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Is Saudi Arabia’s massive city of the future threatening ancient Biblical sites?

Dromedary in Saudi Arabia

CBN is reporting that Saudi Arabia’s proposed city of the future, Neom, may endanger some ancient Biblical sites.

Over the past couple of decades there have been several attempts to build the city of the future, including Alphabet’s recent failed attempt at a similar project in Toronto, Canada.

But concerns are being expressed about a new futuristic city being proposed for Saudi Arabia that will cost billions of dollars. The construction of Neom, the vision of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, started in January 2021.

Also nicknamed, The Line, because of its unique look, it is expected to cost well over $500 billon, if and when it is completed. The city gains its nickname because it will be about 110 miles (ca. 177 km) long and only 600 feet (ca. 183 m) wide.

It will be surrounded on the outside, by a 1,500 feet (ca. 457 m) tall building-like walls with an open area in the middle.

There will be three distinct layers within the city that will be as tall as New York’s Empire State Building.

The top layer will be for pedestrians, and the bottom two layers will house the infrastructure and public transportation since no automobiles will be allowed inside the city.

Instead, a high-speed, green rail line will connect the various communities or nodes along the line. The rail car will be able to travel the full length of the line within 20 minutes.

Each of these communities or nodes will be self-sufficient, with medical, shopping, restaurants, and religious and sports facilities within a few minutes walk.

The city will also be filled with sensors and facial recognition cameras to help control the nine million people who are expected to live there.

But with construction started, it has already been embroiled in controversy, as it is requiring the relocation of 22,000 people from the Howeitat tribe.

When people have been unwilling to leave, Saudi Arabia security forces have arrested them and seized their property. Some were even sentenced to death.

But in addition, there are concerns that the construction could interfere with important Biblical sites.

In an interview with CBN, Andrew Jones who has studied Biblical archaeology for years, is concerned Neom is perilously close to several key Old Testament sites, including Mount Sinai.

There have been several mountains proposed as the potential site for the infamous mountain that Moses climbed and where the 12 commandments were carved.

But the one in Saudi Arabia has many unique features which give it some credibility, including what appears to be a burned top.

There is also a large plain at its base where the Hebrews would have partied and made their golden calf. This area also has a large altar-like structure, as well as many drawing on the site, including those of cattle that are not native to the area.

However, cattle were common in Egypt and suggesting that whoever carved these petroglyph had this knowledge.

Nearby there is an area containing 12 springs one of which is still used today. Jones believes this is none other than Elim, an oasis, the Hebrews visited during their time in the wilderness that had 12 springs and 70 Palm trees.

They have also discovered ancient marble carvings that indicated people during King Solomon’s reign believed this was the site of Mt Sinai.

But Neom’s construction is threatening these ancient remains.

Jones told CBN:

And so you’ll find as you’re driving around the desert, these brand new roads that they’re putting in, and there’s a whole camp set up for the workers. So, it’s a multi-year project. We’re just hoping that they don’t… not just ruin the view, but destroy anything of biblical significance out there.”

READ: Saudi Arabia’s controversial mega-city project: The Line AND Saudi Arabia’s Futuristic Mega-City Attracting International Investment AND The Line, Saudi Arabia AND Why Saudi Arabia’s Hidden Biblical History Could Be at Risk

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