Ark Of The Covenant Site Found: We’re getting a preview of the WallBuilders Israel Tour today! Did you know there are around 37,000 archeological sites in Israel?! Archeologists think they may have discovered a location where the Ark of the Covenant rested in Bible times! We have Omer Eshel with us to talk about some recent finds in the Middle East!

Air Date: 01/29/2019

Guest: Omer Eshel

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith And The Culture

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture. Always doing that from a biblical, historical, and Constitutional perspective.

You can get more of our programs at our radio site, WallBuildersLive.com is the radio site and it’s got all kinds of archives from the last few months where you can go listen to our Foundations of Freedom Thursday programs, our Good News Friday programs, our interviews throughout the week. All available right there at WallBuildersLive.com.

And then WallBuilders.com, our main website, that’s where you can find out more about the ministry, you can go there and actually download some great information, some free articles, and all kinds of great things. And then some curriculum and other tools that you can use to equip and inspire yourself and your family to do your part as citizens to preserve our Constitutional Republic.

We’re here with David Barton, he’s America’s premier historian and our founder at WallBuilders. Tim Barton’s with us, national speaker and pastor. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas legislator.

Later in the program, special guest will be Omer Eshel. And he’s actually going to be with David and Tim starting tomorrow on an incredible tour in Israel. We’re going to get a chance to get a little bit of a preview on some things that have happened recently, some finds over in the Middle East, and also find out a little bit of what David and Tim are going to be doing this week with him.

Well, guys, I have to admit, I am very jealous. I’m excited for you guys to be going to Israel this week. I wish I was going with you – next time. But you guys are going be with Omer and he’s going be with us when we come back from the break to kind of give us a little preview and talk about some of the cool discoveries that they’re finding even right now. But you guys will be there in just another day or so.

37,000 Archaeological Sites

David:

We’re really looking forward to that trip Israel. It’s going to be a really fun trip. And our trips to Israel are a little bit different than some of the other tour groups that go in that ours are really kind of a study trip. We like getting a lot of stuff in, but in addition to seeing the archaeology in the Bible come to life, and all of the places that things happen in the Bible, and you go, “My gosh, I didn’t know it looked like that.”

We also try to throw in some of the political stuff that’s going on because that’s in the news all the time. As well as even seeing some of the military stuff. So, we tend to visit military bases and we tend to go up to the northern area where you can look at Hamas terrorists right across the fence. And we will see the new embassy there in Jerusalem. We try to add some things that really make it current application as well.

Tim:

Well, with how many thousands and thousands of archeological sites they have, and continue to discover, it seems like every time we go there’s new things that are options for us to add to the trip or swap out. So, even recently in the news there was stuff coming up about new discoveries over there. And like happens with many situations, people were in debate over the authenticity and what this really was, or what this really wasn’t, what it is.

But it’s really cool being able to go to a place where it is at 37,000 or something–

David:

Yeah.

Tim:

–archaeological sites they have over in Israel.

David:

That’s right.

Tim:

Where, if you look in the States, if we were to talk about American history and the Founding Fathers, we’d be hard pressed to come up with 37,000 sites. And we’re talking about a much larger span of space and nation – Israel is tiny and yet–

David:

Yeah. You could fit 32 Israelis into the state of Texas.

Tim:

Roughly the size of New Jersey–

David:

That’s right.

Tim:

–is what Israel is. But there’s so much that is there. So, it always is fun being able to go over. And, dad, as you mentioned, now we’re going to be able to go see the embassy in Jerusalem which is super exciting to see that come to fruition. Where so many presidents have said they were going to make that happen and President Trump actually did make that happen. So, really a lot of exciting stuff.

And always fun to be with Omer because this guy knows the Bible so well. You basically can point somewhere in Israel and say, “Okay, what verse goes with that place right there?” And he pretty much can tell you exactly what happened in that location. It’s super fun to be with someone who knows the Bible so well and in such a cool place.

