Simon Brown.

Proverbs 8:34-36 Blessed is the man who hears me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my door posts. For whoever finds me finds life, and will obtain favor from Yahweh. But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul. All those who hate me love death.” Psalm 84: 11 For Yahweh God is a sun and a shield. Yahweh will give grace and glory. He withholds no good thing from those who walk blamelessly. 12 Yahweh of Armies, blessed is the man who trusts in you. 1 John 5:5 Now who is the one overcoming the world, except the one believing that Jesus is the Son of God?

Friday 30 January 2015

ABRAHAMS OAK Genesis 13:18.

ABRAHAMS OAK Genesis 13:18.

This is believed to be the area where the Lord and two angels visited Abraham’s camp and informed him that he would have a son named Isaac. Abraham built an altar here.

Abraham's Celestial Visitors.
And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said. 6And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth. And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it. And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.
Genesis 18.1 - 8. King James Bible.

A short drive away and was signed Plain of Mamre-Abraham's Oak. This is believed to be the area where the Lord and two angels visited Abraham’s camp and informed him that he would have a son named Isaac. Abraham built an altar here. Genesis 13. v 18 tells us, “So Abram moved his tents and went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he built an altar to the Lord”.

When the team arrived at the site however, they found the gates locked and were reduced to peering through an iron gate. Was there still an altar there? A very ancient and gnarled oak tree stands behind railings, supported by various means. According to tradition it is opposite the very spot where Abraham dwelt in his tent when the angels promised him a son and heir. Here also, he negotiated with Ephron the Hittite for Sarah’s burial cave. Josephus is probably referring to it in Jewish Antiquities 1:10 No 4, where he writes, “ now Abraham dwelt near the oak called Ogyges”. 

The place is in Canaan and is not far from Hebron. The exact age of the tree is not known, but it is certainly the oldest that anyone in the group had seen. Due to its great age, it has to be supported by both metal frames and wooden props. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. While they ate he stood near them under a tree. The Lord said to Abraham I will surely return to you about this time next year and Sarah your wife will have a son”. Is it possible that this is the very tree? It is certainly very, very old . This article is taken from the film 

In this documentary Simon's team return to Sodom and Gomorrah for a closer look. They also search for Admah and Zoar the surrounding towns.

God Promises if you put your trust in Him and believe in His son Jesus Christ, the time will come when He will wipe away every tear from your eyes. And there will be no more pain or suffering ever again. God will pour out His love for you, forever. Do you want to be a part of God's family? Then surrender your heart to God. Say this prayer with me, and this prayer will change your life. This prayer will change your destination to come. And this prayer will be the most important event in your life. The most important words you have ever said

ABRAHAM'S WELL Genesis 13:18.

Genesis 13:18.

So Abram moved his tents and went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he built an altar to the LORD. Genesis 13:18.

Still in the area of the great oaks of Mamre, where Abraham had his tents and flocks, the well still remains. Herod the Great built a wall around the entire area with the well in the corner and in 325 AD Christians built a church on the site. The group are standing in the ruins of the church, with Herod’s 2metre thick wall and Abraham’s well still in evidence. It may have been used as a place of worship and was re-consecrated by Constantine. All present felt somewhat moved, being so close to a civilization from 3,900 years ago. The name Mamre is taken from a Canaanite chieftain, who together with Abraham, pursued Chedorlaomer to save Lot. The story is told in Genesis 14 v13. 

ABRAHAM'S WELL Genesis 13:18.


Genesis 25:7.

The Death of Abraham

Altogether, Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years. 
Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people. 
His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, 
the field Abraham had bought from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah. Genesis 25:7

Hebron, Abraham’s home according to the Bible. 
Hebron, Abraham’s home according to the Bible.
Watch video here

Hebron contains the most ancient site in Jewish history, second only in importance to the Temple on the Mount in Jerusalem. It is a tomb named Machpelah, tomb of the patriarchs. The Bible says that Abraham purchased a cave to bury his wife Sarah, and an adjoining field. Abraham was considered a “friend of God” in Arabic, Al Khalil, literally “the friend of God”. 

The word Hebron is derived from the Hebrew word haver, meaning friend. Abraham resided here when he arrived in Canaan and King David was anointed here, where he reigned for seven years. Isaac was born in Hebron, as was Jonah, and Arab legend has it that the stone foundations were laid by King Solomon himself. 

Abraham insisted on paying the going rate for the site. He, his wife Sarah, Isaac, Jacob and wives Rebecca and Leigh are all buried here. Only Jacob’s wife is missing. She died bearing Benjamin in Bethlehem. The bible says Sarah lived 127 years and died in Kiriath Arba – that is Hebron – in the land of Canaan. Genesis 23 Now Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her. 

