Monday, October 31, 2016

Walking Rocks


“… For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.”
—1 Corinthians 10:4

The Bible tells us that the people with Moses  drank “from the spiritual rock that followed them” during their time in the wilderness. But do rocks move?
In 1 Corinthians 10:4 the Apostle Paul recounts how the Israelites survived in the wilderness after their departure from Egypt. He says they “all ate the same spiritual food” and “drank the same spiritual drink.”

Paul knew the tradition of his Horite Hebrew ancestors so well that he recognized Jesus Christ in passages of the Old testament that other people might miss. This is an example. Paul sees Christ as both the rock and the source of water. Christ follows the people through the wilderness as a shepherd follows his flock to make sure that none is lost.

Some think that this narrative about the moving rock is nonsense, but scientists have found "walking" rocks in different parts of the world. Usually these are in desert areas where there is underground water or dried lake beds. The underground water acts as a lubricant that makes things move on the surface when there is geological movement such as an earthquake or a small tremor.

Moving rocks have been found in Death Valley which was once a lake. There is still movement from the ancient lake bed. The first to photograph the moving stones of Death Valley were Richard Norris, a paleobiologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and his cousin James Norris, a research engineer. Their 2013 photos provided proof that rocks move across flat dry dirt under certain conditions. Some rocks weigh more than 600 pounds and they leave "wiggle" trails in the earth like that shown in this photo of a sailing stone in Racetrack Playa.

Here are two of the rounded boulders found in the Atacama Desert in Chile. These boulders fell from the cliffs of distant mountains, likely dislodged during an earthquake.


Watch this video for further explanation.


The same conditions which move stones can move bones also. In July 2013 movement was noted of cattle skeletal remains across the surface of Smith Creek Valley Playa, in central Nevada.

Related reading:  The Atacama Rock Tumbler

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Pillars of the Earth


When I select an appointed time, It is I who judge with equity. The earth and all who dwell in it melt; It is I who have firmly set its pillars. Selah (Psalm 75:2,3)

Alice C. Linsley

A central experience of the archaic peoples who lived along the Nile was the Nile inundation. As rains fell in the Ethiopian headlands the Nile River rose above its banks, flooding the Nile Valley between June and October. This water flowed also into adjoining rivers and lakes, creating a vast wet region that extended well toward the Chad basin.

New evidence indicates that the Nile's famous floods spread nearly 100 miles west of the river and created "mega-lakes" in what is today the Sahara. Hydrological studies have verified that it was possible to go by boat from the Nile to the Atlantic coast of Nigeria along the interconnected lakes and rivers shown below in gray.

African Sheer Zone

A great deal of the water systems were along the African Sheer Zone where rifting, combined with prolonged rains, caused flooding. This is the likely location of the great flood associated with Noah, a Proto-Saharan ruler who lived near Lake Chad. Between 12 and 10 thousand years ago, the Nile connected to the Chadic and Niger water systems through a series of shallow lakes. This explains the common plant and animal species found in all three water systems.

The flooding of the Nile valley lasted for 40 days and 40 nights. As the waters receded, the highest mounds would been seen at first. Even after the waters crested and began to recede, families did not return to their homes for another 40 nights. This is the origin of the phrase "forty days and forty nights" and the context is Nilotic, reflecting the Nilotic roots of many of Abraham's archaic ancestors.

These ancestors were acutely aware of natural processes and regarded these to be the work of the Creator. One such process involved the creation of dry land from volcanic eruptions.

The young earth had many active volcanoes. Some were above the surface (extrusive) and others were beneath the surface (instrusive). Many volcanic eruptions took place under the sea. According to Genesis 1 God separated the dry land from the sea as one of the first acts of creation. We can imagine a great sea with steam rising from deep underwater fissures in the earth. Now imagine volcanoes rising up from the sea. These are the "pillars of the earth" described in Job 9:6 which says, "Who shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble." These are called God's pillars according to I Samuel 2:8 - "For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s and he had set the world upon them."

Among Abraham's Nilotic ancestors the original volcanic mound that emerged from the sea was called TaTJaNuN which means the "pillars of God in the water." Pillars were used to mark sacred places, to hold up the roofs of royal tombs, and to mark the entrances to royal buildings such as palaces, treasuries, and temples.

Steering between twin volcanic pillars is like going through an entrance. In the ancient world twin pillars marked the entrance to palaces and temples. The twin pillars at the entrance to Solomon's temple were named in honor of his paternal and maternal great great grandfathers Boaz and Joachin.

