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Gods and Goddesses in Ancient Israel

Michael Hasel

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Michael Hasel

Director of the Institute of Archaeology at Southern Adventist University

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Conference

Recorded

  • September 20, 2008
    4:00 PM
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one of the exciting things about archaeology is that you cannot only see that the events described in the Bible actually the blaze but you can also tangibly feel and see and experience for yourself in a three dimensional way objects and and the everyday life things that that that that people experience day by day you know the Bible talks a lot about God 's acts in history but it doesn't always describe the specifics of how people lived how they were ships there may be gods named there may be temples talked about but how were the temples designed we know how the Temple in Jerusalem was designed of very active description but what about the temples of the Canaanites what about the Temple of Dagon what about these ancient worship practices and so there are big questions sometimes that can be answered because archaeology gives us tangible answers to the kinds of cooking pots that people used everyday implements what kind of houses they lived in who they traded with what they traded and what their economic system was likened to me that's very exciting because it inputs is in talks with the past and in a way that well I think most of us like to see evidence we've grown up in a media driven culture where to touch and to taste and to feel and to see in particular to hear are all elements that we like to to experience the world of the Bible with and what I often tell people as we take towards the Middle East as we go on excavations with students from Southern evidence University and and others as well community people can be involved to is that when you take these trips the Bible comes to life in a way that it hasn't been alive before you never read the Bible the same again I was at ASI just a few weeks ago and during the Sabbath service Sean Boonstra was speaking in a lady who had just been with me to to Turkey this past summer leaned to me and said I will never read the book of acts the same again think about it you walk in Ephesus he walked in latency you walked in the places that called in the early missionaries went out to you visit Jerusalem and you now see the relationship between the mount of olives in the Garden of Gethsemane and you suddenly those places are real places are not simply something you read about and that you imagine in your online self archaeology makes things tangible but it also makes things real sometimes it's a little disappointing because we imagine things that we think are certain way and then we get there you know it's that's why a book is always more interesting to read than watching the movie afterwards right because we've imagined it a certain way and when we see the movie it's always a disappointment because it's not the way we've imagined it our member the first time I took some students across a boat on the Sea of Galilee and afterwards I asked them and some of them were absolutely blown away by the experience we are since stopped and turned off the engine in the middle of the recast Internet like Peter would've done years earlier when Jesus asked him to do so I breathe a sigh of relief when no fish came up in the nets and any way you know we reexperience those things and it was incredible to be out on that can't see but afterwards one of the students said it's so small why didn't now I have to admit that I I I agree with that I mean I grew up on Lake Michigan at the lake now forty five miles across I only saw the other side once I thought some skyscrapers from the top of a dune one time from Chicago only once in my life and I grew up there my entire life so so you have all kinds of imaginings of what things are like archaeology makes it tangible and real and one of the things that it does is it makes the ancient deities that the Bible describes real as well I like to read with you today what I talk about the gods and goddesses of ancient Israel ancient religion in Israel and as we do that let's look at what the Bible says in the Old Testament there are over two hundred occurrences of twelve terms describing cultic images were the Israelites or should these images no in addition Sharon or a serene are mentioned another forty times when I talk about Ostrow today I don't know if any of you ever heard of that deity which is much in the Bible forty times K will talk about her indicating that the writers and the prophets had an major issue at hand if something is mentioned five one condemned enough in the Bible you know it was a problem right it would need to be condemned unless it was a problem just like parents if they have to say something over and over again it's a problem right there you would have to say anything if it wasn't a problem officer was a goddess known from Garth some scholars say was an officer herself but I sure in the Bible can also refer to a wooden bowl or image in fact in some translations most of the time when I stroke occurs in the Hebrew it simply translated as poll or wooden pole or something like that or tree case so I think I either a God is itself or in wooden pole brass representing that goddess during Deuteronomy seven the Israelites are told specifically not to worship the gods of Canaan but thus you shall do to them you shall tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars what is wrong by the way it's the message of Moses of God through Moses to the people of Israel just before they were want to enter the promised land right so this is his last message before his death and this is what God says of the Israelites but thus you shall do to them you shall tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and few down there are serene theme by the way is like an ass at the end of a word it's the plural in Hebrew K and burned down their graven images with fire for you are a watch a holy people the people set aside to the Lord your God the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth Israel of course was not supposed to be exclusivist that they were supposed to be a light to the rest of the nations right and share with them what God has shown them in Deuteronomy sixteen so in this particular passage Ostrow is a kind of something that can be shown down our trees are down five polls hewn down down K here in this particular high chapter and sixteen you shall not plant for yourself and officer of caregiver planted an image of a God and Heather grow case of year again is referred to as a as a kind of a tray you shall not plan for yourself and are Sharon on any kind of what Trinity beside the altar of the Lord your God which you shall make for yourself so no oh three dedicated to authorize should be planted next to alter intended for whom the Lord grant Deuteronomy sixteen judges chapter six which is go look at a few of these take your father 's ball and a second goal seven years old and pulled down the altar of mail now I always screened will but when I hear it now it's really but all in Hebrew but that's okay we noticed Dale which what belongs to your father and cut down the Ostrow that is where beside it so in this text and judges bail in Ostrow were associated with each other and where on the one hand the altar of Bale was there also and Ostrow was taught they were told to cut down the offer that was the side of brass that was a trade by the way the Israelites likes of the Canaanites like to worship on hill tops in high places right and in row sometimes authors also translated as growth and build an altar to the Lord your God and the top of the stronghold and orderly manner notice that God 's worship happens how in an orderly manner and take a second bowl and offer a burnt offering with the wood of the Ostrow which you shall cut down what good is the wood of the Ostrow it's simply good to burn and to have as fuel K and we will read another passage in Isaiah talks about that as well first things fifteen verse thirteen this is talking now about the Kings and he also wrote you remove my eye caught his mother from being Queen Mother because she had made what a horrid image as an officer rock and a suck cock down her horrid image and what burned it in the Kidron and at the brook and Ross Valley of course right surround Jerusalem on the East side first things eighteen verse nineteen this is a famous story number one Elijah was faced with during his days the worship of Jezebel notice what it says now then send an gathered to me all Israel at Mount caramel together with four hundred and fifty prophets of mail and we usually stopped there I read the story to my kids hundreds of times someone other favorite stories no fire of the Lord coming down consuming everything that how often do we hear about the four hundred prophets of honest Iraq in the same context not only did Jezebel have profits to bail she had prop four hundred prophets of honest Iraq who leads at Jezebel 's table what happened to those profits they were killed right after this event but the climax of the worship of us are doesn't happen in a Habs in Jezebels time doesn't happen earlier in Asus time doesn't happen all the way back it happens with the rain of Manasseh one of the wickedest things that ever lived in Jerusalem notice what it says in second Kings chapter twenty one for he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah would we just talk about in the previous presentation ladies only one year we talked about Hezekiah Wright all right Hezekiah had enacted a reform but now something else is happening he erected altars for avail this is the King and made an honest Iraq as Ahab king of Israel had done and worshiped all the host of heaven and serve them this is Manasseh the king of Judah then he set the card image of officer that he admitted in the house of which the Lord said to David and to his son Solomon in this house and all Jerusalem which I have chose from all the tribes of Israel what I will put my name for ever how many names were supposed to be in the Temple one the God of heaven but now there was in Ostrow and now that was all the host of seven and there were all kinds of other things taking place as well to me this is fascinating in a real way what happens following that in the reign of Josiah another reformer the successor to Manasseh and Ammon Josiah brought out the Ostrow from the house of the Lord outside Jerusalem to the brook it run and burned it at the brook children and ground it to dust and threw its dust on the graves of the common people he also broke down the houses of the male cult prostitutes which were where in the house of the Lord where the women were weaving hangings for the Oshawa rock now by the way hangings for the Ostrow I was living in Cyprus a few years ago when I went to the top mountain top of the mountain where they are the founder of the modern country of Cyprus is buried the car yes a bishop a Greek Orthodox bishop Beccaria 's and they are on top of the mountain not very far away from his tomb which has become kind of an altar for the Cypriot people there was a tree a beautiful tree covered with hangings covered with prayers that had been tied to the branches of the tree that still happens in India it happens in various countries around the world and happened in ancient Israel as well okay hangings for the offshore so what are Biblical characteristics so far that we've seen from Scripture it's a carved image there is also carved images to officer on other words it's not an officer at cell to offer a the Bible instructs these to be cut down there was one even placed by Manasseh in the Temple in Jerusalem it