|Ancient coins uncovered from the Temple Mount|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Friday, 26 December 2008 05:43|
|Archaeologists sifting through tonnes of rubble discarded by the Islamic Waqf during construction work on the Temple Mount have yielded two rare coins dating back to significant periods during Israel's history. One of the coins recovered from the rubble include a rare first century half shekel, which was first minted during the great revolt against the Romans in 66-70AD. The half shekel was used by the Jews for the payment of Temple taxes, and it is the first time such a coin has been discovered which was actually produced at the Temple Mount itself. The coin has been generally well preserved, but bears the marks of fire damage. Experts believe this was the same fire that resulted in the destruction of the Second Temple in 70AD. Another well preserved coin has also been discovered, dating back to a period of particular historical significance. A coin bearing the image of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Assyrian king who is mentioned in Daniel's prophecy, has been uncovered in the rubble excavated from the Temple Mount. It was Antiochus Epiphanes who was to desecrate the First Temple by sacrificing a pig upon the altar, and who was eventually deposed by the Hasmoneans, resulting in the celebration of Chanukah - the rededication of the Temple. Today is the fifth day of Chanukah, so the timing of the discovery of both these coins is quite significant. |
Quote: "The half shekel coin was first minted during the Great Revolt against the Romans. The face of the coin is decorated with a branch of three pomegranates and ancient Hebrew letters reading "holy Jerusalem." On the flip side, the letters say "half shekel". The coin that was found in the sifting project, though it was well preserved, showed some damage from a fire. Experts believe it was the same fire that destroyed the Second Temple in 70 C.E. Dr. Gabriel Barkay explained that "the half shekel coin was used to pay the temple taxes... The coins were apparently minted at Temple Mount itself by the Temple authorities."
The discovery of the half shekel would remind us of how, after the rejection of the Messiah, God would scatter the nation of Israel throughout the world (Luke 21:24). Our generation has been privileged to witness the end of the Diaspora, and the fulfilment of prophecies regarding the return of the Jews to the land God gave them (Jeremiah 16:14-17). The discovery of the coin bearing the image of Antiochus Epiphanes would remind us of the prophecies that must still be fulfilled concerning the Antichrist and Daniel's seventieth week. The Bible often records historical occurrences which appear to foreshadow events that will take place in a coming day. For example:- the sacrifice of Isaac, his marriage to Rebecca, the life of Joseph, etc., all foreshadowed events concerning the promised Messiah. The lives of these historical characters speak of Christ's substitutionary sacrifice for us upon the cross of Calvary, the promise of the Holy Spirit seeking out a Bride for Christ, the Rapture of the Church, the restitution of Israel and Christ's reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords in a coming day. It's all in there.
Antiochus Epiphanes would also foreshadow one who will reign over Israel in a coming day. It's important to remember when dealing with the prophecy concerning Daniel's 'little horn', that there are two 'little horns' which are mentioned in the book of Daniel. While many of the things Antiochus Epiphanes did will be repeated by the Antichrist, for example his persecution of Israel and his defilement of the Temple, the prophecies concerning both men are distinct. And unless we separate them, it is possible we could get confused. The 'little horn' of Daniel 8 is Antiochus Epiphanes, who was prophesied to rise up out of the Seleucid Empire of Greece. The 'little horn' of Daniel 7 is the Antichrist, who is to spring up out of Daniel's fourth beast, and with whom is associated the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to this earth. The little horn of Daniel 8 has been and gone. The little horn of Daniel 7 is yet to come. And the discovery of this coin reminds us of that fact. As Christ once said, "the things concerning me have an end", Luke 22:27. This world will not go on forever. There will come a day when the prophecies spoken of concerning the Second Coming of Christ will be fulfilled. The question for you is not when will this happen, but will you be ready when it does? Jesus Christ is coming back. Turn away from your sins. Trust in Jesus Christ for salvation today.