Watch Jerusalem

Watch Jerusalem brings you news and archaeology from a biblical perspective. Host Brent Nagtegaal is on location in Jerusalem to give you the most important developments happening on the ground—and emerging from beneath it. Nagtegaal is a contributor for watchJerusalem.co.il.

Shortly after conquering Jerusalem, King David brought the ark of the covenant to the city and placed it near the Gihon Spring. According to the Bible, the ark stayed in that location for almost 50 years while the temple was being constructed. On Sunday, host Brent Nagtegaal toured the area surrounding the Gihon Spring with City of David director of international affairs Ze’ev Orenstein. On today’s show, Brent discusses his visit to the Gihon Spring, including the recent discovery of religious rooms that could have held the ark during the time of King David.
Jerusalem - On Wednesday, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced the discovery of a fortress on the Golan Heights built during the time of King David. Excavators believe the building was part of the kingdom of Geshur, an elusive people who were in league with King David for a time. On today’s program, host Brent Nagtegaal looks at the discovery of the Golan fortress in the context of King David’s reign.
The nation of Israel was bitterly divided when King David came to the throne 3,000 years ago. The kingly dynasty of Saul was finished, and the northern tribes were worried that the Judean King David would not rule fairly. David proved them wrong by establishing a new political and religious capital for the nation. On today’s program, host Brent Nagtegaal details how King David united the nation around the throne and the city that God had chosen. He also shows why God awarded him the most amazing blessing in the Bible.
Once again, Haaretz is using archaeological discoveries to try and debunk biblical history. Their October 30 article, entitled “Israeli Archaeologists Are Uncovering the Lost Legacy of a Cursed Biblical King,” takes aim at the biblical description of King Manasseh, Judah’s longest-reigning king. On today’s program, host Brent Nagtegaal reviews the article and shows a clear misreading of the biblical narrative. In doing so, he also discusses one of the most undervalued stories of repentance in the Bible.
It’s been a long and difficult summer, with coronavirus lockdowns shuttering many in Israel and abroad. One of the victims is the archaeology “industry,” with regular excavations largely grinding to a halt. There has, therefore, been a corresponding lull in archaeological reporting—leading some journalists to write almost humorously grand articles on more “mundane” finds! Nevertheless—despite a summer’s lockdown—in the world of archaeology, you never know what exciting new discovery is about to be unveiled. (The Isaiah bulla a case in point—released eight years after its excavation!) So stay tuned. At Watch Jerusalem, we’ve maintained a steady stream of articles and analyses on past (and even future!) discoveries—everything from a bullae “timeline” to Leviathan to the Tomb of King David. On today’s podcast, host Christopher Eames provides a rundown of some of Watch Jerusalem’s latest archaeology articles, as well as some upcoming pieces (King Ahab’s horses, and a Philistine seal discovered in Ireland). He also summarizes his new three-part series on the ancient Hebrew alphabet—how we English-speakers have come to adopt it as our own.
The Jewish historian Josephus records a chilling event that took place shortly before his own life began. In the account, King Herod and a few of his closest friends secretly raided the tomb of the biblical house of David to find the treasure to fund his extravagant projects. However, just as his men were reaching the very bones of King David and King Solomon, they were killed by a “flame that burst out.” Shaken by the incident, Josephus relates that Herod installed a large white stone monument at the entrance to warn others from entering. Clearly, God intended the discovery of the tombs of David to be preserved for a later time. On today’s program host, Brent Nagtegaal looks at the historical references of the tomb of the kings from both the Bible and secular sources and shows why the discovery of King David’s could be imminent.
“Did God Destroy the Walls of Jericho?,” titled one of Haaretz’s most popular articles this past week. Given the source, you won’t be surprised to find out that the author answers that question in the negative, and even uses archaeological discovery to support that claim. At Watch Jerusalem, we too use archaeology but have come to a different conclusion. On today’s program, host Brent Nagtegaal looks at the claims of Jericho’s destruction, as well as other cases, in the context of the culture of scoffing that exists inside academia and the media against the Bible.
In 2019, a groundbreaking study showed that the tin discovered on the Israelite coast during the time of the judges was sourced as far away as the United Kingdom—specifically, the regions of Cornwall and Devon. While the study attributed the trade of the tin to the Phoenicians, the Bible describes Israelite tribes being heavily invested in seafaring trade at the same time. On today’s program, host Brent Nagtegaal describes his recent visit to a tin mine in Cornwall, as well as the connection between the region and the Israelite tribes of Dan and Asher.
The first-ever direct flight from Israel to the United Arab Emirates by an Israeli commercial airline took place this week. The flight comes just two weeks after United States President Donald Trump announced that the U.A.E. would normalize its ties with the Jewish state. Commentators have called the deal historic, and rightly so. On today’s show, host Brent Nagtegaal shows how the deal also moves forward biblical prophecies that will culminate in the coming of the Messiah.
What happened to the ‘lost’ tribes of Israel? Where did they go after they vanished some 2,700 years ago? The modern identity of the “lost tribes” of Israel has intrigued people for centuries, if not millennia. Explorers of antiquity have attempted to identify them with uncontacted native islanders. Theories abound. Some claim that they simply no longer exist, swallowed up by time, war, captivity. Can we know what happened to them?