Tuesday, July 12, 2016

 

EGYPT OFFERING NETANYAHU-ABBAS MURDERER PEACE TALKS.

JEWISH KING JESUS IS COMING AT THE RAPTURE FOR US IN THE CLOUDS-DON'T MISS IT FOR THE WORLD.THE BIBLE TAKEN LITERALLY- WHEN THE PLAIN SENSE MAKES GOOD SENSE-SEEK NO OTHER SENSE-LEST YOU END UP IN NONSENSE.GET SAVED NOW- CALL ON JESUS TODAY.THE ONLY SAVIOR OF THE WHOLE EARTH - NO OTHER. 1 COR 15:23-JESUS THE FIRST FRUITS-CHRISTIANS RAPTURED TO JESUS-FIRST FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT-23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.ROMANS 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.(THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE)

LAND FOR PEACE (THE FUTURE 7 YEARS OF HELL ON EARTH)

JOEL 3:2
2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people(ISRAEL) and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.(UPROOTED ISRAELIS AND DIVIDED JERUSALEM)(THIS BRINGS ON WW3 BECAUSE JERUSALEM IS DIVIDED,WARNING TO ARABS-MUSLIMS AND THE WORLD).

THE WEEK OF DANIEL 9:27 WE KNOW ITS 7 YRS

Heres the scripture 1 week = 7 yrs Genesis 29:27-29
27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.
28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week:(7 YEARS) and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.
29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.

DANIEL 11:21-23
21 And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
23 And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.
24 He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time.

DANIEL 9:26-27
26 And after threescore and two weeks(62X7=434 YEARS+7X7=49 YEARS=TOTAL OF 69 WEEKS OR 483 YRS) shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;(ROMAN LEADERS DESTROYED THE 2ND TEMPLE) and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.(THERE HAS TO BE 70 WEEKS OR 490 YRS TO FUFILL THE VISION AND PROPHECY OF DAN 9:24).(THE NEXT VERSE IS THAT 7 YR WEEK OR (70TH FINAL WEEK).
27 And he ( THE ROMAN,EU PRESIDENT) shall confirm the covenant (PEACE TREATY) with many for one week:(1X7=7 YEARS) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,(3 1/2 yrs in TEMPLE ANIMAL SACRIFICES STOPPED) and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

JEREMIAH 6:14
14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.

JEREMIAH 8:11
11 For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.

1 THESSALONIANS 5:3
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

ISAIAH 33:8
8  The highways lie waste, the wayfaring man ceaseth: he hath broken the covenant,(7 YR TREATY) he hath despised the cities, he regardeth no man.(THE WORLD LEADER-WAR MONGER CALLS HIMSELF GOD)

JERUSALEM DIVIDED

GENESIS 25:20-26
20  And Isaac was forty years old (A BIBLE GENERATION NUMBER=1967 + 40=2007+) when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian.
21  And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
22  And the children (2 NATIONS IN HER-ISRAEL-ARABS) struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD.
23  And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels;(ISRAEL AND THE ARABS) and the one people shall be stronger than the other people;(ISRAEL STRONGER THAN ARABS) and the elder shall serve the younger.(LITERALLY ISRAEL THE YOUNGER RULES (ISSAC)(JACOB-LATER NAME CHANGED TO ISRAEL) OVER THE OLDER ARABS (ISHMAEL)(ESAU)
24  And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb.
25  And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau.(THE OLDER AN ARAB)
26  And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob:(THE YOUNGER-ISRAELI) and Isaac was threescore (60) years old when she bare them.(1967 + 60=2027)(COULD BE THE LAST GENERATION WHEN JERUSALEM IS DIVIDED AMOUNG THE 2 TWINS)(THE 2 TWINS WANT JERUSALEM-THE DIVISION OF JERUSALEM TODAY)(AND WHOS IN CONTROL OF JERUSALEM TODAY-THE YOUNGER ISSAC-JACOB-ISRAEL)(AND WHO WANTS JERUSALEM DIVIDED-THE OLDER,ESAU-ISHMAEL (THE ARABS)

ISAIAH 28:14-19 (THIS IS THE 7 YR TREATY COVENANT OF DANIEL 9:27)
14 Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.
19 From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.

