Something Else Discovered After Unearthing the Gates of Goliath – Evidence of the Earthquake as Foretold by Biblical Prophet, Amos

A massive gate unearthed in Israel is one of the most prophetic discoveries to be made, as it marks the entrance to the a biblical city that was the biggest metropolis in the region.

It was the Biblical city where the giant Goliath lived and one of the most powerful in the Philistine Empire. The ancient Canaanite city discovered was called Gath, and its people were the mortal enemies of the Israelites, who occupied the land before meeting its destruction in the ninth century B.C.

In biblical accounts, the Old Testament also describes Gath as the home of Goliath, the giant warrior whom the Israelite King David  killed with a slingshot.

Archaeologists have now uncovered the remains of an enormous gate and fortified wall which are giving clues to just how formidable the city of Gath would have been.

The new findings reveal just how impressive the ancient Philistine city once was, said lead archaeologist of the current excavation, Aren Maeir, of Bar-Ilan University in Israel.

The monumental gate is the largest to ever be found in Israel and much like its most famous inhabitant – Goliath – it would have intimidated any who approached it.

So far, according to the statement from Bar-Ilan, the group has discovered Philistine Temples dating to the 11th through 9th century BC , evidence of an earthquake in the 8th century BC connected to the earthquake mentioned in the Book of Amos I:1, and the earliest decipherable Philistine inscription ever to be discovered, which contains two names similar to the name Goliath.

They have also uncovered a large assortment of objects of various types linked to Philistine culture; remains relating to the earliest siege system in the world, constructed by Hazael, King of Aram Damascus around 830 BCE, along with extensive evidence of the subsequent capture and destruction of the city by Hazael, as mentioned in Second Kings 12:18; evidence of the first Philistine settlement in Canaan (around 1200 BCE); different levels of the earlier Canaanite city of Gath; and remains of the Crusader castle “Blanche Garde” at which Richard the Lion-Hearted is known to have been.

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Archaeologists have discovered the remains of what they say is a monumental gate at the entrance to the Biblical city of Gath. They say the gate is the largest to be discovered in Israel. The aerial photograph above shows the remains of the gate and surrounding fortifications that have been unearthed .

“We knew that Philistine Gath in the 10th to ninth century [B.C.] was a large city, perhaps the largest in the land at that time,” Maeir said. “These monumental fortifications stress how large and mighty this city was.” 

Alongside the gate, researchers found the remains of a fortified wall with a temple and an iron production facility behind it.

Writing on the team’s blog, Professor Aren Maeir, an archaeologist from Bar-Ilan University in Israel who has been leading the excavation, said: ‘It appears we have located a monumental city gate of the lower city of Gath.

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The excavation also uncovered buildings close to the gate and the fortified wall, shown in the image above.

‘We still have to do a lot of cleaning, defining, digging and measuring to do, but it appears that there are really good chances we have truly landed on quite an astounding find.

‘Many lines of megalithic stone are appearing, with nice corners, features and even mud bricks.

‘While we are quite far from fully understanding this architectural complex, it is getting more and more impressive. The more we look at the area – the larger these features appear to be.”

The remains of the city were discovered in the close to the village of Tell es-Safi in the Tel Zafit National Park, in the Judean foothills between Jerusalem and Ashkelon in Israel.

The city of Gath was one of five Philistine city-states and according to the Bible was the home of King Ashish and the Philistine warrior Goliath, who was killed by David.

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The city of Gath was supposed to be the home of Goliath, who was killed by David, as illustrated in the drawing by Gustave Doré above. (Left) Archaeologists have uncovered fortifications either side of of the gate, shown on the right, which they say would have made it a formidable place to attack.

It is thought to have been a powerful city during the time of Saul, David and Solomon around 3,000 years ago.

However, it was likely destroyed following a siege by Hazael King of Aram Damascus around 830 BC.

Large stone blocks used to construct the gateway have been unearthed. The city of Gath was one of the most powerful in the area at the time before it was destroyed in 830BC by the King of Aram Damascus, Hazael.

Ancient site

The gates were uncovered in Tell es-Safi, which was occupied almost continuously for nearly 5,000 years, until the Arab village at the site was left in 1948, Maeir said. Though archaeologists have been excavating at the site since 1899, it wasn’t until the past few decades that they realized how massive the Iron Age remains really were.

