Israel Part 1 [of 4]: Some Old Testament Sites

I traveled to Israel with Fuller Theological Seminary’s ANE department last quarter.  We visited sites of biblical and archaeological significance, discussing their remains and proposed interpretations.

I never understood the Old and New Testaments quite like I do now.  So I decided to share some pictures with you all.

I’ll post them in 4 parts; this one will be a few OT sites we visited, the 2nd will be some NT sites, the 3rd will be early/medieval church, and the 4th contemporary Israel.

Under each picture will be a quick description.


Ein Gedi

“Ein Gedi”- an oasis just West of the Dead Sea where David hid and spared Saul’s life (1Sam 24)

Large Stone Structure (David’s Palace?)

Named the “Large Stone Structure” and is possibly King David’s palace or a Jebusite fortress (circa 10th Century BCE)
The view from the “Large Stone Structure”, possible site of David’s palace. If that’s true, you can see how David would have gotten himself into trouble… (2Sam 11)


The gates of Megiddo in Israel, possibly built by king Solomon (1 Kings 9:15). This city is probably referenced by “Armageddon” in Revelation and is an extremely awesome site of untouched architecture sitting on top of a tel that remained unsettled since 586 BCE.

Hezekiah’s Tunnel

Hezekiah’s Tunnel underneath the city of Jerusalem, dug sometime in the 8th century BCE in preparation for an Assyrian siege (that’s what happens when you don’t pay tribute taxes). Also pictured is a fine young man, if I might say so myself…
Siloam Inscription in Hezekiah’s Tunnel- (the tunnel leads from the Gihon Spring to the Pool of Siloam). The inscription talks about two teams digging from each direction and meeting in the middle.
Hezekiah’s Wall was built, just like his tunnel, in preparation for the coming Assyrian siege under Sennacherib. The prophet Isaiah rebuked the Israelite king for destroying houses in the process of building it (Isaiah 22:9-11)

Tel Dan

Temple complex at Tel Dan- the Northern King Jeroboam built alternative temples to the one in Jerusalem, placing one in Bethel and the other in Dan (2Kings 12)
Found at Tel Dan and currently housed in the Jerusalem museum, this inscription is a late 9th century BCE boast of an Aramaen king chronicling his victory over the Israelites. This is the oldest surviving mention of the “House of David.”
Mudbrick Gate at Tel Dan – this find actually dates to the Canaanite period before the Israelites. It is unique for a number of reasons; it is the earliest arched gate in the region and one of the only structures made from mudbricks (which had to be quickly abandoned and reinforced with stone). Some scholars believe it was built by settlers from Mesopotamia.

Silver Scrolls

Two silver scrolls in the Jerusalem Museum that could be the oldest surviving texts from the Hebrew Bible (circa 600 BCE). They contain the prayer from Numbers 6:24-26; “The Lord bless you and protect you…and grant you peace.”

Think that’s cool?  Posts with pictures from the New Testament, Early Church, and contemporary sites coming soon!

 |–> Part 2 [New Testament]

Allen Marshall O'Brien

Allen Marshall O’Brien is the pastor of a UCC church in Northern California and co-host of the Irenicast. He believes in the importance of education, peace, and ecology, throws things to his border collie Sonata, and writes for multiple platforms.

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