was removed later from the Temple by Josiah and ground of the powder and placed on the graves of the common people I throw was a major problem in the history of Israel particularly at the time of Manasseh and Ammon and the time of Ahab and Jezebel so who was this Ostrow how do we know about her outside of the Bible let's look now at extra biblical evidence for her we go to the city of garlic in Syria Ross Shomron as its name in Arabic who directs or guards in the ancient texts here in this famous city Cooney informed tablets were found a whole library in fact that documented the Canaanite pantheon of gods that veil and Ostrow belong to here we see that there were several gods AL in Huger it was the supreme God or deity not have to say something here AL is also word that we know from the Bible right Elohim AL is God now don't confuse ale in the Bible with AL here let me explain to you in English for a moment Dale is the Semitic name for God just like G OD is the English name for a deity right when it's uppercase we as Christians assume that it is the God of heaven are the way it is and always you have to check things out and check out people 's definitions of that right but when it's uppercase we think of the God of heaven whence m we say the gods of the Hindus are we talking about the same no but are we losing that using the same word yes okay so God is in English and German in many other languages just the generic name for what the entity and that's the same thing in the Semitic language ale is the generic term for God or deity so when AOL here is the supreme God it simply says that God is the supreme God and we would refer to this particular ale probably with the g because it's not the same thing that we know is the supreme God interestingly there are some characteristics here that they are what the God of Israel is like as well he's the father of mankind could that be the description of the God of heaven as well is he not the creator God is the creator of creatures is our God God of the Bible not the creator God yes is our God able know the password the distinction comes in and here we have him all all often referred to as the bolt notice what Frank Moore Cross longtime professor at Harvard University wrote in his book Canaanite myths and Hebrew epic tale of frequently plays the role of God of the father the social deity who governs the tribal league often found in the lead with kinship or covenant ties so here we have this image from O'Gara that many believe is a depiction of a also that's the primary deity of the Pantheon just like in Greek mythology was the primary duty of the Pantheon Zeus 's right so we have a primary deity of the Pantheon in Canaanite culture much earlier and here is the way he is depicted sometimes visible tag this is again this is from the Louvre in Paris and they of course have been excavating rough summer for many years what about Bale ever wondered what they'll look like her who he really was areas by the way this image is only about six inches tall case of you think this is a big opposing image you can basically fits in your pocket this is with bail in antiquity he was the son of ale again were talking about a pantheon of deities that are related to each other born from each other and so for these the son of ale he is the principal deity of O'Gara is like the patron god of the city is a storm god of rain and thunder now does it make a little more sense when Elijah was doing up there on Mount caramel what was the competition about rain was failed going to get rain or was the God of heaven going to give rain he was the deity of rain and funder Gary is standing often is upraised hand he is holding a lightning bolts because that's what happens in thunderstorms when it rains right so that's fail it will guard it and Jerry is in another stamps also from the Louvre found in regard here is they'll standing again was a holding in his hand a AAA glance because he makes plants grow and again raise overhead something else now I'd I dug with Harvard University blonde primarily because of this find it was found the year before I got there and I have to say the year that I was there nothing is spectacular was found always happens that way it's kind of Murphy's Law in archaeology on one season I worked at one site in Jordan and I found nothing the entire six weeks that I was there it happened sometimes you can see the beautiful Mediterranean Sea that were working next to hear this ancient Canaanite leader Philistine city but right outside the gate area of the city one of the oldest gates ever excavated in Israel this shrine was found not what you're looking against the shrine with what's going on here looks like an Asian pot doesn't like ancient vessel it is an ancient vessel but it's got a door cut into it using the Doria is not broken this part overhears broken that this is the door and end right next to or coming out of that door was this deity and it made the covers of newspapers around the world in time magazine in everything I'm not sure about time but newspapers around the world hailed this as the golden calf found in Israel imagine that caught people 's attention right the problem was it wasn't golden it was led covered with silver and anyway and it was it was a calf though probably one of these deities again it was right outside the city gate just where the Bible describes these deities often were kept what about Asherah we cannot offer we talked about ale we talked about Bale ready to talk a little bit about Asherah I throw want to talk about always get you to focus most of our three-year Ostrow was the consort or the wife of ale Nancy questioned in the Bible that the Elohim did the Hebrew God have a wife no duty of offspring no if if if if I sure was the wife of bail I'm Enstar the wife of AL she was also the mother of bail exactly she was the mother of mail so here we have her she's a new and a female figure in full face