Skip to main content

tv   Waco- Faith Fear and Fire  CNN  December 22, 2013 10:00pm-11:01pm PST

10:00 pm
>> reporter: the conquest of jericho is one in which god is clearly in the role of a divine warrior. >> the bible tells us that joshua conquered jericho by walking around the city seven times. ♪ he marched around the wall seven times ♪ >> reporter: the whole time carrying the mystical ark of the covenant, which the bible describes as having special powers. >> god at that moment causes the walls to crumble and to fall down. and it's at that moment you that just get this image of them just rushing in on the city and flooding in and taking it over for better or for worse. however you view that kind of image. whether that's one of excitement and action or that's one of hey, this is war, and war can be ugly. >> reporter: in this war the bible makes clear that no prisoners should be taken alive. every man, woman, and child should be slaughtered. and according to the bible, this bloody battle was just the first stop on joshua's campaign. >> now, according to the book of
10:01 pm
joshua, the israelite troops invaded en masse from transjordan and in a period probably of a few months conquered the whole land of canaan, expelled or slaughtered the canaanites, divided up the whole land among the 12 tribes, then joshua gives a sermon at the end, and it's all over. >> reporter: jericho is a highlight now on most holy land tours. the pilgrims are drawn here by the violent version of how the israelites came into the promised land. but it's unlikely that this is actually how it happened. >> people forget that there are two versions of the so-called conquest of canaan in the hebrew bible. >> the book of joshua suggests a blitzkrieg. it's a form of mass colonialism, massive slaughter. it's horrible. and then we have the story of judges, a gradual infiltration into the sparsely populated hill
10:02 pm
country, do we want the blitzkrieg model or do we want the gradual settlement model. >> the question is what do we believe? what do we actually think happened? >> reporter: the archaeology does lend some support to the less dramatic and gentler account. >> of all the years when jericho was inhabited, the one period where we want it to be inhabited so joshua can attack it there's nobody living there. it's empty. there's no wall for joshua to knock down. >> to put it bluntly, the book of joshua is almost all fictitious. >> yes, there are some battles. yes, there's some killing. but overall, they're coming in and they're living side by side with some of the canaanites. >> this sounds radical, but when i talk to most people they're relieved. the genocide that is god's will, yahweh's will, never happened. >> reporter: for some the story told in the book of joshua presents a troubling picture of a violent god.
10:03 pm
but others draw a sense of mission from the very same story. a few days after we visited jericho our team was invited to the graduation ceremony for jonathan friedland and his elite unit of the israeli defense force cadets. >> just like joshua and his troops came to israel and had their battles here and were able to live here, i'm just continuing it just like my brother did it and my father did it and my grandfather did it. and that goes back all the way to the bible days. >> [ speaking foreign language ]. >> reporter: they had marched 175 kilometers overnight, a journey that ended here, in the disputed golan heights along the syrian border. the cadets' families joined them for the final stretch. >> joshua used a sword to conquer, from jericho. nobody picked up their bags and
10:04 pm
said dear joshua, god promised you, here it is. >> reporter: historians who are trying to piece together the truth think the meaning of the story is less clear-cut. >> one of the problems that we've got is it's very difficult frankly to tell an israelite from a cannite. >> reporter: eric klein thinks it's possible that modern dna testing will show that present-day palestinians and jews who are locked in a modern struggle of biblical proportions might go back to the same ancient tribe. >> if it turns out the israelites and the canaanites are one and the same, not only would you have to throw out a lot of the biblical story, but you also might find out that the palestinians and the israelis are actually related, that they're either cousins or brothers. and then what does that do to modern politics? so everything is wrapped up in one big gargantuan mess. >> up next -- lies, sex, and murder. it's all part of the story of the famous king david. but did he really slay goliath? when "back to the beginning with
10:05 pm
christiane amanpour" returns. from fashion that flies off the shelves. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price. (natalie) ooooh, i like your style. (vo) so do we, business pro. so do we. go national. go like a pro.
10:06 pm
i have a big meeting when we land, but i am so stuffed up, i can't rest. [ male announcer ] nyquil cold and flu liquid gels don't unstuff your nose. they don't? alka seltzer plus night fights your worst cold symptoms, plus has a decongestant. [ inhales deeply ] oh. what a relief it is. ♪ [ male announcer ] the parking lot helps by letting us know who's coming. the carts keep everyone on the right track. the power tools introduce themselves. all the bits and bulbs keep themselves stocked.
