A Palestinian farmer recently discovered an ancient artifact linked to a Canaanite idol from Old Testament Times.
During a press conference on Tuesday, the Hamas-run Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities announced that Nidal Abu Eid found the head of a 4,500-year-old statue of Anat in the al-Qarara town of Khan Younis on Monday. According to Jamal Abu Rida, the ministry's director-general of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage, "Anat was the goddess of love, beauty and war in the Canaanite mythology."
"I found it by chance when I was cultivating my land," Abu Eid told The New Arab. "It was muddy, but when I washed it with water, I realized that it is a precious thing."
While he initially thought of selling it, Abu Eid changed his mind after an archaeologist told him that the ancient relic holds "great archaeological value."
"I am so proud that our land still has great archaeological values," the farmer said. "It means that this land is ours, and we have a civilization and history for thousands of years B.C. since the Canaanite times."
As reported by The New Arab, Abu Rida estimated that the head of Anat dates back to about 2,500 B.C. He also noted that the statue of the ancient goddess made a political point, explaining that its "presence" refutes "the Zionist claim that the land of Palestine is a land without a people for a people without a land."
At the present time, the statue is on display in Qasr al-Basha, which is one of the few museums in Gaza. According to BBC News, the artifact is a 22cm-high (8.7 in) carving of Anat's face wearing a serpent crown.
In the Bible, God told Israel to drive out the Canaanites from the Promised Land due to their wickedness and worship of idols. According to The Bible Project, the Canaanites are descendants of Noah's grandson, Canaan, whom he was cursed for his father's sin against Noah.
The Israelites' taking of the Promise Land is also part of God's promise to Abraham in Genesis 12, in which the patriarch and his descendants would be made into "a great nation."
Photo courtesy: Benjamin Davies/Unsplash
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.