One of the oldest artistic representations of a menorah found in Beersheba

Israeli archaeologists have just unveiled "one of the first artistic representations of a Jewish menorah ever discovered." It was found on a fragment of an oil lamp alongside other evidence of daily life for Jews in the town of Beersheba.

C 'is the first time that a vestige of a Jewish settlement from the Second Temple period has been discovered. At this site, linked to Abraham, and occupied until the second century AD, scientists found "one of the earliest artistic representations of a Jewish menorah," limestone vases used for purification rituals, a watchtower, rooms, and underground passages used by the Jews against the Romans.

Dr Peter Fabian of Ben-Gurion University and Dr Daniel Varga of the Israel Antiquities Authority explain to Israel Today :

“The remains of the settlement cover an area of ​​2500 square meters and include several structures and facilities, such as the foundations of a large watchtower, cooking facilities, old garbage pits and an underground system that was probably used as a Jewish ritual bath (mikveh). "

The location of Beersheba was highly strategic, which explains the presence of a watchtower. This city was located along the southern border of the kingdom of Judah, and near a road that led to the Mediterranean coast.

There are many references to it in the Bible, the first concerning Abraham. It was there that he settled his disagreement with Abimelech about a well. This event gave its name to the city, Beersheba means “oath well”.

This is why we call this place Beer Schéba; for it is there that they both swore. So they made a covenant at Beersheba. After which Abimelech rose, with Picol, chief of his army; and they returned to the land of the Philistines. Abraham planted tamariscs in Beersheba; and there he called on the name of the LORD God of eternity. (Genesis 21: 31-33)

Isaac built an altar there and Elijah took refuge there when he fled from Jezebel.


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