A Desert Jewel’s Setting

Editor’s note: We have come to know and appreciate the Israel-appointed Curator of Biblical Tamar Park, Dr. DeWayne Coxon of Blossoming Rose. That a Christian should be given such responsibility is an unprecedented honor. DeWayne is a unique person who has the rare gift of bringing together people of diverse backgrounds, whose common interest is Israel and the restoration/reconciliation process going on there now.

Whether loved or hated, Israel is a magnet. And a national museum of history and theology! Tamar is a jewel of scientific discovery and archaeological splendor in the Arava Desert in Israel.

The Israel Antiquities Authority has named Blossoming Rose – a non-profit organization based in the United States – as manager of the Park. Blossoming Rose in Israel is a non-profit organization called, “Blossoming Israel”, who holds a twenty-five year lease to the park.  Both organizations are highly dedicated to conserving, developing and protecting Biblical Tamar Park. The legal process of years to acquire this lease agreement with the Middle Arava Regional Council is completed. This fifty-three acres park sits within a 250,000 acre Nature Reserve.  The regional council in Sapir is calling Tamar a “Gateway to the Arava”.

Our archaeological digs at Tamar have produced 25,000 artifacts, but they are stored now in the Jerusalem museum.  A museum at Tamar is planned which will have a room for each period of these archaeological finds. There will also be a welcome center consisting of a restaurant, a gift shop, and an educational center for Christians and Jews as the centerpiece, in keeping with the purpose of Biblical Tamar Park.

Aerial view of the Biblical Tamar Park excavation site.

At the time of this writing, necessary engineering and architectural procedures for approval to build are in progress. Several studies have been commissioned to determine the ground conditions and the placement of the building. The whole area between the stone pillared entrance and the tel will be for the museum, and for parking and picnic areas. It is a nice shaded area ready for such usage.

Architectural draft of Biblical Tamar Park's Museum and Learning Center.

Building, seen from above, resembles the top of a palm tree.

The plans are for a building in the shape of a rotunda. Looking down from above, it resembles the palm tree. The architect designed the building to have a stone (brick) covering cement walls.

The graphic reflects the projected size of 24,000 square feet. The size depends on contributions. The proposed building graphic on this page is conceptual. It will be redrawn to reflect the Learning Center/Library and increase in size according to serious contributions. The Library/Learning Center with its publishing and book distribution will not be a small one room project.

For many years, we have been in preparation for this phase. We have done the work paying for the costs as they came due. We have no debt on this Park and we have raised and spent one hundred thousand dollars yearly since 2000 with an investment of over one million dollars through the twenty-five years we have worked at Tamar. This includes upgrades, studies needed to build, tour activities, etc. We need to bring our artifacts from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem to Tamar, but we will not incur debt on this building no matter how much we want it built.

Why should Christian people be so involved and persistent in this project? Primarily because of their appreciation for the Jews whose faith and preservation of the Scriptures caused them to worship the one true God. There is a sense in many Christians who work at Biblical Tamar Park that they have become a part of a long history with Jews and Christians walking hand-in-hand together into the golden age to come.

Chris Josephson, director and editor of Bible Light, has joined hands with me and Blossoming Rose to let you know of the opportunity to make this learning center a reality in Israel. I am willing to come and meet with people who have serious interest in this project.