Archeologists digging around the site of ancient Lachish, mentioned as having been destroyed by an Israelite army in Joshua 10:31-32, have uncovered the remains of a Canaanite temple along with many other artifacts. The team was led by Hebrew University’s Prof. Yosef Garfinkel and Prof. Michael Hasel from Southern Adventist University in Tennessee. Garfinkel told the Jerusalem Post that the dig had uncovered remains which help fortify the Biblical accounts of the city’s ancient history. “The city was a major Canaanite center city, as we know from historical sources,” Garfinkel said. “There is no other site in this region as prominent. It is the right location, the right place, and the name ‘Lachish’ was found on some inscriptions found there. We uncovered the temple and we dedicated three or four years to it, because it is very rare to find Canaanite sites in Israel. This kind of structure was only discovered in Megiddo, Nablus and Hazor. But this is the first time we revealed such a large monumental symmetrical kind of temple.”
“The Bible says that Rehoboam, the grandson of David, fortified 15 cities, including Lachish,” Garfinkel added, going on to explain that previously undiscovered ruins which can be dated to the period described in the Book of 2 Chronicles had indeed been uncovered by his team. “This is why we went to Lachish. It was our goal,” he said. “The Bible says that the city was destroyed by the people of Israel, Garfinkel told the Post. “But it doesn’t talk specifically about a palace, a temple or what was in the city. We know that the destruction of Canaanite tribes was a long process which took about a hundred years. In the site we found traces of destruction at two levels, one dating back to the end of the 13th century BCE and another one to the middle of the 12th century. There are therefore about 50 years between the two events. Which of the two destructions is the one that was carried out by Joshua remains a big question.”
Israel Preparing for Possible Coronavirus Scenarios
Israel’s Foreign Ministry announced this week that 12 Israeli citizens aboard the “Diamond Princess” cruise ship, quarantined for several days in Japan after the coronavirus was discovered on board, will return to Israel on Thursday and spend several days in medical quarantine before being allowed to return to their homes. In related news, Minister of the Interior Aryeh Deri announced on Monday evening that travelers from several countries in Southeast-Asia would not be allowed to enter the country unless they were Israeli citizens, and those citizens allowed to enter would be rigorously screened and possibly quarantined.
In related news, Central Elections Committee Director-General Orly Ades and Health Ministry Director-General Moshe Bar Siman Tov held a meeting on Monday to plan for the potential need of providing options for voting in the upcoming election to people who were under quarantine for the coronavirus.
Defense Ministry Preparing to Move Several Bases
Israel’s Ministry of Defense announced this week that it has, in consultation with the Treasury and Israel Lands Authority, agreed to a schedule for moving several large IDF bases out of the center of the country to the largely empty Negev Desert in the south. The move has been anticipated for years, with developers eager to begin buying up the soon-to-be-available tracks of land for the purpose of building housing, schools, businesses and other civilian infrastructure.
Israel’s National Basketball Team Prepares for EuroBasket 2021
Fans of Israel’s professional basketball league had a lot to cheer about this week as their favorite teams played several games in preparation for the break during which Israel’s national team will begin to plauy in EuroBasket 2021. Hapoel Jerusalem will be sending several players to the national squad after winning their first State Cup title in several years earlier this month.
Bennet: ‘Iran Reconsidering Deployments in Syria’
Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett addressed the New Tech conference in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, saying among other things that “we are identifying initial signs of loosening and recalculation by Iran regarding its plans in Syria. We just started and we will increase. We will go from a defensive concept to an offensive concept – weakening, tiring and erasing the octopus’s head by weakening its tentacles. For us, Syria is not only a threat but also an opportunity. They send forces there and try to exhaust us, but we can turn the downside into an advantage. We have intelligence and operational superiority, and we are telling Iran clearly: ‘Get out of Syria. You have nothing to look for there.’”
Today’s video gives a recording of Israel’s Decleration of Independance (Click on CC for subtitles)
This article originally appeared on ICEJ, February 18, 2020, and reposted with permission.