In the Ugaritic creation story the two mountains likewise are indicated by the sign T. The mountains trgzz and trmg emerged from a universal ocean and held up the firmament. They also marked the entrance to the underworld. So the phrase "pillars of heaven" and "pillars of earth" refer to the work of the Creator whereby the heavens and the earth are connected.

The Latin word for door is ianua. Before it was a letter of the alphabet, the i was likely a pillar sign. That is supported by the fact that the shrine city of On (Gen. 41:45) was known as iunu, meaning place of pillars. Iunu was called Heliopolis by the Greeks because the pillared shrines and temples were dedicated to the Creator Ra, whose emblem was the sun. Many obelisks were erected there that represented the original creation mound. These were aligned to the solar arc. These obelisks are mentioned in Jeremiah 43:13.


Chaotic Waters Subdued




During the Archaic period (10,000 - 3000 BC) the Nile floods were catastrophic when the chaotic waters raged over the natural shorelines. The loss of life and property would have been great since the population was most dense along the water ways. This collective memory stands behind the Genesis description of Tehom, the chaotic "deep" that covered the whole earth before the Creator separated land and sea through volcanism. By the divine Word, the Creator subdued the raging water and set boundaries. The Tehom was subdued by the God of Wisdom, by Tehut.

The victory of Tehut over Tehom relates to the annual inundation of the Nile and helps us to understand the Nilotic concept of creation, one of the oldest creation myths. According to this narrative the first land was a mound that emerged from the waters of a universal ocean. In Hindu mythology the mound that emerged is called Meru. It emerged from the center of the cosmic ocean.

This aligns with the Biblical description of the Creator's separation of the land from the sea in Genesis 1: Then God said, "Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so. God called the dry land earth, and the gathered waters He called sea; and God saw that it was good." Note that the Hebrew speaks of land and sea, not lands and seas.

Here we find a scientifically realistic scenario, given what is known about early geologic time before a supercontinent began to break apart about 200 million years ago due to plate tectonics.


Related reading: The Pillars of Solomon's Temple; Sacred Mountains and Pillars; The Pillars and Mummies of Takla Makan; The Kushite-Kushan Connection


Friday, September 23, 2016

The Rooster in Biblical Symbolism


The rooster, also known as a cockerel or cock, is a male gallinaceous bird, usually a male chicken. In Christian tradition, the rooster symbolizes a sinner's acceptance of divine pardon through Jesus Christ. 

Roosters are often found in tombs. Two red roosters appear with a cross over the center of the arch in the Christian "Tomb of the Cocks" in Beit Jibrin, located 13 miles northwest of Hebron.

The rooster appears in the catacombs of Rome. Below is an example. This 3rd-century fresco of Jesus Christ was found in the Catacomb of Callixtus. It portrays Jesus as the Good Shepherd and there is a rooster at his feet.


In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells the disciples that they will all fall away from Him because of the events that would lead up to His death. Immediately, “Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same.” (Matthew 26:33–35)

Peter did indeed deny any relationship to Jesus three times. “Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.”After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.” (Matthew 26:69–75)

Peter was a broken man who repented and experienced grace. The message is powerful: God's pardon extends to sinners who repent. Repentance often is expressed in emotional distress, in a broken spirit. The account of Peter’s denial of Christ and the rooster crowing is recorded in all four gospels.

In De Ordine, Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, described the rooster as follows: "in every motion of these animals unendowed with reason there was nothing ungraceful since, of course, another higher reason was guiding everything they did."

The Khasi people believe sacrifice a rooster as a substitute for man, because they believe that the cock when sacrificed "bears the sins of the man."

A similar idea is found in Judaism. The Hebrew word gever means both "man" and "rooster" so punishment of the rooster can be substituted for that of a person who deserves punishment. Kapparot is practiced by some Jews shortly before Yom Kippur. First, selections from Isaiah 11:9, Psalms 107:10, 14, and 17-21, and Job 33:23-24 are recited; then a rooster (for a male) or a hen (for a female) is held above the person's head and swung in a circle three times, while the following is spoken: "This is my exchange, my substitute, my atonement; this rooster (or hen) shall go to its death, but I shall go to a good, long life, and to peace."

In the Yoruba creation story the rooster serves the Creator by scratching out the dirt to form the dry land. The rooster might be seen as a Christ symbol since Christians believe that all things were made through Christ.

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made, and without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. (John 1:1-4)

The rooster is an archaic symbol. Before the birth of Jesus Christ, the rooster was associated with the sun, the symbol of the Creator, because it crows before dawn. In this sense, the rooster was a solar symbol, and consistent with the received tradition of Abraham's ancestors, it portrayed the Creator as have masculine attributes.