she has this half for like address those of you were here when I talk about Egypt earlier remember half four and remember that she had those years of towels November the and then that the headdress were to see some images here the moment again she's holding in either hand what is she holding here by the legs adult adult on either side with horns and everything and there are serpents on either side of her you see them there are servants here so she's got she's holding also the serpents on either side of her and she is standing on a lien found in a condo on back to all of those motives in a moment because they are very significant this was the Smith was a plaque that was found at Mubarak depicting Sharon okay but when you see that these motifs find their way to Egypt were actually come from Egypt and that this goddesses known by different names all around the the territory okay so but that's how she looks at a good car at the wife of ale Piercy is from Egypt and then I change this real quick so that we can see an artist depiction is a little bit clearer here she is again in this scene from Egypt now standing on what alive and okay and she is primarily nude again but she's got this hot store address again and in this case is holding well this is the artists interpretation of this some artists think that these are serpents that she's holding on the side of her hand because it's not as clear these are definitely lotus flowers but at any rate this is what W F Albright the famed American biblical archaeologists from Johns Hopkins said many years ago one of us rose most common appellations were associations was holiness and she is known here in Egypt as could shoe which in Canaanite means holy what are the angels sing what are the Sarah theme saying on either side of the throne of God when Isaiah had his vision holy holy holy is the Lord of hosts condo of Chicago Chicago is what it says and he bristles the same word only from Canaanite and if we go to the ancient Temple of dear Al Bahrain in the southern part of Egypt were Hatshepsut built this magnificent palace that we talked about earlier today we go to the Temple of how Thor and there remember what we saw we saw their CS sees got that pop four headdress again she has appears of a cow because she is the cow Goddess and she also is a worshiped as a cow she is the mother of the King because the King is a divine offspring here's the mother hears the mother of the King the count now with the solar and lung here between her warns this is raw the Sun God with one leading her the god of thieves the father God and here is such upset the young princess being suckled by half the work the cow Goddess wide because half door is not only the goddess who gives birth she is also a goddess of fertility and so forth so all of these things are encapsulated together basically what this image is saying is that Hatshepsut is the offspring of half floor and one a divine births seen that legitimizes her role as the female king of Egypt and so we move from here where were in this room right here this is this is the right behind here a little ways away that move I like how that works anyway just a little ways away in the old Temple the Temple that cut most of the third erected afterwords we have another image this is in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo here is hot for emerging from her shrine which was built into most of the first Temple right next to Hatshepsut Temple he was of course the successor and here you have the king himself with the God is half the work pushing behind him basic legitimizing McCain as he is moving forward to reign over Egypt came the goddesses is they are protecting him and pushing him forward and nest depicted in several different ways telling you I got to talk most of the third tomb in the knowledge accumulated a few years ago we took a study tour there are you can see several intriguing images in the Kingstown we saw a few moments ago this afternoon and the first presentation we saw the serpent motif and how valuable the serpent motif was around Portman was in ancient Egypt as you go down and the Kings chamber you see another importance emblem in the Kings chamber there's the serpent meeting the king into the afterlife but notice this image that strange here we have seen and here we know it's can cut most of the third because that's his name right here in the cartouche there we have the King holding on to a branch or the arm of a tree and doing the same thing Hatshepsut did earlier only from the Cal God is hot for he is suckling from the tree now this is fascinating because what does the Bible describe officer as many times a tree right and here the King thought most of the third is receiving nourishment from this tree who is known also as Ostrow there are other scenes from the eighteenth dynasty here is that the new tree again pouring out nourishment for the deceased in this case in this tomb painting notice the tree goddess coming out of the tree here is another image status the tree God is again coming out of her place there she's the trunk if you will and in her arms the branch and she's worse saving the woman here is receiving our estimates are from this here is another image these are all different images from various tomb paintings and he just this time she's getting food okay so we have your very clear connection between the tray and between between nurturer and end in half for and here's another image this is a Canaanite image of posture raw notice what's happening here to gold 's on either side giggles remember we saw that a moment ago the receipt to golfing held by Ostrow here are two belts again on either side she is feeding the two belts because she is the tree and she's holding the plans to the Gulf so that they can feed from the tree and if you ever travel in the Middle East you see a lot of goals and this is a very familiar scene as they don't stretch themselves