Friday, February 04, 2011

Tomb Of Biblical Prophet Zechariah Discovered In Israel-Archaeologists

Israeli archaeologist Amir Ganor shows the mosaic floor of a Byzantine-period church, which was discovered following excavations in Hirbet Madras, near the Israeli town of Beit Shemesh, on Wednesday. Some scholars believe it may be the residence and tomb of the Prophet Zechariah

The tomb of the biblical prophet Zechariah  may have been discovered in central Israel. A stunning and timely find for the time we are living in, God’s prophet Zechariah wrote of the first coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

In Zachariah’s Book, Chapter 9:9 Zachariah writes
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having savation; lowely, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
This awe-inspiring prophecy was fulfilled in the first coming of Jesus Christ, as recorded in Matthew’s Gospel Chapter 21:1-5,

and specific latter day prophecies concerning God’s Holy City of Jerusalem in Zechariah  Chapter 12:2-3 that we are witnessing come to pass today; and future events concerning the salvation of Judah, and the end time battle against Jerusalem written about in Zechariah  Chapter 14 involving all nations that is being set up now,  as we watch the events unfold in the Middle East against Israel by neighboring arab-muslim  enemies and the world’s nations going against Israel,  and the glorious time when Christ returns.

What is believed to be Zachariah’s tomb was stumbled upon when archaeologists discovered a church dating to the sixth and seventh centuries CE with an impressive mosaic floor .

Tunnels were uncovered under the church, located in Adullam Park, containing coins, stone tools, lamps and clay vessels from the first and second century CE. Based on the finds, Israel Antiquities Authority excavators believe the tunnels were used by residents of the large Jewish community that existed at the site during the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132-135 CE ).

Scholars believe the church was built at the end of the fifth century. Most of the church floor was covered with a complex mosaic, much of which has been well preserved, whose stones measure between seven and eight millimeters. "This is one of the most beautiful mosaics discovered in Israel in recent years, " Ganor says.

The designs include geometric patterns, plants and animals, including a spotted leopard, a fox, a bear, a peacock, a lion devouring an ibex, a bull and fish.

At its last stage, the church was constructed as a basilica, with a large entrance hall paved with stone slabs that led inward to the main hall, in which stood eight marble columns with ornate capitals imported from Asia Minor.

An empty underground tomb was also discovered at the site, which some scholars, among them archaeologists Dr. Uzi Dahari and Prof. Yoram Tzafrir, believe was venerated in the Byzantine period as the tomb of Zechariah the prophet, based on an inscription on the Madaba Map.. The latter was a map of the Holy Land that was part of the mosaic floor of a sixth-century church in Jordan. It contains many names of sites and has been proven accurate in many cases.

"On the map a mounment appears in this area marked as the tomb of Zechariah the prophet.  A church appears on the map next to a horseshoe-shaped structure.  When we came to the site we saw the ancient tomb under the church had a horseshoe shape", Ganor said.
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