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9-27-11 AB stone ossuaries

The Patriarch Job, Chalcolithic Ossuary Jars, and the Resurrection of the Body

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EXCERPT The Lord, in His permissive will, allowed Satan to afflict “a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job, and the man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1, all Scripture quotes from the New King James Bible)

Introduction

The Patriarch Job lived in the Land of Uz (Job 1:1), which is synonymous with the territory of Edom (Lam. 4:21). The Land of Edom was situated on both sides of the Aravah, the strip of land between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Akaba / Eilat (Crew 2002: 2-10).

 

Job and his three friends; Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite, were completely unaware of the ultimate cause of Job’s afflictions. As they dialogued back and forth trying to discern why Job was suffering (Job 3-31), Job expressed his faith in God as his Redeemer and his confidence in the ultimate resurrection of the body. “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my flesh is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.  Now my heart yearns within me!” (19:25-27).

 

In this essay, I would like to explore the possibility that there might be some overlooked archaeological evidence for the concept of the resurrection of the body during the period of the Patriarch Job.

 

Chalcolithic Ossuary Jars

 

In the standard archaeological chronology, the Chalcolithic period is dated from 6,400 to 3,600 BC (Stern 2008:5:2126). I believe that these chronological dates need to be revised downward in order to conform to the Biblical Chronology.  Since there was a catastrophic, worldwide Flood in Noah’s Day, all the archaeological strata would be Post-Flood. The Patriarchs, including Job, should be set archaeologically in the Chalcolithic period and Early Bronze age.

 

In an intriguing study of Chalcolithic ossuary jars by Assaf Nativ of Tel Aviv University, he suggested the possibility that some of the ossuary jars function as models of cocoons and are symbols of metamorphosis (2008:209-214). He observed that ossuary jars are oval in shape with an aperture [opening] down the shoulder of the vessel. The top is domed and has a knob on top. He concluded that the “general form … of the ossuary jar bear some close similarities to a range of cocoons, particularly those of butterflies. The vessel itself resembles the encapsulating shell and the knob the cremaster – the part holding the body of the cocoon to the twig or branch from which it hangs. Further allusions to cocoons may be found in the patterns of decoration found on some of the ossuary jars. These may represent the ‘ribs’ discernable upon some cocoons surfaces, vegetal motifs alluding to the milieu in which they dwell, and possibly even patterns of butterfly wings” (2008:210)….

Continue Reading on www.biblearchaeology.org

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