You can have the greatest love of all… if you choose it!

 February, the month when cards, roses and chocolates appear in our stores for Valentine’s Day. Restaurants advertise special meals. Many enjoy the gifts and expressions of love they receive. We all want to be loved and we blossom when we feel secure in the knowledge that we are indeed loved by those we love in return. Sadly human love inevitably passes away.

 Those who follow Christ follow a crucified and risen Lord who defined love by his sacrifice. This amazing gift of love should prompt Christ’s followers to consider how they may love and serve others. They should not expect others to serve them in return.

In the history of humankind there is only one Man who deserves to be made much of, to be worshiped and celebrated every waking moment, Jesus Christ, God’s Son, the one who was entitled to be adored but instead chose to be abhorred, despised, and rejected, a man of sorrows, bearing our griefs and sins. “…he was wounded for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)*

Rights forfeited, griefs and hardship accepted, putting others’ needs before our own. This is the way of true love. Human love will so often fail us and leave us disappointed and disillusioned.  

 Why not search for the true love shown by God and Jesus? By deciding to try to understand this everlasting love it will lead us to put others before ourselves. A love willing to sacrifice its wants, desires, and dreams for the joy of others. A love of the glory of God, not of the glorification of self.

Before we can truly love others, we must first  love God.  Such love for others can only be developed by understanding the nature of God’s love towards humankind.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16-17)

The only ones who can  truly love are born of God and know God. Without understanding God’s love in sending Jesus to be a sacrifice for our sins, we are not capable to give out such  love to those in our lives. “…while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person….God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.(Romans 5:6-8)

“We love because he (God) first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)

While we were still sinners, Jesus loved us. When we had done nothing for Him, He loved us. His love for us is shown in his sacrifice on the cross. Jesus, by his death, opened up the way to everlasting life to those who truly try to follow him. Only the heart that treasures this love is capable of giving it out. To love, not to get but to give, not to use, but to be used.

To receive the love of God is to accept our bankruptcy. We have nothing good to our name, only sin. We deserve death but by the love of Christ we are spared. So when it comes to our relationships, we must put to death any thoughts of entitlement. ‘I deserve better’ has no place in the mind of a Christian. “For the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

It’s far too easy to focus on what we think others should do for us, especially those who are closest to us. When they fail to meet our expectations we are tempted to punish. Remember that in the hour we were most undeserving, Christ died for us. So when those we love let us down, we must put to death our preferences, our selfish ambitions, our desires and wants.

So, let us be reminded of who we are. We are sinners with a Saviour, Jesus,  children with a Heavenly Father, beggars with an abundance of treasure, entitled to nothing, yet possessors of everything. We are learning to be free from self. We try to love unreservedly. As such, we can reject cultural ideas about love and about what we deserve. We can believe in our God and Jesus who are more than enough for us, today, tomorrow and every day.

In  God and His Son Jesus Christ alone true love is found, and through them alone true love is given.

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Forget about ‘New Year, New You’ … God loves you just the way you are!

It’s a little like being Cinderella. The moment the clock strikes midnight everything changes. Except that rather than rags to riches we go from feast to famine, and instead of losing a shoe we lose the will to live.

The minute New Year’s Eve turns to New Year’s Day a peculiar change takes hold of the world as we know it. It throttles us until we bend to its will: NEW YEAR, NEW YOU.

Adverts that preached excess and indulgence at Christmas swiftly change their tune to discipline and determination. Bookshops mutilate their gift and humour displays, leaving in their wake dieting and de-cluttering manuals.

It is like falling victim to cultural whiplash. One minute we are festive, family-orientated and telling ourselves to be merry and bright. The next we are told we are nowhere near thin, pretty or talented enough. In the blink of an eye we have become desperately in need of a total lifestyle overhaul.

We fall for it every year, even though it makes us miserable. It’s another sales tactic. We know it, yet our fingers inch towards the self-help pages as if they have a mind of their own. Surely we realise that we aren’t striving for God’s ideal?