up to the tree to eat from its branches and this is a very common thing that you see there but this is the goddess and she standing on something down here that's not very clear okay but she standing on something down below so here we have in Egypt the connection between a mother goddess the tree nurture nourishment all of those things and now we traveled to the territory of Palestine again must go back to Palestine in the southern part of Palestine at a place called Quintilian 's rude we found large storage jaws with paintings on the outside and these paintings are interesting because of the inscription appear this is an inscription that says something and then the images down below what are the first things that you notice from what we just talked about a moment ago you see the lion here who was standing on the line before I you are going to write and they are seen as only this time she is depicted as one of three does that make sense because we see that sometimes she's a tray and sometimes she's a woman and we'll was eating from the tree gulps again just like we've seen in several other images both from O'Gara from Egypt and now from Canaan and then we have some other images over here we have a woman seated on the throne some say this is a lion throne with Paul pause for the for the feats of the throne here down below playing a harp this appears to be a woman because of the long hair and then these strange figures over here but the inscription is what is intriguing and a lot has been made out of this over the years notice what it says and there's different types of interpretations that been given to the subscription one interpretation is that the inscription says by Yahweh and by his officer indicating that Austro is a pole or image not an actual goddess and the other interpretation by some scholars is that it is by Yahweh and his Austro indicating that this is some kind of a a goddess now we look at data and we know right away instinctively from the Bible what does Yahweh have a wife no but where there times in biblical history were Ostrow was placed were only Yahweh should have been yes and it may have been that in parts of Israel and this is an oasis way down in the desert far away from the center of Jerusalem it may have been that Australia here was somehow put together with Yahweh worship in fact we have evidence indirect evidence very indirect evidence of this elsewhere as well time not this is the cult stand from I'm not the time not to the site located north of Jerusalem notice of the images on this call stand here we have two lines and in the middle of them is a sacred is a tray again you see the trait what are the lines usually associate with whiplash or a writer standing on the line Earl Asher is standing on the line here are two lines through the sacred tree in the middle there are goats eating from the tree on either side and then you go down here and here you have two lines again but now you have a woman standing between the lines and notice what the woman is doing she's holding the lions by his years see that well here it's not very clear here it's here it's clear usually when you look at this as an artist drawing from inside him what does that mean you're been held by your ears is a pleasant thing is that something that has happened when you were in trouble or something like my parents never know let me around by the ears I was in Brazil a few years ago and they were giving full rides ever written the bull before relaxing in a rodeo my dad used to love rodeos when we go out West we always have to see the rodeos but some they were available they are just like horse rides they were giving bull rides of my daughters want to try and I said is it safe he says look at what is in the nose and in the nose there was a large ring that the bull was being led by this is all I have to do is pull just a little bit you know how painful that is readable still do exactly what I want him to do so perhaps this is an image of Ostrow who is controlling the Lions that the land is exactly who was the line between a big beast right king of animals so that she will be dominant over him we go to another location this is the city of Arad in the southern part of Israel excavations took place there in the nineteen sixties and they uncovered a huge fortress dating to the time of Hezekiah and Josiah Hezekiah of course was the reformer Kang and so was Josiah couple generations later but notice what happens here we have a temple this is the holy place and this is the most holy place the holy place has an altar unit and as we move to the most holy place here we have a several stairs leading up to another area I'm in a close in on that now there are two alters they're not very big they're only about this tall the smallest one is about this tall and about this wide certainly not for a animal sacrifice but it certainly was used for incense we know because there were residues left on those altars that were analyzed in labs and we know that they were used for incense these are replicas that are there now the originals are unusual museum and behind these alters are what standing stones as the Bible ever talk about standing stones absolutely it talks about high places and standing stones and standing stones were often on these high places together with altars kind of reminds us a little bit of Stonehenge but it's very very different they usually don't have inscriptions on them sometimes they do the Wonnacott sore there was a whole Temple found with the standing stones in several altars and one of the standing stones had to opt raised arms with the sun disk and the moon guess what was happening there what was being worshiped so here we have two standing stones one is taller than the other and one altar is taller than the other and some scholars have extrapolated the car until it is rude inscriptions found miles and miles away and has said this may be way and his officer