Around the world, many believers seek out earthly signs that God is real. Now, in Israel, such a sign may have manifested.
Although these “footprints of God” have existed for generations, they are now just being discovered near the Jordan River. Supposedly, these footprints could have dated back to Joshua’s trip to get to the Promised Land. During this exodus, Joshua traveled with children for years from Egypt.
While yes, the footprints may have appeared around biblical times, are they really a divine landmark? Obviously, this has been a fairly polarizing topic. Some scientists, researchers, archaeologists, and analysts who have studied the structures state they’re manmade.
Here’s what we do know for sure — there are six “footprints” in all located along the Jordan River. There are very specific patterns in the rocks, with each footprint being made of stone. They don’t look to be like the shape of a bare footprint, but rather one made by a person wearing sandals, such as God. The biggest is 228 feet in width.
The recent discovery has generated an enormous amount of interest in Israel, while also garnering the attention of archeologists.
There’s more to this discovery than just the footprints of God. Archaeologist Adam Zertal did further exploring, and stumbled upon an altar on Mount Ebal. This altar, like the footsteps of God, is massive in size and scope.
In all, the altar is quite tall, more than a story, measuring 30 feet by 23 feet. Within the altar and surrounding it, ash and burned animal bones abound, as though some sort of ritual had taken place here at one time.
According to Zertal, if the altar was used, it would have been a long, long time ago. Much like the footprints of God, Zertal dates the altar back to Joshua’s trip to the Promised Land.
Zertal states that Joshua himself made such an altar to take shelter upon his arrival to the Promised Land with the children. Zertal says he even has biblical proof to back it up.
First, in Joshua 8:30, there is a description of an altar on Mount Ebal that fits the one that Zertal discovered. Then, twice in Deuteronomy, Mount Ebal and its altar are also spoken of.
There’s Deuteronomy 27, in which the altar is noted in specific detail. That biblical passage says the mountain should have lime deposits and plain stone. On the stone, Joshua was to inscribe curses per Moses’ instructions.
Then, in Deuteronomy 11:29, Moses suggests that Joshua travel to Mount Gerizim or Mount Ebal to inscribe blessings into other stones and leave them there. Mount Gerizim is in proximity to Mount Ebal, making this task possible.
Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, a researcher interested in the footprints of God, shared his thoughts on this amazing archeological discovery.
“Before entering the Promised Land, God gave Israel this interesting promise… ‘Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours; from the wilderness to Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be,’” he said, quoting from Deuteronomy 11:24.
He goes on to talk more about what he believes are the origin of the footprints.
“Everywhere Israel left a foot print that was to be their land…It was very similar to the promise God gave Abraham after he and Lot separated because their herds were too large. So were these giant footprints, Israel’s message to God -— we have walked here? This is our land. We claim it as our inheritance. They were also a reminder Who had given them the land.”
Sadly, there is a risk of the site being taken down. This would be truly unfortunate, for archaeologists, researchers, and other interested parties have only just begun to dig into what the footprints of God could really mean.
Luckily, environmental group Green Now has stepped in to keep the altar and the footprints intact.
“The spot is about 200 meters from this Gilgal site…The heavy equipment, all the tractors that will work in building and servicing the site, they may inadvertently damage the Gilgal site,” said the Director for the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel in Judea and Samaria, Ariel Filber.
For now, it looks like the site will remain intact for further studying.
~ 1776 Christian