The Burnt House
The ruins of this house on Jerusalem’s Western Hill were uncovered in the 1970’s. This home belonged to the Kathros family, who were known from Jewish history and lived here at the time of Jesus. The Kathros were one of many priestly families (Sadducees) who lived along the edge of the Western Hill, overlooking the Temple where they served. In keeping with the character of many of the Sadducees in the New Testament (e.g., Caiaphas’ see John 11:49-50), the Kathros were known as dishonest people who abused their position for personal gain (Mark 11:15-18). Their house was burned by the Roman soldiers who captured Jerusalem in AD 70. During this destruction of Jerusalem, according to Josephus, the alleys were choked with corpses and the city was deluged in blood.The elegant stone table with small bowls and cups and the large storage jar, also made of stone, indicate the wealth of these people. Stoneware was very expensive, but it was convenient because it did not become ritually unclean (Lev. 11:33). In this home, a spear point was found leaning against the wall. The skeletal arm of a young woman was found grasping at a step, where she had died in the fire. The broken pots in the background and the blackened walls give testimony to the horror of that day Jesus had predicted (Luke 1:41-44).
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