we don't know that for sure that's conjecture that we don't know that for sure but what is for sure is what how many authors are there to how many standing stones wood usually represented deities are there to how many deities should have been worshiped in ancient Israel one so there's what Weber does it's a problem right and here is there this was completely destroyed and it was destroyed right at the time and right at the date of the of the time of Josiah the reformer and that's important because as we see as we move on from the standing stones in Iran century will see that that's significant to other thing silly to incense altars and the two standing stones they are in the most holy place of the sanctuary in Rod we come now to the most intriguing thing perhaps in terms of images these are figurines that are found all over the ancient country of Israel and just recently last year in February we had an opening in our museum here on campus where we had for the first time on display at our museum and on our campus one of these figurines we perceive one alone and we have one here on loan as part of our collection now unfortunately as I mentioned earlier the museum is not open right now we wish it could be tomorrow afternoon normally it would be entering the week as well but we're in the middle of installing a brand-new exhibit and so we invite you to come October eight to see the re: our new exhibit on coins of the biblical world and particularly Greco-Roman coins will have all the coins of the early emperors as well as Philip of Macedon Alexander the great and others in the claims of the Bible that are mentioned there as well it's a special new exhibit that were opening up in just a few weeks but but this particular image is quite disturbing because obviously it is a female figuring some have analyzed the trunks as whether the stands is simply being functional so that the figuring standup others have noted the similarity to a tree trunk and some have equated it because of that again when you're an art historian you you you kind of you know I have to think about these things most of the same time and none of the times we had inscriptions on this that say I am ossuary we don't have that so these are then interpreted in all kinds of different ways of Alan the lard from the University of Liverpool said they may as well open toys I'm not so sure he's a good friend and I respect him a great deal but I'm not so sure about that not the context in which they are usually found we'll talk about that in a moment Fowler nineteen eighty five 's as we can't know what they were additional inscriptions with them is evident in his book in two thousand and one on the religion of Israel said they were votives or prayers in clay when women wanted to have aid in childbearing or wanted to have protection they would place this kind of boat shiv bring it to the Temple or bring it over or have it at home as a kind of representation of themselves before God now you know that that still happens right in the Catholic Church their motives at San Javier Mission near Tucson Arizona people used to bring images of the pieces of their body that words were that the needed medical attention or that needed healing and they would place these votives of arms and legs and heads in the walls of of the church at San Javier I saw this summer when I was in in Munich your Munich in other acting which is just a few miles away where Pope Benedict the current pope was born and there is a pilgrimage church at Catholic pilgrimage church and there is a whole glass case with the wax of votes is that people have hung their praying for and are different limbs arms and lags different limbs that need healing and so forth so those are motives in their presented as representations of the actual thing on kitchen Kenneth kitchen said there simply good luck charms burn that their state sanctions maintaining the population after the demise of Israel in other words they encourage women to have lots of children because Israel had been decimated by the Assyrians that come through William Deaver who will be here on this campus in just a few weeks in November says that this is in fact the mother goddess that this is Ostrow and in fact most others equate this image which Ostrow why it's look at some of the evidence this is not ours by the way that we have in our museum and I you can see she's a very fine specimen her face is very very clear and distinct and were very excited to have her the issue is this and this is what is so in free game when we read the Bible and compare the Bible with what we know from the ancient world it's intriguing the majority of these Ostrow figurines have not been found in felicity up they have not been found in Canaan they had not been found and finish up in the north the majority of these figurines have been found in the territory of juvenile almost a thousand of these clay figurines have been located by archaeologists and the majority ninety six percent of them are from Judah and you know when they day to the eighth and seventh centuries BC process of the time when the NASA placed in foster in the Temple in Jerusalem you think the people rise above their leader normally the people only rise as high or sink as low as the leader of the country sinks right and in this case we see that being of your clear indication there's another interesting by the way here are some of the sites we talked about there is a rod twenty three of them were found in a rod okay Ben Archambault forty three telnet mirror some thirty seven life phase we just talk about location twenty nine of them and now look at Jerusalem to see the graph over four hundred were found in Jerusalem itself that is ninety six percent of all the figurines ever found are in Judah but over half of those over four hundred were found in the capital itself wasn't a problem was there a reason why the prophets denounced the worship of Ostrow