David:

Well, he was telling me a story recently where he was talking to an archaeologist and the archaeologist said, “Yeah, we just found this house that was destroyed by an earthquake and not really sure what is.” And Omar said, “Well, here it is in the Bible.” And actually called it, and showed it, and the guy didn’t even know it, and looked at it, and it turned out that’s exactly what it was. So, Omer recognized it just because the Bible said it and it turned out that was actually what they discovered which is just a really fun thing about his Bible knowledge.

Tim:

It really is. And one of the things that has become a little bit of a situation, kind of a cool thing, so, being an Indiana Jones guy growing up you know about what, well, we really didn’t watch Temple of Doom growing up because there was some some weird things in that one, I guess. However, whether it’s The Last Crusade or Raiders of the Lost Ark, right, Indiana Jones, one of the things they do focus on is the Ark of the Covenant in one of the movies.

Really Cool Stuff Happening in Israel

Tim:

And, apparently, one of the things that was in the news just a week or two, three weeks ago, whenever it was, is they think they might have found a spot where the Ark of the Covenant actually was at one point in Israel. That’s something, a site the Bible talks about. So, really cool stuff happening in Israel.

David:

And Omer is going to be the right guy to talk about it. And, by the way, Omer, just to kind of credential him, what is he, Tim? 32, 33, 34, something like that?

Tim:

He’s somewhere in his 30s, but he’s already done a lot.

David:

Oh man, he has been on hundreds of archeological digs. We were talking even about archeological digs just on the Crusades. He’s been on every one except one dig. And that’s because the Syrians put mines all over that site, so nobody’s gone in there to dig that one. He was a special forces kind of guy in the military, he’s got all this diplomatic experience, he’s a scholar, a Bible guy, he’s just an amazing guy and at that young age. It will be a blast to be with him in Israel.

But we thought he’d be a great guy to give a perspective on this new discovery you’re talking about where they think they’ve found the place where the Ark of the Covenant stayed.

Rick:

And we’ll get a little bit of a preview of what you guys will be seeing this week. Stay with us, folks. Omer Eshel is our special guest. We’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.

Front Sight Training Course – Join Us February 22nd-23rd!

Hey friends! Rick Green here, from WallBuilders Live. What do Dennis Prager, Larry Elder, Ben Shapiro, Rick Green, Tim Barton, David Barton – what do all these folks have in common other than the fact that they’re conservative commentators that defend the Constitution and educate America on the Constitution?

They’re all raving about Front Sight Firearms Training Institute. In fact, if you go to my website right now at RickGreen.com, you can watch the video of Dennis Prager training at Front Sight, or Larry Elder, or Tim Barton and myself out there. It’s an opportunity for you to learn how to defend yourself and your family to make sure that you are ready and able to do that. It is a fantastic place to train. They train 30 to 40,000 people a year, and they’re just wonderful to work with.

And you can go with us! We’re headed back out. We’re going to have a great time out there as the WallBuilders family and if you’re a supporter of WallBuilders, we have an amazing deal for you. It’s actually going to cost you 1/10th the normal price to attend this two day handgun training because you’re going with us. And you’ll also get the Constitution crash course. I’ll be teaching on the Constitution, you’ll get the intellectual ammunition that you need to defend the Second Amendment and our Constitution. As well as getting the physical training on how to defend yourself and your family.  

And this is for everyone – guys, gals, everyone should take this class. No matter how much you’ve shot your whole life or if you’ve never touched a gun, learn how to defend your family. We’re going February 22nd-23rd. We would love to have you with us. We’ve only got a few spots left. Check it out at RickGreen.com today and join us February 22nd-23rd.

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us today. Omer Eshel is back with us. He’s CEO and co-founder of The Bible Comes to Life and great friend to the Barton’s and the WallBuilders family. Omer, thanks for coming back on, brother.

Omer Eshel:

Thank you so much for having me, brother. Thank you.

A Site Tied to the Ark of the Covenant?!

Rick:

Hey, man, a lot of exciting things happening and it looks like a site was discovered that’s tied to the Ark of the Covenant.