At Sun shrines in Japan roosters freely roam the grounds.

The association of the rooster with light may explain why some clay oil lamps had rooster images. This oil lamp with a rooster was found in North Africa and dates to the 3rd century A.D.


Many churches in Europe have a rooster on top of their steeples. This is true for both Protestant and Roman Catholic churches. For Roman Catholics the rooster symbolizes Saint Peter, who is regarded as the first Pope.

Daviot Parish Church in Scotland



It is common to see carved roosters on the top of wooden churches in Norway. Most of the older churches in the Netherlands have weather vanes that are golden roosters. The golden rooster is said to be a symbol of Jesus Christ who breaks the power of the darkness, brings forgiveness of sins, and announces a new day by the power of His resurrection.

Some churches use the rooster as their logo. The image to the right is the logo for a church in Manhattan.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

What are Bullae?


Clay (terracotta) seals called "bullae" were used to secure official documents from the Stone Age through the Roman Period. Here are some examples dating from the 1st century B.C. through the 2 century A.D.


Clay seals were used to secure documents by the personal authority of an official or a king. These seals were created by the impression of a signet on a lump of clay. A rolled papyrus or parchment document was tied with a cord and the cord was sealed with the piece of clay bearing the impression.

Sometimes the clay seals have the imprint of the maker's fingers and fibers from the papyrus cords that were wrapped around the documents.

In 2014 a 10-year-old Russian boy found a 3000 year seal while sifting through dirt at Jerusalem's Temple Mount. The limestone seal bears the image of an animal, likely the totem of the family to which it belonged.

The seal dates to the early Iron Age, the time of the Jebusite occupation of Jerusalem (Jebus/Yehu) and King David's reign (10th century B.C.). The Temple Mount and the royal compound were constructed during David's later years and during the reign of his son, Solomon.

Related reading: 3000 Year Temple Seal; Yahu Seals; Purity Seal from Herod's Temple; What We Learn From King Ahaz's Seal

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

3000 Year Temple Seal


In 2014, Matvei Tcepliaev, a 10-year-old Russian tourist, volunteered to sift through dirt at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount and found this 3000 year seal. The limestone seal bears the image of an animal, likely the totem of the family to which it belonged.

The seal dates to the early Iron Age, the time of the Jebusite occupation of Jerusalem (Jebus/Yehu) and King David's reign (10th century B.C.). The Temple Mount and the royal compound were constructed during David's later years and during the reign of his son, Solomon.

Ancient clay seals (called bullae) were used to secure documents by the personal authority of an official or a king. These seals were created by the impression of a signet on a lump of clay. A rolled papyrus or parchment document was tied with a cord and the cord was sealed with the piece of clay bearing the impression.

Dr. Gabriel Barkay, co-founder and director of the project, explained that this discovery is significant because it originated from the Temple Mount itself. Only one other Iron Age II seal of this peculiar style has been found in Jerusalem. It was found by archaeologist Eilat Mazar in the Ophel, the area between the City of David and the Temple Mount.

1 Chronicles 27:3 says that King Jotham “did much building on the wall of the Ophel” in the mid-8th century B.C., and the site’s history stretches back well before this construction. The root of the word ophel is OP and pertains to a complex of interrelated ideas: seeing (optic); armed guards (opiltes); walled towns (oppida), and sun shrines (O'piru) served by a priest caste known in the ancient world as Ha'piru, Ha'biru (Hebrew) and 'Apiru.

The Sifting Project at Jerusalem Temple Mount is run by Bar-Ilan University and the City of David Foundation. Tourists are invited to help comb through the 400 truckloads of dirt dumped in a valley outside the Old City of Jerusalem in 1999 by the Islamic trust.

Matvei Tcepliaev holding the 3000 year seal

Volunteers have also discovered hundreds of 10th century B.C. pottery sherds and a rare bronze arrowhead believed to be from the same period.

Read more here.

Related reading: Yahu Seals; Proto-Saharan Pottery MarksPurity Seal From Herod's Temple; What We Learn From King Ahaz's Seal; A List of Seal Impressions and Ostracon

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Sun and Moon as a Binary Set


God made two great lights--the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.  Genesis 1:16


Alice C. Linsley

The sun and the moon were considered a binary set among Abraham's ancestors. That means that the ancient Ha'biru (Hebrew) thought of the sun and the moon as entities that naturally belong together, as male and female belong together. The sun and the moon also were regarded as ruling over their separate by connected dominions of day and night.

