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On this hexagonal clay prism, the Neo-Assyrian king Sennacherib listed his many successful campaigns, up until the start of his final war against Babylon.

The Akkadian cuneiform inscription includes his conquest of Samaria and the tribute he received from Hezekiah, King of Judah. Both events are mentioned in the Bible (cf. 2 Kings 18-19), but Sennacherib seems to revel in mentioning each and every city and spoil he gained from Israel and Judah. He was clearly quite proud of this particular war, as he recorded it on at least 2 other prisms that are currently housed at the University of Chicago and the Israel Museum.

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The tunnel of Hezekiah.
Water tunnel that was carved under the City of David in Jerusalem in ancient times. Its popular name is due to the most common hypothesis of its origin, namely, that it dates from the reign of Hezekiah. The tunnel leads from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam. If indeed built under Hezekiah, it dates to a time when Jerusalem was preparing for an impending siege by the Assyrians, led by Sennacherib. Since the Gihon Spring was already protected by a massive tower and was included in the city's defensive wall system, Jerusalem seems to have been supplied with enough water in case of siege even without this tunnel. The curving tunnel is 533 m., According to the Siloam inscription, the tunnel was excavated by two teams, one starting at each end of the tunnel and then meeting in the middle.

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The Merneptah Stele, also known as the Israel Stele, is an inscription by the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Merneptah (reigned 1213–1203 BC). It's significant because it contains the earliest known mention of the name "Israel" in any ancient Egyptian text. The inscription describes Merneptah's military victories and mentions defeating various peoples, including Israel. It's considered an important historical document for understanding the ancient Near East.

This passage is the earliest extra-biblical reference to the term “Israel.” It’s crucial because it confirms the presence of a group or entity called “Israel” in Canaan during this period. The mention of Israel alongside other established peoples and cities in Canaan suggests that by the late 13th century BC, Israel was already a recognizable entity.

The relevant section of the inscription reads:

“Plundered is the Canaan with every evil, All lands are united and pacified. Those who were in turmoil are subdued by the King of Upper and Lower Egypt… Israel is laid waste and his seed is not;”

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Ancient Egyptian Papyrus Proves That The Israelites Were In Egypt As Slaves
Some skeptics of the Hebrew Bible say there is no real evidence of Israelites either being in Egypt or as being slaves in Egypt. However this is incorrect. There is a famous papyrus housed in the Brooklyn Museum aptly called the Brooklyn Papyrus or specifically Brooklyn Papyrus 35.1446. This papyrus was originally purchased by Charles Edwin Wilbur between 1881 and 1896. It was eventually bequeathed to the Brooklyn Museum. It had to be assembled from about 600 fragments. The major published works on this papyrus was by William Hayes in 1955.
The papyrus is a list of slaves that are transferred to a wealthy middle kingdom estate. The papyrus has been securely dated. The first part to Amenhemet III (approx 1830 BCE) and the later part to Sobhotep III about 1743 BCE or the middle of the 13th dynasty Egypt.
The vast majority of the listings of slaves are what the Egyptians referred to as Asiatic people coming from Canaan and Syria. What is amazing about this list of slaves in the latter part dated to Sobekhotep III is that the vast majority were female Asiatic with Israelite names.
In the list of slaves on line 11 is written “the female Asiatic, Munahhima (Mnhm) This is a female version of Menahem a Israelite name.
We also find written on line 13 the female Asiatic Sakratu (Sk-r-tw). the Egyptologist William Hayes wrote about this name that this name is “feminine and cannot be separated from the Biblical Hebrew Names Yasahir, Isachar and Sakar”
Also on line 21 we find the female Asiatice Siprah (S-p-r) Hayes writes “Our name is related to=perhaps even ultimately the same as -Aramic Sapphira, “Sappira” and certainly the same (with slight morphological adaptation) as “Shiphrah” name of one of the two Hebrew midwives of Exodus 1:15"
In line 23 is written “The female Asiatic Asra (Is-r)Again Hayes writes “ s-ra (fem) is evidently a feminine hypocoristic of the same type as masculine Asher, name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel and their ancestor”
There is also the female version of the name for Yakov. One can find even a male slave with the name of David.
Then toward the end of this study of the papyrus (pg 99) William Hayes makes this comment
“Perhaps the most surprising circumstance associated with these Asiatic servants is is that an Upper Egyptian official of the mid Thirteenth Dynasty should have had well over forty of them in his personal possession. If a comparable number of similar servants was to be found in every large Egyptian household one wonders by what means such quantities of Asiatic serving people found their way into Egypt at this time and how they chanced to be available as domestic servants for private citizens”
Hayes goes on to explain they could not have been war captives because there is no known large campaign into Canaan during the 13th dynasty or before in the middle kingdom. Hayes goes on to speculate that perhaps there was a large slave trade that accounted for these Asiatic slaves/servants.
However as the Egyptologist David Rohl writes in his book “Exodus Myth or History” that if we place the Sojourn and the Exodus in the late 12th and 13th dynasty of Egypt then there is a ready explanation of these servants. They are the Israelites who were first welcomed in Egypt and greatly multiplied. Then the Israelites as described in the Hebrew Bible were eventually enslaved by the native Egyptian population. This would account for the vast number of slaves in Egyptian households with Israelite names. this would also account that the majority of slaves/servants are female. As is written in the story of the book of Exodus Egyptians killed the Israelite boys but kept the girls alive.
The Brooklyn papyrus proves that there the Israelites were in Egypt as slaves in the 13th dynasty. Those who would deny such evidence do so because they place the Israelite sojourn and the Exodus in the wrong time period. However by placing the sojourn and the Exodus in the right time frame then one can find evidence outside of the Bible for Israelites slaves in Egypt.
 

