Jonathan Cahn Denounces Archaeological Reconstruction in New York

From the Institute of Digital Archaeology:

Thanks to everyone who attended the unveiling of our reconstruction of Palmyra’s Triumphal Arch at Manhattan’s City Hall Park on September 19th. As NYC Mayor William de Blasio said on the occasion: “This is a powerful act of solidarity with all those hurt and lost in the war in Syria. We welcome the Arch to New York City, where New Yokers and visitors can see this historic work of art. Together, we will demonstrate our collective resolve to protect our common heritage and humanity”…

However, End Times “prophet” and bestselling apocalyptic paperback author Jonathan Cahn has a different view:

The idea that anything linked to an ancient Canaanite god would be erected in America would seem unthinkable. But just as it was with the nine ancient harbingers of judgment, so it has now taken place – the Sign of Baal has manifested on American soil.

It took place on a rainy Monday afternoon, Sept. 19, 2016. It happened in the city of the harbingers of judgment – New York City. No one who erected it or who unveiled it had any idea what they were doing – just as with the harbingers – but they did it anyway.

…Before the moment of unveiling, a live band began playing Middle Eastern music. As one listened to the drumbeat, one could imagine similar music being played as worshipers ascended the ancient Temple of Baal.

The Triumphal Arch was infamously destroyed by ISIS in 2015, along with Palmyra’s Roman-era Temple of Baal; the city’s antiquities scholar, Khaled al-Asaad, was publicly beheaded.

The IDA had originally planned to erect a copy of the gateway to the temple itself, but at some point changed to the Triumphal Arch – probably because recreating this arch would require less material, and the original was rather more elegant and distinctive than the gateway (which in fact just about survived the demolition anyway). However, the Triumphal Arch was on Palmyra’s main thoroughfare leading towards the Temple, and so in Cahn’s opportunistic demonology it amounts to pretty much the same thing.

Cahn is not the only Christian fundamentalist to share ISIS’s disgust at pagan history – he also writes that:

Among the dignitaries and media gathered were a handful of God’s people, a man with a shirt bearing witness to Jesus, another carrying a cross with the inscription Jeremiah 1:5 and still others silently bearing witness.

One of those, a certain Robert Boatwright, was funded by a church in Florida after God told him to protest. Interviewed by Charisma News, Boatwright argued that Baal worship was characterised by the sacrifice of infants, and that the reconstructed arch was thus akin to “a reconstructed gate to Auschwitz”. (1)

Charisma also regularly gives a platform to a fringe conspiracy theorist named Michael Snyder, who warned in March that the reconstructed gateway might open “gateways and portals that are extremely dangerous and that we simply do not understand”; Snyder subsequently credited “alternative media” for the change from the gateway to the Triumphal Arch.

Cahn’s warning is vaguer than that of Snyder, whose inspiration – despite being published by a neo-Pentecostal website – is primarily science-fiction. In contrast, Cahn trades on his Jewish heritage to present himself as having special insight into esoteric “Hebrew mysteries“. Thus he purports to see a hidden pattern in events since 9/11 that show how the USA is repeating the history of ancient Israel as recorded in the Bible (signs of this are his “harbingers”).

Cahn’s God appears to be little more than an impersonal supernatural force whose behaviour can be predicted according to cyclical patterns and manipulated – for good or ill – through human actions, even when those actions are performed obliviously. Thus those who attended the unveiling were indeed worshipping Baal, even though they “had any idea what they were doing”, and God will respond in the same way as on 9/11 – by allowing disaster to strike.

The reconstructed arch was previously displayed in London’s Trafalgar Square without fuss.


(1)  In fact, evidence of child sacrifice in ancient Ugaritic culture is scant – despite Biblical polemics – and it is doubtful that it ever occurred at the structure in Palmyra, which was built much later, during the classical period.