I lay down to take a nap about 3:00 P.M. when I saw a halo around the head of my angel I painted in 1976.
The conclusion I make that Salome danced for the head of the great prophet, John the Baptist, so she could have it silver-plated and placed in the Cave of Machpelah next to the head of her ancestor, Esau, will drastically change the New testament.
In my last post I posted a photo of McClure’s Beach where the sun is shining through a hole in the rock I fell on in 1967. There is a bridge over this hole that I and my two friends traversed, twice. I went back in 1987, and crossed over again. I took a photo of it.
At the foot of this rock is a cave that was filled with sand the last two times I was there. In 1966, you could walk twenty feet into this cave.
I did the angel painting from memory, nine years after my death. Note the tiny patch of blue ocean atop the rocks and what looks like a little star.
The entrance to the Cave of Machpelah is sealed by a large white rose that was made by the Muslims, who are having a long debated about the name of JOHN.
The sixty-one year old Rena Easton, has failed to make me not love the young woman I fell in love with in 1970. My first girlfriend and lover are my dear friends this very day, because they know I do not seek deep relationships for the sex, but, for the spiritual awakening couple can experience. Wake up!
Jon the Nazarite
The Cave of Machpelah is the world’s most ancient Jewish site and the second holiest place for the Jewish people, after Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The cave and the adjoining field were purchased—at full market price—by Abraham some 3700 years ago. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah are all later buried in the same Cave of Machpelah. These are considered the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people. The only one who is missing is Rachel, who was buried near Bethlehem where she died in childbirth.
The double cave, a mystery of thousands of years, was uncovered several years ago beneath the massive building, revealing artifacts from the Early Israelite Period (some 30 centuries ago). The structure was built during the Second Temple Period (about two thousand years ago) by Herod, King of Judea, providing a place for gatherings and Jewish prayers at the graves of the Patriarchs.
This uniquely impressive building is the only one that stands intact and still fulfills its original function after thousands of years. Foreign conquerors and invaders used the site for their own purposes, depending on their religious orientation: the Byzantines and Crusaders transformed it into a church and the Muslims rendered it a mosque. About 700 years ago, the Muslim Mamelukes conquered Hebron, declared the structure a mosque and forbade entry to Jews, who were not allowed past the seventh step on a staircase outside the building.
Upon the liberation of Hebron in 1967, the Chief Rabbi of the Israel Defense Forces, the late Major-General Rabbi Shlomo Goren, was the first Jew to enter the Cave of Machpelah. Since then, Jews have been struggling to regain their prayer rights at the site, still run by the Muslim Waqf (Religious Trust) that took control during the Arab conquest. Many restrictions are imposed on Jewish prayers and customs at the Tomb of the Patriarchs despite the site’s significance, primacy and sanctity in Jewish heritage and history.
Over 300,000 people visit Ma’arat HaMachpelah annually. The structure is divided into three rooms: Ohel Avraham, Ohel Yitzhak, and Ohel Ya’akov. Presently Jews have no access to Ohel Yitzhak, the largest room, with the exception of 10 days a year.
Genesis 23:16 ¶ And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant.  And the field of Ephron, which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field, and the cave which was therein, and all the trees that were in the field, that were in all the borders round about, were made sure  Unto Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of his city.
The burial of Sarah is the first account of a burial in the Bible, and this is the first commercial transaction mentioned. The next burial in the cave of Machpelah is that of Abraham, who lived “an hundred threescore and fifteen years” – one hundred years unto the birth of Isaac, and threescore (60) more years unto the births of Esau and Jacob, with whom he spent his last fifteen years. The title deed to the cave was part of the property of Abraham that passed to his son Isaac in Genesis 25:5-6.
Genesis 25:9 And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre;  The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife.
Crusader Christian Period
In 1100, after the area was captured by the Crusaders, the enclosure once again became a church and Muslims were no longer permitted to enter. During this period, the area was given a new gabled roof, clerestory windows and vaulting.
In the year 1113 during the reign of Baldwin II of Jerusalem, according to Ali of Herat (writing in 1173), a certain part over the cave of Abraham had given way, and “a number of Franks had made their entrance therein”. And they discovered “(the bodies) of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”, “their shrouds having fallen to pieces, lying propped up against a wall…Then the King, after providing new shrouds, caused the place to be closed once more”. Similar information is given in Ibn at Athir’s Chronicle under the year 1119; “In this year was opened the tomb of Abraham, and those of his two sons Isaac and Jacob …Many people saw the Patriarch. Their limbs had nowise been disturbed, and beside them were placed lamps of gold and of silver.” The Damascene nobleman and historian Ibn al-Qalanisi in his chronicle also alludes at this time to the discovery of relics purported to be those of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, a discovery that excited eager curiosity among all three communities in the southern Levant, Muslim, Jewish, and Christian.
When the enclosure was controlled by crusaders, access was occasionally possible. One account, by Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela dating from 1163 CE, states that after passing through an iron door, and descending, the caves would be encountered. According to Benjamin of Tudela, there was a sequence of three caves, the first two of which were empty; in the third cave were six tombs, arranged to be opposite to one another.
