Route Of Moses
Extensive surveys, tending to support the theory of some that Moses took a northern route through the Sinai Peninsula on his way to the Promised Land, have been completed by two teams of Israeli scientists.
One team, consisting of archaeologists, historians, philologists and geographers of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, explored the famous Greek Orthodox monastery of St. Catherine at the foot of Mt. Sinai.
The other team, made up of archaeologists of the Israeli Department of Antiquities, investigated ruins in the Oasis of Kadesh Barnea, near the Israeli-Egyptian border north of Sinai.
At St. Catherine’s the scientists scrutinized and photographed manuscripts dating from the sixth century. Examination of the monastery buildings disclosed remains of a basilical church built by the Emperior Justinian in the fourth century, with only a chapel of the Burning Bush—a Crusader addition—still substantially intact.
The monastery was found standing on a Justinianic foundation on which were superimposed structures of the Crusader, Napoleonic and late 19th century periods.
Geographers surveyed a granite area between the monastery and the south Sinai coast. Archaeologists examined the ruins of a large fortified settlement at Wadi Feiran in ancient Paran. Paran, which reached its prime in the Byzantine period, was inhabited from the middle of the Iron Age to the early Arab period.
The scholars, headed by Dr. Benjamin Mazar, president of Hebrew University, reported they had found no remains of a middle Bronze Age, claimed to have been contemporary with the Jewish exodus from Egypt.
The second team found large quantities of pottery at Kadesh Barnea dating from the Patriarchal period, as well as remnants of a 10th century B. C. Judean fortress which had apparently been destroyed by the Babylonians. A wall three miles long protected the whole Kadesh area against nomadic tribes.
Noah, builder of the ark, was such an unusual infant that his father believed he had been supernaturally conceived and spoke to his wife “with vigor” about it.
This new light on the family life of Lemach, father of Noah, and his wife is contained in what is known as the seventh Dead Sea Scroll, the last to be unrolled, Dr. Yigael Yadin, one of Israel’s leading archaeologists, disclosed.
Dr. Yadin, former chief of staff of the Israeli army, is now on the staff of Hebrew University. He and a colleague, Dr. Nahman Abigad, have translated five columns of the scroll.
The account, said Dr. Yadin, is written in Aramaic “in a very pleasant hand” on the hairy side of what is believed to be goatskin. He said it was so brittle that only an inch or two could be unrolled at a time.
In the scroll, Lamech, speaking in the first person, tells of his growing fear that the boy he thought was his son was really the child of “the Watchers, the Holy Ones or the fallen angels.”
He explains that his fear was induced by the unique qualities of the child. Lamech describes the infant as having a body “white as snow and red as the blooming of the rose,” with long locks of hair “white as wool” and eyes that lighted up the house “like the sun” when he opened them.
The scroll then tells how Lamech confronted his wife and how she, finally “growing wrath,” swore by the “Most High Lord of Greatness and King of the World” that Lamech, not some supernatural being, was the father of Noah.
One More Seat
Another seat in the Chamber of Deputies has been granted to Iraq’s Christian minority, making a total of eight in the 138-member lower House.
The newly-created seat from Baghdad brings the number of Christian deputies from the Iraqui capital to three.
Projects In Israel
The government in Israel has allocated $140,000 for the improvement of biblical, historical and other tourist sites.
Landing facilities will be improved at Tabgha on the Sea of Galilee, the site of the Multiplication of Loaves and at Capernaum, site of the ancient synagogue where Jesus is said to have prayed and preached.
A new tree-lined road to Mount Zion is nearing completion.
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