Zechariah 6 –Four Chariots of Divine Judgment & Lost Cities of Europe: Entremont (4 of 4)

Now I’m going to sort of step away from the Bible, but then again, they are all involved, i.e., One World Order was on the mind there too, so we’ll start with…

Zechariah 6
Four Chariots of Divine Judgment

1 And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass.

Mount Zion is located on the south-west side of the old city, outside of the present walls. In Greek and Roman times this was the southern side of the walled city, the place of the Jesus last supper and the home of the high priest high priest Caiaphas.

6:1-8 – the eighth and last vision.  It corresponds to the first (1:7-17).  Babylonian, a land of idolatry, was in appropriate locale for wickedness – but not Israel, where God chose to dwell with His people.  Only after purging it of its evil would the promised land truly be the “holy land.”

“Four chariots’ – angelic spirits as agents of divine judgment.

“Two mountains: – possibly mount Zion and the mount of Olives, with the Kidron Valley between them.

“Brass” – bronze, perhaps symbolic of judgment.

2 In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses;

6:2-3 – “Red…black…white…grisled and bay” – the hroses may signify various divine judgments on the earth.  See Rev 6:1-8.

3 And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses.

4 Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord?

5 And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth.

6 The black horses which are therein go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country.

Mount of Olives
Mount of Olives is the hill facing the old city of Jerusalem, on the eastern side of Kidron creek. It is a Holy place, referred in the Old and New Testaments. It is dominated by a large cemetery on its slopes.

7 And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth.

8 Then cried he upon me, and spake unto me, saying, Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country.

“The north country” – primarily Babylonian, but also the direction from which most of Israel’s foes invaded their nation.

“Have quieted my spirit” – the angelic beings dispatched to the north have triumphed and thus have pacified or appeased God’s spirit (i.e., His anger).  Another view reads, “have given my Spirit rest.”  In either case, since conquest was announced in the north, victory was assured over all enemies.

9 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

6:9-15 _ the fourth and fifth visions were concerned with the high priest and the civil government (in the Davidic line).  Zechariah now relates the message of those two visions to the Messianic King-Priest.

The Kidron Valley runs north-south between the Mount of Olives and the eastern wall of the Temple Mount and the City of David.

This valley actually continues all the way to the Dead Sea. The total length of the valley is 20 miles, and it falls 4,000 feet. The Gihon Springs naturally filled this valley, but the settlers of Jerusalem diverted the water into pools and channels to be used by the city.

This picture is the view standing in the Kidron Valley looking south. The Mount of Olives is to the left and the Temple Mount is to the right at the top of Mount Moriah.

6:9 – Introduces a prophetic oracle.

10 Take of them of the captivity, even of Heldai, of Tobijah, and of Jedaiah, which are come from Babylon, and come thou the same day, and go into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah;

11 Then take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest;

“Crowns” – the Hebrew for this word is keren, from which the English “crown” is derived.  It is not the same as that used for the high priest’s turban, but one referring to an ornate crown with many diadems.  The royal corwing of the high priest foreshoadwos the goal and consummation of prophecy – the crowing and reign of the Messianic King-Priest.

12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:

13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.

14 And the crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of the LORD.

15 And they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the LORD, and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.

 

Lost Cities of Europe (4 of 4)

Entremont

Location: Provence, France Date Of Construction: C 1 80 B.C.
Abandoned: C 90 B.C.
Built By: Salyens
Key Features: Old And New Town; City Wall; Hypostyle Hall; Reliefs And Idols Of Heads And Heroes; Olive Presses

The Greeks in pre-Roman Gaul have a significant history of settlement, trade, cultural influence, and armed conflict in the Celtic territory of Gaul (modern France), starting from the 6th century BCE during the Greek Archaic period.

Following the founding of the major trading post of Massalia in 600 BCE by the Phocaeans at present day Marseille, Massalians had a complex history of interaction with peoples of the region.

Traditionally Western European history before the coming of the Romans has been seen as a dark age of savage tribes and primitive villages of rude wattle and daub huts, but a large and sophisticated Gallic settlement in southern France shows that this picture is misconceived.

History only officially begins when it starts to get written down, with the result that pre-literate societies like the pre-Roman Gauls are cast into the darkness of prehistory; relegated, in the traditional historical imagination, to the fringes of the drama – shadowy groups and figures just beyond the reach of the spotlights, lurking offstage, unseen but for brief, bloody incursions into the world of the Greeks and Romans.

As archaeology advances and historical understanding becomes more subtle and informed, many of these groups are moving from prehistory to what is known as protohistory, a discipline in which scant mentions in ancient texts are combined with data from inscriptions, art, artefacts and archaeology to build up a picture of groups, societies, cultures and whole civilizations that were comparable in sophistication and achievement to their better known, more advanced neighbours.

Examples include the Scythians and the Celts.

Entremont is a 2nd to 1st century B.C. settlement of the Celto-Ligurian Salyens (known as the Saluvii by ancient Greco-Roman writers) in Provence in southern France that well illustrates this point.

