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Relating Bible Lands to Today


I. Background Information


Most Biblical cities were not really cities but merely little towns. With a few exceptions of course with Damascus and Jerusalem. It is estimated that as much as 95% of Judah during the 1000-587 BC was populated by farmsteads more than cities averaging less than 2.5 acres in size.


A “tell” is a hill or mound. Especially in the Middle East, “tell” has to to do with an ancient moun of earth that consists of archaeological remains like ancient cities and towns.


How can we accurately pinpoint the location of a place like AI or BEERSHEEBA on a map? Honestly, for those places that have not been continually occupied, it is very difficult to accurately place them on the map. We can hypothesize only by comparing much data discovered from archaeological finds with the traditions of the people who live in the Middle East. We must be cautious each time a new explorer claims to have uncovered some forgotten Biblical city. We must be sure to compare all the evidence together. With that being said, placing Biblical places on a modern map is an exciting study and helps us to relate to times so long ago in a very real and physical way. Consider Eden, for example. Where would it be located on a modern map? There are no GPS coordinates given in the Scripture, but we can make educated guesses based on what is given in Scripture. We suppose “the cradle of humanity” is the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers known as “Mesopotamia”. From the journey of Abram and other early Bible accounts, we can make an educated guess on the whereabouts of Eden being in Southern Mesopotamia.

II. Some Ancient and Modern Places







Jg 1:31 Neither did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Accho, nor the inhabitants of Zidon, nor of Ahlab, nor of Achzib, nor of Helbah, nor of Aphik, nor of Rehob:

(some greek tests replace Ummah with Acco in Joshua 19:30)

Acts 21:7 And when we had finished our course from Tyre, we came to Ptolemais, and saluted the brethren, and abode with them one day.

(Name was changed by….was prominent in the struggle between the selucids of Syria and the Ptolemies of Egypt and it s name was changed during this period . Like Jerusalem & Damascus, Acco is one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in the world. It serves as a prime example of a Biblical city about which we would know very little if it was not for the efforts of archaeologist investigation.

More reading: Arie, Kindler. “Akko, a City of Many Names.” BASOR 231 (1978).

G. ACHZIV The City of Cemeteries

Mentioned only twice in the Bible Joshua 19:29; Judges 1:31. Located 9 miles north of Acco.


If ET-TELL is “AI”, The Conquest of Joshua isn’t. Joshua 7-8. (mention 31 times in the Bible.) All but five of these are found in Joshua 8-12. Twice in Genesis 12:8; 13:3. Once each in Ezra 2;28, Neh. 7:32; and Jer. 49:3.

A lot of questions involving the archaeological finds and the Biblical claims of this place. Could it be the right location but the story of another city imposed upon it? Or simply another ‘Ai’ not not uncovered? This city has been a source of great Mystery and controversy.

Further Reading: Zevit, Ziony. “The Problem of “Ai: New Theory rejects the battle as d e scribed in Bible but explains how story evolved.” BAR 11.2 (1985): 58-69.

I. ASHDOD Home of the “Ashdoda”

the ashdoda (2).png

One of the five philistine cities mentioned in the Bible (Ashkelon, Ekron, Gath & Gaza: see John 13:3)

Ashdod is located about ten miles north of Ashkelon some two miles inland from the Mediterranean Sea.

Mentioned 19 times in the Bible; Joshua 11:22; 13:3; 15:46,47 & I Samuel 5:1,3,5,7; 16:17 ; Zechariah 9:6. Amos 1:8; Isaiah 2o:1; Jer. 25:20.

Most important story, in I Samuel 5-6, the capture of the ark of God.

Further reading: Ussishkin, David. “Notes on Megiddo, Gezer, Ashdod, and Tel Batash in the 10th to 9th centures BCE." BASOR 2270278 (1990): 71-91.


Ge 37:17 And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.

Family Bible Notes: Dothan; twelve or fifteen miles north of Shechem.

K. BEERSHEBA an iron age II Judean town “Museum”

Biblical Beersheba is identified with Tell es-Seba’, a ruin located some 2.5 miles east of the modern Israeli city of Beersheba. In the Bible the name, “Beersheba,” is traced back to two aetiologies associated with the ancesters, Abraham & Isaac (Gen. 21:28-31; 26:33). The name is usually understood to mean “well of seven” or “well of oath.”


