Godssecret's Weblog

June 3, 2019, 9:05 am
Filed under: Archeology, Uncategorized












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TOMB OF Nicanor

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Rock-cut tombs are mentioned in the Bible. As its written about the “Cave of Machpelah”, was purchased by Abraham for Sarah from Ephron the Hittite (Gen. 23:2) Hundreds of Jewish rock-cut tombs were constructed in Israel in ancient times. They were cut into the rock with elaborate facades and multiple burial chambers. Some are free-standing, but most are caves. The earliest Israelite tombs, which date to the 9th century BCE in Jerusalem. There are a great many Jewish tombs dating to the Second Temple period.

In the Silwan valley is the most important ancient cemetery of the First Temple period, is assumed to have been used by the highest-ranking officials residing in Jerusalem, the capital city of the Kingdom of Judah. Its tombs were cut between the 9th and 7th centuries BCE. It is located in the Kidron Valley across from biblical Jerusalem of the kings of Judah, in the lower part of the ridge where the village of Silwan now stands. The architecture of the tombs and the manner of burial is different from anything known from contemporary Palestine. Having entrances located high above the surface, gabled ceilings, straight ceilings with a cornice trough-shaped resting-places with pillows, above-ground tombs, and inscriptions engraved on the facade appear only here. There are three different types of tombs in the Silwan , each type concentrated in one specific area. Seven of the tombs feature gabledceilings and extremely fine stonework. They have been described as among the most beautifully rock-cut tombs known in the Jerusalem area even when compared with tombs of later periods A second tomb type has flat ceilings and one, two, or three chambers of well-dressed stone carefully squared into spacious rooms. One features a rear chamber of especially “impressive” scale and quality. There are tombs combining characteristics of the two described here above. A third type consists of just three “magnificent” First Temple monolith tombs, now located in the northern part of the village. These have been carved out of the cliff to create free-standing buildings above the underground burial chambers. Hebrew inscriptions survive on these three tombs; these are the only ancient inscriptions that survive in Silwan. The Silwan. monolith was first described as located under the courtyard of a modern-period house serving as a cistern. It has the finest and most delicate stone dressing in the Silwan . The upper story was destroyed for use as quarried stone in the Roman/Byzantine period. Only a small section of the inscription survived to be recorded by Ussishkin. The first line is “This is the burial of Z …”. The second line “the one who opens this tomb . ..” The third line was illegible. The Pillar of Absalom is in our day the most prominent edifice in the Kidron Valley, easily recognizable through its singular architecture: a round dome set on a square structure.  Beside it we find the Tomb of Benei Hezir and the Tomb of Zecharia. At the foot of Ras Al-Amud, we find graves dated from the 8-7th Centuries BCE, and identified as part of the cemetery of the Jerusalem nobility from the Judean Kingdom.  The best-known grave among these is a tomb called “Yehu Who Is Lord of the House,” after the inscription at its entrance.

During the Second Temple period, rock-cut tombs were built outside the walls of the city of Jerusalem in every direction extendinf as far as 7 km from the city walls but predominantly to the north and south of the city. more prestigious tombs located close to the city.

The Tombs of the Kings is a collection of rock cut tombs in East Jerusalem believed to be the burial site of Queen Helene of Adiabene. The site is just east of the intersection of Nablus Road and Saladin Street. The gate of the property is marked in  French  “Tomb of the Kings”. As of May 2016, the Tombs of the Kings cannot normally be visited they being considered private property of the French State. From the house there is a 9 meter wide staircase (23 steps) that was originally paved and leads to a forecourt. Rain water is collected in baths, which are carved in the steps, and carried via a channel system to the water wells. At the bottom of the stairs there is a stone wall to the left with a gate. This gate leads to a courtyard that was cut from the rock at the same date. The dimensions of this courtyard are roughly 27 meters long from north to south and 25 meters wide from west to east.  The entrance to the tombs is via this courtyard. The tombs are entered via a rock-cut arch facade in the western side. The 28-meter facade was crowned with three pyramids, which no longer exist, and decorated with reliefs of grapes, plexus leaves, acorns and fruit, reflecting the Greek architectural style. The architrave was originally supported by two pillars, fragments of which were found in the excavations. The tombs are arranged on two levels around a central chamber, with four rooms upstairs and three rooms downstairs. The tombs are now empty, but previously housed a number of sarcophagi; they were excavated by a French archaeological mission headed by Louis Felicien de Saulcy, who took them back to France. They are exhibited at the Louvre.

The Cave of Nicanor is an ancient burial cave located on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem. Among the ossuaries discovered in the cave is one with an inscription referring to “Nicanor the door maker”. The cave is located in the National Botanic Garden of Israel on the grounds of the Mount Scopus campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Nicanor is mentioned in the works of the Roman Jewish historian Josephus and the Talmud as the donor of the bronze doors of the Court of the Women in the Second Temple in Jerusalem. This fact is also inscribed in Greek on his ossuary, which is a rare case of archaeology supporting facts stated by written sources.

Rock-cut tombs are  found in the Judges 8:32; 2 Samuel 2:32; Second Kings 9:28; 23:30; 21:26; 23:16


The elaborate Tombs of the Sanhedrin are north of the city. They were so called by later generations because the largest of them contains 70 chambers with burial benches, and the Sanhedrin had seventy members. Each of the three tombs would actually have contained the burials of a single, multi-generational, wealthy family. They were constructed between the reign of Herod and the year 70.

There has more recently been uncovered excavations of a large Jewish necropolis Second Temple Period  in Yericho 75 of the Robbed tombs were surveyed. The graves were  marked in the Jericho cemetery By charcoal drawings of a neftI on a tomb wall and a three-dimensional stone neftI on the surface of the cemetery.







June 2, 2019, 6:29 am
Filed under: Shabbot, SHABBOT HAGADOL, Shabot, Uncategorized | Tags: ,
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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

On Shabbot HaGadol we need to decide whether we will read the version of the Passover Hagadah that says this is “The bread of affliction”, or the other version which reads this is “Like the bread …”. Our decision depends on our present state on “Shabbat Hagadol”.

The greatness of Shabbat is  is hidden. All of the Shabbat experiences that our nation have come together and make a Shabbat Hagadol. It is this that will ensure liberation, making the people enter a state of “Gadlut” (greatness-expanded consciousness). The sages tell us that the Israelites in Egypt  possessed scrolls from their forefathers, which they would enjoy from Shabbat to Shabbat, when they rested, saying that Hashem would liberate them” (Shemot Rabba 5:18). It was the spiritual teaching in these scrolls which gave the Jews the ability to hope for a brighter future. It brightened their spirits and raises their stooped backs, as they held on to faith in the future liberation. As these scrolls reminded the Israelites that God had told their forefathers that “He will certainly redeem”.

The secret of our hope for freedom by Redemption and spiritual success is Shabbat. Shabbat is a day of rest and light for the soul. This light reminds us of our bright past of our Holy forefathers and this gives a bright hope for the future. So people can hold on to faith of the future liberation. The sages tell us , “Whoever observes Shabbat properly, even if he worships idols like the generation of Enosh, he will be forgiven” (Shabbat 118b). Shabbat contains a wonderful power that can destroy idol worship. It is in this merit that Shabbot has the ability to erase our sins and bring on the Redemption. ). The bravery of  Shabbat Hagadol in Egypt. When the Israelites took sheep,  the highest idol of Egypt, and prepared to slaughter them, was able to make us fit for the liberation. May in the merit of brazenness of Holiness we merit to be redeemed !