Associates for Biblical Research announces the discovery of a ceramic pomegranate from its second season of excavations at the ancient city of Shiloh in Israel. The pomegranate was among 500 other objects registered during the dig that was conducted in May and June 2018. ABR’s Director of Excavations, Dr. Scott Stripling, announced that an article on the pomegranate is planned for publication in the peer-reviewed Israeli journal, Judea and Samaria Research Studies.
The Bible speaks repeatedly of the pomegranate in relationship to the décor of the tabernacle and temple and concerning Aaron’s priestly robe. Under King Solomon, Hiram was brought from Tyre to craft the Temple pillars, capitals, and ornamentation: 1 Kings 7:17-18, “A network of interwoven chains adorned the capitals on top of the pillars, seven for each capital. He made pomegranates in two rows encircling each network to decorate the capitals on top of the pillars.”
Aaron’s robe: Exodus 28:33-35, “On its hem you shall make pomegranates of blue and purple and scarlet yarns, around its hem, with bells of gold between them, a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, around the hem of the robe. And it shall be on Aaron when he ministers, and its sound shall be heard when he goes into the Holy Place before the Lord, and when he comes out, so that he does not die.”
The discovery of the ceramic pomegranate is strong evidence that Shiloh was likely a temenos (a sacred, dedicated precinct) during the early history of Israel. The pomegranate, containing 613 seeds, represented the blessing of the Lord upon His people for faithfulness to His holy covenant. Deuteronony 28:4-5: “The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed."
Please pray for the staff of ABR as research continues in regard to this discovery, and for forthcoming publications that will further elucidate the importance of this important artifact from biblical Shiloh.