Then Abraham rose from beside his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites. He said “I am an alien and a stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so that I can bury my dead”. The Hittites replied to Abraham, “You are a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you”. Abraham said “Sell me the cave of Machpelah which belongs to him and is at the end of his field. Ask him to sell it to me for the full price of a burial site among you”. 

The Bible says that Abraham was offered the site free of charge, but he insisted on paying the full price of 400 shekels in silver. When the time came, he buried his wife Sarah in the cave. Simon found it amazing that shekels were still the currency of Israel today. Throughout the Byzantine, Arab, Marmaluke and Ottoman empires, this whole area had been the scene of war and unrest. 

Given this history, the wisdom of going there was discussed by the group. Einar and Simon were by now on their fourth visit to the area and fairly confident. It was decided they would go. A building built by Herod 2000 years ago now covers the cave. The walls are 50 to 60 feet high and said to resemble the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The shrine is at present used as a mosque and the building consists of three rooms containing richly decorated cenotaphs. These are covered in green tapestries, worked with inscriptions and verses. It is believed that they stand exactly above the tombs. 

Many violent incidents have occurred in this place. In May 1980, six Jewish students were killed and twenty wounded, by Palestinians. In February 1994, 29 Muslim worshippers were killed and a further 129 wounded, when a Jewish gunman opened fire in the building. The bullet marks can be seen today. Suffice to say, the general mood of the group was one of caution! 

Here then lie Abraham, Isaac, Sarah and Jacob. Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man full of years, and he was gathered to his people.His sons Issac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, the field Abraham had brought from the Hittite. There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah. There are other significant sites of religious and historical interest at Hebron, including the tombs of Othniel. Buried here are Ben Kemaz, 1st judge of Israel, Avner Ben-ner, general and confidante to Kings Saul and David. Also there are Ruth and Jesse, great grandmother and father to King David respectively. 

This article is taken from the film
Our Search for Real Discoveries DVD

Abrahams tomb.
Watch the full video here

In this documentary Simon's team return to Sodom and Gomorrah for a closer look. They also search for Admah and Zoar the surrounding towns.


Thursday 29 January 2015

The Tomb of Rachel Genesis 35:19.

  My Visit to Rachels Tomb. By Emma Brown.'s_Tomb_1585.JPG

Genesis 35:19. So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). Over her tomb Jacob set up apillar, and to this day that pillar marks Rachel's tomb.

Welcome My name is Emma Brown.  Emma Brown Real   

In 2006 my husband Simon and I went on a holiday to Israel with some friends. We had lots of sites we wanted to visit and one of these was Rachel's Tomb. We had always loved reading about Jacob and Rachel and as a woman, I had always thought it was a beautiful love story.

Rachel's Tomb is located near the Israel/West Bank borders. We were not aware of this at the time but due to security issues only bullet proof buses are allowed access to this sacred place.

Whilst driving to the tomb we had to enter Bethlehem. I just thought it would be like driving from one town to another. How wrong I was.  

As we approached Bethlehem I could see this large wall which seemed to go on forever it stretched right around the city. My first thought was that it looked like a prison, like somethingout of Alkatraz .
Israel-Palestinian Wall Ich Bin Eine Berliner.

Rachel's tomb.

I was horrified. As we approached the high security check point, the stringent measures they had taken made it feel like entering another country.

The walls were about 8 metres high and were erected to protect from possible terrorists attacks. What saddened me the most was that Bethlehem was so different in reality.

I felt in a way that the beauty and richness that I had imagined the city to behold had been stolen by this wall.
Considering this is the place where Jesus Christ our Saviour was born I was expecting so much more.

Once we were through into Bethlehem, we came across another large building.This again looked like a prison, high walls, barbed wire and armed guards. 

Français : la tombe de Rachel telle qu'elle apparaît depuis 2005, abritée dans une sorte de "blockhaus" en béton
I was very sad to realise this was Rachel's tomb and now understood why our taxi driver was hesitant to drive us there.
I thought I was in serious trouble. He led me into the building but I could not see the others. As we started walking down the corridor my heart was pumping really fast and I felt very fearful. However, to my delight, there was Simon and the others.I asked the guard as to why they let me in and he said he did not know they just changed their minds. The amazing thing is Simon said "I can not believe it I have been praying all the way down here so you could get in' it was then I knew that this was a God appointment.So with excitement we carried on down together until we came  to a room where we had to be separated as the men and women were required to go in separate entrances.I moved into my queue and they let us a few at a time into where the tomb was .When we entered the room there were already a few ladies standing by the tomb, one was praying with her hand touching the tomb and another lady was quietly crying.I felt it quite strange that they seemed to be idolizing this tomb.

