I just noticed on foxnews.com that archaeologists have discovered an ancient temple west of Jerusalem in a site known to archaeologists as “Tel Motza.”
The term Tel refers to a “mound created by human occupation and abandonment of a geographical site over many centuries.” Just as the leaves of autumn accumulate over the course of many years, forming compost and enriching the forest floor, so also did ancient cities, over time, accumulate debris and thus deeper foundations.
So Tel Motza is the archaeological site of an ancient city known now as Motza. Motza is connected to the biblical city of “Mozah” which is mentioned by name in Joshua 18:26 and that existed in the borderlands of the tribal allotment of Benjamin…not far from Jerusalem.
Having defined these terms, not only is this recent archaeological find interesting, it seems to provide evidence for the timeline of the Scriptures. Check it out…
King Solomon lived and reigned about 3,000 years ago, and during his reign (as well as prior to his reign), the people were dedicated wholly to the Lord and thus alternative religions and rituals were banned (1 Kings 8:54-61). While Solomon did turn to pagan worship towards the latter end of his 40-year reign, it’s inferred that the Temple in Jerusalem remained the only formal temple in the land of Israel (1 Kings 12:26-27).
However, following Solomon’s reign, there was an apostasy in the southern kingdom of Judah. Some good kings reigned, but overall, there was a decline in the moral and religious leanings of the southern kingdom. Later, kings Hezekiah, Josiah and Uzziah (especially Josiah) instituted radical religious reform, but it’s during that gap between Solomon and Josiah that this temple in Mozah allegedly existed (and was destroyed). Archaeologists have dated this pagan temple to about 2,750 years ago. Again, Solomon reigned 3,000 years ago and Jerusalem fell almost 2,600 years ago, so the temple existed between those dates…during the time of apostasy and decline in Israel.
It’s always interesting when new sites are discovered, but it’s especially interesting when discoveries are made that seem to confirm the Scriptures in some way.
For more on this discovery, read the article here.