DANIEL 8:23-25
23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king (EU DICTATOR) of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences,(FROM THE OCCULT) shall stand up.
24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power:(SATANS POWER) and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes;(JESUS) but he shall be broken without hand.

Egypt said offering to host direct Netanyahu-Abbas talks-As Cairo FM makes rare visit to Israel, Palestinian officials say Sissi’s proposed tripartite summit will seek to deescalate regional tensions-By Tamar Pileggi July 11, 2016, 5:16 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has reportedly offered to host direct talks between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, as part of Cairo’s fresh efforts to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.The tripartite summit, which would also be attended by senior officials from Jordan and Egypt, would seek to engage in confidence-building measures in an effort to calm the 10-month surge in violence in the West Bank, Palestinian officials told both the pan-Arab Al-Hayat newspaper and Israel’s Haaretz daily.The reports comes on the heels of Sunday’s rare visit to Israel by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, who met with Netanyahu in Jerusalem in an apparent effort to further Sissi’s bid for an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord.Shoukry’s visit to Israel was the first by an Egyptian foreign minister since 2007. Recently, Israel has emerged as a discreet ally of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who has positioned himself as a central player in jump-starting the stalemated peace process.The Shoukry visit came amid chatter over the renewal of an Arab peace initiative and as Israel’s military recently saluted “unprecedented” intelligence cooperation with Egypt to combat the Islamic State group.Speaking to journalists alongside Netanyahu before their meeting on Sunday, Shoukry said this was a “crucial and challenging juncture for the Middle East.” Cairo, he added, is dedicated to “a just and comprehensive peace between the Israeli and Palestinian people.”“The goal we aim to achieve through negotiations between the two parties is one that is based on justice, legitimate rights and mutual willingness to coexist peacefully in two neighboring independent states in peace and security,” he said.“Egypt remains ready to assist in achieving this goal,” he said, stressing that “such a momentous achievement will have a far-reaching, dramatic and positive impact on the overall conditions in the Middle East. The current state of affairs is, unfortunately, neither stable nor sustainable.”Shoukry, who visited Abbas in the West Bank last month, urged leaders from both sides to resume negotiations.According to Israel’s Channel 2 television, Shoukry’s surprise visit was also aimed at arranging a first meeting between Netanyahu and Sissi in Egypt in the coming months.The TV report said Shoukry’s first visit to Israel was coordinated between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, whose Arab Peace Initiative is backed by Sissi and much of the Arab world, and would form the basis of any regional peace effort. Netanyahu has rejected the initiative in its current form, but said in late May that it “contains positive elements that could help revive constructive negotiations with the Palestinians.”Raphael Ahren contributed to this report. 

