Livescience.com’s report (also on MSNBC) on the site identification of Khirbet Qeiyafa begins with this sentence:

Scientists think they’ve finally found the real location of a city called Neta’im mentioned in the Bible.

I’d rephrase the sentence a little:  One historian has proposed that a site is Neta’im. 

As for the suggestion that they have finally found the real location, that’s extremely exciting unless you know that the only mention of the place is buried deep in the genealogies of Chronicles (just after the prayer of Jabez). Then they write:

Archaeologists have previously associated Khirbet Qeiyafa with the biblical city Sha’arayim, which means “two gates,” because of the discovery of two gates in the fortress ruins, and because Sha’arayim was also associated with King David in the Bible. But now researchers claim this site is really Neta’im.

Actually, the excavators still believe that Qeiyafa is Sha’arayim, but one historian has proposed that it is Neta’im with very little evidence to support it.  In fact, his best argument is that the name Neta’im is preserved somewhere else.


Evidence of Jewish exiles living in Babylon in the 6th-5th centuries BC will be the subject of a conference at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.  From Newswise:

Saint Joseph’s University’s Ancient Studies program is sponsoring a conference focusing on a collection of recently discovered documents that shed light on a Jewish settlement in ancient Mesopotamia. “Jerusalem in Babylonia: New Discoveries from the Exilic Period,” will be held March 21-22 in the University’s Campion Student Center.
The cuneiform documents date from the fifth and sixth centuries BCE, and are referred to as the “Al-Yahuda texts,” based on the name of the place where the documents themselves say they were drawn up.
“The phrase ‘Al-Yahuda’ means ‘city of Judah,’ which in the Bible refers to Jerusalem,” said Bruce Wells, Ph.D., director of the Ancient Studies program and an assistant professor of theology.
What makes the documents so noteworthy, however, is that they weren’t discovered in Jerusalem. They were found in modern day Iraq, in the territory that was known as Babylonia at the time they were written. That time was the so-called “exilic period” when a number of people from Judah (the southern part of modern day Israel) were taken as captives to Babylonia.
The conference, which is co-sponsored by SJU’s Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations and Department of Theology, is free and open to the public. It will be held on March 21 from 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. and March 22 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Read the article or see the university’s website for more information and contact details.

HT: Yehuda News