God didn’t create the world to breed jealousy, dissatisfaction and self-hatred. Jesus didn’t rise from the dead to sell something. No! He is GIVING us something. Not something we dare ask for because the gift of everlasting life is too great, and certainly not stocked in the John Lewis catalogue.

He gives us GRACE.

Yes, I find it difficult too. In a world where self improvement is an art form, where people have built their livelihoods on making us feel inadequate, where we are defined by our weight, our Facebook friends, Instagram likes and bank balances, it seems implausible that God loves us just the way we are. All he asks for in return is our commitment of obedience, faith and love.

Everywhere we look in the story of our Saviour this message is repeated.

We do not have to be strong: The apostle Paul wrote, “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)

We are not made whole by great works or achievements: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

We don’t have to transform: “No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” (Acts 15:11)

‘New Year New You’ may be a good tag-line, perhaps an even better sales pitch, but it cannot buy you happiness, hope, or a happily ever after.

Our happily ever after lies not in guilt, or sacrifice, or resolutions, but in the acceptance of grace, to allow our imperfect selves to be loved, just as we are, by our Creator and his Son, who died, that we may live.

Quotes NIV

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The Thanksgiving Spirit

Ok, so we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in the UK but we are all aware that it is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November every year in America and Canada. This year it is Thursday November 28.

It’s great that a day is set aside so that people are reminded to count the numerous blessings in their lives.

My question is “Why should this be restricted to just one day!?”

For me, trying to live a Christian lifestyle it’s supposed to be a state of mind. Thanksgiving should be more from the depth of our spirit and not just for a limited time.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the Will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

If we think carefully about this verse it tells us to be thankful in all circumstances as this is the will of God.

How often do we stop and give thanks for all we have in this life?

The Apostle Paul puts forward the challenge. We must maintain an “Attitude of Gratitude.” This can be a real struggle. Life is hard and there are many circumstances where being thankful wouldn’t be our first response. It isn’t natural for us to maintain gratefulness when life gets tough. We can become discontented. We want something different, better or more.

How easy it is to fall into that trap!

“When this happens … then I will be happy!”

“When I get married, get that car, get that job, that home, then I will be happy.”

We can be so busy trying to get more that we have can forget what we do have.

The apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:11, “I learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”

So, let us think on this throughout the whole year and try in all circumstances to remember the many blessings God sends us every day we live and to be content and thankful.

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The Amazing Gift at the Heart of Christmas

Our families, if we are fortunate enough to have them, are a special part of our celebrations at this time of year. We look forward to gathering together to catch up with those we rarely see. We enjoy our Christmas dinner and  exchanging presents. It’s a time when we can all get caught up in the hype that starts months before in September. Our supermarkets tempt us with cut price offers of boxes of sweets, biscuits and chocolates. Christmas puddings, cakes and mince pies make their appearance by early October! We look forward to giving and receiving gifts.

How many people in our increasingly Godless and materialistic  society will spare a thought for the birth of Jesus, the Christ (Messiah), in Bethlehem? Almighty God, in His love for humankind, sent us all a marvellous present, the gift of His Only Son, the pathway to salvation for those who trust in Jesus and in God, his Father.

The story is simple. God chose Mary, a virgin, to be the mother of His beloved Son. The angel Gabriel was sent to tell Mary. “ And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary,  for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to Him the throne of his father David and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” … The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy – the Son of God.” (Luke 1:30-33,35)

And so Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the city of his ancestor King David, as foretold by the prophet Micah so many years before. “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel …” (Micah 5:2)

Why was the Son of the Almighty God, the Creator of heaven and earth, born in such poor and humble surroundings? This humble birth sends an amazing message to us all. The All Powerful God chose to give us the gift of His Only Beloved Son Jesus, our Saviour and King, born as one of us, to reveal God’s character and His plan of salvation. Jesus told  his disciple Philip “… he who has seen me has seen the Father …” (John 14:9)

The baby born in Bethlehem resisted sin all his life. Jesus lived a perfect sinless life  He is our Saviour and High Priest who, by his death, is the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all who would try to follow his example. The Letter to the Hebrews tells us that “… we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)