Omer Eshel:

Well, yes, there was a site that was discovered in * that we all know from the Scripture that this is the place where the Ark of the Covenant was rested until David brought it up to Jerusalem. The problem is is the assumption of that specific archaeology is of what was the Ark of the Covenant and what was that site.

Rick:

Oh really.

Omer Eshel:

You see, that in Israel there are two main approach to archaeology is the minimalists and the maximalists. The maximalists is going to be mostly HebrewU. That’s where I went to school. And the minimalists is going to be mostly Tel Aviv University. Just for our audience to understand, minimalists are saying that King David, the United Kingdom of Judah and Israel, and the old story of Israel all of that never existed–

Rick:

Really?

Omer Eshel:

Yeah. And if it did exist then the Bible really exaggerates. That’s minimalists. Maximalists claim the exact same thing but the opposite. So, that latest archaeological find was– actually it was discovered by the head of the minimalists is a professor by the name, Israel Finkelstein, who, don’t get me wrong, is a very, very, wise man. He knows what he’s talking about.

However, he suggested that the entire idea of the Ark of the Covenant was no more than a symbol because he proves to, he’s saying, that he found the place of worship in * that was build in the time of Jeroboam. Which means that the Kingdom of Israel controlled Judah and the break was not Israel from Judah, but Judah from Israel.

Did the Ark of the Covenant Even Exist?

Rick:

And he is– this is the guy that did the find and he’s the same one now saying that he doesn’t even think the Ark of the Covenant existed.

Omer Eshel:

He’s saying that the Ark of the Covenant is more of a symbol, or more of a metaphor. That the kings of Judah wrote after the kingdom of Israel was destroyed. Now, we’re talking about the same school of thought that up until 1993 said that King David never existed.

Rick:

Wow.

Omer Eshel:

And, yeah, that’s yeah, wow. And, yes, this is very, very, annoying. But what they said is, ‘Listen, King David never existed and and it’s more of a King Arthur kind of a mythology.” The problem was that in 1993 Israeli * of archaeology found an inscription that was written by King *. We know him from 2 Kings, and he said, “I have destroyed the house of David.”

So, here’s a problem. If we see one of the enemies of Israel who is the king of * saying that he destroyed the house of David, that means that there was such a thing called the house of David which means the founder of that house was David.

Rick:

Yeah. So, we talk about the same people who are now saying the Ark of the Covenant never existed. Or it was a metaphor.

Rick:

Gotcha, gotcha. Okay, well, so what can we learn from this latest discovery? This particular site that would have been– and just make sure I understood you right, so this is where we believe the ark was kept until David took it up to Jerusalem?

What Did They Find?

Omer Eshel:

Well, we, meaning the maximalists. Yes, that’s what we believe that this was the house of Obadiah and then after the story of Uzzah, it went up after King David conquered Jerusalem. Yes, that’s what we believe.

So, you can come and say, “What did what did these guys find?” Well, they found a structure which has some kind of influence from the Kingdom of Israel that makes a lot of sense because * was right on the border between the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah.

Now, here’s the thing, we know for a fact, and reading the scriptures, that one of the most important place of worship during the time of King David was actually not * was in a place called Gibeah. If we turn to 1 Samuel chapter 13 verse 2-5, that’s right after the battle of Michmash. And just before that, 1 Samuel 10 verse 8, 1-8, that’s where Samuel crowned Saul and that was in Gibeah. So, the main site is actually not over there. The main site is in Gibeah which is deep into Benjamin territory.

So, what we do have is we have a site which was basically built after the time of King David. So, we talking about around the time of a Jeroboam. It’s about give or take 70 years after King David. So, is this the place that the Ark of the Covenant may have been? Probably the foundation of that place. Because every layer that we find is after King David. Meaning, for the audience to understand, when this place was built, the temple was long standing and the Ark of the Covenant was there because we’re talking after Rehoboam.

Rick:

Wow. Man. So, in your view, what is it– what evidence does it give us for the Ark and for King David, this new find, if any?

