ISRAEL - Youths Unearth 1,100-Year-Old Gold Coins

Arno Froese

Youths volunteering at an archaeological dig in central Israel have found 425 gold coins that had lain buried in a clay jar for 1,100 years. 

Most of the money dates back to the early Islamic period, when the region was part of the Abbasid caliphate.

The coins weigh 845g (30oz) and would have been worth a huge sum when they were buried—enough to buy a luxurious home in one of the caliphate’s cities.

The youth who discovered the hoard, Oz Cohen, said: “It was amazing. I dug in the ground and when I excavated the soil, saw what looked like very thin leaves. When I looked again I saw these were gold coins.”

Robert Kool, a coin expert, said the cache consisted of full gold dinars but also 270 small gold cuttings—pieces of dinars cut to serve as “small change.”

He added that one of the cuttings was a fragment of a gold solidus of the Byzantine Emperor Theophilos minted in Constantinople, which was rare material evidence of the continuous connections between the two rival empires during this period.

-www.bbc.com, 24 August 2020

Arno's commentary

Finding treasures in Israel is not unusual, but this clay jar containing 425 gold coins is rather rare. Liat Nadav-Ziv and Elie Haddad, directors of the excavation, stated: “The person who buried this treasure 1,100 years ago must have expected to retrieve it, and even secured the vessel with a nail so that it would not move.” Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21), and adds, “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things” (Matthew 12:35).

The clay jar fittingly describes our life on earth: we are vessels of clay. God told Adam, after he sinned, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return” (Genesis 3:19).

What counts, of course, is what’s inside. First Corinthians 3:12-15 reads: “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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