (on the ninth
of Av, also called Tisha B’Av). In Judaism, it’s considered the saddest day
on the Hebrew calendar, since on this very same day, both the First and the
Second Temples were destroyed.
In 68 A.D., the Romans destroyed the Second Temple in Jerusalem, and for
almost two thousand years the Jews did not have a homeland.
In 1948, after the Jewish people were returning en masse to Israel, the
United Nations declared the new State of Israel as the homeland of the
While Palestinian Arabs sit nearby, Orthodox Jews view the Dome of the
Rock while touring the Temple Mount.
Nebuchadnezzar and Archeology
Fast days such as Tevet 10 and Tisha B’Av are one of the ways in
which the history of the Jewish People is not forgotten—well, at
least amongst the Jewish People.
When it comes to the world remembering or understanding the history of
Israel, at best its memory is foggy, and at its worse, that memory is a total
distortion of the facts.
When it comes to the Bible as a historical record, critics of the
Scriptures often totally dismiss it as unhistorical, with no reliable basis
in fact. Sadly, they place the history presented in the Bible in the same
category as the ancient Greek and Roman myths and view that history as
mere legend, primitive superstition and folklore.
In the past, many dismissed the Bible account of Nebuchadnezzar carrying
the Jews away into captivity until evidence was discovered in Lachish,
which is 30 miles southwest of Jerusalem.
That evidence was pottery fragments on which were written military
communiqués describing the last days of the struggle against Babylon.
Subsequent finds in Mesopotamia describe the conquest of Jerusalem by
Nebuchadnezzar. These finds have firmly established the Biblical account
as truth and not fable.
Archaeological discoveries at Lachish were the first finds that
confirmed Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem.
Archeology and Jewish History: Rare Temple Seal Discovered
“Nebuchadnezzar removed the treasures from the temple of the Lord…, and
cut up the gold articles that Solomon king of Israel had made for the temple
of the Lord.” (II Kings 24:13)
Today, the right of the Jewish People to the Temple Mount in
Jerusalem is in question.
With Islam’s Dome of the Rock sitting defiantly on the Temple Mount, both
Judaism and Islam lay claim to the site. In fact, the Palestinian Authority
wishes to use this area of Jerusalem as the capital for the Islamic Arab state
To keep the peace over this hotly contested site, which Israel miraculously
won back from Jordan in 1967 during the Six-Day War, the Israeli
government has banned non-Muslim prayers on the Temple Mount.
Despite the Temple Mount itself being off limits to archaeologists because of
its religious and political sensitivity, archaeological efforts at the City of
David dig site, however, have recently confirmed Jewish activity during the
late Second Temple period on the Temple Mount.
The Israel Antiquities Authority unveiled a rare clay seal from the Second
Temple era that was discovered near the Robinson’s Arch at the south-
western corner of the Temple Mount.
The Dome of the Rock now sits on the Temple Mount, and in an effort to
keep the peace, non-Muslim prayer is forbidden on this site, which is
considered the holiest site in Judaism.
Ronny Reich, a Haifa University archaeologist, dated the seal from between
the 1st century B.C. to 70 A.D., which places it in the time period of the
destruction of the Second Temple.
This ancient seal, which is the size of the modern New Israeli Shekel, bears
a two-word Aramaic inscription: “pure for God.”
This Israel Antiquities Authority photo shows the clay seal
with the inscription “pure for God.” It was found about 15
meters north of the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount,
and excavated beneath Robinson’s Arch in the Jerusalem
Archaeologists believe that Temple officials likely used the seal to approve
animals intended for sacrifice or objects for ritual use, such as oil.
Since any material used by Temple priests had to meet stringent purity
guidelines, Jewish literature commenting on these guidelines, such as the
Mishnah, mention the use of such seals.
However, this is the first time that the religious activities of buying,
offering, and giving to the Temple itself has been confirmed by
archeology, Reich said, according to the Washington Post.
Minister of Education Gideon Saar, who attended the unveiling said, “The
seal shows the deep connection of Israel to the City of David. It is
important excavations like these that demonstrate our bond to Jerusalem.
Everything uncovered here strengthens us.” (Arutz Sheva)
Aren Maeir of Bar-Ilan University, a biblical archaeologist not connected to
the dig, said, “It’s nice when we can connect an activity recorded in ancient
sources with archaeological finds.” (Washington Post)
Bible Prophecy: Israel’s Future
“Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to
him to call his attention to its buildings. ‘Do you see all these things?’ he
asked. ‘Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every
one will be thrown down.’” (Matthew 24:1 –2)
We see in the Gospels that Yeshua (Jesus) foresaw Rome’s destruction of
the Second Temple. He also prophesied His death and resurrection, as well
as the Jewish acceptance of Him as Messiah:
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to
you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen
gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your
house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see Me again until you
say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (Luke 13: 34 –35)
While it is a grave tragedy that the Temple Mount and the Jewish
bond to Israel remain in dispute, we know that we can trust the Bible
as a reliable source of information about what’s to come.
Help Save Lives For Eternity.
“I will bless those who bless Israel.” (Genesis 12:3)
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