Getting out the taxi, I felt very anxious. The whole time we had been in Israel I had felt very safe and comfortable but all of a sudden in Bethlehem I felt very apprehensive and on edge.
As we approached the entrance, a guard came out and Simon explained we would like to go in and see the tomb. However, the man was very vague and kept saying no. I was secretly pleased as I just wanted to get back in the taxi and go.
But Simon was determined to go in as we had come all this way. After pleading for a few minutes the guard agreed we could go in but we had to give our passports to him. 
However, I had not brought mine; Simon tried to get me in without it but the guard began to get angry. So we decided as we had come all this way that Simon and the others would go in but I would have to wait outside with the taxi driver. I was very scared about being on my own but as I went to wait by the taxi, I remembered Simon saying that with the Lord nothing is impossible, so I started to pray. After about five minutes one of the armed guards came out and said "you come here".
It was not until I started to write this article that I found out that that Rachel is called the Jewish mother and women who are infertile go to the tomb to pray, and both men and women go there to pray for the lost, health, sickness etc.
  • File:Rachels tomb.JPG
  •  By El Ágora (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

  • After a few minutes the ladies left and there was only myself and one of our group in the actual room where the tomb was. Walking in there was quite surreal and I suppose spooky as this was someone's tomb. It was massive, very high and wide and was covered in a beautiful purple velvet cloth. It was very peaceful and quiet and hard to believe I was standing next to and able to touch the tomb of someone who lived and breathed in Bible times. I felt very privileged.

  • I then saw the curtain which separated the men and women open a little bit and there was Simon. I quickly whispered 'Put the curtain down, if any one sees us they will chuck us out'. 'Its ok he said 'we are on our own in here'. Simon is so excited and passionate about the Bible and he asked me to lift up the purple cloth so we could see the tomb and any original writing on it. I was hesitant to do this but I did. Simon took some pictures and then we heard someone coming in so I had to quickly put my hands on the tomb and closed my eyes as I did not want to upset anybody out of respect for their beliefs.

  • The pictures that Simon took that I was hoping to include in this article have gone missing, we have searched but no luck, it would have been lovely to share them with you. The main thing is I have the memories in my mind and it was an amazing experience and something we will most probably never do again as now several years on it would be to dangerous to travel back and not being so naive about the security risks .

  • When I read the story or watch the film of Jacob and Rachel I always think how sad it is. Jacob fell in love with Rachel and Laban her father said they could marry but Jacob would have to work for him for seven years but when they were due to marry Jacob was tricked in to marrying Rachel's sister Leah. He then worked another seven years to marry Rachel. Imagine how much he must have loved her, waiting 14 years today it would be rare for a man to wait 14 years for a wife today.

  • Imagine how Rachel must have felt when she realised the man she loved had been tricked into marrying her sister and that she would have to share her husband for the rest of her life. Another thing was that Leah was able to carry many children but Rachel was for a time infertile.

  • All she wanted to do was give Jacob a son, but the sad thing is that Leah, the woman he married first, was able to give him many sons. Poor Rachel, she would have to watch Leahcarrying her husband's children and we know ourselves that when you truly love someone, to have a child together is such a special gift.

  • Leah's heart must have been in so much pain .The one thing Rachel had that Leah did not was Jacobs pure love, even though when I read the story I believe he did love Leah, maybe not in the way he loved Rachel. I think she was his favourite and he loved her the most. Rachel finally gave birth to a boy called Joseph and years later she fell pregnant again but on the way to Ephrath she went in to labour.

  • The labour was very bad and she was in a lot of pain. Rachel was told it was a boy but she never saw him grow up as she sadly died in childbirth, the boy was named Benjamin.   So Rachel was buried near to where she passed away a place called Efrat now Bethlehem  Jacob buried Rachel here instead of their family burial place as in years to come because he foresaw that his descendants would pass this site during the forced exile to Babylon in the year 423 B.C.E.

  • Jacob erected a monument over Rachel's grave. Ancient writings describe the grave marker as 12 stones that represented the 12 tribes of Israel with one large stone that symbolized Jacob.  From the Byzantine period until the 1800's Rachel's Tomb consisted of a tiny domed building.  Now, years later, the State of Israel's Ministry of Religion renovated the site again and has now been made much bigger.

  • Rachel's Tomb is a living symbol of HaShem's promise to Rachel that her children will return to the Land Of Israel.  Even today Rachel's tomb is a big part of Jewish life where people still go for prayer and also it's become a special place of hope for women finding it hard to have children.

  • I love the story of Jacob and Rachel and I think it teaches us a lot about life today. I feel very blessed to have been to Rachel's tomb and I love watching the time life film that they made. 