10:07 pm
and the doors even handle the checkout so we can work on that thing that's stuck in the thing. [ female announcer ] today, cisco is connecting the internet of everything. so everyone goes home happy. you can fill that box and pay one flat rate. i didn't know the coal thing was real. it's very real... david rivera. rivera, david. [ male announcer ] fedex one rate. simple, flat rate shipping with the reliability of fedex.
10:08 pm
and now, the story of david and goliath and the lust, the lies, and bravery of the beloved biblical king as "back to the beginning with christiane amanpour" continues. the landscape of this region seems unchanged from how it probably looked thousands of years ago. in fact, it's a landscape that's baked into the stories of the bible. and so many of them involve stones. there are rocks all over the place. one of the most famous stories is about a stone and a slingshot. how the boy david faced off against the great hulking giant goliath. the same david who the bible says grew up to be the king who
10:09 pm
built the city of jerusalem. >> david is one of the most fascinating characters in world literature. he looks almost perfect. >> reporter: david is the bible's first real hero. >> david was a very talented man who could sing, who could fight, who could lead. >> he's a poet. he's a musician. we're told that he's absolutely gorgeous to look at. and god loves him. >> reporter: and he's been portrayed by some of hollywood's biggest stars. in movies such as "david and ba bathshebaa" and "king david." >> respect what is ours and we shall keep faith with you. >> reporter: david was ancient israel's greatest king. he is also one of islam's earliest prophets. and christians believe jesus is directly descended from david. and yet this hero was a deeply flawed man. >> david was kind of a bastard. there are some texts in which we
10:10 pm
can see so clearly that david is a problematic character. >> he's running a protection racket. he's got bodies piling up all over the place. he's strategically marrying women in different parts of the land of israel to consolidate his run for the throne. >> reporter: but that wasn't how it all started. the first time we meet david in the bible, he's an innocent young shepherd boy with that stone in his hand. he was the only one from his tribe brave enough to face goliath, the most fearsome fighter from a rival tribe, the philistines, whom the bible described as over ten feet tall. >> we don't have any proof that david actually ever fought goliath. and yet it does to a certain extent make sense. we know that the philistines were there. we know that the israelites were there. we know that they're banging heads against each other. >> reporter: and it is written that david felled the giant with only a slingshot.
10:11 pm
and we all think of it as the teeny little pea that brought down a giant. >> well, the slingshot at that time was in fact rather like the sort of sniper rifle of today. these could be huge stones. they could be propelled at incredible velocity. and they could go straight through armor. a handheld bazooka that could actually stop a tank. >> reporter: and today from tiananmen square to tahrir square the story is invoked when the most unlikely heroes stand up to forces that seem certain to crush them. >> prophet david does win against the goliath. it's not only about him but the underprivileged, the underdog. the weak is rendered victorious ultimately. >> reporter: according to the bible, david's triumph continued. he recaptured the ark of the covenant from the philistines. it had held the ten commandments. and he brought together the warring tribes of the 12 sons of jacob to form a nation.
10:12 pm
even today the flag of modern israel, founded 3,000 years after his reign, bears the symbol known as the star of david. and jerusalem is the place he chose as his capital, making it not only a holy city but a political one too. there's evidence that king david really lived. just 20 years ago in northern israel archaeologists discovered a kind of ancient royal archive called a stila. >> and it mentions a house, or dynasty of david. and the reading is clear. it also mentions an entity, a state-like entity called israel. >> reporter: it may seem like a small thing, but it's an important discovery. it makes david the earliest biblical figure whom we can confirm actually existed. but the stila doesn't confirm some of the more scandalous details of david's life.
10:13 pm
>> david, here was a guy who was the king. he had it all. he could have anything he wanted. he had the absolute loyalty of his soldiers. he was on top. and then he goes out, breaks a moral covenant with god. >> david was on his route in jerusalem and he saw this beautiful woman bathing on the roof, and he said, who's that woman? they said that's bathsheba, wife of uriah the hittite. >> his eye is the beginning of the problem. his eye that makes him forget everything he's heard in terms of god's commandments. >> he says she's hot and i want that, bring me that. and his henchmen go, bring him bathsheba. >> and so that eye leads him to the act of adultery. and when the woman says i am pregnant, he goes deeper and deeper into the darkness. >> reporter: and here is where the bible becomes a little like
10:14 pm
"pulp fiction." king david tried to cover his tracks by getting bathsheba's husband uriah drunk. >> in the hopes that uriah will immediately bed his wife and be none the wiser. all does not go according to plan. david has uriah killed. and then brings bathsheba to live with him. >> reporter: the intimate details of david's personal life are unlike anything else found in the bible. >> and that suggests that some of the text is extremely ancient and may be based on an actual memoir of his court because the portrayal of david is so real. >> i did not have -- >> reporter: it's a familiar story. the sometimes reckless sense of entitlement that comes with power. it's known today as the bathsheba syndrome. >> a lot of people think of that as a story about sexual lust, and it kind of is, but it's a story about power. and how power corrupts. and wow.