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Pontius Pilate

There was a time when scoffers and critics doubted the New Testament's reference to Pontius Pilate. There was no archaeological evidence and little historical information to confirm his ruling in Israel. Pilate is mentioned by Josephus (Antiquites XVIII.iii.1), Philo, and by the Roman historian Tacitus.

Pontius Pilate was prefect of Palestine (Idumæa) from A.D. 26-36, a long tenure policy of Tiberius Caesar (Antiquites XVIII.vi 5), supposedly to reduce corruption and for continued stability. 

God knows how to confirm His word and silence the scoffers. In 1961, a Italian archaeologist named Dr. Antonio Frova, was excavating near the theater uncovered in Caesarea and discovered a limestone monument with an inscription. The inscription, in Latin, is of Pontius Pilate with the title of prefect. 

Tiberium
(Po)ntius Pilate
(Pre)fect of the Jud(ea)
(has d)ed(icated …)

Archaeology again confirms the exactness of Scripture: 
the person (Pontius Pilate)
the title: Prefect 
the time: Early first century 

Those who put their trust in God will not be disappointed.
Heaven and earth may pass away but the Word of God endures forever.

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Sha'arayim was a border city between Philistia and Judah during the reign of David in 11th century BCE. 

In 2008, a broken piece of pottery was found during an excavation of Khirbet Qeiyafa, which many connect to the biblical city called Sha’arayim (mentioned in Joshua 15:36; 1 Samuel 17:52; and 1 Chronicles 4:31). 

The pottery’s text may roughly agree with 1 Samuel 8, where Samuel describes what will happen to the people when the nation becomes a monarchy, mainly that the population will be oppressed by those in power.

Read all about it and scholars' disagreements over its language, date, and even the direction of the letters! Copy/paste this link or search up, "Qeiyafa Ostracon relates the birth of the Kingdom of Israel" on Biblical Archaeology Society.

https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-artifacts/inscriptions/the-qeiyafa-ostracon-relates-the-birth-of-the-kingdom-of-israel/

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Ancient Corinth was one of the largest and most important cities of Greece, with a population of 90,000 in 400 BC. ... The Romans demolished Corinth in 146 BC. Almost 2,000 years ago the Paul, the Apostle, traveled to the city of Corinth in what is now Greece and founded a Christian church there.  That city still exists.

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It's sometimes difficult to translate and envision some passages of the Bible because we've never seen what they describe. 