So, as we look forward to Christmas, we must always remember why Jesus was born and give our grateful thanks to God for His Gift, Jesus the Saviour, who is described by the apostle Paul as “God’s unspeakable gift.” (2 Corinthians 2:15)

Quotes ESV

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We will remember

On Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday, the nation remembers the end of the First World War in 1918. We pay tribute to those who have fallen in the service of the United Kingdom and mark this time with a two minute silence. On the 11th November every year many people across the UK will be pausing from their day to day tasks and at 11am will be joined in silence, pausing to remember those who gave their lives for us. The Sunday closest to Remembrance Day is known as Remembrance Sunday where men, women and children all across Britain hold and attend ceremonies to remember the millions who have died fighting in the First World and the subsequent wars our country has fought.

For Christadelphians, every Sunday is Remembrance Sunday. We meet every Sunday morning at 11am in our hall in Ammanford to remember Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, who gave his life for all humankind. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:16) Jesus, God’s only Son, lived a sinless life and so became a perfect sacrifice for the sins of those who put their faith and trust in him and in his Father.

Our ‘Breaking of Bread’ (Communion Service) allows us to meet together and share the bread and the wine in remembrance of the life, death and resurrection of our the Lord Jesus Christ. The baptised members of our church group pray and sing hymns together. We listen to an exhortation and break bread and drink wine to remember Christ and give thanks for him and for his sacrifice as Jesus commanded his disciples. “Now, as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, ‘Take, eat; this is my body.’ And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.’” (Matthew 26:26-29)

Those who attend, but have not shown their commitment to God and Jesus by following the commandment to be baptised, are also present, but do not take the emblems of bread and wine. This is because the believers in Christ in apostolic times were commanded to be “baptised” by total immersion in water. So as they were “buried with Christ in baptism” (Colossians 2:12); they died in symbol with him upon the cross, and as he rose from the dead to immortal life, so they rose from the waters of baptism to “newness of life”. This remains the requirement for sincere believers today. “For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptised into Christ have put on Christ.”( Galatians 3:26-27) Those who choose to obey God’s command He, by His grace and mercy, is prepared to accept them and forgives their sins, They are brought into fellowship with Him. So, from being alienated from God by sin, sincere believers become sons and daughters of God by their obedience and faith. They are made heirs of eternal life according to God’s promise. For even if death should overtake them, they die in the certain hope of resurrection from the grave in the day when Christ comes again. So will be fulfilled the best-known verse in the New Testament: “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

We know from the Scriptures that the present age of man’s dominion is coming to an end. While there is still time, we invite all to examine, or re-examine, the true teachings of the Bible. God is still calling out a people for His Kingdom. Your eternal future depends on your response!

Visitors are most welcome at all our services, so please come along and find out more about what we believe and how you can share our hope too!

Quotes ESV

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Has God forgotten me?

Have we ever felt as if God may have forgotten us? It often happens when we go through a time of trouble that seems to lengthen the longer we put up with it. At those times it seems as if prayers are no longer answered, and positive spiritual thoughts seem to evaporate before they have even been spoken.

When God afflicted his people Israel, they thought he had forgotten them. God reassured them with these words (Isaiah 49: 14-16) “But Zion said, ‘The LORD has forsaken me, the LORD has forgotten me.’ Can a mother forget the her nursing child that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you! Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands …” God will never forget his people Israel, and nor will he forget us.

The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews encouraged the believers “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He (God) has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6)

Take the example of parents of an adopted child who has gone off the rails. Though he is not their flesh and blood, they still think of him, pray for him, visit him in prison and talk about him. As part of their family, they will never forget him. How much more is that with God?

Those who have been baptised into the saving name of God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who try to follow God’s Law, even though they fail at times, are God’s sons and daughters by adoption. (Galatians 3:26-29) “for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. For as many of you as were baptised into Christ have put on Christ … And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.”

We can never fail to be reminded of important things by marks we see every day on our hands. As children of God, He does not need to be reminded of us. We are written, like the children of Israel, on His hands. He has promised never to leave us or forsake us however hard our lives may be at times.


To find out more about our hope and how you can become a part of it, visit our website: www.ammanfordchristadelphians.co.uk.

