“You shall make the altar of acacia wood, five cubits long and five cubits broad. The altar shall be square, and its height shall be three cubits. And you shall make horns for it on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it, and you shall overlay it with bronze.” – Exodus 27:1-2.
This month, some very exciting discoveries were made at Tel Shiloh which align well with the biblical narrative of the Hebrew Bible (Quoted Above). On August 12, 2019, Christian archaeologists reported that three altar horns were discovered during ABR’s excavations at Shiloh, Israel last season. The first was 38 cm long and 23.5 cm wide. The second was 18 cm long and 12.5 cm wide. The third was 38 cm long and 20 cm wide.
The offering of sacrifice was an institution inaugurated by Yahweh / God, and the idea, language, and practice of sacrifice is pervasive throughout Israel’s history that has been mentioned 580 times in the Bible. Shiloh was then the first capital of Israel for 369 years and after all, it is the site where the Mosaic Tabernacle structure was stationed along with the Ark of the Covenant and the aforementioned altar. It was the location where Hannah prayed for a son, where Eli’s family forfeited the priestly office, and where the boy Samuel was commissioned as a prophet.
The second most exciting discovery made in 2018 was the ceramic pomegranate. The Hebrew Bible speaks repeatedly of the pomegranate in relationship to the décor of the Mosaic Tabernacle and Jewish Temple and concerning Aaron’s priestly robe. Under King Solomon, Hiram was brought from Tyre to craft the Temple pillars, capitals, and ornamentation: 1 Kings 7:17-18, “A network of interwoven chains adorned the capitals on top of the pillars, seven for each capital. He made pomegranates in two rows encircling each network to decorate the capitals on top of the pillars.” The pomegranate measures between 2.5 and three inches and has hooks by which it could be hung on the priest robe as well the pillars in the temple.
The pictures below show the original site of Tel Shiloh / Khirbet Seilun and the original altar and ceramic pomegranate found on site. Exciting stuff indeed.
Have a blessed 2020 season!
Mike “The Digger” John