Here, on the fringes of the Greco-Latin world, a large town of regular grid like streets, massive well-planned fortifications, multiple storey grand public buildings and elaborate religious precincts comparable to the nearby Greek colonies flourished, until besieged and sacked by a Roman army.

Greeks and Gauls

Around 600 B.C. Greeks from Phocea founded a colony called Massalia (modern Marseilles) near the mouth of the Rhone, a great river that provided access to much of France and central Western Europe, and via other, closely related river systems, all the way to the British Isles, the Baltic and beyond.

The first known hominid settlements in the Nice area date back approximately 400,000 years; the Terra Amata archeological site shows one of the earliest uses of fire and construction of houses and flint findings are dated as around 230,000 years old.

Nice (Nicaea) was probably founded around 350 BC by the Greeks of Massilia (Marseille), and was given the name of Νικαία (“Nikaia”) in honour of a victory over the neighbouring Ligurians (Nike is the Greek goddess of victory).

The city soon became one of the busiest trading ports on the Ligurian coast; but it had an important rival in the Roman town of Cemenelum, which continued to exist as a separate city until the time of the Lombard invasions. The ruins of Cemenelum are in Cimiez, which is now a district in Nice.

All the valuable natural wealth of Europe, from amber and furs to tin and slaves, was available to the Greeks. In return they traded the products of the Mediterranean civilizations – wine, fish products, glass, worked metals, and, above all, quality pottery.

The Greek colony had a significant impact on societies reaching far up into Europe, but especially on those along the Rhone and the Cote d’Azur, the trading routes to and from southern France.

And because Greek and Latin writers recorded some of the interactions between the colonists and their neighbors, we know the names of many of these groups.

One that particularly stands out was the Salyens, a confederation of tribes of Celts, who had migrated from Central Europe into much of the rest of the continent  from around the same time as the foundation of Massalia, and Ligurians, the indigenous peoples of the area.

The Salyens had a fraught relationship with the Greek colony. Although there was considerable trade and peaceful contact, there was also constant tension and occasional outbreaks of violence.

In the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C., to protect their trade routes against piracy, the Greeks founded subsidiary colonies along the coast such as Nikaia (Nice) and Antipolis (Antibes), but these too came under threat from land-based forces. The Salyens gained a reputation, in the ancient texts, for extreme barbarity.

Their typically Celtic custom of taking heads as trophies made a particular impact on the ancient imagination.

Settlement at Entremont

Entremont is the modern rendering of a medieval name, Intermontes, for a pass from the low valleys of the Arc and Touloubre to a plateau that rose towards the foothills of the Alps. Here, on the southern edge of the plateau, was a natural defensive site controlling the valleys and the passage to the north.

The base of an olive press from Entremont – oil from crushed olives would follow the incised grooves and feed out through the runnel for collection.

What its Celto-Ligurian inhabitants called their settlement is not known, but here they founded what Julius Caesar would later call an oppidum – a fortified settlement.

The site probably had religious or ritual significance before it was settled, as indicated by steles (carved stone posts) from around 500 B.C., that were reused in later buildings, but the first settlement on the site dates back to around 180 B.C..

It was small, only about 2 ½ acres in area, and was situated at the summit of the plateau. The edges of the settlement were aligned with the south and west sides of the plateau and it had the shape of a displaced square (i.e. a parallelogram).

The northern side of the town, which gave on to the open plateau, was fortified with a 4½ feet wide wall that had three towers. 

Within this wall,10-feet wide streets were laid out in a regular crisscross pattern, parallel with the sides of the town, which divided the houses into blocks of around 258 square feet. The streets were not paved, although they were set with stones and fragments of pottery to help stabilize them.

Each block of houses was subdivided by walls of stone blocks with mud bricks for their upper courses, into groups of seven simple rooms. Roofs were made of wood frames and wattle and daub.

Massalian silver drachma 375-200 BC. Obv. head of Artemis, rev. lion, Greek inscription ΜΑΣΣΑ(ΛΙΑ), “Massalia”.

Mud bricks were used to create small structures inside the cell-like houses, such as hearths, but fireplaces were also often built in the street outside the house because of the limited space.

One of the blocks was probably devoted to crafts such as metal working, but on the whole the evidence is that the inhabitants of the old town lived at a simple, near-subsistence level, producing little more than they needed for their own survival.

The New Town

Around 150 B.C. the town was dramatically enlarged and seems to have taken a step up economically, but there is also evidence of a major shift in the social structure. The new town was much bigger – an area of about 8¾  acres – and had a massive, extensive defensive wall enclosing nearly the whole area of the plateau.

This was presumably to prevent attackers from gaining a foothold on level ground. This new wall was 11½ feet thick and up to 23 feet high. It had massive protruding towers, 31 feet wide and 26-29½  feet high, and these were positioned every 17½ feet along the wall. Drains set into the base of the wall allowed rainwater running off the plateau to escape.

The lower courses of walb were of tone, which had survived to preserve the plan and layout of much of the town. Viable in the foreground are furnaces for metal-working.