Egypt’s new rapport with Israel brings high hopes, but let’s not lose perspective-FM Shoukry’s visit to Jerusalem underlines countries’ converging interests, but if Cairo’s bid to relaunch peace process fails, Sissi is liable to take public ties back down a notch-By Raphael Ahren July 11, 2016, 4:44 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Sunday’s surprise visit to Israel by Egypt’s top diplomat, Sameh Shoukry, could herald a new golden age of Arab-Israeli cooperation. What started with a friendly dinner in Jerusalem discussing a prime ministerial visit to Cairo could lead to the relaunching of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks under Egyptian auspices, and maybe even end with the successful conclusion of a long-sought final-status agreement deal.But as Jews know from an earlier experience with Egypt, just because the road looks short doesn’t mean it won’t take 40 years. Jerusalem’s enthusiasm over the historic visit might yet prove premature.The last time an Egyptian foreign minister came to Israel was nine years ago. On July 25, 2007, Ahmed Aboul Gheit (who earlier this year became the secretary-general of the Arab League) and his Jordanian colleague Abdelelah Al-Khatib arrived in Jerusalem. Officially, their visit was billed as a mission of an “Arab League Initiative Supervisory Committee” tasked with explaining the Arab Peace Initiative to Israeli leaders.At the time, Benjamin Netanyahu was the head of the opposition, Ehud Olmert was prime minister and Tzipi Livni was foreign minister. She had returned from a meeting with then-Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in Cairo just a few months earlier.But major tectonic shifts have taken place in the Middle East since 2007, thoroughly reorganizing the regional system of alliances. These changes made possible Sunday’s visit, which was held in a “very good atmosphere,” a senior Israeli official said. “There is a welcome change from the Egyptians that manifested itself in their readiness to publicize their good relations with Israel,” the official said.Indeed, unlike his predecessor’s visit nearly a decade ago, Shoukry’s arrival in Jerusalem is not being sold as part of an international delegation. He held two meetings with Netanyahu — one at the office, one at the prime minister’s residence, where he signed the guestbook and even stepped out on the patio to watch the final of the Euro soccer tournament. The fact that Shoukry did not mind being photographed fraternizing with the Israeli leader in an nonprofessional context is truly remarkable.Tonight Sara & I hosted Egyptian FM Sameh Shoukry in our Jerusalem home. We made time to watch the #Euro2016Final. pic.twitter.com/30zQnBj6LY— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) July 10, 2016-Furthermore, Israelis and Egyptians are currently planning to organize a meeting in Cairo between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi later this year, according to several Israeli and Arab sources.All these are clear signs of warming ties between the two governments and another impressive foreign policy achievement for Netanyahu.But in diplomacy it is all about interests, and the Egyptians are not cozying up to Israel because they have become ardent Zionists. Cairo is pursuing several goals in its rapprochement with Israel, and despite the justified satisfaction over Shoukry’s historic visit, Jerusalem should keep in mind that there are limits to the Egyptian-Israeli relationship.Cairo’s main interest in its budding friendship with Jerusalem is cooperation in the fields of security and energy. Egypt needs Israel’s help in effectively fighting Hamas and other terrorists groups, and is eager for Israel’s natural gas.Other areas of mutual concern are Turkey’s role in the Middle East and the Egyptian offer to return the Sanafir and Tiran islands to Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, Cairo reportedly believes Israel’s newly strengthened influence in Ethiopia could help Egypt in its negotiations with Addis Ababa over the latter’s construction of a new dam on the River Nile.Equally important, Sissi sees himself as the new patron of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, as he made plain in his May 17 speech calling on both sides to relaunch negotiations and offering his stewardship in the process. Israeli cooperation is crucial if Sissi wants to cement the regional leadership role he so craves.“My visit to Israel today is a continuation of Egypt’s longstanding sense of responsibility toward peace for itself and all the peoples of the region,” Shoukry declared Sunday at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem. “Egypt remains ready to contribute toward achieving this goal.”Cairo’s commitment to finding a solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict remains “steadfast and unwavering,” he reiterated, adding that his government was “serious in its determination to provide all possible forms of support in order to achieve this noble goal.”Israel, unhappy about the French plan for an international conference later this year Paris, has always preferred a regional approach and is not opposed to Egypt taking the lead in the peace process. The European approach, Netanyahu believes, will lead nowhere and only harden the Palestinian negotiating position. On the other hand, he expects the Sunni Arab states to be able to convince Ramallah to make the concessions needed for progress.A new peace push led by Sissi could block the French initiative and stifle any attempt by US President Barack Obama to support a Palestine-related resolution at the United Nations, the Israeli leader hopes. In this respect, too, there is real a convergence of interests between Jerusalem and Cairo.However, Shoukry made plain that he is not giving Israel any free passes when it comes to the Palestinian issue. “The plight of the Palestinian people becomes more arduous every day, and the dream of peace and security moves further out of the Israeli people’s reach as long as the conflict continues,” he said.“It is no longer acceptable to claim that the status quo is the most that we can achieve of the hopes and the aspirations of the Palestinian and Israeli peoples,” he declared. The status quo is unsustainable, he added, calling for “serious steps to build confidence.”Egypt has made the first step by coming to Jerusalem, and now the onus is on the Israelis to show they are serious about making progress, Shoukry implied.The ball is indeed now in Israel’s court, and Netanyahu might find it difficult to deliver the goods Egypt requires to keep showing goodwill. The prime minister’s May 30 declaration that the Arab Peace Initiative “contains positive elements” is not enough. In order to justify his embrace of Israel to the Egyptian people, Sissi will need to see concrete steps from Jerusalem.But Netanyahu’s right-leaning coalition — and his own convictions — could make it difficult for him to make moves that could lead to meaningful progress. And if the current efforts to relaunch Israeli-Palestinian negotiations crash and burn due to what many Egyptians will doubtlessly see as Israeli recalcitrance, Sissi might quickly downgrade again his public engagement with Jerusalem.