  • Rachel and Jacob go through all the same things that we encounter in our lives today but I believe for them it was different because they put their faith in God. Although times were hard and there was so much pain for Rachel her faith carried her through, she loved her husband and she had her children and even though she passed away her memory lives on for ever because she was a strong, brave beautiful woman. Today, as men and women, every day we go through hard times, heartache and have lots of problems but if we have faith in God and if we trust him and even when things do not go our way still believe in him then I believe it will strengthen us and mould us in to the people we should be. I leave you with two sayings that when things are tough or I get low that I meditate on and that lift me.
  • Rachel's Tomb, Bethlehem's_Tomb_c1910.jpg

  •  Trust in the Lord God with all thy heart lean not on to our own understanding but acknowledge him in all our ways and he shall guide our path. 
  • With the Lord nothing is impossible 



Facial composite of Paul- by experts of the LKA NRW, Germany.

I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day. Acts 22:3 King James Version (KJV)

St. Paul's Tomb by Simon Brown

Acts 9:20-21 King James Version (KJV) And straight way he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?

What evidence is there to suggest that this is the famous Apostle Paul, Saul of Tarsus, now known as Turkey, and Saint Paul of c. AD 5 – c. AD 67 who wrote half of the New Testament.

There is evidence that people travelled here since the first centuries of Christianity.

3600 coins where found in the tomb believed to have been left behind by visitors from around the world. The coins are from different time periods before and after Christ. They left the coins to show the long journey they had taken to get to the apostles tomb.

Why would people travel many miles if they did not believe this tomb to be something of significance?

 Strangely enough we still do a similar thing to day by travelling to places and throwing coins in a well.

Also a probe was inserted through a small hole in the tomb to reveal traces of purple linens decorated with gold sequins, red incense grains as well as small fragments of bone.

It is said that experts performed a carbon dating which revealed they were from someone who lived between the first and second century. This is the right time frame for Paul the apostle.

It was also believed for a long time that there was a slab over St. Paul’s remains inscribed with the Latin words: ”Paulo Apostolo Mart — Paul, apostle and martyr” and interestingly enough a white marble sarcophagus was found by archaeologists beneath the floor of the basilica. 

Saxony, Rengert Elburg, a Dutch expert in archaeology who studied the bones said it was not possible to prove it is St. Paul himself.

My conclusion 

I agree, but that still does not disprove it. It is believed that St. Paul was beheaded and if the tomb was opened and the remains of the body were exhumed and the cut was found between the third and fourth vertebrae this could prove that these are the mortal remains of Paul the apostle. 

Quite frankly it doesn't matter how much evidence we have on St Paul's Tomb as I have experienced in my deep research on the garden tomb being the tomb of Jesus even with the overwhelming evidence both there and here at St. Paul's tomb.

Who will believe it?
Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 3.2 Peter 3:3

Sadly we will always have skeptics and scoffers in all cases. If we are unbelievers than let’s look at these discoveries with a open mind.

Let’s open our hearts. If we are believers than let’s remember we know St. Paul existed so why can’t we find his tomb? For someone who was so important to believers today.

Let St Paul's tomb remind us, whether this tomb is true or false, St. Paul's legacy lives on.                                                                                                                              

Also read about Paul the Apostle.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

was one of the most influential early Christian missionaries, with his writings forming a considerable portion of the New Testament. His influence on Christian thinking has been of utmost significance[3]due to his role as a prominent apostle of Christianity during the spreading of the Gospel through early Christian communities across the Roman Empire.

Acts 13:1 - 7. (King James Version)

Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.
 And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.
 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:
 Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.

Read more:

Also read By Christian Fraser 
BBC News, Rome   
Excavations at the site began in 2002 and were completed last month. Read more click here 

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. John 5:24. KJV

Wednesday 28 January 2015


  1. This is truly Samson’s country – located right in the area of the burly champion’s birth and burial, “between Zor’a and Eshta’ol” (Judges 13:25; 16:31). TOMB OF SAMSON Images are not owned by Simon Brown.  Samson and Delilah by Simon Brown.

  2. This is truly Samson’s country – located right in the area of the burly champion’s birth and burial, “between Zor’a and Eshta’ol” (Judges 13:25; 16:31).
  3. Images are not owned by Simon Brown.
    Davidbena [CC BY-SA 4.0 (

    Samson and Delilah by Simon Brown.
    When we were children many of us heard of famous bible stories like Samson and Delilah who you may recall was the Israelite hero who had strength granted by God. Samson was granted supernatural strength in order to combat his enemies and perform heroic feats such as wrestling a lion slaying an entire army with only a jawbone of a donkey and destroying a blasphemous temple
    With stories like this it is easy to believe it is just a fairy tale like Father Christmas coming down the chimney to surprise us with wonderful presents. Not until we grow up we then discover there is no evidence about Father Christmas and then realise our parents tricked us in to believing in a fairy tale. However when we start to seek we then start to find.
    We now find archaeology has been found to support yet another biblical story—Most of the events of Samson’s life took place in the Sorek Valley near Beit Shemesh.Israel. 
    Recent excavations have shown thriving cities and villages here from the Middle Bronze Age through the Iron II period and the buildings contained fragments of numerous pottery storage vessels. 

