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Friday, December 6, 2019 - 8 Kislev 5780
 
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Hidden Treasure

The largest treasure trove of gold coins was recently discovered in the seabed near the ancient seaport of Caesarea by recreational divers. According to their report, at first they thought it was play money. When they realized they had found a real treasure, they reported it to the manager of the diving club, who immediately called the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA).

Using submarines with metal detectors, the IAA uncovered a treasure of 2,000 gold coins in various denominations. The coins date back to the wealthy and powerful Fatimid Caliphate, which ruled over a large part of North Africa in the 10th and 11th century. The rise of the Fatimid Caliphate over a thousand years ago brought flourishing trade to the entire eastern region of the Mediterranean.

It’s possible that the treasure was lost in a shipwreck, perhaps carrying coins meant for taxes to the Egyptian government. Or they could have been intended to pay the salaries of soldiers stationed in Caesarea.

According to Robert Cole, an expert in ancient coins, “The condition and preservation of the gold coins was excellent, despite being buried under the sea for over a thousand years. They did not require any special laboratory techniques for cleaning or restoration. This is because gold is a metal that does not interact with air or water. These coins were in circulation even after the Crusades, particularly in port cities, where they served as international currency. Some of the coins were crooked and had teeth marks, evident of the testing procedure that was prevalent then for identifying gold coins. Some of the coins were rubbed out from use, but others looked like they could have been minted yesterday.”

This discovery is the beginning of the fulfillment of ancient prophecies that treasures will be discovered under the seabeds surrounding Israel, the “treasures hidden in the sand.” In the Kishon estuary, large deposits of precious gems and minerals were recently discovered, along with natural gas. The Lubavitcher Rebbe has strongly encouraged exploration and development in that area, which is rich in resources.

But all this will pale in comparison to the real treasure: the revelation of King Moshiach, who will teach the deepest, hidden secrets of the Torah and usher in an age when G-d will completely be revealed in this world, a time when “all delicacies will be like dust.”

 

 


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