Carl Andrews, Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon

THE STREETS OF ASHKELON. The photo depicts the excavated remains of ancient Ashkelon. Are these like the streets mentioned in David’s lament over the deaths of King Saul and his son Jonathan—“Proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon” (2 Samuel 1:20)? The Hebrew word chutsot, however, does not mean “streets” but “bazaars”; David warns the Israelites not to proclaim the news of the deaths of Saul and Jonathan in the famous bazaars of Israel’s enemy, lest Philistine women rejoice at Israel’s loss of its royalty. It was in these same bazaars that excavators unearthed the tiny remains studied by authors Weiss and Kislev, remains that tell us much about the life, diet and economy of Ashkelon shortly before its destruction by Babylon.