10:15 pm
that's all over our world today. >> reporter: but this bible story is also a cautionary tale. >> david's sins impact his children and his grandchildren all the way down. >> david's sons have grown up learning how to deal with women from their father. two of david's sons grow up to be rapists. >> reporter: and indeed, david it did suffer the consequences of his actions. >> the child he's conceived with bathsheba dies. and he mourns and mourns and mourns. and again, you get the old attractive lovely david again. >> we have to look at david in both ways. he rose to the height of power, and he sunk to the depths of depravity. and yet he comes back. he repents. >> reporter: and the bible tells us that god never stops loving david. he forgives the sins of this imperfect hero. david was given a second chance, a second child with bathsheba, a
10:16 pm
son named solomon. >> coming up -- today it's the most contested spiritual site on earth. but is it also where king solomon put the ark of the covenant? our amazing journey continues when "back to the beginning with christiane amanpour" returns. rp. good. i hate surprises. surprise! at discover, we treat you like you'd treat you. get the it card and see your fico® credit score.
10:17 pm
yep. got all the cozies. [ grandma ] with new fedex one rate, i could fill a box and ship it for one flat rate. so i knit until it was full. you'd be crazy not to. is that nana? [ male announcer ] fedex one rate. simple, flat rate shipping with the reliability of fedex.
10:18 pm
10:19 pm
10:20 pm
and now, for centuries everyone has searched for its treasures. from knights templar to modern adventurers. but what do we really know about king solomon's temple? "back to the beginning with christiane amanpour" continues. on our journey through the lands of the bible we found ourselves lingering in the old city of jerusalem here in this place that is so sacred to jews, christians, and muslims. it is easy to imagine your way back to around 970 b.c., when the bible says the famous king solomon reigned. >> solomon became in a sense the very ideal of the oriental emperor as the sort of magnificent king. >> under david and solomon the israelites were able to
10:21 pm
amalgamate into a pretty powerful kingdom. >> solomon seemed determined not to repeat the mistakes of his father, king david, and his brothers, whose lust and pride wreaked havoc on their kingdom. >> solomon becomes the greatest king because he's of the davidic dynasty and yet he has none of the faults, none of the sins of david. >> solomon is known as the man of peace. >> reporter: and a man of wisdom. instead of killing his not mene solomon, we're told, married many of them, including a pharaoh's daughter. in other instances he disarmed them with his wit and his wisdom. like the famously beautiful ethiopian queen of sheba. >> the queen of sheba went to see the prophet solomon. >> reporter: in the bible the queen of sheba is drawn to jerusalem for an audience with solomon after hearing of his great wisdom. >> he treated her as an equal and as an equal politician.
10:22 pm
he was not surprised by the fact that she was a queen and she rules a nation. >> according to ethiopian tradition, during their meeting solomon and sheba became lovers. and the ethiopian royal family descends from their union. >> when the koran gives you this example of such a powerful female ruler, this inspires me. this tells me i have a place in the world of politics. >> reporter: and while it's possible that solomon's wisdom may have attracted those seeking his counsel, so too would the temple that he's said to have built. >> solomon's temple was of course an astonishing building. >> reporter: in the bible pages and pages are devoted to describing the temple. >> solomon's temple, as far as we can tell, was built as a replica of the garden of eden. when human beings and gods lived close by one another. >> reporter: and through the ages people have imagined what it might have looked like.
