In the fascinating article, “Oklahoma Noahide on the Trail of Temple Gold” by Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz for Breaking Israel News, we learn exactly where the Temple treasures may be hidden. The report is based on the Copper Scroll Project work by SkyWatch TV friend Shelley Neese (FREE IN COLLECTION HERE!), and Adam gave me permission to include his report here:
After nearly a decade of writing, the remarkable story of one man’s quest to decipher the ancient map leading to the gold and silver Temple vessels is being published.
Shelley Neese, vice president of the Jerusalem Connection, became involved in the story over a decade ago and has spent nearly eight years writing the Copper Scroll Project, the story of an unlikely hero who may have unraveled one of history’s most enduring mysteries.
In 2007, Neese was the editor for Jerusalem Connection Magazine and she met Barfield at a Christian conference in Texas.
“I was unfamiliar with the Copper Scrolls, and at first I didn’t believe his story about treasure maps, gold, and the Jewish Temple,” Neese, told Breaking Israel News. “All the alarm bells in my head went off. But after I looked it up, I realized that he hadn’t embellished it at all.”
Discovered in 1952 near Qumran on the shores of the Dead Sea, the Copper Scroll is unlike the other Dead Sea Scrolls which are mostly religious manuscripts written on parchment. The Copper Scroll, as its name suggests, is engraved on a thin sheet of copper. And, in contrast to the others, the Copper Scroll is a list of gold and silver items and the 64 locations where they can be found.
Many archaeologists believe the Copper Scroll is an inventory from the Second Temple. In addition to gold and silver, Temple vessels and priestly vestments are listed. No archaeologist has ever succeeded in deciphering the directions contained in the Copper Scroll and finding the treasure.
The book follows the efforts of Jim Barfield, a man who, at first glance, seems entirely unsuited to search for the Temple artifacts, but whose unique skills may have solved one of history’s most enduring mysteries. Barfield, a Noahide who speaks no Hebrew, also has no background in archaeology. A retired criminal investigator for the Oklahoma Fire Department, Barfield was used to patiently sifting through the ashes to find the truth.
In 2006, Barfield was interested in the Dead Sea Scrolls and their relevance to Bible study. At first, he was uninterested in the Copper Scroll which had no theological significance. Barfield’s fascination turned into a burning desire after he met Vendyl Jones. Jones, a Texas preacher turned Biblical archaeologist, believed Qumran to be the hiding place for the Temple vessels and spent 30 years searching for them using the Copper Scroll as a guide. Jones discovered a small vial of persimmon oil used to anoint kings and high priests, and a large quantity of what he believed was Temple incense. Barfield met with Jones, now deceased, and Jones suggested he revisit the Copper Scroll.
“Vendyl told Jim the Copper Scroll had more prophecy in it than any of the other Dead Sea Scrolls,” Neese said.
Barfield’s curiosity turned into passion and he returned to deciphering the Copper Scroll. He searched maps for the “ruins of the Valley of Achor” mentioned in the scroll. The valley is believed to be near Jericho but the precise location is unknown. As a young man, he had piloted helicopters for the U.S. Army. Using his map-reading skills to triangulate, he was able to pinpoint locations on an aerial map of Qumran. Very quickly, pieces of the puzzle began falling into place.
“It’s really not revolutionary what he did,” Neese said. “He figured it out using available sources in his office in Oklahoma, relying on his skills as an arson investigator.”
In one case, the scroll described steps, 40 cubits long, heading east. Barfield did indeed find stairs. The archaeologist reported the stairs to be 60 feet, or precisely 40 cubits. He also discovered the remains of a pool, precisely 40 cubits long, exactly where the scroll said it would be. He believed he had found many of the locations listed on the scroll but to verify his theories, he needed to visit the site.
In 2007, Barfield travelled to Israel to do exactly that, but to pursue his investigation, he needed the approval of the Israel Antiquities Authority to search Qumran. Barfield met with Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) director Shuka Dorfman. Dorfman was unreceptive at first, but as Barfield laid out his proofs, explaining the signposts described in the Copper Scroll, Dorfman became enthusiastic and arranged a meeting with veteran archaeologist and Qumran expert, Yuval Peleg.
Peleg agreed to dig some exploratory holes at the site with Barfield. Less than an hour after beginning shallow test pits, Peleg received a phone call and without any explanation, Peleg shut down the dig.
This was the beginning of many bureaucratic stone walls preventing Barfield from verifying his theory. He purchased a sophisticated metal detector that could penetrate 50 feet while differentiating between ferrous and non-ferrous metal, i.e. gold and silver. Barfield applied to the IAA, asking to run a non-intrusive scan of a few spots in Qumran. His request was denied.
In 2013, Barfield was in New York where he was introduced to Moshe Feiglin who, at the time, was a Likud Member of Knesset. Feiglin was a strong advocate for the Temple and became enthused when he heard Barfield’s story, even offering to accompany him on a tour of the site. A few weeks later, the two were wandering around the tourist site, a large duffel bag in tow. They visited five spots that Barfield felt were most likely repositories for Temple treasure.
