Yahusha [Joshua] 4:19-24
19 and the people came up out of the yarden [jordan] on the tenth of the first month, and camped in gilgal, in the east border of yeriycho [jericho]. 20 and the twelve stones which they took out of the yarden were raised up in gilgal by yahusha`[joshua]. 21 and he spoke to the sons of yisrael, saying, when your sons ask their fathers hereafter, saying, what do these stones mean? 22 then you will make your sons know, saying, yisrael came over this yarden on dry land. 23 because YHWH your elohey dried up the waters of the yarden before you, till you crossed over, as YHWH your elohey did to the yam suf [sea of reeds, incorrectly translated as red sea], which he dried up before you until we crossed over. 24 so that all the people of the land will know that the hand of YHWH is strong, so that you may fear YHWH your elohey all the days.
The word archaeology is composed of two Greek roots, archaeo – meaning ancient and logy - the study of. I love the thought of talking stones that archaeology discovers, that can speak to us from the past and tell us their secrets, tell us of the ancient ways. Some of these stories confirm some of what has been handed down through centuries and millennia. Some of the stories reveal lost accounts. And some of their stories tell us of incidents that some do not want to hear, because it is contrary to what has been handed down to us by many scribes, believing that the bible is the infallible word of “God” and there is no mistake or lie in the book. In my early days as a Christian, I believed that deception that was taught. But I am a digger, of research materials published by those who have had the pleasure to touch those speaking stones, as well as the many books and canons and writings on the bible and other connecting subjects. Originally, in my teen years, all I had was an English translation of the bible and a matching concordance and did many word studies, which is how I came to see so many contradictions and mistakes. Seeking to find answers to these new questions, my tools became extensive; dictionaries of ancient languages, foreign language concordances, numerous books of ancient writings and various translations, and numerous books and journals on archaeology.
Though I have not gotten to go into the Middle East on any official dig, I have hunted Native American sites and found flint tools, which I value, not as a relic because of some monetary value, but because it gives me some insight into the people. I have used some of those flint tools for cutting, skinning a deer and will be using a scraper on a hide this week, just as they did. When I hold those tools in my hands, I can tell which of their hands were dominant, I can see how they tried to make some of the tools do various jobs, just as my Leatherman multi-tool. I have been more in awe of the everyday processing tools than just arrowheads, which I also have found. But, what is most remarkable to me, is that the stones speak to me of those people, that were by that stream, with the remnants of the teepee rings, the areas that have tons of flint fragments from knapping, the dried up lake with the arrowheads by the shore where they hunted. I can walk that field and see those people that were there so many years ago and I feel privileged at that glimpse into the past.
My main quest has been to find out who YHWH really is and what His teachings are. See, I desire that one on one relationship with YHWH. I have read in a book about Sufis, that they are the impatient ones. Everyone believes that when they die, they will go to heaven and be with “God”, the Sufis are the ones that want Him now. I smiled when I read that, because no other phrase, of so few words, could have described my search and journey as that. I want Him now and I dig through books on seals, bullae, inscriptions, texts and data to find out who He is and what He requires of us on this journey with Him, the speaking stones, so that all the people of the land will know that the hand of YHWH is strong, so that we may fear YHWH all the days. Happy digging.