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Brexit – To Be or Not To Be …

Winston Churchill observed in 1947: ” No-one pretends that democracy is perfect, or all wise, Indeed it has been said that it is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

Do you watch the News? Just lately our news has been dominated and almost taken over by Brexit and by the passion shown by our democratic Parliamentarians for and against the proposed exit from the European Union. Such events are almost unheard of in Westminster.

Many people are perplexed, frustrated and worried as they try to follow the complicated and seemingly endless turns of events. How will it be resolved? Will it never end?

Do those who have faith in God and in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, need to worry? The Bible, God’s handbook for the faithful believers, explains clearly what the Almighty and All Powerful God has in store for the world He created. It tells us that He is in control and that, however changeful, difficult and stressful our lives may become the present rulers of our world will be swept aside.

The Bible tells us plainly that God’s Government is coming to this planet, God centred, guided and ruled over by Jesus Christ and his saints.

The prophet Daniel writes: “And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end and it shall stand forever” (Daniel 2:44).

If we go on we are told: “He [Jesus] shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth” (Psalm 72:8) “… and his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth” (Zechariah 9:10)

Jesus told his followers: “The one who conquers, and who keeps my works to the end, to him I will give authority over the nations”. (Revelation 2:26)

This world will be ruled by Jesus Christ, the Saviour and his faithful followers who have, in spite of all the difficulties of life, really done their best to serve God. This Kingdom of God will have a righteous ruler whose concern is for all people.(Psalm 72:12-14)For he (Jesus) delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. He has pity on the weak and the needy and saves the lives of the needy. From oppression and violence he redeems their life and precious is their blood in his sight.

There will be fertile lands, once desert and food for all. Please read Isaiah 35 a wonderful prophecy of the Kingdom of God on earth.

The nations will want to serve God (Micah4:1-2) It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains and it shall be lifted above the hills and peoples shall flow to it and many nations shall come and say: Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD….that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.

War will be abolished (Isaiah 2:4).He (Jesus)shall judge between the nations and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation neither shall they learn war any more

Jesus said: “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.

This wonderful Kingdom will come soon! God and Jesus will rule the World.

Even so come Lord Jesus!

*Quotes ESV & NIV

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Have we got the message?

About 3 weeks ago our television stopped working. This sign came up on the screen NO SIGNAL. I checked all the connections and even brought out two other televisions to try as well! Again, NO SIGNAL x 2. Was I getting the message at last? NO SIGNAL meant something other than that there was a fault with three televisions. My friend told me that his television also had this NO SIGNAL message and that he was able to retune his set. Everything was now working properly. I tried this but, sadly, I couldn’t access the screen directions.

As I went to take our car for its MOT I noticed a television company van parked at the roadside. I stopped and asked the driver about our problem. He was really helpful and suggested that it might be because the TV tower had recently had changes to its frequency. A new aerial might be the only answer. He opened the rear door of the van to show me a dozen or so new types of aerial he was now having to fit. I felt that I had found the truth of the matter. This man had clearly explained what I must do. He was an expert!

If we want to know the truth about God and His Son Jesus, we have to open our Bibles to read what they tell us about what is promised for us in the Word of God. God promises resurrection from the grave to live forever when Jesus returns to live on this earth to set up his Father’s Kingdom.

God’s message gives us hope. He is the expert. He is in control. Open your Bible (rather like the van doors) and you will find the “truth of the matter” within its pages.

As soon my helpful nephew retuned our television normal service resumed. We can switch it on to watch a programme at any time of day.

Of course we can all open our Bible at any time of day to access God’s message to us all. God doesn’t want any of us to perish. Our minds need to be tuned to His message. We need to be on God’s frequency to understand how we should live our lives by God’s laws.

John 3: 16-17 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

Jesus said “Come to me all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” Matthew 11:28-30.

Quotes ESV

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Spiders and the Bible

Whatever have spiders got to do with a blog about the Bible? Well, in the Book of Proverbs we are directed to study some of the smaller creatures. Proverbs 6:6 “Go to the ant O sluggard; consider her ways and be wise” So let’s look at the jumping spider! A study carried out by Harvard University reveals the amazing ingenuity of the jumping spider, Myrmarachne formicaria. Whenever a potential adversary looms into view they impersonate something their predator would avoid.

