First Temple period gate-shrine discovered at Israeli national park


( A gate-shrine from the time of Solomon’s Temple, or the First Temple, was uncovered in Israel’s Tel Lachish National Park archeological excavations, pointing to convincing evidence that King Hezekiah abolished idol worship mentioned in the Torah, or Old Testament.

Israel’s Tel Lachish National Park archeological excavations uncovering the gate-shrine. Credit: YouTube screenshot

The discovery included engraved benches, where important leaders would sit in the Lachish city gate, and archaeologists uncovered a shrine with a religious alter and a “holy of holies” room that indicates this was during the time of King Hezekiah.

"To our great excitement, we found two, four-horned altars and scores of ceramic finds consisting of lamps, bowls and stands in this room,” said Sa'ar Ganor, excavation director for the Israel Antiquities Authority. “It is most interesting that the horns on the altar were intentionally truncated.”

Horns on the altar were cut, indicative of King Hezekiah's declaration to end idol worship in the gate-shrine, and a toilet was placed in the “holy of holies” to purposely desecrate it, which was a common way cult sites were abolished in the Bible.

This discovery is the first time archaeology has proven this biblical phenomenon.

Decades ago, the northern part of the gate was uncovered by a British expedition, but the current excavation has completely exposed the gate, known as the largest one in Israel from the First Temple period.

Posted on September 28, 2016 .