Israel discovers hidden script on Dead Sea Scroll fragments using NASA technology

Using NASA technology, IAA reveal hidden letters and text from fragments previously kept in storage; Evidence points to unknown manuscript, as well as new sections from Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and the Book of Jubilees.

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Using advanced imaging technology from NASA, Israeli archeologists were able to decipher previously unknown text and letters from hundreds of tiny fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Israel Antiquities Authority revealed some of their initial findings during a conference in Jerusalem on Tuesday, researchers announcing that some of the fragments are believed to belong to an “unknown manuscript”, leading them to believe they may be an additional scroll not yet found.

The Israel Antiquities Authority and NASA used multispectral imaging camera with 28 types of light exposure to examine the parchments. The fragments, which were held in storage for decades, were released for research as part of Israel’s 70 years of independence celebrations, as well given advanced technology from NASA and as part of a digitization project.

On one of the fragments deciphered written in paleo-Hebrew, researchers understood the handwriting differs from other scrolls, suggesting there may be a scroll unaccounted for. According to one of the researchers from the IAA and Hebrew University of Jerusalem, “the handwriting was not identical to other fragments of this type of script. That leads me to believe we are dealing with a manuscript that we didn’t know about.”

Among some of the findings are new sections from Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and the Book of Jubilees, as well as a fragment from the Temple Scroll and Psalms scroll.

In February of 2017, a twelfth Dead Sea Scrolls cave was discovered west of Qumran by Israeli archeologists. As with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls caves beginning from 1947, the twelfth discovered cave was found with no scrolls and obvious signs of thievery from pickaxes, consistent with previous cave discoveries.

The first stolen scrolls were found in the 1947 by Israeli archeologists on the black market with over 850 + scrolls found to date, many of which are on display Rockefeller Museum in East Jerusalem as well as at the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

The scrolls were written between 150 BC to 70 AD, most of the scrolls found dating to the Second Temple period. The scrolls include both Biblical and non-Biblical texts, written in Hebrew, Aramaic and some in Greek. Around 230 scrolls contain Biblical text, including 19 copies of the Book of Isaiah, 25 copies of Deuteronomy and 30 copies of the Psalms.

 

 

 

Photo: Fragment of Dead Sea Scrolls, Israel Antiquities Authority, Wikimedia Commons, 2018. 

Jews worldwide to celebrate Passover Friday

Friday evening will mark the beginning of Passover, a weeklong celebration and remembrance of the God’s deliverance of His people from slavery in Egypt and miracle of the Exodus.

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Jews worldwide will begin celebrating Passover on Friday evening. Jews in Israel celebrate the holiday for seven days, while Jews abroad celebrate for 8. Passover, known in Hebrew as Pesach, begins on the 15th of the Jewish month Nissan through the 22nd.

God chose Moses to lead the Israelites from captivity and decades of slavery to the Promised Land. When Moses came with God’s demand to the Pharaoh, he refused marking the beginning of the ten plagues.

The plagues came across Egypt and the Pharaoh refused to let the Chosen people go. The first of plagues was water that turned into blood followed by frogs, lice, flies, deceased livestock, boils, thunder and hail, locusts, darkness for three days, and the final plague of death of the firstborn of every family, including the Pharaoh’s.

God informed Moses to have every Israelite home in Egypt to mark their door with lamb’s blood, hence the holiday’s name of Pesach, which means “to pass over” as the Lord spared His People’s firstborn.

Jewish culture centers Passover on remembering the Exodus from Egypt, the first night of the holiday marked with a ritual meal called the Seder (order), a meal of 14 parts and the traditional text called the Haggadah.

The Haggadah (telling) is filled with prayers, songs and psalms to be read over the Seder. The Haggadah additionally has many texts from the midrash (commentaries by rabbis on the Torah).

One of the major Jewish customs of the Passover is the removal of all “chammetz” (leavened bread) from Jewish homes for the entirety of the Passover holiday. This tradition commemorates the Israelites departure from Egypt in a hurry, their bread not able to rise.