Netanyahu: Meeting with Egypt FM signals ‘important warming’-Foreign Ministry urges UN chief to oppose UNESCO’s ‘one-sided’ Jerusalem draft; Jerusalem bus terrorist gets life in prison-By Elie Leshem July 11, 2016, 2:22 pm-the times of israel

18:10-UK’s Cameron says he’ll resign by Wednesday-British Prime Minister David Cameron says he will step down on Wednesday, making way for Theresa May to succeed him as leader.Cameron says it’s clear May has “the overwhelming support” of Conservative lawmakers. He says May’s rival Andrea Leadsom made the right decision to withdraw from the race, ending the party leadership race.Cameron says he will attend a final session of Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday before going to visit Queen Elizabeth II and tendering his resignation.The queen has the formal role of appointing the new leader.— AP-18:08-British Jews congratulate Theresa May-The Board of Deputies, the largest organization of British Jews, congratulates Theresa May after the path is cleared for her to become prime minister.“We congratulate Theresa May in anticipation of her becoming Conservative Party Leader and Prime Minister, Board of Deputies Chief Executive Gillian Merron says in a statement. “She has been a great friend of the community and, during her time as Home Secretary, the Board of Deputies has had a very positive and close relationship with her.“We look forward to that relationship continuing as she moves in to 10 Downing Street and we wish her every success in her new role at this challenging time for our country.”18:06-Tony Blair said to meet with Hamas officials-Former British PM and Quartet envoy Tony Blair met a month ago with Hamas representatives, the Turkish Anadolu news agency reports, citing a source close to the Palestinian group.“Blair spoke with Hamas about the possibility of reaching a formula on Gaza,” the anonymous source is quoted as saying, adding that Blair had pitched a meeting with Hamas officials in Europe in order to secure a long-term ceasefire that would lift the blockade on the Strip.The source is quoted as saying that other “European parties” are in touch with Hamas.“Meetings [with Hamas] are being held regularly in certain Western countries,” the source reportedly says.On Monday, Blair met with Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem.17:29-US to send 560 more troops to aid Iraq’s anti-IS fight-Pentagon chief Ashton Carter says that Washington will deploy 560 additional troops to aid Iraq’s fight to retake Mosul from jihadists, further deepening US military involvement in the country.The announcement, which will bring the total authorized number of American military personnel in Iraq to more than 4,600, comes two days after Baghdad announced the recapture of a base south of Mosul that is seen as an important step toward the eventual battle for the city.— AFP-17:13-Man wounded in Kiryat Arba attack discharged from hospital-Shuki Gilboa, who was wounded in the Kiryat Arba terror attack that killed 13-year-old Hallel Ariel on June 30, is released from Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem.Gilboa was wounded by friendly fire when members of the local security detail opened fire on the terrorist, and suffered head injuries, losing an eye.16:28-Netanyahu says meeting with Egypt FM signals ‘an important warming’-At a Likud faction meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu tells the party’s Knesset members about his meeting yesterday with the Egyptian foreign minister.He notes that Sameh Shoukry was the most senior Cairo official to visit Jerusalem in nine years, which, he says, “also symbolizes an important warming between Israel and Egypt.”Netanyahu said that Jerusalem was pursuing ties with nations “on five continents,” and spoke of his African tour last week, saying it advanced Israel’s bid to secure more support at the United Nations.“You have to understand that the automatic majority in international forums relies primarily on the bloc of African countries, and to a certain extent on the bloc of Latin American countries.