Both the impressive settlement size and mentions in biblical accounts suggest to scholars that the site is the historic city of Gath, which was ruled by the Philistines, who lived next to the Jewish kingdoms of Judah and Israel. Most scholars think that Gath was besieged and laid to waste by Hazael, King of Aram Damascus, in 830 B.C., Maeir said.

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Researchers have also found signs that there was large amounts of iron working being done in the area close to the gate. The image above shows a section of the ancient wall that surrounded the city of Gath .

The team was digging trenches to look for the ancient city’s fortifications when they found the top surface of a monumental gate and fortifications. Because the remaining walls are so massive, it may take several seasons to fully uncover them, Maeir said. So far, only the top surface of the structures are visible, but based on the size and shape of the stones used to make them, the city walls must have been quite large. The mighty fortifications would have formed a rather imposing boundary that prevented the Kingdom of Judah from expanding westward, he added.

They have also found the earliest decipherable Philistine inscription, which includes two names similar to the name Goliath.

Professor Maeir and his team this year uncovered the gate and around 98 feet (30 metres) of the surrounding fortifications, which have been built with huge blocks of stones.

They say there appears to have been extensive iron smelting and working going on in the lower part of the city, close the gate during the 10th and 9th century BC before the city was destroyed.

The team also found ironworks and a Philistine temple near the monumental gate, with some pottery and other finds typically associated with Philistine culture. Though the pottery represents a distinctive Philistine style, it also shows elements of Israelite technique, suggesting the cultures did influence each other in ways unrelated to war.

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Floor level of the temple at Beth Shemesh. Photo Credit: Dale Manor

“This mirrors the intense and multifaceted connections that existed between the Philistines and their neighbors,” Maeir said. Though the Philistines were often seen as the absolute enemies of the Israelites and Judahites, he added, in reality, “it was much more complex.”

Professor Maeir and his colleagues say they have found evidence of the widespread destruction that took place in the city after the siege.

The site has been excavated for nearly 20 years now under the Ackerman Family Bar-Ilan University Expedition.

They have also found evidence of an earthquake which damaged the city in the 8th century BC and may be the disaster mentioned in the Book of Amos in the Hebrew Bible, which would have been a magnitude 8 Event!

map_epicenter

The Institute of Creation Research offers this insight:

In the mid-eighth century B.C., a shepherd-farmer named Amos of Tekoa delivered an extra ordinary speech at the Temple of the Golden Calf in the city of Bethel in the northern kingdom of Israel just “two years before the earthquake” (Amos 1:1). Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam II was king of Israel. Amos spoke of the land being shaken (8:8), houses being smashed (6:11), altars being cracked (3:14), and even the Temple at Bethel being struck and collapsing (9:1). The prophet’s repeated contemporary references to the earthquake’s effects is why it bears his name.

The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake- Amos 1:1 (KJV). 

Amos’ Earthquake impacted Hebrew literature immensely.6 After the gigantic earthquake, no Hebrew prophet could predict a divine visitation in judgment without alluding to an earthquake. Just a few years after the earthquake, Isaiah wrote about the “Day of the Lord” when everything lofty and exalted will be abased at the time when the Lord “ariseth to shake terribly the earth” (Isaiah 2:19, 21). Then, Isaiah saw the Lord in a temple shaken by an earthquake (Isaiah 6:4).

Source: Live Science and Daily Mail, with contributions by Lisa Muhar

The discoveries are astounding and again proving the WORD OF GOD!

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There is just one mention of the City of Gath which is where David Killed Goliath, and the home of Goliath. The story is found in 1 Samuel 21, when David Flees to Gath:

10) And David arose, and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath.11) And the servants of Achish said unto him, Is not this David the king of the land? did they not sing one to another of him in dances, saying, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands? 12) And David laid up these words in his heart, and was sore afraid of Achish the king of Gath. 13) And he changed his behaviour before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard. 14) Then said Achish unto his servants, Lo, ye see the man is mad: wherefore then have ye brought him to me? 15) Have I need of mad men, that ye have brought this fellow to play the mad man in my presence? shall this fellow come into my house?

PROPHECY:

“…many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” – Daniel 12:4 (KJV).  

For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof – Psalm 102:14 (KJV).

For the prophecy came not in old-time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. –  2 Peter 1:21  (KJV). 

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever – Isaiah 40:8 (KJV).

Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed – Luke 1:1-3 (KJV).

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