10:23 pm
>> it's a very common human yearning to feel that god is here among us and that in this abode we have built, that is where god dwells with us on earth. >> reporter: and the bible says that solomon placed the ark of the covenant at the center of the temple in the most sacred spot. but it said that the temple was destroyed when the babylonians sacked jerusalem around 600 b.c., and ever since then this is where many people believe that the great temple once stood. a mountaintop in the center of the walled old city. it is a storied place, layered with spiritual meaning and now dominated by the golden dome and a muslim mosque. but just a short walk away outside the city walls a picture is emerging of the ancient and humble beginnings of jerusalem, which the bible says was founded by solomon's father, david. >> the city of david was a rather small settlement, hardly
10:24 pm
can be termed as a city. most probably unfortified. but it was here somewhere. >> reporter: we met doron ben ami, an israeli archaeologist who leads a team digging for evidence of the original city, which would have existed around 1,000 b.c. >> and it's got an interesting name. i mean, at least colloquially we're calling it the parking lot dig. >> yeah. it's hard to believe. but five years ago cars used to park right above our heads here. and once we decided to go beneath the asphalt, immediately the early remains of jerusalem start to appear. >> how much do we know about solomon's temple, the first temple? >> actually, we know nothing. if not the biblical account, we have absolutely no proof about the building itself. >> reporter: but they say they're getting closer. >> we know that from the 9th century on, just a bit after the time of solomon, most of the things that are told in the bible are historically correct.
10:25 pm
most of them. but we are still left with a huge, large question mark regarding the time of david and solomon. >> one day maybe you'll find out. >> or not. this is also an answer. >> reporter: today jews pray at the only wall that remains of the second temple that was built later and also destroyed. the idea of the first temple was so powerful that for thousands of years people of different faiths have considered that same spot sacred. >> even muslims decided to build their sacred building on the same spot, on the same hill. >> reporter: even though evidence of the temple or the man himself hasn't been found, most scholars believe there was a solomon. >> but not the larger than life solomon in the hebrew bible did not exist. he did not rule a vast kingdom. he did not build a huge capital city in jerusalem. he was not a nationally or internationally known figure. >> reporter: even though the wisdom of solomon is legendary,
10:26 pm
it turns out like his father he had flaws too. >> his government is inflated. he runs it according to corve, awith forced labor. he's married or marrying hundreds of wives and hundreds of concubines, who as the bible say took his heart astray. >> reporter: the wives solomon took tone hans ties with foreign kingdoms turned him to their idols and eventually corrupted his own relationship with god. and the story of solomon's downfall is an interesting window into the religious practices of the early israelites. >> people worshiped many gods. you could pick them up. you could see them. you could pray to them and expect that they would have effect. >> this wasn't the judaism that we know today. archaeologists have found evidence that the israelites worshiped idols before david and until the time of jesus. >> there are those who say i
10:27 pm
suspect somewhat metaphorically that we still worship false ido idols, whether it's, you know, money or fame or a big house or the right fashion, just the right pair of shoes. all of these could also be false idols. >> reporter: so it seems that despite solomon's best efforts he too was a disappointment. and before he side, as a punishment, god told him the kingdom he loved would be no more. >> coming up -- what do we know about the ark of the covenant? and why have so many thought they could find it? we head deep under the city of jerusalem. it's a journey to find the ark of the covenant when "back to the beginning" with christiane amanpour continues. ♪ ♪ ♪ [ tires screech ] chewley's finds itself in a sticky situation today after recalling its new gum.
10:28 pm
[ male announcer ] stick it to the market before you get stuck. get the most extensive charting wherever you are with the mobile trader app from td ameritrade. wherever you are with the mobile trader app life with crohn's disease ois a daily game of "what if's". what if my abdominal pain and cramps end our night before it even starts? what if i eat the wrong thing? what if? what if i suddenly have to go? what if? but what if the most important question is the one you're not asking? what if the underlying cause of your symptoms is damaging inflammation? for help getting the answers you need, talk to your doctor and visit crohnsandcolitisadvocates.com to connect with a patient advocate from abbvie for one-to-one support and education. where does the united states get most of its energy? is it africa? the middle east? canada? or the u.s.? the answer is... the u.s. ♪ most of america's energy comes from right here at home.
