DNA analysis reveals more on the origins of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Israeli researchers have discovered new information about the origins of the Dead Sea Scrolls after a seven-year study on DNA samples extracted from the Dead Sea Scrolls themselves. The research showed that a number of the scrolls did not originate in the Dead Sea area where the Essenes, the ancient Jewish sect of scholars. dwelled but were in fact brought from other areas far away from Qumran.
Researchers came to this conclusion by analysing the DNA of the animal skin on which the scrolls were penned. It was also discovered that two fragments from the Book of Jeremiah were written down on cowhide, and since cows weren’t found in the Judean area, it had to come from outside the region. This research has enabled scientist distinguish between scrolls written by the Jewish sect of the Essenes, and which were brought in from the wider Jewish world at the time.
The researchers are continuing in their analysis of the scrolls to gain more insight of the different types of animal hides used to create the scrolls. It will also enable them to distinguish between forgeries and the real thing.
Controversial Emergency Corona Law causes a stir among Knesset members
An uproar was caused among members of the Israeli Knesset when controversial new bill to combat the COVID-19 pandemic was introduced. It will allow the executive branch to gain emergency powers to counteract the pandemic with sweeping measures. This law is modelled on a prior version where police received special authority to enter people’s homes, without the need for warrants, and to use force in executing the government’s virus regulations.
The public reacted with outrage at this bill’s introduction as people see it as an infringement on their individual rights. In response the Israeli government decided the lessen the severity of the law, meaning that police will need a court order if they needed to go inside a person’s home to enforce COVID-19 regulations. The bill allows the Israeli government to declare a state of emergency for the extent of 30 days, in contrast to the 45 days stipulated in the prior version.
The bill also allows the government to force individuals into isolation as well as to implement lockdowns. The bill also states that the government can limit movement in specific neighbourhoods for the duration of one week. After ending a two-month lockdown, a spike in infection rates is occurring once again in Israel, with most new cases found in schools. As a result many school have been closed down but most will remain open.
Netanyahu ahead in most recent polls and able to form coalition excluding Gantz in next election
A recent television survey in Israel showed that Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party would win 40 seats if new elections were to be held. Following Likud would be Blue and White with only 12 seats. Along with his right-wing allies, Netanyahu would be in a position to put together a government without Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party.
The new Israeli unity government was recently sworn in after more than 500 days of Israel having seen 3 elections and with no political breakthrough in forming a new government. Experts also believe that that Benjamin Netanyahu might look to dissolve the government before Benny Gantz turn to serve as prime minister in November 2021, which was a part of the coalition agreement.
Possible discovery of Jezreel winery from the Old Testament
Archeologists believe that they’ve discovered proof to confirm the location of the winery of Jezreel as found in the books of Kings in the Old Testament. The winery was initially found in 2013 and further excavations found installations and structures that were carved into the bedrock, and provided further proof that aligns with the Biblical account. exposed in several seasons of excavations in following years. It presents several installations carved into the bedrock.
1 Kings 21:1-3 “Some time later there was an incident involving a vineyard belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite. The vineyard was in Jezreel, close to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. Ahab said to Naboth, “Let me have your vineyard to use for a vegetable garden, since it is close to my palace. In exchange I will give you a better vineyard or, if you prefer, I will pay you whatever it is worth.” But Naboth replied, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my ancestors.”
The archeologists involved ion the excavation found that the type of installations of this winery are similar in type to there wineries unearthed in the Jezreel valley from that time period. The wine-making techniques involved people crushing grapes with their soles of the feet, not involving more than four people at a time.
As we read in the BIble. Ahab did lay hold of the vineyard with the help and deception of his wife Jezebel, after accusing innocent Naboth of sinning against God and they subsequently had him killed. In turn God’s wrath was unleashed against Ahab and his descendants, exactly as the prophet Elijah had declared God’s judgment on him.
Israeli researchers uncover the secret of the ‘Genghis Khan’ Wall
Researchers from the Hebrew University researchers uncovered some long-hidden mysteries of the “Genghis Khan Wall”, which was seen as part of the China’s Great Wall complex for a long time. They found that the dating and reason for its construction was very different to popular opinion. The wall was previously believed to have served as a defensive structure to protect people from the attacks of Genghis Khan, who was the first sovereign of the Mongol Empire at the start of the 13th century.
The researchers found that the wall was probably constructed by the Khitan-Liao dynasty that ruled the area from the 10th to the 12th century, way before the time of Ghengis Kahn. Past scholars deemed the wall to be of a defensive type and to shield the populace from invaders. The Israeli team found that the wall structure was most probably used to control people and livestock movements.
“Strawberry Moon” illuminates the night sky over Israel
The night skies in Israel and around much of the globe were illuminated by a “strawberry moon“ on Friday night. The reddish color of the full moon comes as a result of the earth coming into position between the sun and the moon, casting a shadow on the moon. Native Americans came up with the term “strawberry moon” as this phenomenon usually takes place during the strawberry harvest in the northeastern United States. The “strawberry moon“ was visible in the Middle East, Australia, South Asia, East Africa. NASA reported that other lands will be able to see the full moon, but not with the red coloring.