These caves had been rediscovered only in 1119 CE by a monk named Arnoul, after an unnamed monk at prayer “noticed a draught” in the area near the present location of the mihrab and, with other “brethren”, removed the flagstones and found a room lined with Herodian masonry. Arnoul, still searching for the source of the draught, hammered on the cave walls until he heard a hollow sound, pulled down the masonry in that area, and discovered a narrow passage. The narrow passage, which subsequently became known as the serdab (Arabic for passage), was similarly lined with masonry, but partly blocked up. Having unblocked the passage, Arnoul discovered a large round room with plastered walls. In the floor of the room, he found a square stone slightly different from the others and, upon removing it, found the first of the caves. The caves were filled with dust. After removing the dust, Arnoul found bones; believing the bones to be those of the biblical Patriarchs, Arnoul washed them in wine and stacked them neatly. Arnoul carved inscriptions on the cave walls describing whose bones he believed them to be.
This passage to the caves was sealed at some time after Saladin had recaptured the area, though the roof of the circular room was pierced, and a decorative grate was placed over it. In 1967, after the Six-Day War, the area fell into the hands of the Israel Defense Forces, and Moshe Dayan, the Defence Minister, who was an amateur archaeologist, attempted to regain access to the tombs. Ignorant of the serdab entrance, Dayan concentrated his attention on the shaft visible below the decorative grate and had the idea of sending someone thin enough to fit through the shaft and down into the chamber below. Dayan eventually found a slim 12-year-old girl named Michal to assist and sent her into the chamber with a camera.
When Abraham bought the Cave of Machpelah for a, burial-place, it was in … of rocks
and precipices, and in these the Edomites hollowed out caves for themselves
The Midrash relates that when Jacob’s funeral procession reached the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron, the burial place of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, they found Esau and his henchmen barring their path. Esau claimed that the sole remaining plot was his by inheritance, after Jacob had already taken his share when he buried his wife Leah in the cave. When Jacob’s children maintained that their father had bought out his brother’s share, Esau denied this. The transaction had been put in writing, but the deed was back in Egypt, and fleet-footed Naphtali was dispatched to retrieve it. Chushim, the deaf son of Dan, asked what the commotion was all about, and was incensed to learn that Esau had halted the funeral of his revered grandfather. With a mighty blow of his sword, Chushim severed Esau’s head, which rolled into the Cave of Machpelah and came to rest in Isaac’s lap, where it remains to this day. Thus it came to pass that “Esau’s head lies in the bosom of Isaac.”
They said to him: ”You sold it!”
He said: “Indeed I sold my birthright, I did not sell my rights on the land!”
They said: “Yes you did, since it is said (by Jacob) the land which I had dug (purchased) (Gen. 50:5) and “digging” in this context means purchase.
Esau: “Bring me the deed!”
“It is in Egypt and who is going to get it? Let Naphtali go for he is as light as a gazelle, as it is said: ‘Naphtali is an antelope let loose who gives good words’” (Gen. 49:21) .
Hushim the son of Dan was there and he was hard of hearing and he said: “What is this?”
“He (Esau) is preventing the burial until Naphtali returns from Egypt,” answered the brothers.
“And until he returns my grandfather will lie here disgracefully,”concluded Hushim.
Hushim then took a big sword and hit Esau on the head; he died and his head rolled by Jacob’s feet. At that moment Jacob opened his eyes and smiled. As it is said: ”The righteous will rejoice when he sees revenge; his feet will bathe in the blood of the wicked.” (Psalms 58:11).
(Bab. Talmud 13b).
Salome is often identified with the dancing woman from the New Testament (Mark 6:17-29 and Matthew 14:3-11, where, however, her name is not given). Christian traditions depict her as an icon of dangerous female seductiveness, notably in regard to the dance mentioned in the New Testament, which is thought to have had an erotic element to it, and in some later transformations it has further been iconized as the Dance of the Seven Veils. Other elements of Christian tradition concentrate on her lighthearted and cold foolishness that, according to the gospels, led to John the Baptist’s death.
According to ten verses of Matthew 14, John was imprisoned for criticizing King Herod Antipas’s marriage to Herodias, the former wife of Antipas’s “brother” Herod II. Herod offered his niece a reward of her choice for performing a dance on his birthday. Herodias persuaded her daughter to ask for John the Baptist’s head on a platter. Against his better judgment, Antipas reluctantly acceded to her request.
It has been claimed that the Qur’an is mistaken in saying that John the Baptist was the first to receive this name (Quran 19:7–10), since the name Yoḥanan occurs many times before John the Baptist. This claim is challenged by Islamic writers, who say that “Yaḥyā” is not the same name as “Yoḥanan”.
The exegetes frequently connected the name with the meaning of “to quicken” or “to make alive” in reference to John’s mother’s barrenness, which was cured by God, as well as John’s preaching, which, as Muslims believe, “made alive” the faith of Israel.
The usage of the name Yuḥanna is well attested in the western Arabian peninsula. In the well-documented Najran Pact one of the fourteen chiefs was Yuḥannas. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that any Arab Christian would have used the name Yahya prior to the Quran’s usage of it.
However, the Qur’an also mentions a root used in the Hebrew version of the name, ‘Yohanan’ יוֹחָנָן (Yahweh is gracious). Sura Maryam: 12-13 describes the virtues of Yahya: وَآتَيْنَاهُ الْحُكْمَ صَبِيًّا – وَحَنَانًا مِّن لَّدُنَّا وَزَكَاةً (And We gave him judgement, while yet a boy – And affection from Us, and purity.) Here ‘Ḥanān’ (حنان, Affection) is an Arabic word corresponding to the same root used in the Hebrew/Aramaic ‘Yohanan’. It is also the only time this word is used in the Qur’an.
One theory for the origin of the name “Yaḥyā” is that it was originally meant to read something like “Yuḥanna” in the original (which didn’t have the dots necessary to distinguish the letter “nun” from the letter ya”), and later when these dots were put in, the wrong ones were used.