Jim Barfield’s Israel Adventure Continues: “Hebrew Roots” Teacher Sets Up Meeting with Archaeologist

A couple of times now I’ve blogged on Jim Barfield, the Oklahoman former fire investigator who claims to have worked out the location of an amazing stash of treasure rescued from Israel’s First Temple and buried in the Judaean Desert. Barfield believes he has divined this information from study of the Copper Scroll, a document found with the Dead Sea Scrolls, although he’s not giving away the secret. Barfield managed to get a hearing from some credulous state senators, and he accompanied an Israeli expedition, although that does not appear to have ended well. However, the quest continues, as Barfield explains on the blog of the Jerusalem Connection, a particularly hardline Christian Zionist outfit:

I’ve been in Israel the last few weeks contacting archeologists and people of influence to try and determine what is holding up the excavation and maybe some clues as to what is going on.

Such as:

For those of you that keep up with Avi [Ben Mordechai], I spent several hours with him going over my research and we actually went to one of the sites to show him how amazingly accurate the Copper Scroll is.  By the end of the day he and his wife were convinced.  So much so, that he made arrangements for me to meet with a very kind gentleman by the name of Dr. Hanan Eshel.

That’s an interesting connection. Ben Mordechai runs “Millennium 7000 Communications”, a “Hebrew Roots” outfit which rejects the Christian tradition (such as the idea of the Trinity) while accepting “Yeshua” as the Messiah (this is too strange to be called “Messianic Judaism”). From his website:

The Two Houses of Israel-“Ephraim” and “Judah,” as taught in Ezekiel 37, is a valid teaching. “Gentiles” that wish to join themselves to the corporate body of Israel are to be welcomed in, but they must agree to observe the commandments of the Holy Written Torah in order to connect to the blessings and to the promised inheritance that belongs to all Israel through the Messiah. Gentiles who say that they are Israel but do not believe that they have to keep and do the Torah commandments that were given to the people of Israel are stealing from YHWH, taking His blessings without the responsibilities of those blessings.

Ben Mordechai is apparently an enthusiast of Kabbalah, and he sees divine messages in natural and political phenomena. For example, he interprets the moon astrologically:

For centuries, scholars have attempted to ascertain the meaning of this prophecy. Jewish tradition and beliefs may help us explain this passage. In 1996, Israel celebrated the 3,000th year anniversary of Jerusalem – from King David’s conquest in 1004 B.C. to A.D. 1996

On Passover, April 3, 1996, a full lunar eclipse appeared over Jerusalem. A photograph of this eclipse appeared in the Jerusalem Post with the caption, “The Moon of Blood.” When a full lunar eclipse appears, the moon takes on a reddish, almost bloody appearance. On September 26 of the same year, a second lunar eclipse created a blood-like image and was visible in Jerusalem on the eve of the Feast of Tabernacles. A third lunar eclipse (90%) happened six months later during PURIM, the celebration to remember how the famed Jewish Queen Esther defeated the wicked plans of Haman.

Thus, THREE lunar eclipses occurring within one year on or near three Jewish celebration days is almost unheard of. These three “blood moons,” caused tremendous excitement and anxiety among rabbis in Israel, according to the same article. A blood moon, which appeared twice the same year and fell on the first and last feast of Israel, indicated to them this was a cosmic sign from God of impending trouble in Israel. The ancient belief was that a blood moon (lunar eclipse) could symbolize BLOODSHED and WAR.

Since 1996, thousands of Israelis have died in their own land from the suicide attacks of Islamic radicals. Just four years after these events in 2000 the Palestinian Authority launched its most recent infitiada or “uprising” against Israel at the hands of the now deceased Yasser Arafat. From a Hebraic understanding, the signs of a sackcloth sun and blood moon can refer to a full solar and lunar eclipse. According to Scriptures, this will be one form of cosmic activity prior to the coming Day of the Lord and the future Tribulation.

This kind of thing appeals to some American Christian fundamentalists; the scholarly realisation that to understand Jesus and the New Testament properly one ought to know about the First Century Jewish context is corrupted into the idea that someone peddling supposed mystical secrets from the Jewish tradition somehow provides special esoteric insight into spiritual reality. His worldview also includes “New World Order” paranoia:

…we are a rebellious nation that refuses to repent and obey the written Torah of Moshe. As a result, we must bear our punishment as we are being led down a path that requires us to step into line, serve the laws of our masters (Ezekiel 20:23-25), and obey the NWO bosses and their plans for global control of the world and its populations…we expect a bodily implantation law to be passed in the future (probably in the very near future). Afterall, Israel is a lawless country and lawlessness demands control and we know from Deuteronomy Chapter 28:15-68 that YHWH, the Eternal One of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel) is going to use the nations that surround us and use the system that this nation so loves, to control us. But in the end, we KNOW who is Really in Control!

By contrast to all this, Hanan Eshel is a respected Israeli archaeologist of international standing. It’s remarkable that such a fringe figure as Ben Mordechai would be in a position to arrange for him to spend time chatting to a delusional Oklahoman fire investigator.

Barfield also had a meeting with Gershon Salomon, a Jewish “Third Temple” obsessionist who is popular with Christian Zionists, and with Vendyl Jones, with whom he has a natural kinship. Jones is another pseudo-archaeologist, and he provides lazy hacks with easy copy once every few years with dramatic announcements of being “on the verge” of discovering the Ark of the Covenant. Jones is an ex-Christian “Noachide”, and he is associated with the right-wing “Sanhedrin” that has also excited Christian Zionists (the Sanhedrin recently held a bizarre friendly meeting with the Turkish Islamist Adnan Oktar). With both these characters, there’s more chance of Lucy actually letting Charlie Brown kick that ball than that they will actually deliver on their grandiose promises.