One example is the first Temple's water basin in 2 Chronicles 4:5. It says: "its brim was made like the brim of a cup, like a lily blossom." For centuries, artists have depicted that item in myriad ways based on their own imaginings and the shape of Israel's native Madonna Lily, but an actual basin found in Solomon's own city of Megiddo may give us a good idea of what the Temple's much larger water basin looked like. 

👀 This stand is on display at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute Museum as a part of their Megiddo exhibit. (It's well worth a visit!)

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"The Tomb of King David" | The Room of the Last Supper lies to our left, and straight ahead sits the entrance to King David's Tomb. This used to be one of the closest places to Mount Moriah that Jews could visit - even housing the offices of one of Israel's presidents for a brief period. Now, with Jerusalem firmly in the hands of Israel, the city is open to all.
-Tomb of King David, Jerusalem, Israel

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On this photo: The lower tier of the Taanach Cult Stand shows Asherah depicted in human form, while on the second tier, she is portrayed as a living tree nurturing two ibex. 

This shift in representation raises the question: why the variation? 

In narratives originating from the neighboring cultures of Israel, the goddess, who assumes different names in different contexts, is often associated with themes of creation and fertility.

Evidence uncovered by archaeologists points to the presence of poles in elevated locations, leaving behind distinct circular "post holes" in the ground once the wood has decayed. While the actual poles have not been discovered, they are frequently depicted on other preserved clay and stone artifacts.

This cultic stand would have been utilized for religious ceremonies during the period when Phoenician princess Jezebel introduced the worship of Baal and Asherah to Israel! 

For more information on the stand, refer to the Israel Museum's description available at https://www.imj.org.il/en/collections/362678-0

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Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha… The Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it…he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips and his face wrapped with a cloth, Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” John 11: 1, 38, 43 - 44
The village of Bethany still exists today, just a couple miles east of Jerusalem in the West Bank, on the slopes of the Mount of Olives. The cave identified as Lazarus’ tomb is in an area that is confirmed as a cemetery in the 1st century AD. Other tombs are in the area and there is no question about the village being the Bethany of the Bible. The specific tomb venerated as the tomb of Lazarus has been a pilgrimage site for Christians since before the 4th century AD. Since the last part of the 4th century there has been a church associated with the site. The current Church of Lazarus was designed by Antonio Barluzzi in the 1950’s. The design elements reflect a tomb like feeling (no windows), with the only light coming from the top of the dome symbolizing the resurrection of Lazarus.
For more Biblical travel photos and videos visit us at:
www.scriptureinstone.org/blog
#BiblicalArchaeology #biblicalarcheology #tomboflazarus
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Herodium is a major archaeological site, home to an impressive palace dating to the time of King Herod. Located about 10km south of Jerusalem, the site was also the burial location of Herod, hence the tumulus shape of the hill. Herodium is known as “Mountain of Franks” or “Jabal al-Fourdis” the “Mountain of Paradise”.

