A Desert Jewel’s Setting
By DeWayne Coxon
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
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
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.