The territory of modern Iraq is roughly equivalent to that of ancient Mesopotamia, which fostered a succession of early civilizations. The history of Mesopotamia began with the civilization of the Sumerians around 5000 BC in the southern region of Iraq. In 2371 BC, King Sargon Of Akkad asserted control of the region and established the first Assyrian dynasty. The Assyrians ruled the region and expanded its territories to include modern Turkey, Iran, Syria and Israel. The Assyrian empire reigned until the fall of its capital Nineveh (modern day Mosul) in 612 BC.

Mosul is Iraq's third largest city, with approximately 665,000 inhabitants as of 1987. It is situated some 400km north of Baghdad situated on the west bank of Tigris, and close to the ruined Assyrian city of Nineveh.

In approximately 850 BC, King Assurnasirpal II of Assyria chose the city of Nimrud to build his capital city where present day Mosul is located. In approximately 700 BC, King Sennacherib made Nineveh the new capital of Assyria. The mound of Kuyunjik in Mosul is the site of the palaces of King Sennacherib and his grandson Ashurbanipal. Probably built on the site of an earlier Assyrian fortress, Mosul later succeeded Nineveh as the Tigris bridgehead of the road that linked Syria and Anatolia with Persia.

North of Nineveh, Sargon II built a palace far surpassing anything seen before his day. It covered 25 acres (10 hectares) and had nearly 1,000 rooms. Near it stood a seven-story ziggurat temple. Sennacherib put up three magnificent palaces in his capital at Nineveh. The Babylonians had covered their brick walls with glazed brickwork of many colors, but the Assyrians faced theirs with delicately carved slabs of limestone or glowing alabaster. Colossal human-headed winged bulls or lions, carved in alabaster, stood guard outside the main gates of palaces and temples. The Assyrians produced little literature, but in great libraries they preserved copies of Babylonian and Sumerian works. They worshiped the old Babylonian gods but gave their own god, Assur, first place. After the death of Ashurbanipal in 626 BC, Assyria's enemies joined forces. In 612 BC the Babylonians and Medes completely destroyed Nineveh. Six years later the Assyrian Empire collapsed.

By the 8th century AD Mosul had become the principal city of northern Mesopotamia. The city was an important trade center in the Abbasid era, because of its strategic position on the caravan route between India, Persia and the Mediterranean. Mosul's chief export was cotton, and today's word muslin is derived from the name of the city.

The Prophet Younis Mosque is one of most famous mosques in Mosul, northern Iraq. It is situated at the left bank of Tigris River on a hill called " Prophet Younis Hill" and the other name is "al- Tawba Hill." It was named in this way due to "younan Bin Matty " and the story of the whale that was mentioned in AL-Quran and the Bible. Younis, the prophet who in disobeying God's command, was punished by being thrown into the sea and swallowed by a whale. After spending many nights inside the whale in earnest prayers, God forgave him. His shrine is situated on a high hill in Mosul (Nehneva Province), 450 km northern Iraq. Pilgrimages and visitors flock to it from every where.

The mosque is one of the sacred places in Ninevah where people and monks visit in certain occasions. It was first an Asserian temple, afterwards the place changed to became a place for fire worshipers, then a monastery, and a church, finally it became an Islamic mosque. In one of the rooms inside the mosque, there is the prophet Younis' shrine. On the walls of the room one can see the whale bones. The conic brass domes of the mosque can be seen from the outside. A winged statue is situated near the mosque, which is the sign of the Asserian civilization that was found through excavations during restoring the mosque. Besides, there is a well known as " Prophet Younis Well " where he bathed after the whale released him.

In the book of the prophet Daniel, who was quoted endlessly by our Savior in the New Testament, we find this portrait in all of it's splendor in the seventh chapter. It has become tradition that the vision of the four beasts of chapter seven are Babylonia the lion (539 B.C.), Medo-Persia the bear (330 B.C.), Greece the leopard (63 B.C.), and Rome the dreadful beast (70 A.D.), but there is no link found in this chapter to suggest this and I strongly contest this interpretation because, first, these things will occur at the 'end of times' and that would mean that the book of Revelation has been fulfilled and that Christ is already reigning for a millennium in Jerusalem from His throne - which is not yet possible, and second, Daniel uses a phrase several times describing these as 'things to come' in which all of the other three beasts will be trampled down by the fourth beast – absolutely establishing beyond a reasonable doubt that all of these kingdoms must be present on the earth at the same time – during the last days just before the Lord comes to reign over the nations, first, for a thousand years - until Satan has been “loosed for a short season” to bring the region of Magog for a final battle against Christ Himself - and then for the rest of eternity.