During Passover, Jews eat matzah, unleavened bread, through out the entire 7 days, matzah remembered as Lechem Oni, (the bread of affliction). Leavened bread is traditionally burned the day before the holiday begins, known as the “Biyur Chamtez”, however many Jewish communities today sell their bread to non-Jewish neighbors or friends.

The Seder meal consists of 14 traditions, with various forms of observance by Jewish communities worldwide. The meal ends with the traditional blessing that has been repeated since the Jews exile from the Israel, “Next year in Jerusalem”, a prayer that finally come to past with the establishment of the Jewish homeland Israel.

Two thousands years ago on Passover eve, Jesus was crucified and became the ultimate Passover as it is written, “For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.” (1 Corinthians 5:7)

May we all pray for the understanding of the people of Israel as for who their true Passover is, so that they will experience their personal exodus from the land of bondage to sin into the promises of God. “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” (Romans 11:26)

Be sure to watch Amir’s Passover teachings, Jesus and the Passover and The Passover Lamb.

 

Photo: Passover, Wikimedia Commons, 2018

Coins from Jewish Revolt against the Romans discovered in Jerusalem

Second Temple period coins discovered from four year Jewish revolt against the Romans in Jerusalem; Historic discovery falls ahead of Passover and “Freedom of the Jewish people 2,000 years later”.

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Coins dating back to the the Great Revolt were discovered in a cave near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

The 2,000 year-old coins were found as part of the Ophel excavation that started this year. Dozens of bronze and a few silver coins from the four-year Jewish revolt were recently found providing historic information to the events of that time.

The excavation is led by Dr. Eilat Mazar of the Institute of Archeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and was funded by the Herbert W. Armstrong College of Edmond. The excavation is of the Ophel cave located under the Temple Mount’s southern wall.

The coins discovered were believed to have been hidden in the cave by residents of Jerusalem during the destruction of the Second Temple and final year of the revolt. Coins from the first year of the revolt read “For the freedom of Zion,” and coins from the final year of the revolt read “For the redemption/to save Zion,” depicting the timeline of events of the Roman’s siege of Jerusalem and destruction of its Temple.

The coins depict a goblet used in the Second Temple, as well as the four Biblical species of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, the citron, palm, myrtle and willow.

Mazar explained the significance of the discovery just ahead of the Jewish celebration of Passover. She explained, “The discovery of dozens of coins in the center of ancient Jerusalem, bearing the inscription ‘to freedom/to save Zion,’ is of special importance during this period, when the Jewish state is preparing to celebrate Passover and the Freedom of the Jewish people 2,000 years later.”

Mazar and her team discovered a seal impression that may have belonged to the prophet Isaiah in February of this year. During one of her first excavations of Ophel in 1994, her team discovered a seal that was deciphered in 2015. The seal beared the name of King Hezekiah and read “Belonging to Hezekiah Ahaz King of Judah”.

The discovery was most significant, Mazar explained, as it was “the first time that a seal impression of an Israelite or Judean king has ever come to light in a scientific archaeological excavation.”

 

 

Photo: Coins discovered, Dr. Eilat Mazar & Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2018

Israel to launch first autonomous nanosatellites to be flown in formation in 2018

Project by Israel’s Technion, Ministry of Space & Technology & Israel Space Agency to launch in late 2018; Nanosatellites “will contribute to a vast array of civilian applications and to the advancement of Israel’s space industry”.

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Israel is set to launch the world’s first autonomous nanosatellites to be flown in controlled formation towards the end of 2018.

The satellites were developed at the Asher Institute for Space Research at the Technion University in Haifa in coordination with Israel’s Science and Technology Ministry and the Israel Space Agency. The project was funded by the Adelis-Samson Foundation and is led by Prof. Pini Gurfil of the Technion.

The satellites’ components were all developed in Israel by companies such as Rafael and Elta and will be powered by both solar panels and its propulsion systems.

Each of the three satellites to be launched is reportedly 10 cm. x 20 cm. x 30 cm. and weigh 8 kilograms. The satellites are to be launched into space by the Indian launcher PSLV, a goal of the mission to “demonstrate long-term autonomous cluster flight of multiple satellites” through the use of algorithms and software, as well as formation flying of nanosatellites.