In the past Ben Mordechai has associated with Moshe Koniuchowsky, whom I blogged on here.

13 Responses

  1. i swear it like some borat or brüno movie, where this guy is going around trying to dupe as many legitimate people into meeting with him as possible.

  2. “Thus, THREE lunar eclipses occurring within one year on or near three Jewish celebration days is almost unheard of.”
    Since the Jewish calender is based on the Moon’s cycles, with major festivals taking place close to Full / New Moons (which is when eclipses happen) , this can’t be a terribly rare occurrence.
    This guy is supposed to be a Jewish scholar???

  3. …amed Jewish Queen Esther defeated the wicked plans of Haman.

    Esther, one of the original Zionist ‘honeypots’ and mass murderer, getting credit for slaughtering 75,000 Persians.

    How many Persians do the Zionists want to murder now?

  4. […] important than any actual evangelisation, and Good Friday pales beside Passover. Others, such as Jim Barfield, flirt with the “Hebrew Roots” Movement, which accepts “Yeshua” as Messiah […]

  5. […] Richard Bartholomew in Barthsnotes has been blogged regularly on Jim Barfield and his activities, and gives a interesting take  here. […]

  6. Critics you can find on every corner, along with real smart people. If you dont believe how smart they are, just ask them. I much admire a man who will speak out on what he believes a whole lot mor than a man who criticizes on those who they dont even know. I have met Barfied personally and what I can tell you critics, is, he is a good man of good character and I believe his motives are pure and honorable. Wether you are right or not on the Copper Scroll, thank you Jim for your research and sharing it with the world. I question the motives of your critics. Randy Hahn

  7. randy,

    i’m not questioning that mr. barfield is a nice man. he seems respectable and quite polite, and has certainly served his community well as a firefighter and arson investigator. there is no questioning his kindness.

    i do question jimmy barfield’s claims, his training as an archaeologist (or lack thereof), his refusal to submit to peer-review, his circular reasoning, and his marketing tactics which use photographs of him with archaeologists to visually argue that they support his far-fetched claims.

    the iaa never worked with him, although an iaa employee did. this iaa employee, after reading the claims mr. barfield was making, has cut all ties with him. now, everyone in the archaeological and scholarly community in the u.s. and israel is aware of his claims and his tactics. mr. barfield is now attempting to go it alone, attempting to convince as many media outlets as possible to point a microphone at him and broadcast his nonsense (and yes, by even the most forgiving academic standards, his ‘research’ is nonsense).

    i have no problem with jim barfield the man. we reminds me of so many of the respectable men and women i knew while living in texas. but what he is doing does not even reach the threshold of what any scholar would call ‘archaeology.’ jim barfield is a man with a satellite map using his followers to pay for trips to israel and search for treasure.

    • Bobcarquil
      Thanks for your response. My first thought is oly God knows the motives a mans heart. As far as I know, Jim admits he is not a seasoned archaeologist in anyway. In fact to me personally he has claimed just the opposite. I understand how the world likes to look to the seasoned experts when forming an opinion on facts. The big problem with that, is, if you have done your research on the copper scroll (and I am sure you have) even the seasoned experts in bible archaeology cant agree on the contents or interpretation of the copper scroll. That is why I believe many times God chooses the simple to confound the wise. The simple usually dont come with preconcieved ideas. I have to admit to others, that one of my biggest faults is I like walking by sight but God wants me to walk by faith. Thats not to say that I walk foolishly, but to keep an open mind that just maybe I am not as smart as I think I am, and just maybe God did things differntly than I think he did. Who would think. instead of using a seasoned archaeologist, God woud use a little Bedowin boy to discover the copper scrolls, one of the most important discoveries of all time. I believe part of the reason could be, so that man doesnt get the glory and people think to highly of that man. As far as Jims money raising tactics, I will let God be the judge of that and I will not assume I know for sure his motives. The best thing for me to say here, is, time will tell. My plan is to help bring truth to the light, even if it diagrees with me. I am sure you may even have an opinion about a man named Ron Wyatt, who also was not a seasoned archaeologist, yet made many claims, some with much documentation, and I am sure he could fill a ship with all his critics. But the good thing is God will bring it to the light, weather good or bad. I pray that your prayer will be “God please help me recognize the servants you are using seasoned or not. And if they are, I want to prayerfully support them, and if not please help them recognize their faults and turn from them so that they may be used in prooving your word.
      God Bless Randy

  8. […] (Another “Hebrew Roots” adherent is Jim Barfield, a former fire investigator from Oklahoma who received some attention in 2009 after he claimed to worked out the burial place of the treasure from the First Temple in Jerusalem; see here) […]

  9. Bob
    I just read my comment from November 16, 2009 and I caught an error on my part. A bedowin boy did not discover the Copper Scroll. I meant he found the Dead Sea Scroll. I am sorry for the mistake. I still hold with Jim Barfields research. As far as his fund raising method, I am not the one to figure out his motive or his method. I will leave that to God. I have seen him again not that long ago and I can testify that he is still showing me that he is doing things for the right reason and the right motives. It is always nice to have doccumentation on what we believe or what has been shown to us only. It would be interesting to try and convince others that a donkey actually talked to us or that we had a wrestling match with an angel. I guess in most situations like that, I would look at the character of the man and if he shows good character, then I would probably give him the benefit of the doubt, at least until he showed himself not of good character. Thanks for posting these coments. Randy Hahn
    Any questions anyone can contact me at randyhahn2003@yahoo.com 503 334 7474

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