Now that we have this straight, let's look at the prophecy and see the world of our own days perfectly painted on this canvas of prediction, given over 2500 years ago...we'll take it verse by verse:

Daniel 7:4"The first {was} like a lion and had {the} wings of an eagle. I kept looking until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man; a human mind also was given to it.

This verse explains one of the kingdoms ( a.k.a countries) present during this time would be represented by a national icon recognizable by all as a lion. This lion would be raised up onto it's hind legs and it's wings would be plucked off. The only possible choice for this nation is the UK, recognized worldwide as the lion in national symbolism – even a lion that is shown from the side as standing on two legs. Giving credence to this is that the wings of an eagle were plucked off of the lion. It takes no leap of faith or any imagination to see that the American national symbol is the eagle and, you guessed it, we came from the lion. Therefore, this text accurately describes one nation divided in two,one represented by a lion and the other, an eagle. Clearly the United States and Great Britain fit with no shoehorning or nip-n-tuck effort necessary.

Daniel 7:5"And behold, another beast, a second one, resembling a bear. And it was raised up on one side, and three ribs {were} in its mouth between its teeth; and thus they said to it, 'Arise, devour much meat!'

This may be the most amazing part of this prophecy to me, at least at the moment, as in my months of study I couldn't seem to make this fit with Russia being the bear, even though instinctively and in my spirit, I knew it must be true. First, when I began this study in late 2007, Russia was not the friendliest of our foes, but they certainly were not aggressively lashing out at anyone and the three ribs were a huge sticking point, that's when I began tracing back the 'rib' in Scripture, looking for significance and as the Spirit of God always does, the answers began to fall into place with the passage of time – each one becoming evident as the days and weeks fell into the bone-yard of history.

The rib is found throughout Scripture and is almost always a word used to express filial relationship either from parent to child, or through the 'fathers' of descendants; proving an ethnic bond. The first place this is found is in the garden of Eden, but it is a recurring theme in dealing with the Jews and their enemies through the OT. “This is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” - the rib is decidedly a way to explain a link through forefathers.

So what is the significance of three ribs, in the bears mouth, telling the bear to 'arise and devour much meat' (as translated in the NASB which might sound like food – but ,I think, more correctly or at least more easily understood, being termed 'flesh' in other translations representing the destruction of multitudes of people in war)? As the months went by, something occurred that floored me - as God does every time He lays information in my lap that never made sense before. On May 7th of 2008, I was casually going through the news of the day when I stumbled upon a simple explanation of the winner of the Russian presidential election in an online news report from India that read:

“Dmitry Medvedev, the chosen successor of outgoing President Vladimir Putin was on Wednesday officially sworn in as Russia'sthird Presidentsince the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991....”

Was this just a coincidence? I didn't think so, especially since it fit too well and seem to fill out the rest of the meaning of the three ribs. Now I really had something to work with. Medvedev being the third president would easily fit since presidents must be a natural born citizen – making the rib's “bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh” argument stick; and they are considered the national mouthpiece of which ever nation they are elected to represent – holding up the 'in the mouth' idea. O.K., so where does 'between it's teeth' and 'devour much flesh' come in. The symbolism of teeth and flesh are clear representations of aggression and war so I pondered how this would take place and when. Once again, at the time, it wasn't clear how this could be since Russia was not at war with anyone. I naturally assumed that it was possible that this would be fulfilled when Russia, in the role of Magog, served as a captain over the federation of Muslim nations that would attack Israel. It was the most plausible explanation and, for a while, I held to that assumption. Then, yet again, the Lord spoke and the day of war did come under this third rib of Russian descent who was now the mouthpiece for the Bear – but not exactly as I had figured. On Friday, August 8th, 2008 the Russian Bear launched an offensive against Georgia and the final piece of the puzzle was in place – as tanks rolled into Ossetia and the conflict began.