According to a press release from the Asher Institute, “The three satellites will be launched together with approximately the same semimajor axis, eccentricity and inclination and separated in orbit to for a cluster with relative distance,” and “will perform autonomous relative orbital element corrections using a cold-gas propulsion system to satisfy the relative distance constraints.”

Prof. Gurfil addressed the of vast opportunities for Israel and science if formation flying of nanosatellites was possible, stating, “this will enhance the development of small satellites and miniaturization technologies, efficient processing in space and propulsion systems in space. The airborne technologies on the nanosatellites will contribute to a vast array of civilian applications and to the advancement of Israel’s space industry”.

Israel successfully launched a nanosatellite into space in February of last year. The project was carried out Israel’s Ben Gurion University of the Negev in cooperation with Israel’ Space Agency. Data from the satellites is being used for research purposes at the university.

In August of 2017, Israel made history when it sent the world’s smallest environmental research satellite, Venis, into space. Venus stands for “Vegetation and Environment Monitoring on a New Micro Satellite” and the satellite collects data to help scientists study earth’s agriculture and ecology, as well as issues such as desertification, pollution and natural disasters.

The satellite can operate at 12 different wavelengths and rotates the earth 29 times in 48 hours. It takes photos and collects data from the same locations over the next few years, collecting data on temperatures, soil and water to allow scientists to study changes in the environment. The nanosatellites in 2018 will also collect data for research and calculations in environmental monitoring and detection.

Nanosatellites are revolutionizing space technologies, as they are cheaper to develop and launch. Israel is currently at the forefront of nanosatellite research and production.

 

Photo: Nanosatellites Wikimedia Commons, 2017.

Seal impression from First Temple Period discovered near Western Wall

Israeli archeologists recently discovered a 2,700-year-old clay seal impression from a former Biblical governor of Jerusalem, believed to be either Joshua or Maaseiah. Jan. 1, 2018.

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The Israel Antiquities Authority made the discovery of an ancient clay seal impression during an excavation at the Western Wall Plaza. The artifact depicts two men in striped garments and reads “belonging to the governor of the city”.

According to one of the excavators from the site, Dr. Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, “The upper part of the seal depicts two figures facing each other, and the lower part holds an inscription in ancient Hebrew script,” and is significant as the discovery “supports the assumption that this area, located on the western slopes of the western hill of ancient Jerusalem… west of the Temple Mount, was inhabited by highly ranked officials during the First Temple period.”

She explained that the seal was “attached to an important transport and serves as some sort of logo or tiny souvenir that was sent on behalf of the governor of the city”.

It was found 100 meters from the Kotel (Western Wall).

The artifact is believed to refer to either Joshua or Masseiah, the only two governors of Jerusalem mentioned in the Bible, found in 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles.

“Josiah brought to Jerusalem all the priests who were living in other towns of Judah. He also defiled the pagan shrines, where they had offered sacrifices–all the way from Geba to Beersheba. He destroyed the shrines at the entrance to the gate of Joshua, the governor of Jerusalem. This gate was located to the left of the city gate as one enters the city.” (2 Kings 23:8)

“In the eighteenth year of his reign, after he had purified the land and the Temple, Josiah appointed Shaphan son of Azaliah, Maaseiah the governor of Jerusalem, and Joah son of Joahaz, the royal historian, to repair the Temple of the Lord his God.” (2 Chronicles 34:8)

The seal was presented to Jerusalem’s Mayor, Nir Barkat, this week, the mayor stating on the finding, “This shows that already 2,700 years ago, Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, was a strong and central city.”

 

 

 

Photo: Impression found by IAA, Israel Antiquities Authority, 2017.

Mercedes-Benz opens tech hub in Tel Aviv

Second deal made with Israel in auto industry following Mobileye acquisition from Intel Corp; Mercedes: Israel is among the top five ecosystems for innovation, digital technologies, new mobility services and car IT, Nov. 19, 2017.

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Daimler AG opened a Mercedes-Benz tech hub in Tel Aviv on Thursday, the second massive deal in the auto technology industry for the State of Israel in 2017.

