Archaeologists in Israel have uncovered a temple-like structure and a large rock they say may be the one described in 1 Samuel – and if so, it would have played a role in the Ark of the Covenant that housed the Ten Commandments.
The team from Tel Aviv University digging near the Beth Shemesh site outside Jerusalem discovered a structure apart from the residential area that had sturdy walls and dates to the time of the biblical Israelites. They also found piles of animal bones.
“There is a lot of evidence that this was indeed a temple,” archaeologist Shlomo Bunimovitz of Tel Aviv University told Haaretz. “When you look at the structure and its content, it’s very clear that this is not a standard domestic space but something special.”
Yet it is the unusual rock – a huge stone slab resting on two rocks – that perplexed the archaeologists. Initially, the archaeologists believed it was a pillar that had fallen over.
“But soon we realized that it was meant to be a table,” archaeologist Zvi Lederman of Tel Aviv University told the newspaper.
The stone table resides inside the temple.
Both Bunimovitz and Lederman believe the table could have been a resting place for the Ark of the Covenant that is described in 1 Samuel. 1 Samuel 4-5 tells of the Philistines capturing the Ark of the Covenant but then being punished by God for having it in their possession. Then, in 1 Samuel 6:13-15, the Philistines return the Ark:
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Source: Christian Headlines