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The Destruction of Egypt is When The Exodus of the Israelites Happened
All pieces of evidence point to the Exodus of the Israelites just prior to the Hyksos invasion around 1700 BCE (conventional dating). First if we look at the Biblical text it clearly says that the plagues caused chaos and ruin in Egypt. In Exodus 10:7 before the plague of hail Pharaoh’s officials say to Pharaoh:
“How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the people go, so that they may worship the Lord their God. Do you not yet realize that Egypt is ruined?”
So we need to look for a time when Egypt was in ruin to place the proper time for the Exodus.
If we look at the 3rd century BCE the Egyptian historian Manetho writes just prior to the Hyksos invasion
Tutimaeus [0]. In his reign, for what cause I know not, a blast of God smote us; and unexpectedly, from the regions of the East, invaders of obscure race marched in confidence of victory against our land. By main force they easily overpowered the rulers of the land, they then burned our cities ruthlessly, razed to the ground the temples of the gods, and treated all the natives with a cruel hostility, massacring some and leading into slavery the wives and children of others.
Tutimaeus is the 13th dynasty pharaoh Dudimose in Greek. Manetho’s original work on the history of Egypt was in Greek for the Ptolemy pharaohs in Alexandria. It is clear form his text that some terrible catastrophe happened to Egypt in the reign of Dudimose by God in the singular and this allowed the Hyksos to invade and even conquer Egypt without “striking a blow” This is another indicator that the destruction of Egypt recorded in the Hebrew Bible occurred before the Hyksos invasion.
The other piece of evidence is the Ipuwer Papyrus dated by the scholar John Van Seters to the end of the 13th dynasty just prior to the Hyksos invasion. In it is recorded a destruction o f Egypt such as
2:5–6 Plague is throughout the land. Blood is everywhere.
2:10 The river is blood.
2:10 Men shrink from tasting — human beings, and thirst after water
3:10–13 That is our water! That is our happiness! What shall we do in respect thereof? All is ruin.
In addition are these passages:
5:5 All animals, their hearts weep. Cattle moan…
9:2–3 Behold, cattle are left to stray, and there is none to gather them together.
4:3 (5:6) Forsooth, the children of princes are dashed against the walls.
6:12 Forsooth, the children of princes are cast out in the streets.
6:3 The prison is ruined.
2:13 He who places his brother in the ground is everywhere.
3:14 It is groaning throughout the land, mingled with lamentations
There have been many who have written about the parallels between the Ipuwer papyrus and the plagues of the Hebrew Bible. But that is not my intent here. Rather it is to show that the papyrus points to a time of destruction of Egypt.
In addition because of this destruction of Egypt the Asiatics in the North in Canaan know of it and there is a fear of invasion as it says:
15:1 The Asiatics know the condition of the land
There are some scholars today who doubt that the Hyksos invaded Egypt. However they come to this conclusion because there does not seem to be a destruction layer in the pre-Hyksos or the Hyksos period. But Manetho himself says the Hyksos were able to invade Egypt without “striking a blow” So it would make sense why there is no real destruction layer. In addition Dr. Manfred Bietak the main archaeologist of Avaris which is the area of Goshen of the Bible has found many warrior burials in stratum F which he dates to the early Hyksos period. Dr. Bietak writes
“During this period, many of the tombs belonged to warriors who were normally equipped with a dagger and battle axe” (1)
Because there were many warriors buried at this time it seems to indicate some type of invading army. Dr. Bietak also writes about these warrior burials that many included the burial or a servant alongside the warrior. As he writes
“servants were interred in front of tomb chambers of some tombs in stratum F. These servants were girls with strong bones. It appears that they were buried at the same time as their masters” (2)
This is reminiscent of Manetho who wrote concerning the Hyksos
“and treated all the natives with a cruel hostility, massacring some and leading into slavery the wives and children of others.”
The last piece of evidence pointing to this destruction by the Hyksos as the time for the plagues of the Exodus which devastated Egypt is from the writings of the 18th dynasty pharaoh Hatshepsut. It appears in the text of Speos Artemidos. It is written there
“I have restored what was destroyed. I raised up what was formerly shattered, since Asiatics were in the midst of the Delta (at) Avaris when the nomads in their midst were destroying what had been made” (3)
From these words it seems the Asiatics i.e. the Hyksos destroyed Egypt or came into Egypt when it was destroyed. Again meaning there was destruction of Egypt both before and during the Hyksos being in the delta.
All of this points to a time when Egypt was destroyed, which is at the end of the 13th dynasty just prior to the Hyksos invasion. It was this destruction that allowed the Hyksos to invade and conquer Egypt without meeting any real resistance on the part of the Egyptian army. The reason for this was that they had been decimated by the plagues of Egypt and much of the Egyptian army was destroyed in the Sea of Reeds. This time period fits the story of the Exodus as found in the Hebrew Bible.
Bietak, Manfred “Avaris, The Capital of the Hyksos” 1996 Pg. 45
Ibid
Redford, Donald “Textual Sources for the Hyksos Period” Pg. 17 in “The Hyksos: New Historical and Archaeological Perspectives”, Eliezer D. Oren, editor 1997
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JOSHUA's DIVISION GOING TO MT. EBAL

"And the youth spies went in, and brought out Rahab, and ... all her kindred, and left them outside the camp of Israel.
And they burnt the city with fire, and all that was therein: only the silver, and the gold, and the vessels of 

bronze and of 

iron, 

they put into the treasury of the house of YHWH. And Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive, and her father's household, and all that she had; and she dwells in Israel even unto this day; because she hid the messengers, whom Joshua sent to spy out 

Jericho. 