One hour later, Barfield ran the data from the metal detector through his computer. Every spot was a hit and one locus especially so.
“It showed up on the metal detector like Fort Knox,” Neese said.
The Israeli government is still not permitting Barfield to investigate and there has been a moratorium on archaeological digging at Qumran.
“It is in area C and different laws apply to the archaeology than in other parts of Israel,” Neese said. “It is disputed territory and anything that comes out of the ground can be disputed. It is possible that the Israeli government is concerned that if they dig up this massive treasure, Jordan or the Palestinian Authority will sue for it. Even if it comes from the Jewish Temple.”
In fact, the Copper Scroll, an ancient artifact inscribed in Hebrew, is currently in a museum in Amman, Jordan.
In an interview with Breaking Israel News last year, Barfield stated his motives.
“I am a Noahide,” he explained to Breaking Israel News. “I want to return the Temple artifacts to the Jewish People. It’s time.”
If Barfield is successful, it will bring the Third Temple much closer.
Not only does Neese chronicle this amazing story, but she was an integral player in much of it. A native of Louisiana, she first came to Israel in 2000 with her husband, a U.S. Air Force physician. With no knowledge of Israel, she became intensely curious about the country and received her M.A in Middle Eastern Studies from Ben Gurion University. She spent the months leading up to the Gaza disengagement in 2005 in Israel, working with a team of negotiators. When she went back to the U.S., she became the assistant to the Consul General at the Consulate of Israel to New England.[i]
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW VIDEO
THOMAS HORN EXPLAINS THE COPPER SCROLL TO JIM BAKKER AND WHAT COULD HAPPEN THAT WOULD DEMAND THE BUILDING OF THE THIRD TEMPLE!
Though translations differ, the Copper Scroll does not directly reference the holiest Temple furniture, says Neese: the menorah, table of showbread, or altar for incense. Nevertheless, the Copper Scroll’s language points to other sacred furniture, including a possible cryptic reference to the Ark of the Covenant that may coincide with David Flynn’s research cited earlier in this series. Neese notes in her research:
Wolters reads the final hiding place, In the cavern of the Presence [Shekinah] on the north of Kokhlit—its opening is north and tombs are at its mouth. Shekinah, when used in the Bible, designates the divine radiance as it dwells in the Holy of Holies, both in the Tabernacle and the Temple in Jerusalem. The Shekinah is the spirit or presence of God. At least to me, the cavern of the Presence sounds like a cleverly worded reference to a cave hiding the Ark. (emphasis added)[ii]
Of course, as stated earlier, there are those who believe the Ark of the Covenant is buried under the Temple Mount, perhaps directly beneath where the Holy of Holies once stood (would make sense), and goals by such organizations as the Mitzvah Project see building the Third Temple a realizable objective once the Ark materializes. They are raising funds now with a plan to “search the tunnels under the Temple Mount in order to find the Golden Ark and other important artifacts.”[iii]
Temple Location Controversy
Dr. Randall Price’s words frame the controversy that constitutes today’s debate involving the place the Third Temple is prophetically scheduled to stand.
The current controversy, in case you haven’t heard, is that the so-called Temple Mount universally recognized and revered by the Jewish People is not the original site of the two Temples in history, but only a “traditional” view based on a misinterpretation that arose hundreds of years after the Jews had forgotten where their Temple(s) had stood. One of the writers who holds this view (hereafter “the proponents”) makes the claim: “The results certify the correct interpretation of Christ’s prophecy that not one stone of the temple would be standing upon another, a stark contrast to the myth claiming the 10,000 Herodian stones, now called the Jerusalem temple mount.”
The original site has now been claimed to have been identified and recovered by several Christian academics, popular authors and documentary filmmakers as half a mile away from the “traditional” site in the City of David. The remains of structures on and around the “traditional Temple Mount,” they claim are of the Herodian Fortress Antonio, which they believe occupied the entire 35-acre platform. As the originator of this view states. They contend their new “discovery” needs to be recognized by the world and Israel’s history revised: “Now is the time to remove this profound ignorance and forgetfulness…. What we now know from these new archaeological and biblical discoveries is this: Though the whole world over the past generations has forgotten where the original Temple of Solomon was constructed, we are now assured that the Temples of Solomon, Zerubbabel and Herod were built just above the once fresh and pure waters of the Gihon Spring located on the southeast of Jerusalem.”[iv]
The Jewish archeological community has for the most part dismissed the claims that the previous Temples existed in places other than upon Moriah. Thus, the whole debate might be considered as merely academic differences, with each side content to hold its own view as the one with the facts. But charges have been leveled that there is a cover-up of sorts regarding the historical site.
