Umm el’Amed is only metres from the fence. That is the fence between Israel and Lebanon. Over the fence to the south is Rosh Hanikra, and a little to the north is the headlands that form the abrupt finish to the coastal plains of Phoenicia (A Greek word describing the purple coloured murex dyed clothes, and the traders that brought these around the then known world). At this site is an inscription: [To the Lord Milk’Ashtart of Hammon, which offered your servant Abdosir son of Arish in commemoration. Because he heard his voice may he bless him! ] Abraham was told that he would be blessed and his seed would be like the stars of the heaven and the sand of the seashore because he obeyed Yahweh’s voice Gen 22:17,18. This language is strikingly familiar to the inscription above.
Amongst the gods found at was Ashtaroth, a god removed by Josiah 2 Kings 23:13. Beside the gods of Ashtaroth “the abomination of the Zidonians” were standing images, 2 Kings 23:14 or pillars which were representations of deities themselves. Some were believed to be crafted from meteorites and though to clearly form direct representations of the gods of heaven themselves. These stones then crafted into the form of human beings were to demonstrate the fatherhood of the deity, and the ability of men to access their god(s) with devotion. Josiah was to destroy the gods and will their places (Heb. places of standing) with the bones of men.
[Bones are used in the sense of covenant making. Israel was to leave Egypt the “selfsame” Heb. bone day that Abraham’s sacrifice was offered in Gen 15]
God had formed a natural process between men and women from the beginning, Gen 1:26,27 with the intention of demonstrating that a greater principle of the spiritual fatherhood of deity would be formed by greater principles: namely the recognition of divine thought driving moral principles. This divine creation of sons spoke of a fatherhood that was based on much greater and lofty principles. So Josiah would stand by another pillar 2 Kings 23:3 and make covenant before Yahweh to walk and keep His commandments. Paul was to tell Timothy that understanding the development of God within our consciousness and activity was the pillar and ground of the truth 1 Tim 3:15,16.
2 Kings 23 finds a direct contrast between two houses: The house of Judah and the worship in the house of Yahweh against the house of Jeroboam and his worship at Bethel (the house of God). The question for us is what house would we like to build, and it is all built on a standing,
Further article on Umm el’Amed can be read here: http://intelligenttravel.nationalgeographic.com/2010/07/06/alexanders_footsteps_a_lost_ci/ and here: http://www.jstor.org/pss/3265046 further artefacts can be found at the Louvre, Paris