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Identified: The biblical city of Neta’im

Researchers in Israel believe they have identified the site of the biblical city of Neta’im, mentioned in 1 Chronicles.

Based on its proximity to another biblical town, and archaeological ruins dating from the time of the biblical King David’s rule, researchers think Neta’im might have been located at the modern site called Khirbet Qeiyafa, in Israel.

Khirbet Qeiyafa contains the ruins of an ancient fortress city on top of a hill overlooking the Elah Valley. Pottery shards and burned olive pits at the site date to about 1,000 B.C. Most scholars think King David ruled during this time.

Archaeologists have previously associated Khirbet Qeiyafa with the biblical city Sha’arayim, which means “two gates,” because of the discovery of two gates in the fortress ruins, and because Sha’arayim was also associated with King David in the Bible. But now researchers claim this site is really Neta’im, a town mentioned in the book 1 Chronicles in the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament.

“The inhabitants of Neta’im were potters who worked in the king’s service and inhabited an important administrative center near the border with the Philistines”‘ said Gershon Galil, a professor of biblical studies at the University of Haifa in Israel.

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