2,750-year-old solar-aligned temple discovered in Israel

This discovery predates the composition of much of the Bible, other than folkloric tales passed along mainly orally for a couple of centuries, perhaps. Note that the sun’s rays are considered to bring or reveal the “divine presence” in the temple. As scholars and students of ancient religion and mythology know, the Israelites engaged in astrotheological religion and viewed their tribal warrior god Yahweh as a solar deity. In this regard, for centuries the Israelites were little different from their neighbors and predecessors the Canaanites, with the latter’s extensive pantheon that included various celestial and nature deities.

Here is yet more undeniable proof of the astrotheological nature of much religious worship, including the biblical.

2,750-year-old temple discovered in Israel

Israeli archeologists have discovered the remains of an ancient temple that is nearly 3,000 years old and was once home to a ritual cult.

“The ritual building at Tel Motza is an unusual and striking find, in light of the fact that there are hardly any remains of ritual buildings of the period in Judaea at the time of the First Temple,” excavation directors Anna Eirikh, Hamoudi Khalaily and Shua Kisilevitz said in a statement released by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The temple remains were discovered at the Tel Motza site, located to the west of Jerusalem. The Israeli Antiquities Authority has been conducting excavation efforts at the site and says that along with the temple remains itself, the findings include a “cache of sacred vessels” estimated to be 2,750 years old.

“Among other finds, the site has yielded pottery figurines of men, one of them bearded, whose significance is still unknown,” the statement from Khalaily and Kisilevitz reads….

Dating back to the Iron Age, the temple was designed in accordance with similar layouts for other religious buildings from that era, according to the Israeli government. More from its analysis:

“The walls of the structure are massive, and it includes a wide, east-facing entrance, conforming to the tradition of temple construction in the ancient Near East: The rays of the sun rising in the east would have illuminated the object placed inside the temple first, symbolizing the divine presence within. A square structure which was probably an altar was exposed in the temple courtyard, and the cache of sacred vessels was found near the structure.”

“The rays of the sun rising in the east would have illuminated the object placed inside the temple first, symbolizing the divine presence within.”

The excavation directors said they will continue to examine the findings and conduct further digs while preparations for the highway construction continue.

“The find of the sacred structure, together with the accompanying cache of sacred vessels, and especially the significant coastal influence evident in the anthropomorphic figurines, still require extensive research,” they said.

Yahweh as Sun God

Demonstrating the copious substantiation for Israelite sun worship, especially as concerns the main Jewish god, in Yahweh and the Sun: Biblical and Archaeological Evidence for Sun Worship in Ancient Israel, Rev. Dr. J. Glen Taylor, a theologian and professor of Old Testament and Biblical Proclamation at Wycliffe College, remarks (7):

This book is a slightly revised version of my doctoral dissertation entitled “Solar Worship in the Biblical World” which was submitted to the Graduate School of Yale University in the Spring of 1989. As may be judged from the title of that work, I had at one time planned to cover more territory than sun worship in ancient Israel, but found the material pertaining to ancient Israel so vast that I never got beyond it.

Moses bowing down to the burning bush of the solar Yahweh.The description of Yahweh and the Sun states, “This challenging provocative book argues that there was in ancient Israel a considerable degree of overlap between the worship of the sun and of Yahweh – even that Yahweh was worshipped as the sun in some contexts.” (Emphasis added.) As Rev. Dr. Taylor (20) further says:

Probably the most provocative issue related to the nature of sun worship in ancient Israel…is the specific claim that Yahweh was identified with the sun.

“Yahweh was identified with the sun.”

In his tome, Taylor discusses Yahweh as a sun god – terming this adulation “solar Yahwism” – as reflected in the sun worship by Israelites described in the biblical texts of Deuteronomy, the Prophets, Job and the Psalms. He also addresses linguistic evidence as well as various archaeological finds that reveal Israelite sun worship, including artifacts such sun disks and temple/shrine alignments.

As we can see, the ancient Yahwists were involved in nature worship and astrotheology little different from the peoples preceding and surrounding them.

Further Reading

Astrotheology of the Ancients
Astrotheology of the Ancients (forum thread)
Jesus as the Sun throughout History
The Eclipse of Solar Mythology?
Star worship of the ancient Israelites
Star Worship of the Ancient Israelites (forum thread)
Yahweh, God Sun

6 Comments

  1. Ya, El, Mt Gezarim and Ebla
    Both Ya and El are mentioned commonly as minor household gods in the tablets of the Royal Library at Ebla (circa 3,000 BC) Why is nothing ever written about this treasure trove of REAL ancient history and its relation to ongoing searches?

    Also, for over a decade now, excavations on a temple site have been going on in Nablus on Mt. Gezirim. Initially, at least, it was under the direction of the Israeli archaeologist, Yitzhak Magan. He had said he found Sanballat’s temple to worship EL(ohim) under a Hellenistic temple which had been built to compete with Nehemiah’s 4th century temple to worship Ya(weh) in Jerusalem. Underneath Sanballat’s temple, Magan said he found ‘an Iron Age Temple’, but didn’t go into any detail on what its religious orientation was. It was inferred to simply be a ‘Canaanite temple’.