Another awesome morsel of data found in this prophecy is that the Bear is the only one who is on the offensive. While one might argue that the US is at war in Iraq, the difference is in tone. America is in the theater of war to protect innocence and eradicate murderous groups of jihadists – taking great pains to keep from injuring or killing innocent civilians. This can be seen by our responsible use of pin-point accurate smart-bombs that are designed to eliminate the enemy within yards of innocence – usually leaving them unscathed – while Russia is carpet bombing anything that moves and coming down on the region with a heavy hand in a manner designed to showcase their power and destroy the perceived threat with total disregard for any living thing.

Yet, one last interesting point I found while sojourning through the Biblical texts and daily headlines, looking for a reason to finger Medvedev as the third rib – I found this in an etymological survey:

The name 'Dmitry' comes from the Greek – 'Demeter': meaning “of the” or “from the” or “worshiper of” the earth.

His last name 'Medvedev' comes from the Russian word 'Medved': meaning 'bear'

It is really no surprise that the atheist nation Russia would be ruled by a “worshiper of the earth” who is a “bear”! The Lord has always inspired parents in the naming of their offspring, from the garden of Eden, to Yeshua, to the present.

Daniel 7:6"After this I kept looking, and behold, another one, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird; the beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it.

This one, did not have me quite so baffled as I knew from history that militarily, Germany's symbol is the leopard - even naming their tanks after this animal. Wings in the Bible, frequently represent periods of rule or empires, and again looking at this from the historical perspective, it made the most sense that we are in the era of the fourth German empire – easily understood as the post “Third Reich” era of their national history. The four heads, then, represents the four rulers of these empires – the current one being Angela Merkel. The fact that 'dominion wasgivento it' suggests that a power of rule or judgment has been bestowed upon it by God and this can be seen in that the Hague, where the UN World Court sits is in the Netherlands, which in 1942 was under German control, or under it's dominion – likewise, this could be that Hitler, the man who unwittingly helped the Jews return to their homeland, who was in power because it was ordained by the Lord - as is Scripturally accurate. Keeping in mind that Israel's return to the land of Palestine in 1948 at the end of WWII is the clock from which all of these events would be timed (the Fig tree generation), I don't find this murky at all and together with the previous three beasts – this makes the most sense and is exactly a snapshot of the world in which we live as of today August 31st, 2008.</w:t></w:r></w:p><w:p><w:pPr><w:pStyle w:val="p0"/></w:pPr><w:r><w:t>Daniel 7:7"After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.

I find it interesting that many Biblical scholars of our day insist that the EU must be the fourth beast. While I am not dogmatic on the last beast, the empire of the Antichrist, I do believe this is not possible since the EU consists of countries that are part of the previous three beasts and will be trampled underfoot by the fourth in his hour. I would argue that it is more plausible that the eagles wings, America, who in my opinion more closely fits the description of Mystery Babylon – the city that all of the merchants of the world lamented over as she fell because they were made rich by her delicacies, and of who little is mentioned other than the fact they have been 'plucked' or taken from the lion - more accurately represents this fourth beast. What other city on earth controls the wealth of the nations like Wall Street, in New York, NY. Which other city houses the current 'One World Government' first called the 'League of Nations' now the 'United Nations' besides New York, NY. It also seems more possible that if the Antichrist 'confirms' the covenant with Israel – this leader must come from a place that Israel respects and admires and is willing to submit to in dealing with their national mortality. It is also worth mentioning that the next president of the United States – be it Obama or McCain – will have the responsibility of continuing the peace talks between the PA and Israel. A look at today's headlines shows that Secretary Rice is currently trying to help the two hammer out a peace agreement, at least on paper, before the end of the year...which would be at the end of George Bush's term and the beginning of the next president's. Again, totally plausible and not at all far fetched.

Daniel 7:8"While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great {boasts.}

Ah, yes. The Antichrist. The little horn of Daniel. I will leave this one be until the time is right – in which case you can be sure a follow-up article/study will definitely be in order...that is, if I am still here to write it, but I digress. This is the prince who will come, the prince of the air, the King of Babylon, the imp of Satan. He will subdue three of the 'first horns'. This seems to me as though the first three horns are the same as the previous three beast that will be trampled to pieces under the Antichrists feet, but again, this has not been revealed to me yet, so it is pure supposition – though I am ever watchful and ready to indulge the Spirit when He prompts me. This satanically indwelt individual will then slice and dice the world into ten sub kingdoms that have ten kings under his authority who will answer to him. The are not truly kings, but they sit as kings much like Herod sat under Caesar.