And Joshua adjured them at that time, saying, Cursed be the man before YHWH, that rises up and build this city Jericho: he shall lay the foundation thereof in his firstborn, and in his youngest son shall he set up the gates of it." -Joshua 6:23-26

Between the transition of Late Bronze Age Collapsed - Iron Age IA and of king Ahab's time, Jericho was abandoned as Joshua uttered a curse against those who would rebuild the city. 
The target of their division would be Mt. Ebal to fulfill the order of Moses. Joshua further divided his troop: those located in Adam city (Damieh),  another group was located in Tel el-Baghlat (which might have gone to Kibbutz Gilgal, to Yafit and also in Masu'a).
In the group of Joshua going to Jericho, they divided themselves into two groups: the Levites under Eleazar and the people under Joshua. 
Whether the Zimri division (which was formerly under Zimri ben Sallu) became the group in Yafit or not, we don't know. 

Heap of earth piled across the river between Adam city and Zaretan, cutting the water, which flows down to the Dead Sea.

"That the waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon an heap very far from the 

city Adam, 

that is beside Zaretan: and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho." -Joshua 3:16

Officers came to Joshua to give instruction when to cross the Jordan river.

"And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host" -Joshua 3:2

When the river was cut in Adam city area, groups there down to the group of Joshua enabled to cross the river. 
And the sign that they stopped in a particular place is a sandal-shaped enclosure.
Jericho, a 13th century BCE toponym, this time was not as great as the former Ruha in the 14th, 15th or 16th century BCE. The new settlers in this 13th century BCE settlement were poor people. A strong quake that happened in Adam city had occurred too in Jericho after several days, after the seven-day Jericho march.
Based on their mark, their troop built sandal-shaped enclosure in Sha'ab Rumani in Rimonim. 
The troop from Adam city built also such enclosure in Bedhat esh-Sha'ab in Argaman before going to el-'Unuq. 
From el-'Unuq they went to Mt. Gerizim in Nablus and some to Mt. Ebal, uttering blessings and curses, respectively.
All of these sandal-shaped enclosures are built in the Iron Age I (1200-1000 BCE), in the time that even poor people in Jericho had iron vessels. 
The Bible has positively claimed that the curse had Joshua uttered over Jericho was fulfilled in the days of king Ahab, there was a gap from 1150 to 850 BCE.

"And Ahab made a grove; and ... In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word of YHWH, which He spoke by Joshua the son of Nun." -1 Kings 16:33-34

YHWH secures the evidence of these events. God is great.

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  • RETIREDFAN1 changed the title to Biblical Archaeology

Pontius Pilate

There was a time when scoffers and critics doubted the New Testament's reference to Pontius Pilate. There was no archaeological evidence and little historical information to confirm his ruling in Israel. Pilate is mentioned by Josephus (Antiquites XVIII.iii.1), Philo, and by the Roman historian Tacitus.

Pontius Pilate was prefect of Palestine (Idumæa) from A.D. 26-36, a long tenure policy of Tiberius Caesar (Antiquites XVIII.vi 5), supposedly to reduce corruption and for continued stability. 

God knows how to confirm His word and silence the scoffers. In 1961, a Italian archaeologist named Dr. Antonio Frova, was excavating near the theater uncovered in Caesarea and discovered a limestone monument with an inscription. The inscription, in Latin, is of Pontius Pilate with the title of prefect. 

Tiberium
(Po)ntius Pilate
(Pre)fect of the Jud(ea)
(has d)ed(icated …)

Archaeology again confirms the exactness of Scripture: 
the person (Pontius Pilate)
the title: Prefect 
the time: Early first century 

Those who put their trust in God will not be disappointed.
Heaven and earth may pass away but the Word of God endures forever.