10:29 pm
take the energy quiz. energy lives here. avo: thesales event "sis back. drive" take the energy quiz. which means it's never been easier to get a new 2014 jetta. it gets an impressive 34 highway mpg and comes with no charge scheduled maintenance. and right now you can drive one home for practically just your signature. sign. then drive. get zero due at signing, zero down, zero deposit, and zero first month's payment on any new 2014 volkswagen. hurry, this offer ends january 2nd. visit vwdealer.com today
10:30 pm
it's hard to describe, because you have a numbness, but yet you have the pain like thousands of needles sticking in your foot. it was progressively getting worse, and at that point i knew i had to do something. once i started taking the lyrica the pain started subsiding. [ male announcer ] it's known that diabetes damages nerves. lyrica is fda approved to treat diabetic nerve pain. lyrica is not for everyone. it may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worsening depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior. or swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, changes in eyesight including blurry vision, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling, or skin sores from diabetes. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain and swelling of hands, legs and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you.
10:31 pm
those who have had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. ask your doctor about lyrica today. it's specific treatment for diabetic nerve pain. it's captivated us for centuries. from the raiders of the lost ark all the way back to the knights of the crusades. but what really happened to the ark of the covenant? and can it be found? back to the beginning with christiane amanpour continues. even today the truth behind so many biblical stories that took place here in jerusalem is still captivatingly elusive. that's in part because so many answers may be buried underneath what today is a living,
10:32 pm
breathing city. it's notoriously difficult to dig under the old city of jerusalem. >> it's very difficult because it's very sensitive. we are talking about holy places of the three main monotheistic religions. >> so politically charged. >> it's so politically charged. >> anat shimoni cohen is a biblical scholar and a tour guide. she took us to one of the only places where archaeologists, pilgrims, and tourists can explore beneath this storied city. discovered by accident in the 19th century when an archaeologist was walking his dog, this massive network of caves and tunnels is known as solomon's quarries. >> is this a natural cave? >> no, not at all. >> reporter: the quarry once provided building materials for some of the greatest construction projects in the city. >> so what is this great big gaping hole here? >> actually, what you see here is the shape of cut of a big
10:33 pm
stone that used it in the second temple. we can see today in the western wall. >> reporter: the secretive freemasons even believe the stones mined here were used to build something much older. >> they say king solomon, the first builder, actually king solomon is the founding -- >> founding father. >> of the freemasons. the freemasons believe that they even took from this quarry stones to solomon's temple. >> reporter: and that temple of course was the last known resting place for the mysterious ark of the covenant. >> the 10th century b.c. is the last time anybody really sees it according to the biblical tradition. now, there are other stories. and these all are related to the babb lonian destruction of the city in 536 b.c., that maybe somebody spirited the ark out of the city just ahead of the
10:34 pm
destruction. >> reporter: many believe these underground tunnels were used to secretly transport the ark out of jerusalem when the city was under siege. and when the babylonian invaders took detailed inventory of the treasures they plundered something was missing. >> the babylonians took all the treasures from jerusalem, it was not in the list anymore. >> the ark? >> yes. the ark was not in the list. >> there are all kinds of possibilities as to where it ended up. >> reporter: so we went in search of it. one famous story suggests the ark was taken from jerusalem to egypt, hundreds of years before the babylonian siege began. >> that's where indiana jones goes and looks for it. we're told that sheshaq of the bible, an egyptian pharaoh, that he may have attacked jerusalem just after the time of solomon. >> yes. around about 980 b.c.
10:35 pm
>> and there is one theory that he took away the ark of the covenant. this is where we get the indiana jones theory. >> he may have taken the ark back to the city of tannis. >> reporter: archaeologists find the evidence of that underwhelming and believe the ark is no more likely to be buried in the sands of tannis than locked away in a government warehouse. >> bureaucratic -- >> what did they say? >> they don't know what they've got there. >> reporter: strangely enough, our search for the ark also brought us back to jerusalem, to the church of the holy sepulc r sepulcher, the place christians believe jesus was crucified. >> hello. very nice to see you in this beautiful, beautiful spot. >> reporter: we met an ethiopian orthodox priest named abasamuel, who surprisingly told us that he knows exactly where the ark is. his evidence goes back to that affair between king solomon and the queen of sheba. >> queen of sheba's son with
10:36 pm
king solomon. >> yes. >> took the ark of the covenant, moses's commandments. >> yes. >> and so where do you think they are? >> city of axum. >> in your country of ethiopia. >> yes. >> do you think it's there really? >> yes. >> reporter: he's positive it's inside this chapel in the heart of axum in ethiopia. although he's never seen it and no one's allowed inside. except for one monk known as the guardian, who's entrusted with the lifelong duty of safeguarding the ark. scholars do believe there is an ark inside but that it's only a replica from the middle ages. and down in the caves below jerusalem we consider another possibility. the ark never left but was instead hidden away in this underground labyrinth. >> so you think it remained in jerusalem. >> yes. we know from the bible another thing. one of the kings put it somewhere in the tunnels. >> a tunnel like this?
