I have exciting news to share! I’m blessed to be visiting Rivka in the Kidron Valley on my first archaeological dig! The Israel Antiquities Authority approved our professor’s request after 12 long months of permitting process to dig in the now abandoned town of Rivka. Rivka, Kidron, is a small ancient city in the Kidron Valley in Israel. It disappeared in the mid-1800s after an earthquake destroyed much of the town’s buildings.
This blog will detail my journey and show you what we discover in Rivka.
First, a little bit about “Rivka.” Rivka means Rebekah in Hebrew. Read this little blurb:
The Torah introduces Rivka, the second matriarch, as soon as she is born. Avraham returns with Yitzhak from the Akeida (“binding”) episode, pondering the future generations that must come from Yitzhak. Avraham realizes how close Yitzhak came to losing his life and with it, the Jewish future. So Avraham decides the time has come to find Yitzhak a wife.
At that moment, God informs Avraham that his brother Nachor is married and has eight sons, including one named Bethuel. “And Bethuel had a daughter Rivka” (Genesis 22:23). The Torah introduces us to Rivka at the same moment that Avraham is looking for a marriage partner for Yitzhak.
Similarly, the last time the Torah mentions Rivka is also in the context of arranging a marriage, this time for her son, Yaakov:
And Rivka told Yitzhak: “I’m sick of my life because of the Hittite women (which Eisav has married) … let Yaakov go to Haran and take a wife from the daughters of Lavan, my brother.” (Genesis 27:46)A look at the meaning of Rivka’s name further connects us to the concept of marriage:
Rivka = “a yoke used to join two animals of the same species together, to fulfill a purpose or work together in the fields.” (Hebrew-Hebrew dictionary, Even Shoshan)
The community of Rivka, Kidron was named after Rebekah. The town has always been fairly small due to its remote location and it doesn’t have much in the way of natural resources. However, much of the area has been left undisturbed because of its remote location. I imagine we’re going to see quite the stuff on our archaeological dig.
So, now, off to Israel and off to Rivka!