Bible and Archaeology News
In the sixth century C.E. history The Buildings of Justinian, the Byzantine historian Procopius of Caesarea describes how God provided a miraculous supply of stone for the construction of the Nea Ekklesia of the Theotokos church. The recent discovery of a Jerusalem quarry by Israeli archaeologists in the Rehavia neighborhood may be the site of Procopius’s miracle. A partially chiseled Byzantine column over 20 feet tall bearing the inscription “Mizi Achmar,” meaning red stone, reminding Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists of Procopius’s tale.
Procupius wrote that “God revealed a natural supply of stone perfectly suited to this purpose in the nearby hills, one which had either lain there in concealment previously, or was created at that moment…So the church is supported on all sides by a number of huge columns from that place, which in color resemble flames of fire.” Archaeologists found markings indicating the chiseling of other columns nearby the original find. Professor Yoram Zafrir notes that the type of stone is exceptionally hard to work with, and the stonemasons presumably moved on to a new column fearing cracks in the discovered work.
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