10:37 pm
>> nobody knows. >> is there any evidence of this -- >> no evidence. no evidence at all. only many stories around. >> reporter: if only these walls could speak. they do, however, appear almost to weep. and their tears are said to tell a powerful story about the destruction of jerusalem. >> the name of this corner is tzedakiah's tears. >> tears of the king. >> the tears of the king. tzedakiah was the last king of judea. >> tears for the destruction of the temple. >> the nation. this was the end of the first temple period. >> do we think that these tears, this mineral spring, has been running since then? >> well, i think it's running since many, many years. for sure it's more than 2,000 years old. >> and it's really interesting because look, there are people here, there are people all over the place. it's still a living, breathing place. >> reporter: which allows the people who visit to connect with their spiritual heritage.
10:38 pm
>> it's important for us to touch the history of this places and to feel this energy. it makes us cleaner. >> pure? >> pure. in your soul. >> in our soul. >> right here. >> yeah. >> reporter: a profound revelation for these christian pilgrims and one often shared by muslims, jews, and even those who come to visit for reasons other than faith. >> believers and non-believers come here. what do you think about them? do you think they -- >> if somebody feels the energy of the place, he doesn't have to be a believer in a certain kind of tradition or certain kind of belief but where he touched the stone and felt the energy i think at the end of the day, yes, he has something -- he took something from this holy spirit back with him. >> a little belief. >> a little belief, yes. i don't know how long it will last, but i think a little bit, yes. >> are people trying to be
10:39 pm
detectives? are they trying to uncover something? >> well, some people prefer to leave it as it is, and some people i know that still look and wants to find the ark of the covenant. i don't know if somebody will find it. and i don't know what's remain after more than 2,500 years. >> reporter: what was once a container for moses and a weapon for joshua and even an earthly home for god in solomon's time is now something much more than that. the idea of the ark and the search for it excites and inspires so many to explore the mysteries of our past and the meaning of the stories that live on today. >> coming up -- you've heard of armageddon. but we go to the real place. why do so many people believe the end of days will start here? when "back to the beginning with christiane amanpour" returns.
10:40 pm
♪ how do you explain the feeling of this place? of pulling close the things you love. of days that crash headlong into night. and nights that say nothing but yes. you don't explain it. you just experience it. los cabos. live it to believe it.
10:41 pm
where their electricity comes from. they flip the switch-- and the light comes on. it's our job to make sure that it does. using natural gas this power plant
10:42 pm
can produce enough energy for about 600,000 homes. generating electricity that's cleaner and reliable, with fewer emissions-- it matters. ♪ to help secure retirements and protect financial futures. to help communities recover and rebuild. for companies going from garage to global. on the ground, in the air, even into space. we repaid every dollar america lent us. and gave america back a profit. we're here to keep our promises. to help you realize a better tomorrow. from the families of aig, happy holidays.
10:43 pm
why do so many people believe the end of days will begin, the real-life armageddon? "back to the beginning with christiane amanpour" continues. with the death of solomon
10:44 pm
the bible says the kingdom of israel began to unravel. it ushered in a period of nearly constant war for the israelites. and it was during this time that voices arose in the land starting to talk about the end times. what today is called armageddon. and now i'm about to enter armageddon. >> reporter: believe it or not, the name refers to an actual place about a three-hour drive north of jerusalem. >> it's amazing to be here because according to the bible we're now living in the last days. >> reporter: armageddon is the greek name for this ancient city. in hebrew it's called megido. many christians believe this vast plateau will be the staging ground r&r twhere the armies of righteous and the wicked gather for the final showdown. >> soon the world as we know it will come to an end. and that we'll live in a paradise earth where we won't
10:45 pm
have to die or get sick. >> reporter: but while some focus on what they believe might happen here in megido, the site itself gives us a nearly unprecedented glimpse back to some of the major battles of biblical times and helps us understand where those modern ideas of armageddon came from. >> so for me megido is a key for understanding the history of this country. >> reporter: our guide here is israel finkelstein, a renowned israeli archaeologist who's directed the excavations at megido for 20 years. >> so perched on top here you can see from all sides that it's such a strategic vantage point. >> it's -- it controls the most important highway of antiquity in the ancient near east between egypt and mesopotamia. >> reporter: this stunning hilltop in northern israel was once a city larger than ancient jerusalem and hotly contested. these young, eager students
10:46 pm
laboring in the summer heat, unearth history every day. this is a burial site from nearly 4,000 years ago. >> so is that one skeleton? >> there are actually multiple skeletons here. >> and these massive jugs. that's so remarkably intact, isn't it? >> yeah. this is the last meal, or the meal for eternity for the dead person. >> reporter: megido was fought over by all of the great empires of the region. the assyrians, the babylonians and the egyptians. >> yes. and also the amazing accumulation of layers. >> reporter: and each victor would build on top of their vanquished foe, providing finkelstein and his crew with an abundance of evidence from 1200 to 700 b.c. >> so we're talking about what, 500 years -- >> 500 years. >> reporter: the turbulent period of king david and king solomon as well as their heirs. >> in these 500 years there were four major destruction layers at megido because of big wars. >> reporter: the wars brought tur moim. >> rioting broke out.
