Truth, Understanding, Insight

Ashkelon: Roman statutes and Russian gas

17th December 2010, hej


On the 15th December 2010 was announced a Roman statue from a bathhouse had been unearthed by storms in the Mediterranean,

Standing 1.2 meters (4 feet) tall, the statue was found in the remains of a cliff that had crumbled under the gale-force winds. Discovered near the ancient port after the tides had returned to normal, an official with the Israel Antiquities Authority said the statue will be displayed in various museums.
Dated to approximately 1,800 to 2,000 years ago – the period in which the Romans occupied western Judea -- the statue weighed 200 kg (440 lb) and had no head or arms.
“The sea gave us this amazing statue,” Yigal Israeli, a researcher with the Israel Antiquities Authority told the Reuters news service. He added that other artifacts may have washed out into the ocean due to the same storm, however.
Fragments of mosaics and bits from a Roman bath house were also recovered at the site Israelnationalnews

Reuters reports that the statue brought no joy,

But long-established Israeli archaeological sites such as the ruins of coastal Caesarea suffered serious damage in the storm, so the statue's find brought the Authority little joy.
"We don't see this discovery as such good news," said another Authority official, who declined to be named. "Better that relics remain hidden and protected, than that they be exposed and damaged."

Ashkelon has a long history. Its ruins show the comprehensive Babylonian destruction in 604BCE of the Philistine era construction. The subsequent Persian era is noted for a dog cemetery with 700 dogs who died of old age. Ashkelon was a Roman city before the Romans took over Judea. Some Roman era ruins are well preserved, and in a grave beside a bathhouse was found mostly newborn boys indicating immorality. The city was captured by the Muslims in 638 C.E. (see

As Islam often destroyed images of the human form, the intact nature of statue might indicate that the bathhouse had fallen into dis-use in Byzantine times and was already buried. In the battles of the Arabs and Crusaders, Saladin destroyed Ashkelon to prevent Richard the Lionheart conquering it and the city was built by the British crusaders who left recognisable heraldry carvings.

The scriptures paint a picture of Ashkelon being destroyed,

For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up. Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the LORD is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant.
And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks.
And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: for the LORD their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity.
I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the revilings of the children of Ammon, whereby they have reproached my people, and magnified themselves against their border. Therefore as I live, saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles, and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of my people shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people shall possess them. This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the LORD of hosts. The LORD will be terrible unto them: for he will famish all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the heathen. (Zephaniah 2:4-11)

The Philistine city was destroyed. But there were new city walls. In 1270 Baybars, the Mamluk sultan, ordered the citadel and harbour to be destroyed. From that time the few who settled seem to have lived without walls and rightly described as in 'cottages'. From 1931- 1948 the town's population grew to reportedly about 11,000 (Wikipedia). In 1948 the area was captured from Egypt by Israel, who encouraged the Arabs to leave. Though that area of coast was settled in 1948, the increasing population led to the city of Ashkelon officially being named in 1953. But the new city was built on the coast, the old ruins of the city is all a National Park, where Jews go to picnic (feed).! See

Literally the city, as prophesied, became for a remnant Jews (house of Judah), as the city began as a few immigrant camps from 1948.

If the prophecy is taken as sequential, after the coast becomes Jewish, then those of Moab and Ammon reproach or rebuke/ shame those described as “my people”. Ashkelon was in the news because of the raid on Gaza to break the Israel sea blockade, and event which led to much reviling, and rebuking of Israel- and the whole was in relationship to the Gaza border, which fulfills the prophecy that the rebuke and reproach of Ammon and Moab (Arabs who live approximately in their ancient area) “against their border”. They also at present are reviling and trying to shame Israel regarding the so called '1967 border'. Israel has felt that they have been made small and the unworthy Arab philistines have been 'magnified' in the eyes of the world. But God does not think as a human, and He hears everything. It was written long ago that He would repay the pride of those Arabs who have a heritage from Ammon and Moab.

It is an end time prophecy as the end of it is that God hears the reviling, and acts to destroy those who reproach Israel, as he did to Sodom and Gomorrah. In the process all people will worship the God of Israel.

The trouble of the public shaming of Israel was like miry waves. But the waves have brought to the surface a Roman statue.

Russia as the inheritor of the Byzantine Empire might be the third Rome. At the same time the headless marble statue appears, a revived classical Russia (with a hidden head) emerges as an apparent friend to Israel.

debkafile's Moscow sources report that the Kremlin has watched the Obama administration Israel-Palestinian peace diplomacy run out of steam and sees its chance for a more active role on this diplomatic track.
Furthermore, the Russians have got two bids in play for a slice of the as-yet untapped Mediterranean gas. While offering to partner Lebanon in exploring the oil and gas potential opposite its shores earlier this month, debkafile's sources report that the Russian energy giant Gazprom sent secret envoys to Tel Aviv at the same time. They came to discuss investment opportunities with the Israeli firms holding the concessions for the Tamar, Dalit and Leviathan Mediterranean gas fields off the Israeli shore and a possible partnership in Israel's Ashkelon-Eilat oil and gas pipelines.
According to our sources, Russian energy experts calculate that Israel's offshore gas reserves, currently estimated at about 25 trillion cubic feet, are in fact much bigger and maintain they could be better explored with Russian professional assistance. Leviathan is seen as the most promising of the three strikes.

What is even more intriguing is that there is a very strong connection to Ashkelon.

5. Moscow is seeking to exploit the deepening strategic ties between Israel and Greece to jump aboard their plans to build an underwater gas pipeline linking Greece to the Israeli Mediterranean port of Ashkelon. This would link up with the existing Ashkelon oil and gas pipeline to Eilat, Israel's Red Sea port. Russian energy strategists are eyeing the planned and existing segments of this route with great interest, having calculated that the quickest and cheapest outlet for marketing Russian gas to the Far East is through Eilat.
Israeli leaders, President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu have high hopes of the Medvedev visit.

Will those who welcome the Russians in January one day, sadder and wiser, say, just as they have regarding the storms that brought to light the headless woman,

"We don't see this discovery as such good news," said another Authority official, who declined to be named. "Better that relics remain hidden and protected, than that they be exposed and damaged."

Watch this space for more on gas and oil in Isarel...


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