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Some thoughts on the “was the valley of hinnom a trash dump.”  I’m going to say yes for a few reasons…one common sense…the other archaeological.  

1.  Notice the topography of Jerusalem.  Built on a hill sloping south with its lowest point where the Hinnom valley and the Kedron Valley. They merge and lead down to the dead sea.  So if you are living in Jerusalem in 50 b.c. and your donkey dies…which way are you going to drag it? Uphill or down?   If you head downhill you end up tossing the body into the valley of hinnom. A great use for the valley considering its history.  If you have trash? Uphill or down hill?  If you are emptying your chamber pot into the ancient sewer system…which way is it going to “roll”?  Downhill.  So at the bottom of this hill was quite an unpleasant place.  And yes when you have been underseige (as in Jeremiah) you through the bodies over the wall downhill.  Additionally, how do you eliminate dead bodies and trash?  Light them on fire. If one is going to argue that the hinnom valley ISN’T the dump…I would ask them “where is it then?”

2. My second comment is regarding Francis Chan and Preston Sprinkle.  I was quite disappointed in their research for their book “Erasing Hell”.  As quoted above they say there has never been any evidence that it was a trash dump.  This is incorrect.  In 1997 Bargil Pixner discoverd the Essene gate right above the valley of hinnom.  Why did the Essenes need a gate there?  Deut 23:12 “designate a place outside the camp where you can go relieve yourself”  Would you go relive yourself “uphill” from the camp or city?  nope.  You relieve yourself in the valley of hinnom where it will continue the downstream journey.  Bargil Pixner also discovered the latrine system which was set up by the Essenes.  

If gehenna wasn’t the dump…where was it?  Surely a city of 80K needed a place for this. 

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