  2. Ancient remains of the city where we believe Samson, Judge of Israel, lived.
    All the places in the Bible like Zorah and Eshtaol where Samson's mother prophesied his birth and Samson grew up and wanted to marry a Philistine girl from Timnah have been found including Excavations of Beth Shemesh and the Sorek Valley. It is near this area where he killed the lion.
    1.   Website for this image

    His last girlfriend Delilah also lived somewhere near here.
    But what about Samson's fate, what can cause such a mighty man with great strength to fall, have his eyes torn out; and become a slave, weak ,blind helpless, mocked and shamed at a Philistine stronghold?  

  3. By UCG Portland Mini Study Archaeology supports the story of Samson and Philistine temple

    Critics, of course, have doubted the story and called it a myth. They have argued that a Philistine temple would not have had two central pillars supporting the roof since this wasn't a typical architectural design of Middle Eastern temples. 

    Archaeologist Bryant Wood explains the significance of the discoveries: 
  4.  Aogist Bryant Wood explains the significance of the discoveries: 
  5.  “Two Philistine temples have been uncovered by archaeologist…Both temples share a unique     design—the roof was supported by two central pillars!

    1. Website for this image

    2. The pillars were made of wood and rested on stone support bases. With the pillars being about six feet apart a strong man could dislodge them from their stone bases and bring the entire roof crashing down. The archaeological findings match the Biblical story perfectly and attest to the plausibility of the account…

    The Bible writer knew his facts. He knew that Philistine temples were supported by two pillars and that this was how Samson pulled the temple down. The report is that of an eye-witness, again demonstrating that indeed the Bible is the world’s most accurate textbook” (“Samson and the Temple of Dagon.” Bible and Spade, 1974, pp. 53-54). By UCG Portland Mini Study Archaeology. This full article is on there website 
    Permission for this article was granted to Simon Brown by Peter Eddington Media and Communications Services

    If this story of Samson is true for some one who was so famous then why cant we find his grave? As after his death, we are told Samson's family recovers his body from the rubble and buries him.  
    Samson’s Tomb  
    Just off the motorway that leads to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv is a road that runs through the Jewish National Fund (JNF)’s President’s Forest. This beautiful area is studded with eye-catching sculptures and serene picnic areas. As you continue through the road comes into the land and country of the famous Samson as told in Judges 13. Located in this area is the burly champion’s birth and burial “between Zor’a and Eshta’ol” (Judges 13:24). This book tells of Samson's mother - the woman who gave birth to the strong young boy. Samson grew and the LORD blessed him; and whilst he was in Mahaneh Dan (between Zorah and Eshtaol), the Spirit of the LORD began to stir him.  
    Here is the tragic hero’s burial place. Here you can see the white-washed, blue-domed traditional tomb of Samson and that of his father Manoah. 
    1. Samson is the third to last of the Judges of the ancient Israelites mentioned in the Hebrew Bible (Book of Judges, chapters 13 to 16).  
      Samson was used by God to humble the Philistines and was granted supernatural strength by God in order to combat his enemies and perform heroic feats such as wrestling a lion, slaying an entire army with only a jawbone of an ass and destroying a blasphemous temple. Samson is the only man mentioned in the Bible with extraordinary strength and with this strength came many passions he could not easily keep under control. Samson had a fatal weakness for women and it was this flaw that would prove to be his downfall. Samson fell in love with Delilah, a woman from the Valley of Sorek; his eventual demise. During the course of their relationship, The Philistines approached Delilah and enticed her with 1100 silver coins to try to find the secret of Samson's strength.
      Using her powers of seduction and deception, Delilah persistently wore down Samson with her repeated requests. Eventually, Samson told Delilah that he will lose his strength with the loss of his hair. After hearing this, Delilah called for a servant to shave Samson's seven locks.
    2. Samson and Delilah, Lucas Cranach the Elder

    As this broke the Nazarite Oath, God left Samson and he was captured by the Philistine who stabbed out his eyes with their swords.
    After being blinded, Samson was taken to Gaza, imprisoned, and put to work grinding grain.  
    One day, the Philistine leaders assembled in a temple for a religious sacrifice to Dagon, one of their most important deities, for having delivered Samson into their hands. They summoned Samson so that people could gather on the roof to watch. Once inside the temple, Samson, his hair having grown long again, asked the servant who is leading him to the temple's central pillars if he may lean against them (referring to the pillars).
    Then Samson prayed to God, "remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes" (Judges) Then Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” (Judges 16:30) His prayers were answered. God gave him the strength to pull the two pillars together and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus, “he killed many more as he died than while he lived" (Judges 16:30). After his death, Samson's family recovered his body from the rubble and buries him here the tomb of his father Manoah.
    1. Were Samson's eyes taken out because they caused him to sin so often?
      1. What is the lesson of this story?
        What did Jesus say in Matthew 5:29?

