3,000-year-old head may additionally be face of God A clay head that dates again

A clay head that dates again nearly 3,000 years may additionally be an uncommon depiction of Yahweh, — God — whose photo the Israelites have been forbidden’ from developing in accordance to the Ten Commandments, an archaeologist reports.

3,000-year-old head may additionally be face of God A clay head that dates again

However, two specialists in the subject have denounced the thought that this head determine represents God.

Yahweh is the God of Israel; however, in accordance to the Hebrew Bible, the historic Israelis have been forbidden’ from growing depictions of Yahweh, as one of the 10 commandments noted that.

"you shall now not make for yourself an photo in the structure of something in heaven above or on the earth under or in the waters below" (Exodus 20:4).

Archaeologists found the 2-inch-tall (5 centimeters) head in the ruins of a massive constructing that might also have been a palace at the web page of Khirbet Qeiyafa in Israel, wrote Yosef Garfinkel, head of the Institute of Archaeology at Hebrew University who co-directs excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa, in a latest article posted in the Biblical Archaeology Review.

"Because the base of the figure's neck is properly worked, the head probable used to be connected to every other object, both a physique and a pottery vessel," Garfinkel wrote.

"With a flat top, the head has protruding eyes, ears and a nose," and "because the ears are pierced, the parent can also have worn earrings. Around the pinnacle of the head is a circle of holes," which may also be phase of a headdress, Garfunkel wrote.

Why may this be Yahweh?

Garfinkel suspects that the clay head used to be as soon as section of a figurine depicting Yahweh using a horse.

His arguments to help this thought are complex.

For one, he argues that this is the solely figurine discovered at Khirbet Qeiyafa that dates again round 3,000 years and it was once observed in a constructing that may additionally be a palace, suggesting that the figurine was once necessary to the humans who lived there.

The time duration round 3,000 years is necessary given that it is a time duration when many activities in the Hebrew Bible can also have taken place’. For occasion King Solomon, if he existed, might also have lived round that time. Garfinkel believes that the humans who lived at Khirbet Qeifaya at that time worshipped Yahweh.

In addition, biblical debts inform of Yahweh using in the skies: "For example, Psalm 68:4 reads, 'Sing to God, sing praises to his name; elevate up a music to him who rides upon the clouds,'" wrote Garfinkel. 

He mentioned that there is additionally an essential instance from the Book of Habakkuk that describes God using a horse’ "[W]as your wrath in opposition to the rivers, O Lord? Or your anger in opposition to the rivers, or your rage towards the sea, when you drove your horses, your chariots to victory?" (Habakkuk 3:8)

Though no different such collectible figurines have been discovered at Khirbet Qeiyafa, comparable ones — with a parent it truly is maybe Yahweh using a horse — courting lower back almost 3,000 years have been discovered in a temple and burial tombs in Israel.

For instance, at the website of Tell Moza, in Israel, latest excavations uncovered two head collectible figurines and two horse collectible figurines inside a temple, Garfinkel said.

Those collectible figurines additionally date returned nearly 3,000 years, and Garfinkel thinks these collectible figurines firstly confirmed two depictions of Yahweh driving a horse. The two heads are designed’ in a comparable way to the head at Khirbet Qeiyafa, Garfinkel wrote.

Additionally, the series of the late Moshe Dayan, an Israeli navy leader, consists of a vessel displaying a rider on a horse, which, based totally on Dayan's notes, he may additionally have looted from a burial cave in the Hebron Hills and may additionally date’ again nearly 3,000 years, Garfinkel wrote in the article. Moshe Dayan used to be frequently accused’ of being actively worried in the looting of archaeological sites.

Garfinkel argues that these collectible figurines have been determined in revered locations — like a palace, temple or burial cave — due to the fact they are representations of Yahweh. For the Israelites who lived at the time, seeing a visible depiction of God used to be important, he said.

"As the believer sees the face of the idol, in that very second the idol additionally appears at the believer. This is a metaphysical moment, a contact between earth and heaven, the core of the spiritual experience," Garfinkel wrote. Across the historic Near East, it "was a frequent practice" for human beings to be capable to see a photo of a deity inside a temple or different vital place, Garfinkel wrote.

Garfinkel believes that the ban on Israelis depicting Yahweh did not manifest until later times, possibly round the eighth century B.C., although the actual timing is now not regarded’

Live Science contacted a number of students now not affiliated with Garfinkel's work to get their ideas on the Khirbet Qeiyafa head and Garfinkel's interpretation of it.

Most had been unable to reply at press time. However, Oded Lipschits, an archaeologist at Tel Aviv University who co-directs excavations at Tell Moza, and Shua Kisilevitz, an archaeologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority and Tel Aviv University who excavates at Tell Moza, denounced the thinking in a together written response.

"Although we can't rule out the opportunity that the human heads from Moẓa and Qeiyafa depicted gods, they have no markings, symbols or attributes — such as horns, crescents, bulls — determined on figures and visible representations at some point of the historic Near East, that would perceive them as divine figures.

 Furthermore, when gods had been depicted on animals, they did now not sit down on them — they do no longer need the transport — they stood on them," Lipschits and Kisilevitz advised Live Science in their response.

They additionally stated that archaeological and historic lookup suggests that round 3,000 years in the past Yahweh was not even worshipped’ in the vicinity yet, a good deal much less used to be him the sole god of Israel.

Originally posted on Live Science.

"Even if we had been to pick out the figures as depictions of gods, they ought to no longer have represented Yahweh, as

He did now not show up in the location earlier than the ninth century B.C. Throughout the period, at least until the very stop of the seventh century [B.C.], a pantheon of Canaanite gods used to be worshipped’ in the course of the Land of Israel.

This pantheon was once firstly headed by way of the god El, and from the ninth century [B.C] Yahweh grew to be the chief god," they added.

Earlier biblical names — such as Samuel, Ezekiel, Bethel, Jezreel, and Penuel, Israel— referenced the god "El," and it was not until the mid-ninth century B.C. that names that reference Yahweh such as Jehoshaphat, Ahaziyah and Hezekiah, commenced to show up in the region.

Overall, "Garfinkel's article is riddled with factual inaccuracies and a mistaken methodological approach, which ignores all the modern-day and most applicable publications,

each in the learn about of cult in the historical Near East and of the Moẓa temple and its cultic artifacts by means of the excavators," wrote Lipschits and Kisilevitz including that a greater targeted response will be posted in a future difficulty of Biblical Archaeology Review and on the publication's website. 


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