“To the extent that we succeed in cracking that, it changes our international standing with a variety of forums that make decisions regarding the State of Israel and the IDF.”16:05-2 Egypt policemen killed in Sinai bombing-A roadside bombing in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula kills two policemen, according to the interior ministry.The Islamic State group’s self-styled Amaq news agency says a bomb planted by jihadists targeted a police mine-clearing vehicle, but it was not clear whether it was referring to the same incident.The interior ministry says a police lieutenant and a sergeant were killed when a roadside bomb tore through a convoy, also wounding two officers and a conscript.— AFP-16:03-Reform, Conservative Jews warn PM of future violence against them-The heads of the Reform and Conservative movements in Israel and abroad write a sharp letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, castigating him over several policy concerns and warning of future violence against their members in Israel.The letter railed at “the lack of progress regarding the Western Wall outline, along with the advancement in the Knesset of the mikva law,” the movements say in a statement.“The heads of the organizations warned the prime minister of a severe deterioration in Jewish-Diaspora relations,” the statement says, “and even expressed fears of violence and even, God forbid, bloodshed as a result of the unfettered, ongoing incitement by ultra-Orthodox ministers and Knesset members against Reform and Conservative Judaism and against the Women of the Wall.”The full letter can be read here.15:31-Egypt offers to host direct Netanyahu-Abbas talks — reports-As part of Cairo’s efforts to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has reportedly offered to host direct talks between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.The tripartite summit, which would also be attended by senior Egyptian and Jordanian officials, would seek confidence-building measures in an effort to calm the 10-month surge in violence in the West Bank, Palestinian officials tell the Arabic language Al-Hayat newspaper as well as Israel’s Haaretz daily.— Tamar Pileggi-14:37-Netanyahu meets Blair in Jerusalem-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets in Jerusalem with former British prime minister Tony Blair, who is also the former Quartet envoy.According to a press release from Netanyahu’s office, “they discussed the future of peace and security in the region. Prime Minister Netanyahu’s diplomatic envoy, attorney Yitzhak Molcho, also attended the meeting.”14:27-Israel urges UN envoys to oppose UNESCO’s ‘one-sided’ Jerusalem draft-Foreign Ministry director Dore Gold writes an open letter to the United Nations envoys of various countries blasting the UN cultural body’s World Heritage Committee, which is set to vote on a controversial draft resolution challenging Jewish historical ties to the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount and calling for a return to the “historic status quo” on the holy site.A similar resolution was adopted by the organization’s executive board in April, a move that infuriated Israel.“Again, UNESCO is considering the adoption of a completely one-sided draft resolution on the Old City of Jerusalem that deliberately ignores the historical connection between the Jewish people and their ancient capital,” Gold writes in his letter. “The resolution also fails to acknowledge Christianity’s ties to Jerusalem. It refers to the area of the Temple Mount only as a ‘Muslim holy site of worship.’”The letter goes on to detail the Jewish people’s historic connection to the city and argues that Israel “defends religious freedom for all of the great faiths – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – against the tide of intolerance sweeping the Middle East region.”It says that “UNESCO’s adoption of utterly false allegations about Israeli archaeological practices is misplaced and hypocritical, at best” and urges the UN envoys to “oppose this effort to distort history.”— Times of Israel staff contributed.

