In March when we went to Israel, we were fortunate to be able to meet Dr. Gabriel Barkay. We were so excited to hear he was coming to Wichita to Central Christian to speak!
Of course we had to go!
We went a little early to pick up something at Walmart. Imagine our surprise to see these jeans!
We got a laugh out of that. Some clerk either screwed up or someone was having fun. Instead of $19.99, they were advertised as $99!
What a privilege to see Gabi again! Someone said that he is like the "rock star" of archaeology and quite impressive to be able to have him in Kansas! When we were in Israel, I showed him a little card with the priestly benediction on it and he asked me if I could find it for him too.
So it was fun to be able to present it to him in person instead of mailing it!
Gabi is quite famous, like I said. He is even listed in Wikipedia!
Basically, Gabriel Barkay is a famous Israeli archaeologist and one of his most famous finds are small silver scroll amulets that contain the priestly benediction from Numbers. They are the oldest surviving Biblically-related inscriptions discovered so far, dating back to 600 BC. Even older than the Dead Sea scrolls!
And here are a few pictures from our visit with Gabi in Israel, at an old cemetery site:
This is the hole in which he discovered the priestly blessing from Numbers.
Gabi tells the story that they had looked in the hole earlier but thought that the aushuary (box where bones are kept - the body is laid on the shelf for a year, then after the year is up the bones are placed in this box and the shelf is re-used) and any artifacts left in there had been stolen. One day some 12 year olds came to "help" out at the site. One boy was a little bother, so Gabi sent him in this hole to clean it up. This little boy got bored and began to hammer the floor. And behold! under this floor (which really had been the ceiling that collapsed during an earthquake) were many treasures, including these silver scrolls! It took them 3 years to unroll the little scrolls without damaging them.
They are now in the museum at Jerusalem.
“The Lord bless you
and keep you;25
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;26
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”