        If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

        Samson may have lost his eyes but after his repentance God saved his soul. Samson’s legacy lives on.
         With Thanks and References From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      2. Visitors climb Tel Zor’a to see the white-washed, blue-domed traditional tomb of Samson and that of his father Manoah. Read more click here
            Judges 13:24
        The Birth of Samson 
        24 The woman gave birth to a boy and named him Samson. He grew and the LORD blessed him, 25 and the Spirit of the LORD began to stir him while he was in Mahaneh Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol. 

Tomb of St Philip.

A leading archaeologist professor Francesco D'andria has clamed he has discovered the Tomb of St Philip.

Monday 26 January 2015

Is There Any Evidence Of Herod The Great The Biblical King?

Herod the Great or Herod I
Basileus (King) Idealized, undated portrayal of Herod'

King Herod born 73 or 74 BCE is the biblical Roman king who ruled Judea from 37 BC until his death in 4 BC.

King Herod was a complex, paranoid, insecure, obsessive, cruel, mad, bad murderous king, WHY did they call him Herod the Great? I would call him Herod the Disgrace. Let me tell you why.
By Simon Brown

Well, we know a lot about Herod thanks to our good friend Josephus’s books The Jewish Antiquities. The historian Flavius Josephus faithfully recorded in extraordinary detail the life of Herod the Great.

Idealized, undated portrayal of Herod

The history of Herod was also recorded and written by Nicolaus of Damascus who had been Herod’s personal secretary.   
Is There Any Physical Evidence Of King Herod

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Herodian coinage are coins minted and issued by the Herodian Dynasty, Jews of Idumean descent who ruled the province of Judaea between 37 BC–92 AD. The dynasty was founded by Herod the Great who was the son of a powerful official under the King .Hyrcanus IIHasmonean Antipater Herod the Great 37–4 BC

Largest coin of Herod the Great
     Largest coin of Herod the Great

Is There Any Physical Evidence Of King Herod's Tomb?
Aerial photo of Herodium

Aerial photo of Herodium

An archaeologist, Professor Ehud Netzer and an Israeli team of archaeologists from the Hebrew University believed and then announced they had discovered the tomb which contained a broken sarcophagus but no remains of a body.
Ehud Netzer believed it was Herod's sarcophagus because of its unusual and ornate appearance which was quite unique.
"It is something very special" he said.

He said the sarcophagus had been smashed into pieces, most likely by someone seeking revenge on Herod during the great Jewish rebellion of 66-72 CE.   
Sadly Ehud Netzer fell from a railing in Herodium, south of Jerusalem and died of his serious injuries in October 28, 2010,

Archaeologist, Professor Ehud Netzer

Archaeologist, Professor Ehud Netzer 
Did you know Herod's Tomb was at the exact location given by Flavius Josephus?  Moral judgement aside, Josephus Flavius’ accounts have been proved largely accurate.

Discovery Of Herod's Temple Quarry Found. 
An archaeologist, Yuval Baruch, discovered on September 25, 2007, a quarry compound where King Herod cut out the stones to renovate the Second Temple.

Yuval Baruch also found coins, pottery and iron stakes found to prove the date of the quarrying to be about 19 BCE.
This is evidence that it was a massive public project worked on by hundreds of slaves.

Discovery Of Herod's Temple Quarry Found.

Web site for this image Sept. 24….(AP) Israeli archaeologists said they have discovered a quarry ... 
Sept. 24….(AP) Israeli archaeologists said they have discovered a quarry that provided King Herod with the stones he used to renovate the biblical Second Temple compound, offering rare insight into construction of the holiest site in Judaism. Click here for this web site 

HEROD'S WALL AT ABRAHAM'S WELL. When I was making my second film, Our Search for Real Discoveries, around the dead sea
Our Search for Real Discoveries FREE DVD film.

Our Search for Real Discoveries FREE DVD film.
Real Discoveries, around the dead sea DVD.
we visited a place called ABRAHAM'S WELL which is a place where Abraham moved his tents and went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he built an altar to the Lord.

I saw and touched one of Herod's construction projects. Herod the Great built a wall around the entire area with the well still remaining in the corner. Herod's thick wall still remains today. Click here to watch this small video.

The Western Wall.  Wailing Wall or Kotel.

