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Ancient Gilgal Camp Discovered in Israel

News Release : Jul 18, 2012 : Gilgal Education Center

"Throughout Biblical history, this site is associated with an array of events, all marked by the theme of renewal—Jacob reconciling with Esau, the Israelites renewing covenant with God, Samuel renewing Saul's kingship, the people reaffirming David as their king, and more." -Dr. John Turner

(Dallas, TX)—Gilgal, the ancient camp where the Bible says Joshua and the children of Israel first settled after entering the Promised Land, has been uncovered, according to the Moreshet (Heritage) Foundation Israel (MHF Israel). The Gilgal Education Center in Israel's Jordan Valley will soon open for tourists to witness the many evidences in connection with this archaeological find.

Gilgal "Throughout Biblical history, this site is associated with an array of events, all marked by the theme of renewal—Jacob reconciling with Esau, the Israelites renewing covenant with God, Samuel renewing Saul's kingship, the people reaffirming David as their king, and more," says Dr. John Turner, Executive Director of Father's House. "It is amazing that we can stand in this ancient sandal-shaped camp and envision those scenes."

In ancient Israel, there were actually many Gilgals, not just one. The basic meaning of the word gilgal is "sacred circle of stones," more specifically two circles converging together into one. Evidence now indicates that the two circles together looked very much like a sandal to symbolize the fulfillment of the promise that "every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours?" (Deut 11:24)

In April 2009, The University of Haifa in Israel issued a press release of Archaeologist Adam Zertal's work in which he discovered five huge stone-lined camps in the Jordan Valley, each in the shape of an enormous foot. In the article, Zertal says that the foot held great significance as a symbol of the ownership of territory, control over an enemy, connection between people, and even the presence of Deity. Though there were many gilgal camps, one in particular held special significance in Israel's history as summarized below.

This is the ancient camp site where:
- Jacob (Israel) crossed to reunite with Esau (Genesis 33)
- God's 500-year-old promise to Abraham began its literal fulfillment as the children of Israel crossed the Jordan and placed their first official "foot print" in the Promised Land (Gen.12,13,15)
- Joshua and the children of Israel set up camp after crossing the Jordan; where that generation of wilderness wanderers were circumcised; and, where they celebrated Passover, eating their first unleavened bread in the Promised Land (Joshua 4,5)
- Samuel affirmed and renewed Saul's kingship (1 Samuel 10-11)
- David was reaffirmed as King (2 Samuel 19)
- Elijah and Elisha walked before Elijah was taken up in the chariot of fire (2 Kings 2)

For more information about the Gilgal Education Center, and how to travel there, visit www.gilgaleducationcenter.org. Moshav Argaman has contracted with the MHF Israel to develop the site for mass public access. For information about contributing to the project contact the Gilgal Fund of the Father's House Educational Foundation, a registered 501c3 non-profit organization based in Glen Rose, Texas.



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