Earliest depictions of biblical Deborah, Yael unearthed in ancient synagogue

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Barak, the biblical Hebrew commander depicted in the Huqoq synagogue mosaic. (Jim Haberman) Email Print 4 Comments Mosaic in Lower Galilee depicts Book of Judges episode in which the two women defeat Canaanite general Sisera. By World Israel News Staff A team of archeologists have unearthed nearly 1,600-year-old mosaics in an ancient Jewish synagogue at Huqoq in Israel’s Lower Galilee, in the first known depictions of the biblical heroines Deborah and Yael as described in the book of Judges. The team of specialists and students who discovered the finding were led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill religious studies professor, Jodi Magness, who has been excavating in the area for a decade, save a hiatus during the coronavirus pandemic. The floor of the synagogue, which was built in the late fourth-early fifth century C.E, is decorated with a large mosaic panel that is divided into three parts called registers. Each one depicts the victory of the Israelite troops, led by the prophetess and judge Deborah and the military commander Barak, over the Canaanite army led by the general Sisera. In the Book of Judges, Barak tells Deborah he will only go to battle if she joined him. Deborah prophesied that the person to defeat Sisera would be a woman. Sisera took refuge in the tent of a Canaanite woman named Yael, who killed him by driving a tent peg through his temple while he slept. “This is the first depiction of this episode and the first time we’ve seen a depiction of the biblical heroines Deborah and Jael in ancient Jewish art,” Magness said. “Looking at the book of Joshua chapter 19, we can see how the story might have had special resonance for the Jewish community at Huqoq, as it is described as taking place in the same geographical region – the territory of the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulon.” The first register of the mosaic shows Deborah looking at Barak. In the middle one, of which only a small section is preserved, Sisera is seated. The last register shows Sisera lying dead on the ground, bleeding from the head. The team has unearthed dozens of mosaics at the site since 2012, including depictions from the book of Daniel, images of the Israelite spies, and Jonah and the whale. ancient IsraelBiblical archaeologyBiblical historyLower Galilee Share Tweet Email Recommended for you Recommended by The Sandals For Standing All Day Without Discomfort.Sponsored The Sandals For Standing All Day Without Discomfort. sursell.com | Sponsored Urologist: Try This if You Have An Enlarged Prostate (Watch)Sponsored Urologist: Try This if You Have An Enlarged Prostate (Watch) growthmax.info | Sponsored 20 Awesome Electric Cars Coming Out In The Next Few MonthsSponsored 20 Awesome Electric Cars Coming Out In The Next Few Months Forbes | Sponsored Women: Stop Shaving Your Face - Here's The Top 5 Painless & Permanent Hair Removal ToolsSponsored Women: Stop Shaving Your Face - Here's The Top 5 Painless & Permanent Hair Removal Tools Trusted Consumer Review | Sponsored If You Have an Enlarged Prostate Do This Now (No Surgery)Sponsored If You Have an Enlarged Prostate Do This Now (No Surgery) growthmax.info | Sponsored Kamala Harris's Seder makes a mockery of Passover and the Jews - opinion | World Israel NewsKamala Harris's Seder makes a mockery of Passover and the Jews - opinion | World Israel News Kamala Harris's Seder makes a mockery of Passover and the Jews - opinion | World Israel News World Israel News Muslim newlywed who passed as Jewish wants to convert in Israel | World Israel NewsMuslim newlywed who passed as Jewish wants to convert in Israel | World Israel News Muslim newlywed who passed as Jewish wants to convert in Israel | World Israel News World Israel News Leonardo DiCaprio visits Israel for wedding of close friend | World Israel NewsLeonardo DiCaprio visits Israel for wedding of close friend | World Israel News Leonardo DiCaprio visits Israel for wedding of close friend | World Israel News World Israel News Bullet examined in journalist's death may have been a substitute, says Defense Committee chairman | World Israel NewsBullet examined in journalist's death may have been a substitute, says Defense Committee chairman | World Israel News Bullet examined in journalist's death may have been a substitute, says Defense Committee chairman | World Israel News World Israel News 1 Mac Trick To Clean Viruses and Stop Mac Slowdown. 25 Luxurious Celebrity-Owned Private Jets Doctor: If You Have An Enlarged Prostate, Do This Now Summer Is Here! 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Mosaic in Lower Galilee depicts Book of Judges episode in which the two women defeat Canaanite general Sisera. 

By World Israel News Staff

A team of archeologists have unearthed nearly 1,600-year-old mosaics in an ancient Jewish synagogue at Huqoq in Israel’s Lower Galilee, in the first known depictions of the biblical heroines Deborah and Yael as described in the book of Judges.

The team of specialists and students who discovered the finding were led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill religious studies professor, Jodi Magness, who has been excavating in the area for a decade, save a hiatus during the coronavirus pandemic.

The floor of the synagogue, which was built in the late fourth-early fifth century C.E, is decorated with a large mosaic panel that is divided into three parts called registers. Each one depicts the victory of the Israelite troops, led by the prophetess and judge Deborah and the military commander Barak, over the Canaanite army led by the general Sisera.

In the Book of Judges, Barak tells Deborah he will only go to battle if she joined him. Deborah prophesied that the person to defeat Sisera would be a woman. Sisera took refuge in the tent of a Canaanite woman named Yael, who killed him by driving a tent peg through his temple while he slept.

“This is the first depiction of this episode and the first time we’ve seen a depiction of the biblical heroines Deborah and Jael in ancient Jewish art,” Magness said. “Looking at the book of Joshua chapter 19, we can see how the story might have had special resonance for the Jewish community at Huqoq, as it is described as taking place in the same geographical region – the territory of the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulon.”

The first register of the mosaic shows Deborah looking at Barak. In the middle one, of which only a small section is preserved, Sisera is seated. The last register shows Sisera lying dead on the ground, bleeding from the head.

The team has unearthed dozens of mosaics at the site since 2012, including depictions from the book of Daniel, images of the Israelite spies, and Jonah and the whale.

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