so many times was there a reason why the Bible talks about Manasseh placing her in the temple I think so and so here we see the distribution of these discoveries notice what second King says again for he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed and he erected altars for veil and made an officer 's Ahab king of Israel had done and worshiped all the host of heaven and serve them these awestruck figurines differ somewhat the ones from Jerusalem are slightly styled differently from the ones from the fiche there stylistic differences as one moves from city to city this appear to be locally made and noticed most of them have been beheaded we only find the heads or the bodies and many times the body 's are devoid of the arms because probably in a reform like the one that Josiah led where he actually takes the one in the Temple and what is he do what we just read a moment ago he crushes it into powder and scatters the powder over the graves of the common people they were probably destroyed and it's fascinating that the majority of the ones that we have found in Jerusalem were found in one location I didn't like this graph but I copied this out of somewhere else the smiley faces or where the Ostrow figuring been found okay I would avoid is there but anyway the majority of the pieces four hundred and seventy seven come from this location right here is not complete pieces these are pieces individual parts four hundred and seventy seven this is where the Temple stood at one this is the horror on El Cerrito where the Temple Mount is today into Dome of the rock stands right here in the center the third most holy site for Islam this is outside the modern walls of the city or ancient walls of the city and in the area of of the of the city of David and there is a cave cave one and it is in table one almost as a repository that we find the majority of these images and I can't help but wonder as we look at the at the cave 's contents and particularly the pottery that is found in this cave I cannot help but wonder if this was where all the Ostrow 's that had been gathered in the city by Josiah and by the priests in acting reform after the book of Deuteronomy was found after Josiah desired to come back into covenant relationship with God whether this was not the repository where all these things were placed away from the people hidden until modern archaeology has found them two thousand five hundred six hundred years later it's amazing to think any brought out the Ostrow from the house of the Lord Josiah did outside Jerusalem to the Brooke Kidman and burned it at the brook to children this is located very close the procurement by the way that neck that cave and Brundage they are and ground into dust and threw it the only ways on the common people he also broke down the houses of the male cult prostitutes which were in the house of the Lord where the women were weaving hangings for ashram Richard has just published a book on Israelite religions this last year puts it this way the inherently intentional breaking of these images and the biblically attested polytheism of Manasseh argue in favor of these images these Judean figurines being divine representations in other words they weren't simply figurines of women of themselves he says their divine representations of Ostrow we don't know for certain because we don't have the inscription that the evidence certainly points in that direction so who is this woman is she a goddess Ostrow and if she is what does that mean for us today what does it mean for ancient Jerusalem was everyone worshiping Ostrow and if they were how did that mixed with other things as we close in one dimension one more bit of evidence that's intriguing this evidence comes from another source of detail because when you look at the image I want to ask you question would you expect to find any images of Yahweh around Jerusalem and we have some cult stands and we have some standing stones that Summit interpreters Yahweh but none of them say Yahweh on them why wouldn't we find images of Yahweh in Jerusalem you shall not make unto thyself any graven image right there is a commandment specifically for that so if that's the case could we only be seeing a partial picture if Yahweh didn't receive any images and archaeologists can only ask what materially remains after the fact right then are we only sing a partial image perhaps of what the ancient Israelites were involved with where are the Yahweh images up to this point in time not a single one has been found anywhere in Israel well here's another clue two years ago Professor Jeffrey today from University of Pennsylvania published a small book entitled thou shalt have no other gods just like the commandment says and she investigated another bit of evidence that are perhaps not is ostentatious as these figurines we look at but he investigated seals personal seal impressions of individuals hundreds of them have been found in the territory of Jerusalem in other words when you signed the document you didn't sign your name you took your signet ring and you impressed it on a piece of mod and those little pieces of mod called Boulet had been preserved over time and we have the names of hundreds of individuals living in Jerusalem during that time and names back then had me they do today as well not that but they had particular meaning many of them most of them most Israelite names had the name God in them in some way my name is an Israelite name know that Michael it means who is like God AL the last part of my name is God Barrett Yahoo we know I'm in the Bible is the roof the scribe of Jeremiah Derek Yahoo as the name Yahoo at the end and that doesn't refer to some website in our modern culture today or some chocolate drink that refers to the name Yahweh which is placed at the end blessed of Yahweh is with Derek Yahoo means soul names in age sometimes the import elements that's why Daniels three friends had