10:47 pm
>> reporter: think of america in the 1960s. and at times like these amid the unrest and confusion there are always a few distinctive voice that's capture the mood of the moment. the people who played that role in ancient israel are known to us now as the biblical prophets. >> the prophet is the one who calls us to do what is right at a time that it's so easy to do what is wrong. >> and the hebrew prophets cry aloud against their own people, against their own rulers, against their own aristocracy for their unjust dealings with the people. >> reporter: but they also offered hope. the prophet isaiah comforts the king of judah, predicting the birth of a child called emanuel, which literally means god is with us. >> and what he says is when that kid is still young enough to be eating baby food the enemies you're worried about will be gone. they'll be conquered.
10:48 pm
>> a couple of centuries later the gospel of matthew picks up that prophecy in isaiah. >> reporter: but it's unlikely that isaiah intended his prophecies to hold such meaning even centuries later, much less in our own day. >> people didn't write down and pass on the stories of their families and their people in order tore a bunch of americans a couple thousand years later to learn about their own world. >> reporter: but prophets also spoke of a day when the lord would make a new covenant. the temple would be rebuilt. and the land would be ruled by a righteous leader, a figure who came to be referred to as the messiah, god's anointed one. >> this is a cemetery outside the walls of the old city of jerusalem. in fact, this is a valley filled with cemeteries. jewish, christian, and muslim.
10:49 pm
all lying side by side in death. because they all believed that the words of the prophets will be fulfilled, that the messiah will come to this very valley, and they all want to be first in line when he raises the righteous from the dead. the valley, called the kidron, is the final scene of that final fiery battle between good and evil, accompanied by a mass resurrection of souls who will be gathered into god's army. and half a world away, in kansas city, missouri we went to meet some american christians who are ready to enlist now. so our search has brought us to a strip mall in the bible belt, to a building that's called ihop, which frankly most americans would associate with pancakes. >> but they're not focused on breakfast at this ihop. this is the international house of prayer. ♪
10:50 pm
>> where are we right now as far as you're concerned? have the end times, end days started? >> i think we're in the early stages of that story coming to a crescendo. >> jesus is coming back to the earth. and he's coming back to the earth to establish his kingdom on the earth. >> reporter: since 1999, 24 hours a day, there's been a nonstop prayer service here. mike bickle, the founder of ihop, told us it's founded on a round-the-clock musical worship service from the biblical story of king david. >> so you're literally taking something from the bible and enacting it here today from the old testament. sounds a little bit odd. >> it is odd. >> it is. >> i tell people when they ask me what do i do, i go it's really strange but it's really exciting. >> reporter: bickel's ministry now boasts over 2,000 members and counting. >> when i was about 13, i actually found ihop on the internet, and i met him, and we've been -- dated and got married in july, and we just
10:51 pm
love being here together. >> reporter: in fact, prayer gatherings like ihop have been happening all over the united states and across the world. >> are you a prophet? >> no. >> does god speak to you? >> yes, god speaks to me. but i think that god speaks to everybody who has relationship with him. but i reserve the word "prophet" -- i use that very, very sparingly because that means old testament stature. that's pretty intense. >> reporter: so for now bicle and the ihop faithful continue to spread the gospel. every minute of every hour of every day. while they wait. >> will i see it in my lifetime? i don't know. i don't even care really. i just want to do my part in my generation. but i might. >> reporter: but they are a controversial ministry, both at home and abroad, and critics say they prey on vulnerable people with words that were never intended to be used in this way.