Omer Eshel:

Well, this new find, that’s a problem. In terms of evidence of the Ark, not much. Because we found a structure which is dated to around, give or take, either it’s a– give us up around the ninth century B.C. – end of the 8th, beginning the 9th century B.C.. Which means, again, almost 200 years after David, or 150 years after David. So–

Rick:

Yeah.

What We Know

Omer Eshel:

–we know that * was a place that people dwelled in. We know that. And we found some kind of a place of worship, maybe to commemorate that this is the site, or in the vicinity of the site, where the Ark camped before it was moved to Jerusalem. I think that’s the best educated guess that we can have on the site that was just found.

Rick:

Yeah, yeah. Well, it’s fascinating to me. I did not realize what a difference there was in the minimalist and the maximalist views and what was being taught. Or that the split was very much which education most of those guys are getting now. I guess that also has a big impact on when people come to visit Israel depending on who they’re with, and what they’re being taken to, how much of the story they’re gonna get and how much it might be discounted by the minimalists.

Omer Eshel:

Absolutely.

Rick:

Versus the opportunity to tour with you and get to see those sites and get the real story.

Omer Eshel:

I had once a debate with one of the archaeologists from the minimalists when we digged in *Azika which and this, too, by the way, David, we’re going to go to Azika and I’m going to show you the place that we digged. And, again, we always go into this debate on the maximalists and the minimalists. I’m a hardcore maximalist and I’m very proud of it.

And when we came again to the idea– to the stories of the founding fathers of the United Kingdom– I’m not talking about Union Jack now– David and Solomon, and he told me, that professor told me, “Well, we don’t find any major structure that is dated to the time of either David or Solomon in Jerusalem.” Because, again, the first temple was completely leveled by Nebuchadnezzar. And I said to him, “If this is what you’re looking for, and this is the only thing you based on–”

Applying the Same Logic

Omer Eshel:

You know that Genghis Khan was the greatest conqueror in all of history, in all of human history. And if you go to * which was his capital in Mongolia, you’re not going to find major palaces. Because Genghis Khan was a shepherd. So, if you go with them with the minimalist you can come and say, “Genghis Khan never existed.”

Rick:

Wow.

Omer Eshel:

Which we all know he did.

Rick:

Yeah. But they would– they don’t apply that same logic, right?

Omer Eshel:

That’s exactly right.

Rick:

This is good. And you said– so these are some of the places you’re going to be taking David and Tim to when they arrive with the tour group tomorrow.

Omer Eshel:

You know what? Yes and I’m going to share something that we’re going to see there and I want to share this with our audience. In the city of Azika, which was one of the most important cities in Judea. It’s actually mentioned also in 1 Samuel 17, the battle of David and Goliath. We found a house that was destroyed from an earthquake. And we found remains of human, we found remains of skeletons, which is wonderful because you can send those organic materials to do carbon 14 examination.

Finds That Match the Bible

Omer Eshel:

And we found that those skeletons, those people, died around the time of King Uzziah. So, when you look at that, if you turn to the Book of Amos, Amos was a prophet in the time of Uzziah. Amos clearly says, this is in first Amos, in the first chapter, that he was prophesying in the time of Uzziah after the great earthquake. So, we found that earthquake.

Rick:

Wow. And you guys are going there?

Omer Eshel:

Yes, we are. We’re going to see the actual place, we’re going to see that house.

Rick:

That’s going be great. Man, I wish I was going on this trip. I get to go next time hopefully. So, we’ll hope–

Omer Eshel:

Yeah, God willing.

Rick:

We’ll look forward to hearing some great reports when David and Tim get back and maybe get you back on right after the trip. But, Omer, thank you, man. Always appreciate your insight, and your time, and I just appreciate you coming on with us today, and sharing this.

Omer Eshel:

Thank you so much, and thank you for your time, and thank you for listening.

Rick:

Stay with us, folks. We’ll right back with David and Tim Barton.

This Precarious Moment Book

David:

This is David Barton. I want to let about a brand new book we have called This Precarious Moment: Six Urgent Steps That Will Save You, Your family, and Our Country. Jim Garlow and I have co-authored this book and we take six issues that are hot in the culture right now.