    Given the record of animosity from the 5th century on between Sanballat, the Samaritans and Nehemian and the Jews, it is a reasonable argument to suggest there WILL be a ‘Nehemiah temple’, but no ‘Solomon’s Temple’ under the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, since the whole ‘ancient Davidian/Mosaic history’ of Israel was probably concocted by the returning exiles from Babylon only after 536 BC.

    Given, also, that representational pottery of human and animal figurines have been found at the Tel Motza site, near Jerusalem, further implies the purpose of the structure was not ‘kosher’ going by the Torah. It is probably another Iron Age Canaanite temple. Why is this temple being assumed to be a Yahweh temple? What direct evidence is there of this?

    The Semitic religion had a pantheon of over 500 gods, with Dagan and Ishtar at the head. Ya and El were only tribal or household gods, seems to be the proper reading of archaeological evidence. They only gained importance from the fraudulent work of the returning exiles, first as two gods, one each of the Samaritans (Israelites) and the Judeans (Jews) and then gradually merged into one only, perhaps during the middle to late 4th century BC.

    Why, in the face of omni-contradictory archaeological evidence, is everything still twisted to try and fit the bible or accommodate those that have a religious agenda to ‘sustain a lie’?

    I have to wonder when archaeologists and scholars are finally going to admit the bible is a hopelessly bad, even fraudulent, source for the real ancient history of Palestine. At what point will a desire for honesty and academic integrity demand that honest professionals stop pretending the bible has any merit regarding the ancient history of Palestine? It is like trying to make real history fit what a comic book says happened and it is shameful and disgraceful.

    1. Matt Giwer A_Nony_Mouse

      Honesty of bibleland scholars will never come
      @James Watt
      From my years of reading everything in any way related to the subject, it will never come because the bible mythology is so deeply embedded it is nearly impossible to talk about the subject without implying there is some truth in it.

      For example, even you mention return from Babylonian exile but there is no evidence that ever occurred. But that is not important because there is no evidence of a literate culture in bibleland until three centuries after that mythical return. There is no way the bible stories could have been created before the 2nd c. BC after Greek culture had had time to penetrate and civilize the local barbarians.

      You mention Canaan but there is no archaeology supporting any people ever called that or who called themselves that. Same for Philistines, nada.

      The only claim the Septuagint is a translation is the Letter of Aristeas. The letter is a forgery therefore all rational people must consider the Septuagint the original. After all the “hebraicisms” in the Septuagint have been known to be Koine Greek for some 120 years but find any “scholar” willing to publish that. The “hebrew” translation is derived from Koine Greek. In fact “hebrew” is likely a pidgin of Aramaic and Greek.

      If you like the mosques the temple of Astarte, falsely translated Strato’s Tower, BYT aSTaRTe, was on what is currently called the temple mount. It had eight sides. So does the Dome of the Rock. Used the same foundation? Notice there was a temple to a goddess on the temple mount in Roman times?

      Even in Roman times, new testament times, the Judeans, aka Jews, were polytheists. And Josephus tells us only Judeans were Jews. Galileans and Samaritans and Idumaeans were not Jews/Judeans. They were conquered and force to follow the Yahweh cult by the Maccabes. Forced to adopt circumcision and the rest of the jewish religion. The old testament says those people were always Hebrews. Real history from Josephus says they were forced to convert in the 2nd c. BC by military conquest under penalty of death. Mohamed and the Christians did not invent forced conversion.

      What we know of the real history of bibleland is that the bible is pure fiction and created in the time of the Maccabes and nothing in it has any merit as history.

    2. It seems to me people are hopelessly attempting to prove what is false and what is true.
      the compiling of letters/books into one and calling it the “Bible” is just another erroneous effort.
      Wen I read these letters I see the full intent of the intelligent one, it is mans interpretation which leads astray and confuses the issue.
      The message being all that the One is, so are we.
      A Sovereign, autonomous being having no human masters.

  2. Matt Giwer A_Nony_Mouse

    solar oriented buildings
    While it is of interest to find temples oriented to the sun one should not jump to “religious significance” as the explanation. Some years ago I came across a discussion of housing orientation in Anatolia, southern Turkey, Hellenic culture, the original Mycenae. Apparently around 1000 BC the region started to dry out and thus forests turned to grasslands decreasing the available firewood. Before that there was no particular orientation for houses. After that north-south orientation became the norm to catch what there was of the winter sun because of the increased cost of firewood.

    One should not jump to religious significance before more prosaic explanations are exhausted.

    1. Thank you. Yes, the practical aspect of having sunlight in one’s home is understood, obviously, which is why we have windows in our dwellings.

      However, when we are talking about [b]TEMPLES[/b] – which have [i]religious significance[/i] – aligned with their doorways facing the rising sun, you can be sure the alignment is deliberate, especially if a shaft of light hits the altar or nave on one of the auspicious days such as the solstices.

      In consideration of the fact of sun worship all over the world for thousands of years, including as highlighted here among the Yahwists, the thesis that these [i]religiously significant temples[/i] are deliberately aligned to the sun for religious purposes becomes the “Occam’s Razor” explanation.

      One should not ignore the blatantly obvious – and it is always a good idea actually to read a post before commenting.

  3. Interesting and in all probability true; for people have always used names etc. in vain designed according to their miss conceptions of reality. And all that remains is the ruins!

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