Some peoples of the ancient world thought of the sun and the moon as the eyes of the Creator who dwelt "on high" or in the heavens. The sun was regarded as the Creator's right eye and the moon was the left eye. The right eye was said to be have better vision than the left eye.

The sun was associated with masculine virtues. This is because it is the stronger and the greater light (Genesis 1:16). It was believed that the sun's rays are like seeds that fall to earth and cause plants to grow. In other words, the sun was said to inseminate the earth.

The moon was associated with feminine virtues because it is the sun's companion, as the wife is to her husband. It is the smaller and weaker light in the sky. Because the moon affects water, tides, and body fluids in a repeating cycle there is a natural association of the moon with the periodicity of the female's menstrual cycle. Many ancient peoples associated pregnancy with the moon.The moon influences the female's monthly cycle which is why menstruation is called le moment de la lune ("the time of the moon") in French. The moon also stimulates female lactation.

The sun was the viewed as superior in size and strength to the moon. Likewise, the male rulers of ancient Kush and Egypt appeared with skin darkened by the Sun as a sign of masculine strength and authority.  However, their queens appeared in public with their skin covered in white powder (see image below).


Among Abraham's ancestors the sun was honored as the Creator's symbol or emblem. They conceived of God as the Great Chief who daily makes his circuit between the two wives dawn (eastern horizon) and dust (western horizon). This is why none of the rulers listed in Genesis placed their wives on an east-west axis, except for the Lamech who posed himself as God's equal. Bible scholar Theodore Gaster noted this belief. He explained that the names of Lamech's two wives, Ada and Tzillah, refer to dawn and dust (The Schocken Bible, Vol. 1, p. 28).

Archaic Shell Technology


Alice C. Linsley
Oldest known symbolic engraving

Archaic humans were producing abstract symbols much earlier than originally thought. This shell found on Java in the late 1800's was carved half a million years ago by archaic humans. The zigzag pattern is like that found on stone carvings in Africa. The pattern appears on the 77,000 year old red ochre stone (below) found in the Blombos Cave in South Africa.

Ostrich eggshells were used by prehistoric peoples to carry water from place to place, like canteens. Ostrich eggs were also used as perfume containers. These eggshell vessels were decorated, as is seen on these fragments of 65,000 year ostrich egg shells (below).

The decorated ostrich egg shells (left) come from a sample of 270 engraved eggshell fragments, mostly excavated at Diepkloof Rock Shelter in South Africa. They display two standard design patterns, according to a team led by archaeologist Pierre-Jean Texier of the University of Bordeaux in Talence, France.

In the Oriental Museum there are examples of ostrich eggs which have been decorated over their entire surfaces.

Decorated eggshells were placed in the graves of children in Sudan and Nubia. Painted ostrich eggs were placed by grieving parents in the graves of their children. These eggs represented the hope of eternal life or immortality. At Naqada, a decorated ostrich egg replaced the owner's missing head. This egg is now in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

The painted ostrich egg shown below dates to the 7th century BC and was found on the island of Cyprus.

Credit: De Agostini Picture Library 
The discovery of small perforated sea shells in Morocco is evidence of bead adornments dating to 82,000 years ago. Shells were used to produce necklaces. The 82,000 year old shell beads were unearthed in the Cave of Pigeons in Taforalt, in north-east Morocco. The cache consisted of 13 shells belonging to the species Nassarius gibbosulus. Some of shell beads are still covered with red ocher.

Red ocher was used in burial and many of the oldest shell necklaces have been found at grave sites. The perforated shells below are thought to be the oldest in the world.

(Credit: Marian Vanhaeren and Francesco d'Errico / 2007)

Credit: Christopher Henshilwood
Similar shell beads (shown above) were unearthed from Still Bay at Blombos Cave in South Africa. These date to about 75,000 year ago. Caves or rock shelters served as the temporary residences of prehistoric peoples as they moved from place to place. These also served as places of burial. 

Such rock shelters have been found in the Judean hills near Bethlehem. Human habitation in the area of Bethlehem between (100,000-10,000 BC) is well-attested along the north side of Wadi Khareitun where there are three caves: Iraq al-Ahmar, Umm Qal’a, and Umm Qatafa. These caves were in a wooded landscape overlooking a river. At Umm Qatafa archaeologists found the earliest evidence of the domestic use of fire in Palestine. In these caves archaeologists also found clay vessels decorated with red paint, ropes, reed mats, leather, wood artifacts, flint implements, stone grinding and pounding tools, and necklaces made of bone and shell.