JERUSALEM, Israel – An Israeli archaeologist has uncovered the remains of an altar believed to be from around the time when Abraham met the high priest Melchizedek in Jerusalem.
Archaeologist Eli Shukron has spent much of his life looking for Bible history in the City of David. Shukron gave CBN News an exclusive look at what he feels is one of his most important discoveries kept under lock and key that dates back 4000 years – a stone pillar.
Shukron says the pillar, found in the City of David, is just like the one described in Genesis 28 when Jacob had a dream in Bethel of a ladder reaching up to Heaven. After the dream, Jacob said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven! Then Jacob rose early in the morning and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it."
Shukron believes Melchizedek set a stone pillar up in Jerusalem just as Jacob did in Bethel.
“We are in a very, very important place. Go back to Melchizedek. Go back to Abraham’s time. Understand which way these people are worshipping God in the beginning,” said Shukron.
Shukron says it contrasts with ancient worship in other places.
"If you’re going at that time to other places in the world in Egypt or Mesopotamia you can see temples, gold and idols and I don’t know pillars. Here it’s simple. The stone, animals, animals, sacrifice. The stone is the house of God. No gold and diamonds. Everything is simple. This is what God wants us to be, simple. It’s fantastic. For what? For what reason? To connect with God.”
Shukron says the combination of the altar for sacrifice, the blood channel, the olive press for anointing oil, the place to tie up the sacrificial animals; where they divided the sacrifice that led him to believe this was the place where Melchizedek met Abraham.
Genesis 14 describes the meeting: “ Then Melchizedek King of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: Blessed be Abram of God most high, possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand. And he gave him a tithe of all."
After Melchizedek blessed Abraham, Abraham gave him a tithe.
“Why give him a tithe? Because he was worshipping God,” Shukron said.
The blessing of bread and wine is a tradition and way of life that continues some 4000 years later.
“What are we doing today? The Jewish, the Christian. What are we doing? We are blessing the bread and wine in a different way but blessing bread and wine," Shukron said. "Where [did] all [of that start?] Here in the City of David in the Temple of Melchizedek. This is the place. This is where we are and this is amazing to understand that.”
This area is still being excavated and one day the public should be able to see for themselves where Shukron believes Abraham met Melchizedek.