Archaeology

The Cave Of Machpelah

Cave Of Machpelah

Sarah, died at the age of 127 years and her husband, Abraham, buried her in the Cave of Machpelah near Hebron. Sarah is the only woman in the Bible whose age at the time of death is recorded. This is a reminder of her importance in God’s plan. Herod the Great memorialized the location of her tomb with one of his massive construction projects in the 1st century BC. 

Since Abraham did not own any land in Canaan, he had to purchase a burial place. He approached the sons of Heth to inquire about purchasing a cave to use as a family tomb. Abraham negotiated with Ephron to purchase a piece of land just east of Hebron for four hundred shekels of silver (Gen 23:17-18).

The Cave of the Patriarchs

Abraham buried Sarah “in the cave of the field of Machpelah” (Gen 23:19). When Abraham died forty-eight years later, this is where his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him (Genesis 25:9). Isaac and Rebekah were both buried here (Genesis 49:31). Jacob buried Leah here (Genesis 49:31), and Joseph buried Jacob here (Genesis 50:13).

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Archaeology, Genesis

Objections To Tall el-Hammam

Objections To Tall el-Hammam
Tall el-Hammam (Sodom)

Many experts do not accept that Tall el-Hammam is Sodom. As I noted in the first article in this series, the prevailing theory for the past century has placed Sodom at the southern end of the Dead Sea. Perhaps even beneath the surface of the Dead Sea. 

It’s hard to go against a century of tradition, and the common belief in a southern location has resulted in several objections to a northern location. To wrap up this series on Tall el-Hammam, let’s look at the common objections raised against a northern location for Sodom.

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Archaeology, Genesis

Tall el-Hammam And The Bible’s Chronology

The Bible's Chronology
Tall el-Hammam (Sodom)

How well does the date of the destruction of Tall el-Hammam line up with the Bible’s chronology for the destruction of Sodom? We’ve already considered that Tall el-Hammam is in the right place to be Sodom. It’s also been observed that Tall el-Hammam contains the right stuff to be Sodom. However, if Tall el-Hammam’s destruction was hundreds of years before or after the time of Abraham, it can’t be Sodom.

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Archaeology, Genesis

Is Tall el-Hammam Sodom?

Tall el-Hammam
Tall el-Hammam (Sodom)

In the previous blog post and accompanying video, we compared the area of Tall el-Hammam with the Bible’s description of the location of Sodom. As a candidate for the ruins of Sodom, Tall el-Hammam definitely meets the Bible’s geographical criteria. If Tall el-Hammam is Sodom, the artifacts from the excavations should also be consistent with the Bible’s description. What have archeologists discovered at Tall el-Hammam?

Size and architecture

The Bible describes Sodom as a fortified city based on the fact that it had a gate. 

The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth (Gen. 19:1 ESV)

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Archaeology, Genesis

Searching For Sodom

Sodom
Tall el-Hammam (Sodom)

The destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah is one of the best known events of the Bible. The story’s lessons are significant and relevant to modern life. Be that as it may, before we tackle those lessons (in a future article), let’s consider recent archaeological discoveries which shed light on the ancient cities.

Where was Sodom?

Until the 20th century most biblical scholars considered Sodom to be at the northern end of the Dead Sea. Of course, they did not know the exact location, but they based their conclusions upon a reading of the text in Genesis. 

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Posted by Eddie Lawrence in Archaeology, Genesis