Issues that we’re dealing with, issues such as immigration, race relations, our relationship with Israel, the rising generation Millennials, and the absence of the church in the culture wars, and where American heritage is, our godly heritage. We look at all six of those issues right now that are under attack and we give you both Biblical and historical perspective on those issues that provide solutions on what each of us can do right now to make a difference.

These are all problems that are solvable if we’ll get involved. So you can grab the book This Precarious Moment and find out what you can do to make a difference. This Precarious Moment is available at WallBuilders.com.

Rick:

Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us on WallBuilders Live. Great getting to talk with Omer before David and Tim get there. You guys are headed out and going to have a great trip this week. He’s already previewing it for us a little bit.

David:

And, by the way, let me kind of apologize for Omer right now. He is a great scholar, great archaeologist, he’s been at all these sites, he speaks Hebrew, he lives in Israel, and he just can’t seem to pronounce things the way we do. We all know Joshua – that’s the guy who helped Moses – and he says “Ho-sway”. What kind of pronunciation is that?

Tim:

I didn’t know there was a Mexican guy in the Bible.

David:

Exactly.

Tim:

That’s awesome!

Correct Pronunciation

David:

That’s right. And we’re listening to him and he talks about the temple at “She-low”. Shelow? Oh, Shiloh! So, he doesn’t quite get the right emphasis on how to say words. Obviously, that’s our Texas bias coming through. So, it really is fun to hear how they actually are supposed to sound and how far off we are on the way that we say them. He actually knows how to say it, but we’ve been saying it so wrong for so long in America that when you hear it said right it’s like, “Oh, no, Omer. Oh, wait a minute, you speak the language, you live there, you know what it is.”

So, it is kind of funny to hear him go through that. But I love what he brought out about what he called the minimalists and the maximalists and the difference between the two. That one starts with the assumption the Bible’s right. And so far in the thousands of digs they have not found a single piece of evidence to indicate the Bible is not correct. But the minimalists start out with the fact that, no, the Bible’s totally wrong, and then they discover thousands of things that show it to be right and they still say the Bible’s wrong.

So, here you’ve got the head of archaeology in Israel who did not believe that there is really a king David, or that there’s really a king Solomon, doesn’t believe the Ark actually existed. And now thousands of digs later they keep finding this stuff and he still thinks, “Well, it’s symbolic.” It’s like the hammer of Thor, it’s some some power that’s out there that was symbolic. It’s like academics in United States that won’t believe truth when they see it because they’ve got too many degrees. And it sounds like the same debate we’ve got going in America.

Tim:

It really is interesting how he even distinguished that there’s two universities, which, as he was saying that, I thought, well, are there only two? And I really don’t know the answer to this because he said, “Well, there’s HebrewU and then there’s the one at Tel Aviv.”

Because I’m thinking, right, in Texas we’ve got all these division one universities, and then you have division two, and division three, and *, and I’m thinking there’s so many places you can go. But if there’s two primary thoughts in two universities, and presumably the larger university is saying, “Okay, we don’t really believe all that Bible stuff.”

Resistance to Obvious Facts

Tim:

And as Omar said, this is a really smart guy. Well, he’s not discounting the fact this guy just doesn’t know his stuff. No, this is a smart guy. He just doesn’t tend to believe what the Bible says until he has no other options. Which is very interesting.

And, dad, as you’re mentioning, even with professors in the United States  if we talked about, for example, the faith the Founding Fathers, “They didn’t believe in God.” And then we showed them original documents, “Okay, maybe this one did, but the rest didn’t.” And you start showing them documents, “Oh, okay, well, maybe some did. I just didn’t know that.”, or however they’re going to acknowledge, or maybe not acknowledge in some cases.

But there’s a lot of resistance to things that are obvious facts. But if you start off believing so strongly that nothing that this says is true, certainly, that is going to influence the way you think, and study, and look at this.

