Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Netaim Finally Found!!

Livescience.com’s report (also on MSNBC) on the site identification of Khirbet Qeiyafa begins with this sentence:

Scientists think they’ve finally found the real location of a city called Neta'im mentioned in the Bible.

I’d rephrase the sentence a little:  One historian has proposed that a site is Neta'im. 

As for the suggestion that they have finally found the real location, that’s extremely exciting unless you know that the only mention of the place is buried deep in the genealogies of Chronicles (just after the prayer of Jabez). Then they write:

Archaeologists have previously associated Khirbet Qeiyafa with the biblical city Sha’arayim, which means “two gates,” because of the discovery of two gates in the fortress ruins, and because Sha’arayim was also associated with King David in the Bible. But now researchers claim this site is really Neta'im.

Actually, the excavators still believe that Qeiyafa is Sha’arayim, but one historian has proposed that it is Neta'im with very little evidence to support it.  In fact, his best argument is that the name Neta'im is preserved somewhere else.

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