This involves mimicking an ant, because ants have venomous stings, produce unpleasant chemicals and are generally aggressive.

How is a tall, stocky, eight legged spider with three segments able to mimic a thin, six-legged ant with two body segments?

For starters, the spider lifts up two of its legs above its head to give the impression of antennae. It mimics the ant’s winding gait. Finally, it adopts the ant’s habit of frequently stopping for incredibly short periods of a 10th to a 100th of a second. Amazing!

Are we seeing here the completion of evolution, a development over millions of years? Remember, every act of mimicking must work at the same time. Or are we seeing the work of God the Almighty Creator? Jesus Christ believed in creation. Mark 10:6 “ But from the beginning of creation God made them male and female” See also Matthew 19:4 “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female …” Mark 13:19 “For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now …”

Quotes from the ESV.


Join us this coming Sunday at 6pm for a special Bible-based presentation on A Bugs Life – presented by the curator of entomology at the National Museum of Wales Cardiff (he will even bring along some of his collection for you to see)! More details can be found here.

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6 Recent Archaeological Discoveries that Affirm Details in Scripture

Each time an artefact related to the Biblical narrative is unearthed in Israel or the surrounding lands of the Bible it becomes a witness to the perfection of God’s Word.

And it happens all the time.

Here are six recent discoveries that affirm some rather obscure details in the Bible. Each one provides material evidence of the historical reliability of the Bible, and hopefully, increases our faith.

Biblical city of Ziklag

Aerial view of the archaeological site at Khirbet a-Ra’i where researchers believe they have located the biblical city of Ziklag.
Photo credit: Emil Ajem, Israel Antiquities Authority

While hiding from Saul in Philistia, King Achish of Gat awarded Ziklag to David as a vassal state. The book of Samuel reveals the Amalekites later destroyed Ziklag. Now when David and his men came to Ziglag on the third day the Amalekites had made a raid against the Negeb and against Ziglag. They had overcome Ziklag and burned it with fire….. (1 Samuel 30:1) Read the whole chapter to find out what David did!

(Though archaeologists have suggested several sites as possible locations, none have included evidence of both a Philistine settlement and a settlement from the time of David.)

That is until a few weeks ago.

After a 12-year study of the entire region, archaeologists say they may have found the biblical city of Ziklag near the southern town of Kiryat Gat2 in Israel. The find, dating to the early tenth century BC, is consistent with scriptural references to the geography of the area: a rural settlement dating to the time of King David among the remains of a Philistine settlement that had been destroyed by fire.

Clay Pomegranate found in Tel Shiloh

A distinctly Jewish symbol, pomegranates were one of the seven species of Israel (Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25) and were common tabernacle and temple motifs (1 Kings 7:18; 2 Kings25:17). But long before the first temple was built, they were sewn into the hem of the high priest’s robe by God’s command:

“On its hem you shall make pomegranates of blue and purple and scarlet yarns, around its hem, with bells of gold between them, a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, around the hem of the robe. And it shall be on Aaron when he ministers, and its sound shall be heard when he goes into the Holy Place before the LORD, and when he comes out, so that he does not die.” (Exodus 28:33-35)

That’s why the 2018 discovery of a small, fully intact ceramic pomegranate at Tel Shiloh, the site where many believe the tabernacle rested (Joshua 18:1), bolstered scholars’ excitement.

This clay pomegranate fits the description in both shape and size of the pomegranates that hung from the priests’ robes. For some scholars, the discovery of the pomegranate affirms the sacredness of Shiloh (Jeremiah 7:12) for the Jews in Israel’s early days.

Photo credit: Ancient Shiloh

Beka weight from the Temple Mount

Beka weight found among dirt near the foundation stones of Jerusalem’s Western Wall. Photo credit: Eliyahu Yanai, City of David

A small weight dating to the First Temple period was unearthed at the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount in soil removed from under the Western Wall, just north of the City of David in the area of Robinson’s Arch.

