“For the Freedom of Zion!” declared the Hebrew inscription on the ancient bronze coins found in a cave that had been sealed for 2,000 years – ironically just in time for the Festival of Freedom.
Hebrew University archaeologist, Eilat Mazar, came across a cave full of treasures during excavations below the Temple Mount’s southern wall, and close by, seals from King Hezekiah and possibly Isaiah the Prophet have been found!
The cave, unearthed in the Ophel dig in Jerusalem, contained coins with inscriptions that help us to precisely date them to the years 66-70 AD. But along with the optimistic message on the coins minted by the rebels who were fighting for freedom towards the end of the second temple era were later coins with a different message. At first the Jewish zealots were certain they’d win their country back from the Roman conquerors, but the coins dated 70 AD that were found in the same cave carried a different rallying cry: “For the Redemption of Zion!” By that last year of the rebellion, it had become obvious that their resistance was not going to survive for long, and that the best they could hope for was the eventual redemption of Zion.
Talking to Haaretz newspaper, Mazar reported that the coins were about 1.5 centimeters in diameter, with Jewish symbols such as the Four Species mentioned in the Bible: palm, myrtle, citron and willow, along with a goblet believed to have been used in Temple worship.
“The floor of the cave has a thick layer dating to the Hasmonean period, going by characteristic pottery and coins. That later lasted through the days of King Herod, but not later,” Mazar explained. It was quite large, being some seven meters by fourteen, but there was no evidence that people were living in it. “A likely scenario is that the rebels were stockpiling things in the cave for their future use, including ceramic cookware and other pottery, as well as the coins, but never did use it.”
It was not long after those last coins were minted that Jerusalem was destroyed, just as Jesus said it would be:
Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. And He said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.” (Matthew 24:1-2)
We are in the happy position to know that Zion has indeed finally been restored 2,000 years after its destruction, and the discovery of the cave’s contents on Israel’s 70th year, just 50 years since Jerusalem was reunited, is also pretty amazing! But we still yearn for the full spiritual redemption of Zion.
But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:13-14)
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 HaAretz, Coins Showing Despair of Jewish Rebels During Great Revolt Found Near Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, Ruth Schuster,
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