The research and development center will focus on digital and mobility services, including biometrics, security and navigation.

Head of Mercedes-Benz cars, Dr. Dieter Zetsche, stated on the Israel’s capabilities “Israel is among the top five ecosystems for innovation, digital technologies, new mobility services and car IT. And it is one of the top four largest talent pools in the world. With our new Technology Center in Tel Aviv, we want to strengthen our global R&D network and tap into this vibrant mix of creativity, optimism and digital competencies to develop innovative mobility solutions for our customers.”

In March of this year, Intel Corp announced it buying Israel’s Mobileye, the autonomous vehicle technology company, in the largest acquisition of an Israeli high-tech company to date. Worth over $15 billion, the deal was one of the most significant acquisitions of Israeli technology by foreign investors. Intel also announced it will be moving its automotive driving division to Israel sometime later this year to be managed by Mobileye’s CTO and co-founder, Amnon Shashua.

Mobileye and Intel have been working together since 2016 and Intel currently employs over 10,000 in its Israel branches. Mobileye has been a world leading innovators of automotive technologies, including sensor fusion, advanced automobile camera tech, the Mobileye mono-camera, and mapping technologies. The company has been universally leading in driving safety with its Automatic Emergency Braking and Lane Keeping Intelligence.

It is best known for its Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) and Full Autonomous Vehicles, the company working with Intel in collaboration with BMW since 2016 to produce and test the world’s first fully self-driving vehicles later this year. Mobileye is expected to deliver fully autonomous vehicles by 2021.

 

 

Photo: Mercedes, CC, 2017.

Archeologist discover ancient Roman theatre next to Western Wall

Roman theatre discovered adjacent to Western Wall in Jerusalem, dates back 1,700 years; Theatre may have been used for acoustic performance or bouleuterion; Site to open in 6 months to public, Oct. 17, 2017.

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Israeli archeologists made yet another fascinating discovery in Old City Jerusalem- a Roman theatre built next to the Western Wall.

Archeologists from the Israel Antiquity Authority confirmed the discovery of the first Roman public structure ever discovered in Jerusalem on Monday, an ongoing archeological dig still underway.

The head of the excavation team, Joe Uziel, explained that the structure dates back around 1,700 years and was built by the Romans beneath the Wilson’s Arch, which is adjacent to the men’s prayer section of the Western Wall.

Uziel explained how for months the team was sure they would find a Roman road, only to find a Roman theatre and the first Roman public structure made in Jerusalem discovered to date.

He explained, “From a research perspective, this is a sensational find. The discovery was a real surprise. We did not imagine that a window would open for us onto the mystery of Jerusalem’s lost theater. Like much of archeological research, the expectation is that a certain thing will be found. But at the end of the process, other findings, surprising and thought-provoking, are unearthed.”

The team explained that the structure, “which is “relatively small structure compared to known Roman theaters, such as at Caesarea, Beit She’an and Beit Guvrin,”and is likely a “odeon”, used for “acoustic performance”. Another theory is that “the structure might have been what is known as a “bouleuterion”, the building where the city council met, in this case, the council of the Roman colony of Aelia Capitolina.”

The team will continue its excavation for another 6 months before opening the site to the public.

The discovery is one of a few made in the past few months. In August, archeologists in northern Israel reported to possibly have found the Roman city of Julias, the home of Peter, Andrew and Philip. The discovery was made at Beit Habek in the Bethsaida Valley Nature Reserve on the shores of the Sea of Galilee by a group of archeologists from the Institute of Galilean Archeology. Julias was built on Bethsaida by the King Herod Phillipus, son of King Herod the Great. The city was named after Julias Augusta, the mother of Emperor Tiberius.

Just a few days later, a 2,000 year-old chalkstone quarry and vessel workshop in the lower Galilee dating to the Roman Period was found. The Israel Antiquities Authority confirmed the discovery, the fourth workshop of this kind in Israel to be discovered. Archeologists have been digging and researching the area in Reina after finding a similar workshop in the region. Two of the previously discovered quarries near Jerusalem.

 

 

Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90