Further Archaeological Evidence for the Second Temple


(Friday Church News Notes, November 13, 2015, www.wayoflife.org, fbns@wayoflife.org, 866-295-4143)

Archaeologists have unearthed clear evidence of a citadel built by Antiochus IV Epiphanes to control Jerusalem in 168 BC. The evidence consists of many things, including the following: first, physical evidence of the citadel (its foundation, a massive wall, and remnants of its tower); second, ballista stones and bronze arrowheads stamped with Antiochus’s symbol, a pitchfork; third, coins dating to Antiochus’s reign. This confirms the account in I and II Maccabees and Josephus’ history of the Jewish wars. Acra Fortress, located south of the City of David, was constructed by Antiochus, king of Syria and a forerunner of the antichrist, in an attempt to quell a rebellion led by Jewish priests and centered in the Temple. The directors of the excavation have stated, “This sensational discovery allows us for the first time to reconstruct the layout of settlement and the actual look of the city on the eve of the Hasmonean revolt. The new archaeological finds testify to the establishment of a properly fortified stronghold constructed on the high bedrock cliff overlooking the steep slopes of the City of David hill. This stronghold controlled all means of approach to the Temple, and cut the Temple off from the southern parts of the city” (“2,000-year-old fortress unearthed in Jerusalem after century-long search,” Times of Israel, Nov. 3, 2015).

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