Monday, August 29, 2011

A "Seven Species" Oil Lamp

During our devotional time on The Land and the Book I've been doing a series on the seven species of plants named by Moses in Deuteronomy 8. And so I was more than a little interested when I received the latest edition of Biblical Archaeology Review magazine had discovered an article on an unusual olive oil lamp. The lamp, carved from stone rather than molded from clay, contains seven spouts plus a handle. And carved on top is a relief of the temple menorah...along with carvings of the seven species of plants mentioned in Deuteronomy 8!

The lamp was discovered several years ago, but it has been surrounded in controversy since that time. It wasn't uncovered in a controlled archaeological dig, and that raised suspicions about its date...and even its authenticity. According to the article, a group of scientists studied the object and have apparently now validated its authenticity. The article suggests the lamp might date back to the time of the Second Temple period, putting it around the time of Jesus. Unfortunately, since specific details on where the object was found are not known, any attempt to date the object more precisely is impossible.

If you would like to read a summary of the BAR article, click here. And then keep listening each weekend as we continue our study of the seven species of the land!

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