I should note at the outset that the title of this post is incorrect, for there is no book with such a name. But therein lies an important reason for writing this post in the first place: English readers are not apt to discover a book entitled Uncovering Sefer Yirmiyahu when searching for commentaries and writings on Jeremiah.

The author is Rabbi Yehuda Landy, a former neighbor of mine in the Judean hill country, though we did not meet then and have not since. But I stumbled across his excellent book on Purim and the Persian Empire (recommended if you’re studying Esther), and somehow we got connected by email, and he alerted me to his new book on Jeremiah. That was good, because I wouldn’t have found it by searching Amazon for Jeremiah.

Uncovering Sefer Yirmiyahu: An Archaeological, Geographical, Historical  Perspective: Rabbi Yehuda Landy: 9781680254075: Amazon.com: Books

According to the book jacket, the series is intended for the “Jewish reading public,” and that explains why the title is (partly) in Hebrew. But the subtitle reveals why this book is of interest to this audience: “An Archaeological, Geographical, Historical Perspective.” Readers, pastors, and teachers who want to go beyond a standard text commentary will learn much from this book about the sites, material culture, and historical background of this prophetic text.

The basic facts of the book are these: hardcover, 390 full-color pages, lavishly illustrated with photos and maps, published by Halpern Center Press in Jerusalem, $35 on Amazon. The Hebrew edition was published in 2015; the English edition is somewhat revised and was published in 2019. The author is a rabbi, Israeli tour guide, and a PhD candidate at Bar Ilan University, in the Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology.

The 75 chapters are divided into two sections. The first section provides a historical review with chapter titles such as:

  • Jerusalem in the Days of Jeremiah
  • The Spiritual State of the Jewish People at the Time of Josiah
  • Archaeological Evidence of Pharaoh Necho’s Campaign
  • Nebuchadnezzar Arrives at Jerusalem to Suppress the Rebellion of Jehoiakim
  • The Exile of Jehoiachin
  • The Judean Exiles in Babylonia
  • (Note: I’ve anglicized the names here. See below.)

The second half goes through Jeremiah chapter by chapter, providing an “explanation of concepts” for nearly each chapter.

I have not read the entire book, but I’ve made note of some valuable insights I’ve gleaned as I have read, including:

  • Jeremiah may have been the brother of Azariah the high priest whose seal impression was found in the city of David.
  • Anathoth was the closest priestly city to Jerusalem. This reality may signify the prominence of Jeremiah’s priestly family.
  • One rabbinic tradition says that Josiah hid the ark of the covenant under the Chamber of the Wood. Another tradition says that it was carried off to Babylon.
  • One rabbinic source suggests that Josiah’s error in confronting Pharaoh Necho (who killed him) was that he did not consult Jeremiah for the Lord’s counsel. Another rabbi argues that he did not obey Jeremiah’s command to turn back.
  • Jeremiah may have traveled through a secret passage recently discovered in excavations at the City of David in order to meet King Zedekiah.

Readers who haven’t studied Hebrew will have to learn a little bit of new vocabulary, for though the book is written in English, many names and terms are in transliterated Hebrew, including Beis HaMikdash (temple), HaNavi (prophet), and Nevuchadnetzar (Nebuchadnezzar).

I recommend this book to anyone studying Jeremiah for four primary reasons: (1) this resource is carefully researched and provides a lot of useful historical background; (2) the work is up to date with regard to archaeological discoveries in Jerusalem; (3) the numerous photos and maps are an aid to understanding (and are usually lacking in commentaries); (4) the perspective of a Jewish rabbi and tour guide will provide a fresh approach for many Christian readers.


Yesterday, 22 ancient Egyptian royal mummies were paraded through Cairo on their way to the new museum.

D. Clint Burnett discusses various references to inscriptions in the New Testament as well as the value of inscriptions in interpreting the New Testament and early Christianity.

Modern development and looting is taking its toll on the ancient Greek city of Cyrene in Libya.

The Times Insider column looks back into references to Moshe Shapira in The New York Times in the late 1800s.

Webinar on April 14: “Why Pottery Matters: Judean Storage Jars and the Qumran Sect,” by Jodi Magness (Zoom link)

Webinar on April 15: “A Toast to Ancient Greek Wine Drinking,” with Kathleen Lynch

Webinar on April 18 sponsored by the Friends of ASOR: “Archaeogaming: Why Video Games Deserve Their Own Archaeology.”

Webinar on April 22: John Curtis and his fellow curators give an overview of the soon-to-open Epic Iran exhibit in London.

Mark Wilson’s presentation on Hierapolis for the Tutku Guide Seminar is now online. He is followed on the same video by Mark Fairchild’s presentation on Paul’s little-known ministry in Cilicia.

“The online edition of the Amarna Letters aims to make transliterations, translations, and glossaries of the letters and administrative texts available to both scholars and the wider public.” The letters to and from the Levant, excluding Phoenicia, are now available.

Free download until April 13: Migration Myths and the End of the Bronze Age in the Eastern Mediterranean, by A. Bernard Knapp, published by Cambridge University Press.

HT: Agade, Charles Savelle, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken


Archaeologists have discovered dramatic evidence of the conflagration that destroyed Azekah circa 1130 BC, leading them to dub the site as a “small Pompeii.”

According to news reports, a rare Tyrian shekel was discovered during a renovation project at the Tower of David Museum. This is true, except that the coin is not a shekel and not rare. It is a silver tetradrachm of Demetrios II Nikator from Tyre with a date of SE 184 = 129/8 BC.

