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THE TWELVE STONES SET UP AT THE JORDAN FOUND WITH INSCRIPTIONS
Jerusalem Post ^ | jerusalem post

Posted on 09/20/2009 6:22:46 PM PDT by Jedediah

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=1&cid=1249418627506&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

"Then Moses and the elders of Israel charged all the people as follows: 'Keep the entire commandment that I am commanding you today. On the day that you cross over the Jordan into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall set up great stones and cover them with plaster. You shall write on them all the words of this law when you have crossed over." (Deuteronomy 27:1-3).

Rubble on floor may have fallen from the ceiling during earthquakes since the cavern was fashioned.

Built on the foundations of an ancient Byzantine church, the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George is home to the oldest, most precise map of biblical Israel and the surrounding areas. The church is northwest of Madaba, a provincial town of the Roman Empire that is now a Jordanian village. During the reign of Justinian (527-565 CE), the long central hall of the cross-shaped Byzantine structure was covered from wall to wall by the Madaba Map, which originally spanned 94 square meters, though only 25 are preserved. The map (see Page 36) identifies Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley with astounding accuracy, and depicts a site called Galgala near Jericho. The Greek inscription next to Galgala reads Dodekaliton, which translates as "Twelve Stones." The inscription was believed to refer to the 12 stones the Israelites carried from the Jordan River bed and set up in Gilgal (Joshua 4). However, it is also possible that these stones are those mentioned in the above passage from Deuteronomy. In that passage, Moses commanded the Israelites to inscribe "all the words of this law" on large plastered stones after they crossed the Jordan near Jericho.

Galgala, so accurately located by the Madaba Map, is believed to be the site recently discovered by Prof. Adam Zertal and a team from the University of Haifa which has been surveying the region since 1978. They unearthed a huge man-made cavern 30 feet underground, which they believe may have been a quarry that was already sacred to ancient Christians.

The largest man-made cavern in Israel, the excavation is about 100 yards long, 40 yards wide and four yards high. Inside, Zertal and his team found a ceiling supported by 22 huge columns bearing various carved symbols. Thirty-one crosses were discovered, in addition to a possible zodiac and the symbol of a Roman legion. Recesses for holding oil lamps were found in the columns, along with holes to which animals hauling stones out of the cavern could have been tied. The column carvings and fragments of pottery enabled Zertal to date the cavern back at least as far as the beginning of the Common Era, and the multitude of crosses leads him to believe it might have also functioned as a monastery and hiding place.

Rumored to be haunted, the cave had been known to local Beduin for centuries. Zertal explained that one of the first visitors to the cave contracted "cave fever" or a parasite, which may have been the reason the Beduin thought the cave was bewitched.

Working on the theory that the site may have also seen use as an ancient quarry, Zertal and his team are examining microorganisms in the stones to determine where they might have been transferred. Their next move is to date the symbols on the pillars and compare them to other Jewish, Roman and Christian sites in the Jordan Valley.

According to the Civil Administration for Judea and Samaria, Zertal has only received a permit to survey the northern part of the Jordan Valley, and the cavern is south of the survey boundaries. In order to begin excavating, Zertal says his team will have to raise NIS 1 million. Once excavation is permitted, his next step is to examine the rubble on the floor before removing it, hopefully to reveal coins.

Though he would like the cave to open to the public, Zertal appreciates the great amount of work this would require. "We would need to build a road and an entrance, install electricity, and raise money for a visitor's center," he says.

THE MOST perplexing question, according to Zertal, the answer to which might support the notion that this is where the "great stones" described in Deuteronomy were quarried, inscribed and left for safekeeping, is why anyone would dig such a large quarry with such a narrow entrance so far underground. The Madaba Map may shed some light on this mystery. Zertal explained that scholars had always supposed that "12 stones" referred to the biblical story of the stones removed from the Jordan River bed to commemorate the miracle that the river stopped flowing when the Israelites passed over it. However, the discovery of this cave suggests that the "12 stones" inscription on the map may refer to the location of the "master copy" stones of Deuteronomy and Joshua 8. Though this theory appears to provide a logical reason for the quarry being constructed underground, Zertal points out that "it is just a theory" and "much more research needs to be done."

Rabbi Menachem Leibtag of Yeshivat Har Etzion in Gush Etzion doesn't think the 12 riverbed stones are connected to the cavern at all. "The 12 riverbed-stone memorial was built in Gilgal, nearby and a bit to the east of Jericho, but by now it is long gone. The cavern found in the Jordan Valley is clearly not connected to it. It's simply a quarry from thousands of years later that had a possible secondary use as a monastery," he said.

