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Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 1994



What’s a Bamah? How Sacred Space Functioned in Ancient Israel

Reviled by the Bible and targeted for destruction by King Hezekiah and King Josiah, the religious sanctuaries called bamot played an important role in Israelite religion

By Beth Alpert Nakhai

Well, one thing it’s not—or at least not only—is a high place. Jerome’s fourth-century Latin translation of the Bible (called the Vulgate) rendered bamah as excelsus, which led to the popular English translation “high place.” Unfortunately, this translation has for centuries colored our understanding of numerous Biblical...Read more ›

“House of David” Restored in Moabite Inscription

A new restoration of a famous inscription reveals another mention of the “House of David” in the ninth century B.C.E.

By André Lemaire

The recent discovery at Tel Dan of a fragment of a stela containing a reference to the “House of David” (that is, the dynasty of David) is indeed sensational and deserves all the publicity it has received.a The Aramaic inscription, dated to the ninth...Read more ›

The Tombs of Silwan

Lavish First Temple burial caves of Jerusalem’s elite became, in turn, Roman stone quarries, Byzantine hermit huts, Christian chapels and Muslim cellars

By Hershel Shanks

As in Washington, so in Jerusalem: There are some sections you just don’t venture into. In Jerusalem one such section is the village of Silwan, on the eastern slope of the Kidron Valley opposite the City of David (the oldest inhabited part of Jerusalem). Silwan has a...Read more ›

Was Yahweh Worshiped as the Sun?

Israel’s God was abstract, but he may also have had a consort

By J. Glen Taylor

Did Yahweh,a the Israelite God, have a consort? Like many other scholars, I believe that a substantial number of Israelites thought so. Unlike most others scholars, however, I believe that many of these same Israelites considered the sun a symbol or icon of Israel’s God, Yahweh. Yet...Read more ›

Power to the Powerless—A Long-Lost Song of Miriam

By George J. Brooke

According to the Book of Exodus, after the miracle at the Red Sea—the Israelites have passed through dry-shod and the Egyptians have drowned—Moses and the Israelites sing a victory hymn (Exodus 15:1–19). Immediately following the Song of the Sea, as it is called,a is...Read more ›

Memorandum Re: Restoring Gezer

This is one of the most impressive archaeological sites in Israel, yet it is rarely visited even by aficionados because it is so difficult to get to—unmarked and neglected.

By Hershel Shanks

To: Israel Gilad, Director General, Israel National Parks Authority From: Hershel Shanks, Editor, BAR You are really missing a good bet! You are supporting and financing the excavation and restoration of two important Roman-period sites in Israel because they have great tourist potential and because the influx...Read more ›