While undergoing conservation work, a large structural crack was discovered in Herod’s tower in the Citadel of David.

Justin Kelley’s BAR article on “The Holy Sepulchre in History, Archaeology, and Tradition” is summarized in Bible History Daily, where a detailed plan of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is also provided.

Scholars are using high-tech imaging to understand thousands of hand-engraved crosses on the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

A new “Emmaus Trail” allows walkers to travel the 11 miles (18 km) from Abu Ghosh to Nicopolis/Latrun. Leen Ritmeyer takes the occasion to propose that Emmaus should be identified with Bethel in the Old Testament.

David Moster has posted a new video that explains how to “make sense of the new Dead Sea Scrolls,” including a discussion of how important these discoveries are to biblical studies.

Randall Price is on The Book and the Spade discussing the new Dead Sea Scrolls discoveries.

The latest teaching video from John DeLancey is “The Life of Jesus – His Redemptive Purpose.”

New book: Jesus of Nazareth: Archaeologists Retracing the Footsteps of Christ, by Michael Hesemann. The author’s background and motivations are reported here.

Bryan Windle lists the top 10 discoveries related to Jesus.

Robert E. Cooley died on Thursday. During his career, he excavated Tel Dothan and helped to found the Near East Archaeological Society.

HT: Agade, Charles Savelle, Ted Weis, Arne Halbakken


A well-preserved Roman arena, partially buried and hidden by vegetation, has been discovered in the ancient city of Mastaura, in Western Turkey.

A new study suggests it only took fifteen minutes after the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius for the city of Pompeii to be engulfed in its lethal plume.

The ancient Diolkos of Corinth is being restored. The stone-paved road was once used for transporting ships across the isthmus. The well-illustrated article includes a video showing the Diolkos in operation.

Restoration work has begun at Alexandria, Egypt, on the sea wall, lighthouse, and ancient bridge.

NewScientist has a brief report on the excavations of Berenike, ancient Egypt’s southernmost port.

The NY Times has a feature on the forgotten pyramids of Sudan, with some beautiful photos.

BBC: “Kelly Grovier explores how images depicting a staged lion hunt were used to proclaim a king’s greatness.”

Webinar on April 12 and 13: “Jehu’s Tribute: What Can Biblical Studies Offer Assyriology?” Free registration is required.

Now online: The Archaeological Gazetteer of Iran: An Online Encyclopedia of Iranian Archaeological Sites, a free open-access online encyclopedia maintained by UCLA.

Ancient Iran: A Digital Platform provides various resources including timeline, maps, teaching tools, and photos.

The Louvre announced it now has more than half a million objects from its collection available to view online. The museum has hundreds of important objects related to biblical history.

Mark Wilson is on The Book and the Spade discussing the latest excavations at Laodicea, including an alleged house church.

“For Israelis, this year, Passover marks a celebration of freedom from virus.”

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Explorator, Arne Halbakken


Bryan Windle reviews the top three reports in biblical archaeology in the month of March.

In a seven-minute video, Aren Maeir gives a quick overview of the archaeological process from start to finish.

Hannah Brown explains why spending a day or more at Timna Park in southern Israel is worthwhile.

Wayne Stiles is hosting a free webinar for the Passion Week, with an engaging look at Jesus’s final week, day by day.

An extract from the new CSB Holy Land Illustrated Bible identifies five incidents and three patterns in Pilate’s life that set the context for the trial of Jesus.

BibleTimeLines.com has an extensive collection of timelines, graphics, and videos, including a timeline for the Passion Week.

Jordan J. Ryan considers how Constantine’s Church of the Holy Sepulcher celebrated more than Jesus’s resurrection.

The Infusion Bible Conference is a 3-day event focusing on the context of the biblical world. I’ll be back again this year. Early registration ends soon. Church leaders can take advantage of the IBC Press Kit to share with their congregations. (The conference has a virtual option this year.)

Not the millennium: “Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo is attempting damage control after kids saw a lion eat a bunny.”

HT: Agade, Ted Weis, Charles Savelle, Explorator, Arne Halbakken


The cemetery at Qumran has recently been “reconstructed.” Photo courtesy of Michael Schneider in Jerusalem.


Archaeologists working in Egypt’s Western Desert have discovered a monastery complex dating to the 4th to 8th centuries.

Twenty-two royal Egyptian mummies are set to be transferred to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation (NMEC) in a much-awaited parade in the streets of Cairo on 3 April.”

King Tut’s war shield has been restored so that it may be displayed to the public for the first time.

A small bronze bull was discovered after a rainfall near the temple of Zeus in Olympia.

Dimitris Tsalkanis describes his goals in creating “Ancient Athens 3D,” a collection of hundreds of digital models from seven historical periods from 1200 BC to AD 1833.

Some people are not happy with the proposal to loosen governmental control over five major museums in Greece.

There are a number of similarities between the chariot recently discovered chariot near Pompeii and five chariots discovered in Greece in 2002.

A beautiful, long-lost mosaic that once adorned a ship belonging to Caligula has found its way into an Italian museum.

A collection of 24 studies by Cyrus H. Gordon, published in a variety of books and journals between 1933 and 1982, have been compiled in pdf format by Robert Bedrosian.

In response to Peter J. Parr, Aren Maeir explains why preliminary reports and prompt publication of excavation results are essential.

HT: Agade, Arne Halbakken, Ted Weis, Alexander Schick, Explorator, Steven Anderson