And that’s why it’s gonna be so fun to be over there with Omer as somebody who believes what the Bible says, and every single one of all these sites – the 37,000, whatever it is – these sites that have lined up and affirmed what the Bible says – even the timeline, the people, the places, it’s so fun to see that this book that we say we believe in as Christians, the Bible, isn’t something that’s fantasized. No, this is something validated by every single archeological discovery they have in Israel.

Rick:

And, Tim, I was thinking the exact same thing you were thinking. He names these two universities and we’ve always used that expression there’s two schools of thoughts on this issue – x and y, and you go through the deal. Literally, in this case, two schools of thought on this particular issue.

Schools of Thought

David:

Yeah, they actually do have more than two universities there, but it is two schools of thought. But those are the two big boy universities. Those are the serious ones. There are some smaller ones. And schools like Wheaton College here in the United States, they have little branches over there, and affiliates, and they work with others. So, there are some associated kind of universities over there associated with groups in the United States.

But the two big universities, the two dominant ones, it’s HebrewU and Tel Aviv. And Tel Aviv is the secular part of Israel and Jerusalem, HebrewU, that’s more of the religious Bible believing part of Jerusalem. So, they’ve got that same kind of polarization going in Israel that we do in America.

And it’s interesting, too, that Omer in talking about this is, he said, “Of course we know the Ark was kept there at Obed Edom before–” Do we really? The way he rattled through that story and it’s out of 1 Samuel 4. And that’s where David, where– I’m not sure that most Christians would know why the Ark was at Obed Edom’s house, how it got there, what happened with the Philistines, and what happened with the golden *rods, and  that’s how– that used to be a well-known Bible story.

So, for so many I think even what Omer was describing. For those that want to see what was just found that is in the Bible, go back and read the first part of 1 Samuel.  It’s fun to read the Bible anyway, but then you see that. So, then we’re going to be over there and we’ll get the opportunity to see right where this stuff happened. It really, really, is fun to see the Bible come to life.

Tim:

And this is something we’ve talked about before too where we– this is not the first trip we’ve taken over to Israel. We’ve been able to take several of these trips and we’ve encouraged people before that you ought to try to take time somewhere in your life to get over and see Israel, see it firsthand, don’t just see what Fox or CNN says about what’s going on in Israel. Don’t just wait and let some pastor or somebody tell you about what Israel looks like. This is a great opportunity to say, “You know what? This is something I want to do in my lifetime is go to Israel.”

Go to Israel!

Tim:

And we periodically will take trips to Israel and we love to have people come with us. But there are so many groups that go to Israel. This, really, we say it’s a once in a lifetime trip. We’ve been very blessed that we’ve gone more than once in our lifetime. But it’s something that knowing what is over there, and recognizing the experiences we’ve had, we would say, “No, this is something that– this ought to be a bucket list for you.”

How special it is to go over and see the place where the Bible actually happened, to see where King David was, to see where Jesus was, and Peter, and Paul, and it is amazing to be over there. So, we are very blessed that we’re actually, we’re going here pretty soon to be able to go over to Israel. But there’s lots of opportunities for people to go. Start saving 20 bucks a week, whatever it is. But this is a trip of a lifetime that you need to put on your bucket list. Go to Israel and see the Holy Land.

Rick:

Well, we’re looking forward to you guys coming back and telling us about it and sharing it with the listeners as well.

In the meantime, folks, if you want to go to our website at WallBuildersLive.com, you can actually get some of our archives of the last few weeks. And you can also go to WallBuidlers.com for a wealth of information that will equip and inspire your families. So, check out those websites today.

Ark Of The Covenant Site Found

Rick:

And then I want to ask you to consider going to those websites and there is a button, it says “donate”. And what that does is make this program possible for people all over the country, frankly around the world, to be able to hear it. When you come alongside us, and you make that one time donation, or perhaps you’re willing to be one of our monthly donors, it’s what makes WallBuilders Live happen.

We’re a listener supported program, it’s making a huge difference all across the country getting people equipped, and inspired, and engaged. And you can be part of making that happen. So, please consider going to website today and making that donation.

We sure appreciate you listening. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.