The Rise of the Maccabees

The year is 150 BCE. For all who live in the southern Levant, life is calm and prosperous. Along the coast are busy ports whose harbors welcome ships carrying imported wine, exotic foodstuffs, and fancy tablewares. People’s homes boast luxurious interior décor: brightly painted walls, mosaic floors, stone furniture, etc. Commercial exchange, imported goods, comfortable […]

David and Solomon’s Invisible Kingdom

For some, archaeology proves that David and Solomon ruled over a powerful kingdom made up of walled, well-fortified cities and towns, places like Megiddo, Hazor, Gezer, and more recently, Khirbet Qeiyafa. For others, the same archaeology shows that their kingdom wasn’t much of a kingdom at all—and certainly nothing like the great power described in […]

Jerusalem’s Temple Treasures: Where Did They Go?

For thousands of years, people have hunted for the lost treasures of the First and Second Jerusalem Temples. The story begins about 2,500 years ago, when several biblical accounts—2 Kings 25:13-17, 2 Chronicles 36:18-19, and Jeremiah 52:17-23—narrate the removal of treasures from the First Temple by the invading Babylonian armies. Most of these Temple […]

The Amorites and the Bible

In the Bible, the Amorites are frequently mentioned among Canaan’s original inhabitants, those who lived in the land before the Israelites. Yet the Amorites received a pointed condemnation unlike any reserved for another group. They are called out for their impure religious practices and deviant gods (e.g., Genesis 15:16; Joshua 24:15; 1 Kings 21:26). Who […]