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In 1993, the biblical archaeology world was rocked with the discovery of the Tel Dan inscription, which mentions the 'house of David' – proving that King David existed and that he was the start of a ruling dynasty of kings. However, a year prior, a new reading of the Mesha stele discovered a century earlier claimed to find the same phrase, “House of David.” This second "House of David' inscription was far more difficult to decipher, leading many to dismiss that it mentioned anything about the famed king from Jerusalem.

Now, with the help of modern technology, Prof. Michael Langlois and colleagues have been able to present evidence confirming the “House of David” reading. On today’s program, Prof Langlois joins host Brent Nagtegaal to discuss the Mesha Stele along with current scholarship’s unscientific reluctance to accept the historicity of King David.
 

 

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The Bible Hints that the Hyksos Conquered Egypt
There may be an indication from the book of Samuel that the Hyksos were Amalek and also conquered Egypt. After the Amalekites attacked Ziklag in southern Israel and took two of David’s wives God instructed David to pursue Amalek. On the way to battle they found an Egyptian who had been a slave to a an Amalek master. As it says in Samuel I chapter 30 verses 11–14
11 They found an Egyptian in a field and brought him to David. They gave him water to drink and food to eat —
12 part of a cake of pressed figs and two cakes of raisins. He ate and was revived, for he had not eaten any food or drunk any water for three days and three nights.
13 David asked him, “Who do you belong to? Where do you come from?”
He said, “I am an Egyptian, the slave of an Amalekite. My master abandoned me when I became ill three days ago.
14 We raided the Negev of the Kerethites, some territory belonging to Judah and the Negev of Caleb. And we burned Ziklag.”
The question is how did an Egyptian become a slave to an Amalekite? Also why does the Bible want us to know this? I think the Bible is hinting here that the Amalekites, the arch enemy of the Israelites, did conquer Egypt. In Egyptian history they were known as the Hyksos. In addition, this incident in the book of Samuel could have occurred after the Hyksos were already forced by Ahmoses to leave Egypt and return to Canaan. This Egyptian slave was one of the many slaves they took with them. As Manetho writes regarding the Hyksos, "they were cruel, massacring some and taken the wives and children into slavery”
The Bible informs of this to show the justice of God. Just as the Egyptians enslaved the Israelites they too would be eventually enslaved by a foreign nation. Measure for measure.
 

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BIBLICAL ARCHAEOLOGY BRIEF ⚱️
By Dan Willoughby

The other day I was asked about soap in the Bible, well l tell you what I know.

In Biblical Archaeology, there are no clear paths to ascertain what the ancient Israelites actually used for soap. But in the Hebrew Bible we are informed that people used a cleansing agent called "natron" and "lye", of which was a sodium carbonate base alkaline soap (Jeremiah 2:22).

However, down in ancient Egypt they used "swabw", and the formula attached hereto suggest that it was soda ash and clay dirt. At any rate, in the ancient world it was a rough way to take a bath.

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Join me in Dropbox to Make This Chart - 
Beginning with the certainties of Scripture, it should be possible for us to work together to create a comprehensive chart to help us correlate the certainties of biblical history with the historical records of Egypt and the dates assigned by Archaeologists to the events and people of the history of Egypt.
You suggestions for "Filling in the Blanks" are welcome.

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High above the Dead Sea, Masada has impressive Roman-style baths (with their hot and cold plumbing and vibrant mosaics and frescoes), but its more modest mikveh—the ritual bath used by the Jews—on the southeast side of the compound's wall is worth a long look! It was built according to biblical and traditional standards, including a pool that would collect rainwater, and would have been used regularly by all inhabitants in need of ritual cleansing.

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Around the same time that Herod was building Masada, a group of ascetic Jews were living a communal life in and around the caves at Qumran and creating what we call the Dead Sea Scrolls. Their small village was built at the base of the cliffs and included functional communal rooms such as an assembly hall, dining room, writing room (where the scrolls themselves were probably copied), stables, and ritual baths such as this one. The members themselves lived outside the buildings in huts and tents.

As Herod did at Masada, the Qumran community irrigated the city with aqueducts and stored water in cisterns. The constant flow of water was particularly important to this group, who took ritual purity seriously and bathed in this mikveh frequently.

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