The new town was also organized into slightly off-square blocks, but these were more than twice as large as those in the old town. Most of the streets were wider and the houses were larger, with between one and five rooms.

There is evidence that more activities were going on in the domestic spaces, as more commodities were available to the inhabitants. In particular, many counterweights for presses have been found.

Chemical analysis of residues from jars and the floors of houses indicate that these presses were for producing olive oil, so it looks as though the people of Entremont had developed a significant cottage industry.

The biggest building of the new town backed onto the line of the old town wall, which had been destroyed and recycled. It was a monumental hypostyle hall, 65½ feet long and 16½ feet wide, with a series of wooden pillars supporting a second storey.

The walls were made of stone in the lower courses and packed clay in the upper, with a timber-framed facade. The pillars of the facade rested upon a long stone bar, or stylobate, which included stones previously used in the primitive sanctuary that predated the settlement.

Twenty skulls pierced with holes have been found scattered around the stylobate, suggesting that the facade was decorated with heads nailed to the timbers. The floor of the building was fine-packed clay, while the internal walls were coated with white lime.

The oppidum of Entremont is an archaeological site of 3.5 hectares located in Aix-en-Provence , 3 km from the city center, at the southern end of the plateau Puyricard , in the locality of Entremont. Entremont was in the ancient capital of the Confederacy Celto-Ligurians.

It is inhabited from 180 BC. BC – 170 BC. AD , which corresponds to a late habitat compared to other oppida protohistoric the region, such as the oppidum of St. Blaise , 123 BC. BC , the plateau is abandoned and the populations of the oppidum come to populate the new Roman town built at the foot of the plateau: Aquae Sextiae . To 90 BC. AD , the city was completely uninhabited. The period of occupation has been extremely short: about 80 years.

The street in front of the hall was enlarged and the effect was to create an impressive public building set apart from the rest of the town. Although admittedly probably based on Greek models, which the Salyens would have seen in Massalia or other colonies, this building is a remarkable symbol of Gallic sophistication and ability.

The Cult
of the Heroes

Arguably the most important parts of the settlement were the four religious sanctuaries. These are marked by carved stelae and lintels, sculptures, statues and skulls. Some of the lintels have recesses for heads or skulls, alongside reliefs of heads.

The sculptures show heroic figures, seated in Buddha-like poses, with weapons and trophies, including skulls. The heads and skulls might represent either trophies of the dead or relics of revered ancestors.

Such idols and votive figures have a long history going back to the beginnings of Gallic culture, but at Entremont the context in which they are displayed speaks of changing social structures.

Although Celtic society is traditionally renowned as an egalitarian one, the evidence of this and other sites is that it was becoming much more stratified, with aristocratic lineages asserting their superiority and dominant status.

In the Entremont sanctuaries the heroes are displayed in close association with representations of these aristocratic lineages, suggesting that the ruling classes were trying to appropriate the preexisting cult of the hero to bolster their own prestige and status.

Historians believe that the influence of the Greco-Roman trade via Massalia, which brought wealth and luxury goods, may have helped to drive this social shift.

The End of Entremont

During the Punic Wars between Carthage and Rome, Massalia supported Rome, and later, when their colonies were threatened by the Salyens and others, the colonists appealed to Rome, the rising power in the western Mediterranean, for help.

This picturesque city, once the home of Cezanne, is perfect for lovers of impressionist landscapes and includes the added bonus of beautiful fields of lavender.

Built and developed around art and culture, Aix is at the centre of one of France’s most important tourist regions and a perfect starting-point for visitors to explore many places of interest, all within an easy drive.

Aix-en-Provence (usually known as Aix) is a small city but the addition of the TGV (high-speed train) station has brought lots of holidaymakers from the north and Aix has become an area of great popularity despite its small size.

The price of this assistance was acceptance of Roman hegemony. Italian merchants took over trade through Massalia, which increasingly dealt with imports from Italy.

In 125 B.C. Roman forces moved against the troublesome Salyens, but Entremont, probably the Salyen capital, resisted the legions.

In 123 B.C., under the Roman consul C. Sextius Calvinus, another force besieged the city, which is littered with evidence of the savage onslaught, including stone balls hurled by catapults, iron bolts fired by giant ballistae (crossbows) and the heads of many Roman pilae (javelins).

The defenders left their own traces – clay slingshot balls, iron daggers, arrows and spears. But Roman military might was too much and the city was taken and sacked, as the remains of broken amphorae attest.

In a few of the houses, small caches of coins, jewelry and other valuables buried in the mud floors eluded discovery by the rapacious legionnaires.

According to ancient sources the Saluvian king and his nobles fled to the north and took refuge with a tribe called the Allobriges, while the surviving inhabitants of Entremont were deported (possibly into slavery), with the exception of a nobleman called Craton, a Roman collaborator.

Along with 900 of his people he was allowed to remain at Entremont, where they apparently lived until c 90 B.C., when a second military destruction suggests that Craton’s descendants did not maintain their cordial relations with the Romans.

After this the site was abandoned, while a new Roman town founded nearby (now Aix-en-Provence) flourished.

…Medieval Asia, the Khmer.