King Herod expanded the Second Temple Wall.  It is located in the Old City of Jerusalem at the foot of the western side of the Temple Mount. It is a remnant of the ancient wall that surrounded the Jewish Temple's courtyard, and is one of the most sacred sites in Judaism outside of the Temple Mount itself. Just over half the wall, including its 17 courses located below street level, dates from the end of the Second Temple period, having been constructed around 19 BCE by Herod the Great. This part is From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 Photo of the wailing wall, partly built by King Herod, owned by Simon Brown, FREE to use.
 Photo of the wailing wall, partly built by King Herod, owned by Simon Brown, FREE to use. 

According to Josephus Flavius, Herod the Great built the fortress of Masada between 37 and 31 BCE.
Herod, the master builder furnished this fortress as a refuge for himself. This is another place I visited. CLICK HERE TO WATCH THIS VIDEO BELOW. 

Josephus wrote that the first fortress at Masada was built by Jonathan, probably brother of Judah the Macabbee, high priest in 152 BC. Herod ruled from 37 to 4 BC and was aware of the strategic importance of Masada. Unsurprisingly, he chose to take refuge here from his enemies and used it as a winter palace.  

Tomb of The Patriarch,
Tomb of The Patriarch,


This is another place I visited, Abraham's Tomb. A building built by Herod 2000 years ago now covers the cave. CLICK HERE TO WATCH THIS VIDEO BELOW.

The story of Herod the Great, is an interesting one for believers and unbelievers alike. I am quite excited to write and research the life of this man. I will try to keep this as short as possible for I know how busy life can be so we will just look at some of the facts.  

King Herod had some well known friends like Emperor Augustus, Julius Caesar who was killed by Mark Anthony.

King Herod had a close friendship with Rome’s man in the east – playboy and politician Mark Antony.

King Herod may of also married the well known and the world’s most desirable woman,Cleopatra of Jerusalem

King Herod was extremely disliked by the Jews. 

King Herod is well known for the order and the execution to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under. The Gospel of Matthew Matthew 2:16-18 describes an event known as the Massacre of the Innocents.  Some sceptics doubt this part to be true however as you read the rest of this article you will see this evil act is absolutely in his nature. 

King Herod was a complex paranoid insecure obsessive cruel mad bad murderous king, WHY did they call him Herod the Great? I would call him Herod the Disgrace. Let me tell you why. 

King Herod was paranoid that people were after his power.

King Herod was one of the greatest builders of all human history. This is the only one good thing I can find about this man.

He expanded the Second Temple and built Caesarea. He also built the largest artificial harbour in the Mediterranean area. You can visit today a beautiful amphitheatre and a hippodrome for chariot races like in the movie Ben Hur.
Romanian amphitheater, bult by Herod. Caesarea, Israel Copyright �2011 iStockphoto LP.
Romanian amphitheater, bult by Herod. Caesarea, Israel Copyright  ©2011 iStockphoto LP.
Chariot with driver in Roman costume.Copyright �2011 iStockphoto LP.
Chariot with driver in Roman costume.Copyright ©2011 iStockphoto LP. 

I read in one article that Herod was not Jewish. He was, in fact, an Arab. His father was an Arab and his mother was a woman of Arab descent. However I read Herod was a practicing Jew, converted to Judaism by the Hasmoneans. However I don't know how accurate this is as I also read:-
The Herod family were Idumeans. That is, they were descended from Abraham through Isaac and Esau, rather than through Isaac and Jacob. They saw themselves as Jewish, participating in God's covenant with Abraham, but their ancestors had not gone to Egypt with Joseph and returned with Moses and Joshua. This information was sourced from sundayschoollessons. com

Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard of a baby that was born in Bethlehem as this was in the same town of Herod's summer palace where his sons would inherit the title from him. He heard of the prophecy that a King of the Jews would be born. He also met the 3 wise men and tried to trick them by telling them that he would like to meet the baby as well and give him gifts.
Matthew 2 The Magi Visit the Messiah. Copyright �2011 iStockphoto LP.

 Matthew 2 The Magi Visit the Messiah. Copyright ©2011 iStockphoto LP.

Matthew 2 The Magi Visit the Messiah.
1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: 6“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel. However God warned Mary and Joseph to go to Egypt for safety and hide there until further notice.

The Escape to Egypt 
13 When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” After Herod realised he was tricked he thought by killing all the baby boys under 2 would destroy the baby Jesus. Who can out wit God? 
16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:  18 “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.

 His extreme insane and ruthless behaviour was condemned by the .Sanhedrin 
In 28 BCE– Herod executed his brother-in-law Kostobar.

He also executed several of his wives and some of his sons.

The most famous son was the biblical Philip the Tetrarch also called Herod Philip II. It was this son who ordered the execution and beheading of St. John the Baptist. who preached against his marriage with Salome as stated in the New Testament, because Philip also known as Herod in the bible married his brothers wife
17 For Herod himself had given orders to have John arrested, and he had him bound and put in prison. He did this because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, whom he had married. 18 For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”  Mark 6:17 - 19. 