Like Zertal, Liebtag believes that "it would not be surprising if in Byzantine times they named a site near the Jordan River Gilgal." He explained that the Byzantines tried to identify many sites of the Bible and build churches in those areas, but the naming was usually not based on careful archeological study, but rather on "assumption or ancient traditions."

Leibtag, however, highlighted a key difficulty with conjectures that the cavern may be where the "master copy" stones were left for safekeeping. He notes that Joshua is described as having constructed an altar out of special stones on Mount Ebal near the city of Shechem (Joshua 8:30-35) 10 years after the death of Moses. Zertal claims to have found Joshua's altar, but the site is far from the recently discovered cavern and devoid of inscribed stones.

Continued 1| 2 | Next»


TOPICS: Catholic; Charismatic Christian; Evangelical Christian; Judaism; Mainline Protestant; Other Christian
KEYWORDS: epigraphyandlanguage; godsgravesglyphs; jordan; letshavejerusalem; river; stones; twelve

1 posted on 09/20/2009 6:22:47 PM PDT by Jedediah
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To: Jedediah

Ping for later


2 posted on 09/20/2009 6:34:03 PM PDT by Alex Murphy (...We never faced anything like this...we only fought humans.)
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To: Jedediah

Thanks for posting this. Very interesting.


3 posted on 09/20/2009 6:36:28 PM PDT by OldCorps
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To: Jedediah

Ping for later


4 posted on 09/20/2009 6:52:06 PM PDT by DieHard the Hunter (Is mise an ceann-cinnidh. Cha ghéill mi do dhuine. Fàg am bealach.)
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To: Jedediah
Interesting, but this bugs me...

...date the cavern back at least as far as the beginning of the Common Era

I've never understood what a "Common Era" is. The whole thing strikes me as little more than anti-Christian revisionism. Let's not pretend that the B.C./A.D. dating system is anything other than what it is.
5 posted on 09/20/2009 6:58:55 PM PDT by irishjuggler
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Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Built on the foundations of an ancient Byzantine church, the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George is home to the oldest, most precise map of biblical Israel and the surrounding areas. The church is northwest of Madaba, a provincial town of the Roman Empire that is now a Jordanian village.
There's a tiny pic on my drive, nabbed off the Ron Wyatt site years ago, which (kinda) shows the mosaic in context in the room. The second link leads to lots of images from the town, including one showing the map as part of the actual floor. Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

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6 posted on 09/20/2009 7:02:35 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: irishjuggler

It’s a Jewish newspaper.

They are not likely to use AC or BC.


7 posted on 09/20/2009 7:04:20 PM PDT by right way right
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To: right way right

Meant A.D.


8 posted on 09/20/2009 7:05:05 PM PDT by right way right
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To: right way right

What did they use before they concocted Common Era?


9 posted on 09/20/2009 7:06:21 PM PDT by irishjuggler
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To: irishjuggler

Might mean something else in the future.


10 posted on 09/20/2009 7:09:57 PM PDT by DaveMSmith (Feed the poor)
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To: irishjuggler

I don’t know, but I understood your question.

It is actually a Christian paper.

Israel is just so secular I guess.


11 posted on 09/20/2009 7:11:01 PM PDT by right way right
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To: Jedediah
First the steps -- The steps are not silent anymore now the stones. Stepping stones to cross the Jordon!
12 posted on 09/20/2009 7:56:10 PM PDT by DaveMSmith (Feed the poor)
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To: Godzilla; ejonesie22

Of interest to you...

:)


13 posted on 09/20/2009 8:26:37 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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for later


14 posted on 09/21/2009 12:57:51 PM PDT by leftyontheright
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To: Jedediah

Is this “real”.


15 posted on 09/21/2009 5:17:06 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: redgolum

See for yourself click the post ! Pretty cool \o/ Hallelujah


16 posted on 09/21/2009 5:40:33 PM PDT by Jedediah
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To: FormerLib

Built on the foundations of an ancient Byzantine church, the Greek “Orthodox” Church of St. George is home to the oldest, most precise map of biblical Israel and the surrounding areas.


17 posted on 09/21/2009 8:48:37 PM PDT by Jedediah
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Just an update.

18 posted on 06/30/2013 8:25:03 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (McCain or Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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