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Jerusalem Rising: Part 2 of my Interview with Doug Hershey

CVB: When I visited Jerusalem in 2003, one of the things that really was amazing to me was the archeology that’s taking place on an ongoing basis. I was just blown away when we walked down a staircase and stepped onto the actual street of a first century marketplace that had been uncovered. It had been underground for centuries. I marveled as I thought, “these are the very stones that Jesus likely walked upon.” Part of Jerusalem rising is that they’re digging down and finding all these amazing artifacts that are confirming the biblical and historical record that the Jews have been there for 3,000 years. What are some of the archaeology that stood out to you as you were writing this book?

Doug: One of the most stunning archaeological sites is the actual location of The City of David. This is the actual ancient city where David made his home. A few years ago, they had been doing a lot of excavation and were expecting a lot more tourism to come in. So they built this large visitor center at the top of the hill. An official archeologist met with them and said, “I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is we found a large stone structure that could very well be the remnants of David’s palace. The bad news is, it’s directly under this new visitor center.”

They ended up having to place this visitor center on stilts to excavate underneath. They found this huge stone structure with artifacts that completely fit into the timeframe of biblical King David. There were artistic designs in the capstones that were from Tyre and Sidon (ancient cities in Lebanon) found there. You may ask, how does that connect? It was the king of Tyre that built David’s palace. He sent his workman down to do the work. These guys from up north are going be working according to their style for David.

It is amazing the stuff that they’re finding in there. In Jerusalem Rising, I have photos of the exact same area where all of it is unexcavated. Within the City of David excavation, they have found clay seals that were used with ancient scrolls. When you sent a letter in biblical times, you would roll up your message and then you use either hot wax or oftentimes clay, and then press your seal into it to secure the letter. Only those who those with authority were allowed to break that seal and see the message. Most of these pieces were often clay that were a particular signet ring from somebody significant.

When Jerusalem later is burned with fire, as it is described in the scriptures, do you know what happened to the clay? When you place clay into the fire, it it’s like putting it into a kill and it hardens. And so they’re finding these little hardened pieces that have the imprint of biblical people doing exactly what the Bible says that they were doing, in that particular place, at that right timeframe.

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