The Bible tells us that the fortress of Arad (named after a Canaanite king) was on the southern border of Judah. Archaeologists dug it up between 1962-1967 and discovered two conjoined altars on the site. The altars were well-preserved and carefully reconstructed with all the original materials at the Israel Museum. However, it wasn’t until recently that all the burned residue on the shrine was examined, thanks to the modern advances of DNA testing.
The researchers found that the two connected altars had five phases of construction ranging from the 10th century BC to about the 7th century BC. Upon further study, it was discovered that while the two altars had a span of 350 years of construction, they weren’t heavily used until about 760/750 BC to about 715 BC. When testing was done on the altars, it was discovered that the larger of the two altars had frankincense and other plant material mixed with animal fats and cholesterols burned on it. Given the nature of the site, they concluded it was all part of pagan rituals.
On the smaller of the two altars, they found cannabinoids mixed with animal feces that were burned together as fuel. The cannabinoids, which only come from marijuana, included CBD, THC, and CBN (cannabinol). The burning of the cannabinoids with the animal feces would have given the worshipers a high that would have altered their minds in honor of their false gods. These idolaters would have been citizens of Judah, given the fact that the altars had a similar architecture pattern to the temple in Jerusalem and other Judahite structures.
What these findings reveal is the historical accuracy of the Bible. They confirm that the idolatrous practices of the people of Judah included witchcraft (a.k.a. sorcery) and that such practices were always associated with the use of mind-altering drugs. The years that the altars were heavily used (760/750 BC-715 BC) and the frankincense used also verify the Bible’s accuracy. That time period is associated with the reign of Ahaz (2 Kings 16, 2 Chronicles 28). Ahaz was an evil king who “walked in the ways of the kings of Israel” by worshiping Baal. Throughout Judah, he burned incense in the “high places” (altars) and “under every green tree” (2 Chronicles 28:4). Ahaz also did human sacrifices of his own children.
During this time period the Lord used Isaiah to prophesy against the idolatrous occult practices made common by king Ahaz. In Isaiah 8:19-20, Jehovah proclaimed through the prophet:
And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?
To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
So now we have more modern proof that the idolatrous practices which included the occult were done in conjunction with drug abuse, just as the Bible said. If marijuana from ancient times (including historical accounts in the Bible) has been associated with occultic idols, what does that say about our society today when a large number of the population uses marijuana and/or wants to legalize it? To me, it means that the forces behind these initiatives ultimately want to make idolatry and the occult the order of the day along with the ungodly practices mentioned in the Bible that go with it. They are the ones who are quick to dismiss the Bible as false while their actions confirm the Bible’s prophecies are true when it warns that witchcraft (including drug abuse) will be common and out in the open in the last days.
Source: Eran Arie, Baruch Rosen & Dvory Namdar, Cannabis and Frankincense at the Judahite Shrine of Arad, Tel Aviv Journal, May 28, 2020.