We've uncovered all aspects of their culture. Now we're finally going to see the people '-First-ever Philistine cemetery found, offers unique glimpse of Israelites’ biblical enemy-‘Final great discovery’ from coastal city of Ashkelon, with graves of 210 individuals dating back 3,000 years, will shed light on deaths, and lives, of ancient foe-By Ilan Ben Zion July 10, 2016, 12:52 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

Goliath’s death is described in gruesome detail in the Bible, but how the Philistine champion would have been laid to rest has been a mystery. Scientists now say an extraordinary find may lay that giant enigma, much like the biblical villain, to rest.Archaeologists digging at the southern coastal city of Ashkelon announced Sunday the discovery of the first cemetery belonging to the ancient Israelites’ dreaded and shadowy nemeses, the Philistines.Speaking to the press at Jerusalem’s Rockefeller Museum, Daniel Master, one of the heads of the Leon Levy Expedition, said the cemetery, “the final great discovery” after 30 years of excavation of Ashkelon, could help shed light on the origins and customs of the Philistines.The discovery of a sizable cemetery, with over 210 individuals, at a site conclusively linked to the Philistines, was a “critical missing link” that allows scholars “to fill out the story of the Philistines,” said Master, a professor of archaeology at Wheaton College.The cemetery, discovered just outside the ancient city walls and dated to between the 11th and 8th centuries BCE — a period associated with the rise of the Israelites — may contain thousands of individuals, providing an abundance of material to study, he said.With that broad a population, “we’re going to be able to reconstruct what the Philistines as a group were like,” Master said.The announcement was timed to coincide with the opening of an Israel Museum exhibit showcasing finds spanning 6,000 years from Ashkelon at the Rockefeller. Among the items on display are 3,800-year-old city gates, gold and silver jewelry demonstrating its commercial prominence, and a Roman marble slab etched with Crusader and Fatimid inscriptions.Throughout much of its 22 layers of settlement, Ashkelon was a “great seaport,” situated on the Mediterranean and on the main coastal trade route,” Harvard University’s Larry Stager, co-director of the dig, said. It was significantly larger than cities inland during the Bronze and Iron Age, with 10-12,000 people, because it could sustain greater population through commerce.Ashkelon was one of the five main Philistine cities for six centuries — , along with Gaza, Ashdod, Gath and Ekron — from the 1100s BCE down to Ashkelon’s destruction by Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar’s army in 604 BCE.“We’ve uncovered their houses, we’ve uncovered their trading networks, we’ve uncovered all aspects of their culture,” Master said. With the discovery of the cemetery, “we’re finally going to see the people themselves.”“There have been other random finds of people caught in Philistine destruction on occasion,” he explained, “but nothing like this. No systematic example of what they thought about death and how they treated people in that process.”Isolated graves containing Philistine style pottery were thought to be possible examples of their practices, but the few cases were not enough to convince most scholars.“What we needed for a Philistine cemetery was to find a large one that was directly connected to one of the cities we know as a Philistine city,” Master said. “And Ashkelon is exactly that.”Scholars believe the Philistines were among a number of tribes of non-Semitic peoples who migrated across the Mediterranean — possibly from modern Greece and Turkey — and settled the Canaanite coast in the early Iron Age.Ancient Egyptian accounts describe hordes of “Sea Peoples” arriving by ship to the shores of the eastern Mediterranean in the late 13th and early 12th centuries BCE. During the reign of Ramesses III, hordes of seaborne people bore down on the kingdom, were thwarted by the Egyptian armies and settled along the Levantine coast. Among the groups mentioned in the reliefs of Ramesses III’s mortuary temple at Medinet Habu are the “Peleset,” whom scholars associate with the Philistines.“Ninety-nine percent of the chapters and articles written about Philistine burial customs should be revised or ignored now that we have the first and only Philistine cemetery,” said Stager, Dorot Professor of the Archaeology of Israel, Emeritus, at Harvard University, in a statement.Master said that there were no clear connections between Philistine funerary practices found in Ashkelon and any particular group from the Aegean, but DNA analysis of the remains could determine the proximity of relatedness to other populations in the region and point to the peoples’ origins.“Connecting to the Aegean is quite difficult, because Aegean burial practice is quite diverse. There isn’t one particular practice that we can say ‘that’s Aegean burial practice,'” he said.The Philistines at Ashkelon were buried in pits along with personal items, or sometimes cremated or buried in multi-chambered tombs.Canaanites and Israelites, by comparison buried their dead in cave tombs, then collected the bones after the flesh decomposed. Philistine dead, Master said, once buried weren’t disturbed, indicating the group held “different cultural ideas about what death meant and what the afterlife meant.”“As we look at the distinctive burial practices, we get a sense for how they treated and thought about death and the afterlife in different ways from the people around them,” Master said.Study of the bones found in the cemetery already pointed to physiological differences in the Philistine population from their Canaanite predecessors and Israelite neighbors. DNA tests whose results are forthcoming may provide additional information about their origins.Examining the remains has only just begun, and scholars are “only just scratching the surface” of how the Philistines lived and died.————Follow Ilan Ben Zion on Twitter and Facebook.



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