10:52 pm
but at the very least they are living proof that the words of the prophets themselves remain as controversial as they were in their own day. >> "back to the beginning with christiane amanpour" will return. to help you avoid surprises with your credit. good. i hate surprises. surprise! at discover, we treat you like you'd treat you. get the it card and see your fico® credit score. you can fill that box and pay one flat rate. how naughty was he? oh boy... [ male announcer ] fedex one rate. simple, flat rate shipping with the reliability of fedex. [ male announcer ] fedex one rate. (voseeker of the sublime.ro. you can separate runway ridiculousness... from fashion that flies off the shelves. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the mid-size price.
10:53 pm
(natalie) ooooh, i like your style. (vo) so do we, business pro. so do we. go national. go like a pro. just by talking to a helmet. it grabbed the patient's record before we even picked him up. it found out the doctor we needed was at st. anne's. wiggle your toes. [ driver ] and it got his okay on treatment from miles away. it even pulled strings with the stoplights. my ambulance talks with smoke alarms and pilots and stadiums. but, of course, it's a good listener too. [ female announcer ] today cisco is connecting the internet of everything. so everything works like never before.
10:54 pm
10:55 pm
thank you for joining us. we set off on our adventure to discover whether the biblical stories could bring us together,
10:56 pm
could unite and heal instead of just divide and harm. and in the stories of abraham and the patriarchs we found our answer. thank you for coming along with me on this extraordinary journey "back to the beginning." i'm christiane amanpour. good night from jerusalem. ♪ -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com thanks for joining me. i'm rosa flores. and here are your headlines from the cnn newsroom. be it snow, ice, or rain, bizarre and deadly storms are creating havoc for millions. the situation is especially
10:57 pm
urgent in the northeast. roughly 350,000 people are without power in new york, new england, and toronto. snow and flooding are causing trouble farther west. four people were killed in storm-related accidents on sunday. three died when a car veered off a bridge into a river overnight near new hope, south of louisville, kentucky. that brings the number to seven people killed in severe weekend storms. the u.s. is now trying to determine if there are any more americans to evacuate from south sudan. officials say all americans who showed up at a u.n. camp in the town of bor were airlifted out of the troubled nation. the successful rescues happened one day after a failed attempt that left four u.s. troops wounded. the fighting there has grown worse since south sudan's president threw out his cabinet. president obama is being briefed on the situation as he vacations in hawaii. well, just a few days to buy
10:58 pm
those precious holiday gifts? target says it's moving quickly after the hacking of 40 million credit card and debit card accounts. the company is offering free credit monitoring to its customers affected by the breach. new york senator charles schumer says he wants a federal investigation. >> if there's one silver lining in this mess, it's perhaps that we could use this troubling news as a lesson for the future. we could get to the bottom of how target's in-store payment security was compromised in order to make sure that target in the future and all other stores adequately protect consumers from this kind of devastating theft. >> the data hack affected customers who shopped at target between november 27th and december 15th. there are reports that some of those stolen credit card and debit card numbers are already for sale on the black market. apple is expanding its reach in the world's most populous
10:59 pm
country. apple struck a deal with china mobile, which has around 700 million customers. the iphone 5s and 5c will be available to china mobile users beginning on january 17th. with presales starting on wednesday. nasa says a second emergency spacewalk is set for tuesday. astronauts spent several hours saturday working on a replacement for a broken cooling pump. without the pump some of the station's important electronics have been shut down. the second spacewalk was originally scheduled for monday, but that's being delayed while they make adjustments to one of the spacesuits. and as christmas draws near, pope francis is focusing on the homeless families, reminding the faithful of how the holy family had no home in the days before jesus was born. >> [ speaking foreign
11:00 pm
language ]. >> pope francis told the thousands gathered in st. peter's square sunday to do everything possible to "assure that every family has a place to live." his message comes just days after "time" magazine named the pontiff its person of the year. i'm rosa flores. you're watching cnn, the most trusted name in news. >> it's easily the most contentious piece of real estate in the world. and there's no hope, none, of ever talking about it without pissing somebody, if not everybody off. maybe that's why it's taken me so long to come here, a place where even the names of ordinary things are ferociously disputed. where does falafel come from? who makes the best hummus? is it a fence or a wall? by the end of this hour, i'll be seen by many as a terrorist

30 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on