Professor of the Hebrew University’s Yosef Garfinkel, one of the leading archaeologists of the country, published an article in the journal Biblical Archaeology Review. In it he argues that the previously found during excavations of ancient statues can really be a taboo image of Yahweh.

As reported by The Times of Israel has already caused hot debate. The theory Garfinkel appeared both supporters and opponents. Professor of archaeology claims that a handful of small male figurines, Dating back to the X-IX centuries BC and were found in several areas of the ancient Kingdom of Judah, in fact, are the biblical images of the Israeli God Yahweh.

“Yes, I think that in ancient times people believed that these figurines depict the face of Yahweh,” said Garfinkel in an interview with The Times of Israel. However, the fact that the Israelites were forbidden to portray God. Therefore, these artifacts could be illegal.

In his work, the researcher describes one of these figurines, found his team on the excavation in Khirbet of Kaiafa, about 30 kilometres South-West of Jerusalem. The artefact was discovered about 10 years ago in the layer that was dated to X century BC.

It was made in several stages. Just the eyes took two steps. Ears were pierced – perhaps originally the figure was equipped with earrings. The archaeologist drew attention to a number of holes around the top. In his opinion, this can be trace from the crown or other headgear. Also visible are traces of a beard.

In Israel, was discovered thousands of prehistoric female figures and male figure is a very rare artifact. By the way, its height is only about five inches. There is speculation that she could be part of a larger sculpture or served as decoration for the vessel, for example.

the Bible was very clear ban on physical image of God, while neighboring peoples worshipped many gods and were not afraid to display them. For example, in the days of Judah and Israel kingdoms of the Moabites, was the God of Chemosh, the Edomites – God KOs. However, the Kingdom of Judah had its own history. There is believed that there is only one God, not many, and so people don’t have to create his image.

But the Professor also points to the fact that the Bible is replete with calls for the people of Israel to stop worshiping the household gods. But in the site not just were the remains of religious deities. This suggests that someone could violate the ban and illegal to portray God Yahweh. The researcher also suggests that the figurine was found in full could represent God on horseback.

This is not typical for Israeli iconography. However, the author points to the results of the excavations in the temple complex at tel-Maze, located nine kilometres North-West of the ancientit Jerusalem. There were found two similar to the one described heads from figurines, and found they were next to the figurines of horses.