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Israel Research Trip, Post #1

After one week of research on the ground in Jordan, we turned our attention to Israel for the next two weeks. On our first day, six of us drove a rented van south to the Negev and the Gulf of Aqaba. We went with two purposes in mind: (1) to visit the site of ancient

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Jordan Research Trip, Post #11

This final post reporting on my research trip to Jordan includes two sites we visited on our first day. I’ve done so in order to tie together some of the significance aspects of our visit to Gerasa and our later examination of sites in Israel. Elijah’s Hill / Tell Elias In order to identify sites

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Dr. John C. Whitcomb, Jr. — In Memoriam

As he slept the night of February 5, Dr. John Clement Whitcomb, Jr. entered his Savior’s presence to hear his Lord’s “Well done, good and faithful servant.” For me he was a spiritual cedar of Lebanon, one of the giants of the faith who impacted my life for the past 57 years, especially as mentor

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Jordan Research Trip, Post #10

Where should we expect to find the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah? I already addressed this matter in part in Post #9 about Lot’s Cave in the vicinity of Zoar. In that post I used the evidence of the biblical text, of toponomy (linguistics of place names), and the Medeba Map. In addition, we

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Jordan Research Trip, Post #9

This particular research trip set as one of its goals the evaluation of three lines of evidence with regard to identifying the locations of Sodom and Gomorrah and attempting to establish chronological timelines: (1) Biblical evidence within the text of Scripture itself as the prima facie evidence; (2) archaeological evidence as provided in excavation reports; and, (3)

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Jordan Research Trip, Post #8

Petra Match me such a marvel save in Eastern clime, a rose-red city half as old as time. — John William Burgon Biblical Connections Preparing for a tour of Petra provides an opportunity to think about its biblical connections. Petra and its peoples’ histories begin with the history of Abraham’s descendants. When Abraham’s wife Sarah

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Jordan Research Trip, Post #7

Aroer and the Arnon Gorge Most references in the Old Testament to Aroer occur with reference to a fortress on the edge of the Arnon Gorge known also as Wadi Mujib. Such a location fits “crest of a mountain” as the possible meaning of the name Aroer — another possible meaning would be “juniper,” a

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Jordan Research Trip, Post #6

Peor Geographical details in the account regarding Balaam in Numbers 22–24 provide information identifying the area where Israel camped east of the Jordan River before entering Canaan. When King Balak of Moab sent for Balaam to curse Israel, he went to meet him at Ar of Moab on the Arnon Gorge (Numbers 22:36; see Post

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Jordan Research Trip, Post #5

Medeba Scripture refers to Medeba in lists of cities seized by the Israelites (Numbers 21:30; Joshua 13:9, 16). Joab, during David’s reign, fought the Amorites and Ammonites at Medeba (1 Chronicles 19:6–15). About 150 years later, King Mesha of Moab (see 2 Kings 3:4) erected a stela (the Moabite Stela) mentioning how Omri had taken

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Jordan Research Trip, Post #4

Rabbah Ammon / Amman Citadel Today Amman serves as the capital of the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan. In ancient times it was known as Rabbah of the Ammonites. In the Hellenistic and Roman periods the city was named Philadelphia (honoring Ptolemy II Philadelphos, ruler of Egypt 285–247 BC). Philadelphia was the southernmost city of the Decapolis (see

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