Herbert W. Armstrong’s association with famed Israeli archeologist Dr. Benjamin Mazar began in Jerusalem as far back as February 1968. Initially, the focus was cooperation between the two in the excavation of an area to the south and west of the Temple Mount. These excavations were to later spread to the Jewish quarter of the city under Professor Avigad, with the additional sponsorship of the Israel Exploration Society and Hebrew University.
At a November 1974 banquet in Tel Aviv honoring that international ambassador for world peace without portfolio, Herbert Armstrong, city officials, parliamentarians, ambassadors, diplomats and national journalists heard from Dr. Mazar certain details of the history of the special friendship between himself, Mr. Armstrong and the city of Jerusalem.
Dr. Mazar told the distinguished audience, “We have worked without interruption, gradually expanding operation to the south, to the city of David, and to the west, to the Rephaim Valley, the central valley of Jerusalem” (Worldwide News, Dec. 23, 1974).
Dr. Mazar described the mutual passion he and Mr. Armstrong had for bringing to the light of day the excavated history of the 5,000-year-old city as well as to “reveal the greatness and splendor of Jerusalem in biblical times,” buried by rubble since the sacking of the city by Roman Emperor Titus 1,900 years previous.
He continued, “It is for us a privilege that this important project is continuously supported technically, financially and manually and, may I say, in addition, enthusiastically by a prominent institution of learning, Ambassador College, headed by the distinguished chancellor, Mr. Herbert Armstrong” (ibid).
Dr. Mazar went on to explain that each summer, selected students and instructors from each of the college campuses, in California, Texas and England, traveled to Jerusalem to work at the excavation sites and provide assistance in photography and engineering. He added his and the project team’s appreciation by declaring to Mr. Armstrong “tuda-raba,” which means “thanks very much” in Hebrew.
Dr. Mazar also spoke of the problems that “terrorism, animosity, prejudices and evil inclinations” of the world have inflicted upon mankind. In such a world, Mazar cited Mr. Armstrong as a “humanitarian, a sponsor of eternal, universal world ideas,” and referred to his frequent use of the Hebrew term Shalom in relation to his relentless pursuit of “world peace and brotherhood between nations,” proclaiming the gospel message of the Kingdom of God as cited by Christ in Matthew 24:14.
Concluding his speech, Dr. Mazar turned audience minds to Mr. Armstrong’s concentration on the Word of God. “But primarily, he has a firm faithfulness in the prophecy of Isaiah,” he said, paraphrasing Isaiah 2:2-3: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”
Dr. Mazar’s comments were made all the more poignant by Mr. Armstrong’s absence from the banquet, due to sudden illness. Mr. Armstrong lay resting in bed a few floors above the grand ballroom of the hotel, as the elite assembly gathered in his honor listened intently below.
Dr. Mazar said, “Mr. Armstrong loves and admires Jerusalem, and wholeheartedly he believes in the future of Israel and the Holy City, and for him, Jerusalem, the unified Jerusalem, is not only the metropolis of Israel and the spiritual center of monotheistic religions, but also the symbol of the great past and the hope of a better future of mankind” (ibid).
Over the past two decades, editor in chief Gerald Flurry has labored to continue the internationally recognized, honored and respected legacy of the work of Mr. Armstrong.
As founder and chancellor of Herbert W. Armstrong College, Mr. Flurry has in previous years supported excavations in Jerusalem, conducted by renowned archaeologist Eilat Mazar, Dr. Benjamin Mazar’s granddaughter, by providing students and college staff to assist in crucial and historic archeological endeavors in Israel. This summer, Herbert W. Armstrong College will provide its largest contingent of students yet to engage in assisting Dr. Eilat Mazar in her current Jerusalem excavations.
The revival of this joint legacy of the partnership between Dr. Benjamin Mazar and Herbert Armstrong is now being highlighted by the exclusive international premiere exhibit of unique Israeli artifacts currently on display, courtesy of the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation, at the premium performing arts jewel of America—Armstrong Auditorium.
Come see for yourself these unique historic finds from the city of King David, discovered by the acclaimed Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar.
Armstrong Auditorium’s world premiere showing of actual seals from the captors of the ancient Prophet Jeremiah is not only undeniable proof of the biblical account, but it is also a powerful reminder of the enduring bond between the names Mazar and Armstrong.
This legacy, now perpetuated by the initiatives of Gerald Flurry and the Armstrong International Cultural Foundation, is one that someday will be appreciated by all. Yet it will only be fully understood when not only the ancient history of the city of Jerusalem, city of peace, will be opened up, but, more importantly, when finally the wonderful future that strife-torn city will have, in a far better, future world, is fully revealed.
Some of the most significant artifacts ever discovered in Jerusalem remain on display through October 29 this year in Armstrong Auditorium. Plan now to visit this unforgettable exhibit.