The Hebrew word beka (בֶּקַע) inscribed on the weight is equivalent to a half shekel, or about 0.20 ounces. (Exodus 38:26) explains these small stones served as the measurement for the half-shekel temple tax.

“The silver from those numbered among the congregation . . . a beka (בֶּקַע) per person, that is, half a shekel, according to the sanctuary shekel.”

When Jews would bring their half-shekel tax to the temple for the census, they had no coins, only pieces of silver—and it was necessary to know their true weight. Silver pieces were weighed based on the beka weight.

The beka discovery lines up with the biblical narrative and helps confirm the Old Testament system of weights and the existence of Solomon’s Temple.

Five rare coins from Jerusalem

Photo credit: Zachi Dvira, Temple Mount Sifting Project

Though small, these five coins are a big find.

The Temple Mount Sifting Project discovered five rare coins dating from the fourth century BC from around the time described in Ezra and Nehemiah. These two books document the Jewish people returning from Babylonian exile and beginning construction of the Second Temple by decree of Cyrus the Great.

Bearing the inscription in ancient Hebrew יְהוּדָה (Judah), they are believed to be some of the earliest evidence of Jewish coin minting in Israel:

“These were the first coins ever minted by Jews . . . They express the people’s return to their land after the Babylonian exile, and their ability to hold and maintain diplomatic ties with the ruling empire—then Persia.” — Zachi Dvira, Temple Mount Sifting Project

Like the beka weight, these coins affirm details often overlooked in Scripture: a thriving commercial and administrative temple life.

“Then they gave money to the masons and carpenters, and gave food and drink and olive oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre, so that they would bring cedar logs by sea from Lebanon to Joppa, as authorized by Cyrus king of Persia.”8 (Ezra 3:7)

Watchtower dating to the time of Hezekiah

Photo credit: Israel Antiquities Authority

Just weeks ago, the remains of a 15 X 10.5-foot stone watchtower were discovered on a hilltop inside a paratrooper base in southern Israel. It’s believed to be a watchtower abandoned when Assyrian King Sennacherib invaded the area in 701 BC at the end of King Hezekiah’s reign.

The view from the tower includes the Hebron hills, the Judean plain, and Ashkelon. In Hezekiah’s day, soldiers could easily monitor the area and report activity back to their king.

At that time, the entrance to the tower was sealed up and the soldiers fled. Sennacherib’s military campaign in Judea was particularly devastating with Assyrian writings claiming he destroyed 46 cities and over 2,000 farms and villages. Sennacherib went on to lay siege to Jerusalem but was ultimately unsuccessful.

You can read the whole account of Sennacherib’s unsuccessful siege of Jerusalem in (2 Kings 18:13-27)

“He struck down the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territory, from watchtower to fortified city. … In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them.” (2 Kings 18:8, 13)

Fortification wall at Lachish

Photo credit: Yossi Garfinkel, Hebrew University

Biblical scholars have long debated whether a strong centralized kingdom existed during Solomon’s reign.

But recently, archaeologists unearthed a fortification wall at Lachish and dated it to the tenth century BC. They argue the fortifications are evidence of the Bible’s account of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam.

The kingdom of Israel had split after Solomon’s death, and to prepare for an expected attack from Egypt, Judah’s new king fortified a series of cities:

“Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem, and he built cities for defence in Judah . . . Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah . . . He made the fortresses strong, and put commanders in them, and stores of food, oil, and wine. And he put shields and spears in all the cities and made them very strong. So he held Judah and Benjamin.” (2 Chronicles11:5, 9, 11-12) Though some scholars disagree, others stand firm that the finding shores up this biblical account in the book of Chronicles.

These recent discoveries are the latest of many discoveries found by archaeologists. They all prove that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. We hope that you will reach for your Bible to read all the given passages and that you will be encouraged to read about the wonderful message it has about God’s promise of salvation to all who put their hope and trust in Him.

This article was originaly written by Karen Engle Wed, July 24, 2019. Karen Engle received her MA in Biblical Studies and Theology from Western Seminary. She is an editor for Faithlife and regularly takes groups to Israel.
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