Proponents of the Temple site being other than Moriah go so far as to call Mount Moriah being named the Temple Mount the “hoax of the Millennium.” The proponents go on to say they have, through research, proved their findings that the City of David site, not Mount Moriah, is the location. They state their findings constitute a “game changer.” By this, they mean that the entire world of Temple history is dramatically altered. If their “findings” can be proven true, it will upset the world. Not only the Jews, but the entire geopolitical and Muslim worlds will be profoundly upset in ways yet unimagined. The proposition of the Temple site being other than Mount Moriah, the proponents claim, affect the rollout of biblical prophecy.
Some among the proponents believe that the Temple’s rebuilding being held up because of religious and political conflict is thereby delaying the return of Christ. By bypassing the problems associated with the Muslim Dome of the Rock, which prevents a Temple from being constructed on the traditional site on Moriah, and accepting the City of David as the real site of the first two Temples, the Second Advent can occur sooner rather than later—i.e., the Third Temple can be built without the problem of first getting rid of the Dome of the Rock and fighting a war with all of Islam.
Excerpts from an article by one of the chief proponents of a Temple site other than Mount Moriah gives some insight into that side of the Temple location controversy.
There is no place that is considered a more significant as well as volatile, piece of real estate than the Temple Mount. Some say that World War III will erupt there. More blood has been shed over disputes of ownership and control of the traditional temple platform than any other location on earth. But some now believe the temple of Solomon was never even there at all, and that the legend of it being at that spot has gone unchallenged for so long now that tradition seems to have sealed reality into a long forgotten tomb.
Like so many, I thought that the location for the temple of Solomon had been proven to be on the traditional Temple Mount in Jerusalem. But, I became suspicious after reading the work of the late archaeologist and author, Dr. Ernest L. Martin. My research efforts would not have been possible without his ground-breaking insights….
David took control of what the Bible calls the Stronghold of Zion (Metsudat Tsion), that is, the City of David. These last two locales (Stronghold of Zion and the City of David) are the huge keys to solving the riddle as to where the true temple is located….
The City of David was rediscovered in the later 1800s and its walls begin at about 600 feet south of today’s traditional Temple Mount/Dome of the Rock. I found that the Bible further states, “So shall you know that I am the Lord your God, dwelling in Zion My holy mountain” (Joel 3:17). This is reflective of the verse which reads, “My holy mountain Jerusalem” as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord” (Isaiah 66:20).
These verses indicate that “My holy mountain” is the same as “the House of the Lord,” which is synonymous with the temple. Since the threshing floor is the site of the temple, which is in the City of David, as well as the true place of Zion, it seems all three converge and solidify in logical summation, as well as logical submission, that the true location of the temple needs to shift to its proper and original site south of the traditional Temple Mount. Micah 4:2-13 gives a further prophetic picture of the temple being located on the threshing floor in the City of David. From the Oxford Study Bible (OSB), let me seam several verses together to make that point: In the days to come, The mountain of the Lord’s house Will be established higher than all other mountains; The Lord will bring their King on Mount Zion They do not know the Lord’s thoughts or understand His purpose; For He has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor; Start your threshing you people of Zion.
The Lord’s house (as referenced above) is the temple itself. So we have another non-retractable connector with the temple, Zion, and the threshing floor. Once again, the threshing floor (see 2 Chronicles 3:1) is all important in identifying the temple location. Its connection to Zion, in the City of David, adds to the corroborative evidence of the true temple location.
Many ancient historians site a spring at the true temple location. The Roman historian Tacitus recorded that the temple at Jerusalem had a natural spring of water that welled from its interior. Again, these references could only be describing the Gihon Spring. It is located close to what is referred to as the Ophel, which is a bulge of the earth abutting the City of David (Zion) laying just to the south, and roughly about 1,000 feet, from the Temple Mount. There are no springs, however, on top of the Temple Mount. A spring is crucial for the true temple locale. “A fountain shall flow from the house of the Lord” (Joel 3:18)….
According to the Bible (as referenced previously in 2 Chronicles 3:1), the threshing floor is, in effect, the anchor point for the temple. It was in the area of the Gihon Spring. It also seems to be close to where the angel of the Lord stepped in to abort Abraham’s attempt to sacrifice his son. A future judgment will occur on this ancient, missing threshing floor where a new temple will be built.[v]
NEXT: Dr. David Reagan Counters “The City Of David Argument”
[i] Breaking Israel News, https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/112216/temple-vessels-found/, used by permission.
[ii] Shelley Neese, Copper Scroll Project (New York: Morgan James Publishing, 2019) 26.
[iii] “Building the Third Temple,” The Mitzvah Project, http://themitzvahproject.org/building-the-third-temple/.
[iv] Randall Price, “Is the Temple Mount the Hoax of the Millennium? An Answer to the Current Controversy, Part 1,” worldofthebible.com.
[v] Robert Cornuke, “Temple: Archeology,” Koinonia House, January 1, 2015.