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Israel's Archeological Finds Reaffirm Biblical Truths

December 13, 2007 Dear Friend of Israel, Anyone who has traveled in the Holy Land knows that Israel is a place where the past comes alive. Once you are here, you are keenly aware of walking in the footsteps of countless historical figures, including the forefathers of both the Jewish and Christian faiths - the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and Jesus. Sometimes those of us who live in Israel take this amazing fact for granted. But, every once in awhile, there is a discovery that provides us with a vivid reminder of the rich history of the streets we walk every day. Last week, archeologists digging in Jerusalem uncovered an edifice believed to be part of the palace of Queen Helena, a Babylonian aristocrat who was a convert to Judaism. The first century Jewish historian, Josephus, speaks of Queen Helena as one quick to assist her people in time of need: "… a great famine happened in Judaea, and queen Helena of Adiabene bought grain in Egypt at a great expense, and distributed it to those that needed it." The building bears the signs of an ancient catastrophe. One archeologist working on the dig says that narrow openings found at the basement level of the structure were probably used by inhabitants to escape shortly before the Romans destroyed the palace - and all Jerusalem - in the year 70 CE. For Jews and Christians who know the Bible, and understand that it is the authoritative word of God and to anyone familiar with the mountain of historical evidence establishing the ancient Jewish connection to Israel discoveries such as this, while exciting and enriching, come as no surprise. But these findings do help solidify in the public mind the well-established Jewish claims to Jerusalem and all of Israel. Incredibly, there are those in Arab and Islamic circles who still try to undermine those claims. Writer Daniel Pipes sums it up this way: "Palestinians now claim that Canaanites built Solomon's Temple, that the ancient Hebrews were Bedouin tribesmen, the Bible came from Arabia, the Jewish Temple 'was in Nablus or perhaps Bethlehem,' the Jewish presence in Palestine ended in C.E. 70." In the face of these attempts to revise history, discoveries such as the one made last week, and others like it made in the last few months, provide an ever growing amount of objective evidence for Israel's claims to the Holy Land, and the truth of the Bible. You can learn more about Queen Helena's palace in these articles: Second Temple Palace Discovered and Archaelogists find 2,000-year-old palace. Also, the Israel Antiquities Authority, is an excellent resource for learning about Israel’s ancient history and archaeological discoveries. And, if you've been thinking about coming to the Holy Land, but have never had the opportunity, I encourage you to sign up today to receive information about our 2008 Journey Home to Israel Tour, and consider joining us for this life-changing trip where you will truly see history, and the Bible, come alive. With prayers for shalom, peace, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

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