Has the bond vanished between ancient and modern Israel

David Bannister,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
David Bannister
David Bannister has an extensive background in creative media, which has included works featured in international film festivals. David's main passion is the real search for the missing Ark of the Covenant and shedding light on other Biblical related mysteries. Get a free Trail Pass here to follow this adventure. Trail Pass

The Trail of the Ark, as any other attempt to investigate Biblical mysteries, has encountered its own mystifying stumbling block. While interest has literally soared, mainly due to undertaking a full expedition to discover the lost Ark's fate, there's also another side of the coin that came unexpectedly out of the blue. Who would have thought that elements of Israeli society would be reluctant to uncover its national heritage? Let me explain. 

Gilgal - national camp or political obstacle

The Ark of the Covenant journeyed through a vast wilderness, which even today is devoid of human habitation. Yet, its route of travel didn't serve to delineate any national border, so there was no political argument from that quarter. However, when the River Jordan was crossed, an entirely different picture emerges. Gilgal was the first real resting place for the camp of Israel having finally entered the Promised Land. The Ark was set up together with its mishkan, or tabernacle in English, in a prominent spot in Gilgal. In other words, it represented not only a cultic centre, but also one of national importance for the ancient Hebrews. Want more proof? Well, Israel's first king, Saul, just happened to have been anointed there. Time to move on. 

Shechem - a new Italian town bringing curses to the Israelites

Our journey on the Trail of the Ark now winds its way north along the Jordan Valley, before turning west towards the Valley of Shehem, also known as Nablus in English. What happened there? Maybe, you heard about the blessings and curses that were administered to the Children of Israel? For example, moving someones' border was a definite no-no. Wait, we'll back up a moment. What does scripture say: "When the Lord your God brings you into the land that you are about to enter and possess, you shall pronounce the blessing at Mount Gerizim and the curse at Mount Ebal (Deut. 11:29). OK, we can return just a few verses later to that particular curse now. "Cursed be he who removes his neighbours' landmark. ... " Bear in mind, the Israelites have just been commanded to enter and possess this land, so that kinda spoils the fun for do-gooders suggesting that the curse was referring to moving the border of some other people resident on the land. Got that picture, good let's fast forward.

Shiloh - A miracle of a spreading West Bank  

Shiloh is a prime example of demonstrating just how challenging the task becomes of finding a bond between ancient and modern Israel. After the blessings and curses, the Ark eventually was carried to Shiloh where it rested for close on 369 years. Shiloh was also the national camp from where the rest of the land was allocated out through the process of lots. In fact, the original map of Israel was concentrated on the high ground generally known as Mount Ephraim. For those needing further orientation it's located in the Shomron. Sorry, forgot about catering for that bond between ancient and modern Israel. Here goes for political correctness: It's part of the West Bank. That's a mystery right there seeing the west bank of the River Jordan is located many miles to the east of Shiloh. But I guess some are attuned to that great miracle that occurred when the Israelites crossed the Jordan and the rivers stacked up high on either side. Now while I ascribe to many Biblical mysteries, I still like to get some kind of accuracy or reality check going on. Obviously, those who claim that Shiloh is on the west bank of the River Jordan have far greater blind faith in that one miracle than myself? But showing a little scepticism for these modern day academic experts, I'll opt for Shiloh being in the Shomron. 

Bridging past and present

The point is that according to modern definition Gilgal near the Dead Sea is in disputed territory; Shechem can be cast aside, curse and all. (Did you know that the given politically correct name of Nablus means neo-polis or a new town in Roman? So maybe the locals there are of Italian descent, someone should check that out!); then there's Shiloh tenaciously hanging onto the west bank of the Jordan. It has often been suggested that any proof unearthed that serves to show there is indeed a strong bond between ancient and modern Israel, could ruin a lot of people's day. 

Together with Hollywood director Richard Shaw, Bob Williams's the special affects producer of Pirates in the Caribbean and the Terminator, as well as other notables, we explored Gilgal and discovered for ourselves the actual perimeters of that ancient Israelite camp. It rests in a closed off military location. But it is still there! What are these modern disbelievers going to do, dismiss that as a Hollywood fake movie? Shiloh is alive and well, despite a general election that might involve concern over the curse of having moved the wrong landmark in setting it up. Well as you can hopefully see where this is heading, the list is sadly very extensive.  

Searching for the past can unfortunately hit a wall of obstinacy in the present based on a flimsy foundation.

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Searching for the past can unfortunately hit a wall of obstinacy in the present, based on a flimsy foundation. Join us on Trail of the Ark for the full picture. Make sure you register for free on the home page!   

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