I also just discovered from my research, that Herod Philip II mentioned in the Bible, Mark 6:17 - 19, who beheaded John the Baptist, was the son of, Cleopatra of Jerusalem. Amazing.

Herod Philip II also married his brother's wife Salome

It gets even better. Cleopatra of Jerusalem, may have been the half sister of Joseph “the Carpenter”, who married Miriam/Mary the Mother of Yehoshua/Jesus.                      
However please don't take my word for this, as this is very complicated indeed.
Josephus quotes he killed forty-five of the leading members of Antigonus" supporters.=""

After hearing a rumour of conspiracy Herod tortured three of his high-ranking guard's. Herod also tortured Alexander' associates. Many died under torture. Many were involved in a plot, including Herod's trusted friends, to dispose of Herod but they them selves were executed. He also killed certain members of the military. Herod also put to death certain Pharisees.

Attempts were also made to poison Herod. I wonder why?  Augustus remarked that it was better to be Herod's pig or dog than his son.

Herod executed his second wife Mariamne I and Herod grieved for her for many months. However the Talmudic legend states she threw herself from a roof and was killed. But Herod still had love for her and is said to have kept her body preserved in honey for seven years.

Herod paid Caesar's murderers to kill Caesar. Caesar died with 23 stab wounds.

Herod offended the Jews of Jerusalem
Herod executed some teachers and pupils by burning them alive for pulling down a golden eagle placed by Herod over the great gate of the Temple. Judas and Matthias, incited their pupils to remove the golden eagle from the entrance as it was against the Ten Commandments, which stated it was a sin to make idols.  

Herod made a plan to kill all the leading Jews upon his death, for vengeance, however thank God this failed and the Jews were released after his death.

Despite Herod's evil deeds he kept one of the Jewish laws and would eat no pork. 
At nearly seventy-years old Herod becomes seriously ill.  
Herod attempts to commit suicide, but fails. 

We now look at his death.
He suffered a grisly slow painful death.
Josephus wrote: "He had a fever, though not a raging fever, an intolerable itching of the whole skin, continuous pains in the intestines, tumours of the feet as in dropsy, inflammation of the abdomen, and gangrene of the privy parts which produced worms, and when he sat upright, he had a difficulty of breathing, According to Josephus, Herod also suffered from asthma, limb convulsions, and foul breath chronic kidney disease complicated by Fournier's gangrene depression and paranoia.

Only days before his death Herod learnt that his death would be met with joy in Judea which is why he made a plan to kill all the leading Jews upon his death,

After his death finally people could sleep for a few days at least. Herod was buried in a golden casket in the Herodion where Professor Ehud Netzer, and an Israeli team of archaeologists discovered his sarcophagus.
After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.” So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene. Matthew 2:19-23 

My conclusion.
What have we learnt from this story?
Believe it or not this is just some of the complicated facts of Herod that I have gathered together regarding this king.

The many monumental constructions and projects of The Biblical King Herod are a surviving witness to a time when Jesus walked on the earth.
We can still today walk back in time to see touch and feel some of greatest buildings of all human history.

The life of Herod and his family was most certainly intertwined with Gods people and the life of Jesus and His Apostles. His father Herod Antipater has no mention of him in the New Testament but I just read ten of his descendants played major roles in the lives of Jesus and of the apostles. 

Herod's  life was full of troubles with no peace and his slow torturous suffering in the end is a perfect example of how his cruelty overshadowed his life. JOB made it clear when he said:
As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it. Job 4:8

The Jews rejoiced after his death and thank God that after Agrippa II's death, who was the seventh and the last king of the family of Herod the Great, the Herodian dynasty disappeared from the stage of history for ever. But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception. Because you have depended on your own strength and on your many warriors, Hosea 10:13.

Why did Herod mock God in God's chosen land with God's Chosen people. It doesn't matter whether we are Kings Queens, rich or poor, black or white nothing is hidden from God. God knows all and is not mocked. 

Don't be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he'll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God's Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. Galatians 6:7-8 The Message (MSG)
Emma Brown picking good fruits from her garden.
Emma Brown picking good fruits from her garden.

Even with this overwhelming evidence of Bible Archaeology walking side by side with one another most will still refuse to believe.

Even with this story of Herod's evil deeds's and troubled life, it clearly confirms that God is warning us that what we sow we reap.

Most will still close their eyes and ears. Friends, I ask you. Please humble your self before God, because God loves you and is their waiting for you. 

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. John 3:16 -18 The Message (MSG) 

Dear friends do you know the Lord Jesus yet? Time is running out FAST in this evil world.   
Dear friends do you know the Lord Jesus yet? Time is running out FAST in this evil world.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. John 5:24. KJV