to have their names gently went to Babylon they could no longer be called Daniels what Ananias Misael and Azariah any more because the eye is at the end of the names are Yahweh Daniel means God is my judge their names had to be changed the good old Babylonian names with Babylonian deities so Daniel now receives the name felt the shelter and Bell is one of the primary Babylonian gods so she decided let's go to these ancient seals in Jerusalem let's look at the names that are depicted there and find out what mothers and fathers two thousand six hundred seven hundred eight hundred years ago were giving their children as names let's figure it out and let's figure it out if they contain the name bail I surround or any of the other Canaanite gods or whether our Egyptian gods for that matter or let's look let's look at what is and this is what he found ninety four one of the net of the percent of the names are now listed names that contain Yahweh as the elements in the name ninety four percent five nine percent are paid and during the divided monarchy even a higher percentage ninety six percent are Yahwist it divided monarchy is the time period that were talking about here four percent are taken and he concludes on page twenty this is a pretty thin book the automatic evidence from Israel would mean that the popular private religion was almost exclusively with stick and with a few exceptions other deities were worshiped only and state religion when while policy dictated by you look at that and say okay that's another bit of evidence but can one really make that conclusion on the basis of this avid how many of us today give our children Christian names in our society today simply because that's our culture does it mean reliving his Christians actually know Michael is a very popular name Caleb is a popular biblical name today my nephew is named Caleb if any of you have taken Hebrew attorney Caleb Cyr will give your children and Caleb that means dog in Hebrew chai is a very popular name today but nobody thinks about those things you know I didn't have the guts to tell my sister don't tell her anyway so anyway we have we have names with all kinds of different meanings but we give names often because of you go to Ireland today and you have Catholic names and you have Protestant names and you go to other parts of Europe and you have names that continue on from generation to generation and it's not always because the people are practicing Christians so we have to be careful with this kind of evidence but still it's another bit of evidence that is here as we look at these ancient Boulet some of them are actual seals most of them are seal impressions we have these names of different individuals this is the one by the way that mentions Barack Yahoo scenario described is the actual seal of Jeremiah 's scribe who wrote the book of Jeremiah the actual seal we have to seal impressions one is unusual museum was found in Jerusalem in the Babylonian destruction right at the right time the other one is in a private collection in London as we end all simply share this illustration a few years ago as we were putting together a exhibit here at the lineage would archaeological Museum student carelessly placed one of our objects in his pocket is him one part of the museum to the other or he was going to put it on display and I saw him do it and I said what are you doing your place and ancient object in your pocket you handle it carefully with white gloves and you carefully move it in a box usually from one place to be careful that they don't just casually put in your pocket and all I was afraid of his keys in error something you know so I actually pulled out of his pocket and he looked at it and suddenly just stopped there for a moment I said what's wrong is it damaged for life this is not always says and sought damages as I just realized this was something that was worshiped in ancient times it was the head of the deity that he had in his pocket by the way it was worshiped in ancient times and I just stuck it in my pocket Isaiah talks about that conundrum in ancient times as well chapter forty four verses sixteen to eighteen he burns half of it in the fire with this this half you need to meet the roles aroused and is satisfied even warms himself insists on I am warm I have seen the fire and then the rest of it he makes into a God is carved image he falls down before it and worships it prays to it and says deliver me for you are my God they do not know or understand for he has shut their eyes so that they cannot see in the hearts so that they cannot understand what our gods and goddesses today how many times we do this we take the common things of life and we make them our God we realize in the end of life and the end of our existence that they don't mean anything they cannot understand they cannot hear they cannot say they we make the God of heaven Yahweh truly the God of our lives for he is coming soon and he is the living God the one who is personal God for each one of us but our heads for prayer as we close Lord God the God of heaven the only one in true and holy God the only God in this universe who can hear and who can speak and when you speak you can speak galaxies into existence we thank you that you are a God who not only is from the beginning who always was and who is and who will be but that you are the God who is able to be a personal God one who is very very personal in our lives today we pray that you would be with us that you would go with us from this place we have been fed the Sabbath and throughout this week guide us and may we draw closer to you may we not make our own images after ourselves and worship them but we may we be faithful to you so that when we see you again face-to-face you will say welcome my faithful servant enter into the kingdom that I have prepared for you we thank you in Jesus name amen

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