The Babylonian Invasion In Archeology – Part 2: The Lachish Letters

(Photo: James Leslie Starkey points to where he found the “Lachish Letters” in 1935.)

In speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem, it’s easy to forget that other cities in the kingdom suffered defeat and exile as well. Such was the case with Lachish, the second most important city in the kingdom of Judah.

On January 29, 1935, British archaeologist James Leslie Starkey made what is widely regarded as one of the most important discoveries in the history of Biblical archeology. Continue reading

The Babylonian Invasion In Archeology – Part 1: Jerusalem Falls

The Babylonian invasion of Judah is one of the most momentous events in the history of Israel. It resulted in the destruction of the capital Jerusalem, the exile of the population to a foreign land, the end of independent rule by kings from the house of David and most importantly, the destruction of the glorious temple built by King Solomon. There was a controversy at one time about whether the Bible exaggerated the event. Some today still might still dispute certain details, but the archaeological evidence is clear, there can be no doubt as to whether those events occurred. Continue reading

Sennacherib’s Invasion of Judah

From the ruins of Lachish to Hezekiah’s tunnel in Jerusalem, there are a number of archeological reminders of King Sennacherib of Assyria’s invasion of the kingdom of Judah. That the Assyrians invaded during the reign of good King Hezekiah is undeniable. Bible students are familiar with the invasion and how it ended.

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The Ancient Community of Silwan

Has The Tomb of Shebna Been Discovered?

The Biblical prophet Isaiah served in the kingdom of Judah during the reign of King Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and most famously, Hezekiah.Isaiah had messages of judgment to deliver to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and Judah, the kingdom of Israel and the surrounding nations. On occasion, his messages were directed to specific individuals. For example: Continue reading

The village of Sulam viewed from the Hill of Moreh

Where was Shulam, home of the Shulammite?

Where was Shulam, home of the beautiful Shulammite (Shulamite) maiden of the Song of Solomon?  Some have suggested that since the word Shulammite is similar to the Hebrew name Solomon, that the designation is simply an indication that she was married to Solomon. In this theory, the title Shulammite was in fact the maiden’s married name. But this would contradict the account which indicates that she never married Solomon but was returned to her true love the handsome shepherd.

Most scholars think it likely that the term “Shulammite” indicates that she was a person from Shulam, which they believe to be synonymous with Shunem, a small town in northern Israel. Supporting this view is the fact that the ancient Greek Septuagint (Vatican Manuscript No. 1209) translation of the Hebrew scriptures calls the girl the “Sunamite.” Also, the fourth century church historian and writer Eusebius referred to Shunem as Shulem. Continue reading

Aerial view of Khirbet Qeiyafa

Archeology On The Front Lines: Israel Verses The Philistines

Something exciting is happening in the ancient hills of Judah. An archeological dig in progress since 2007 is illuminating a period in history once only known from the Biblical account of King David.

The place is called Khirbet Qeiyafa, an Arabic name that may mean “the place with a wide view”. Israeli archeologists working on the site have given it a Hebrew name meaning the “Elah Fortress”. The site is a hilltop, 30 kilometers southwest of Jerusalem overlooking the famous valley of Elah. That valley is instantly recognizable to Bible readers as the site of one of the most famous battles in history, the battle between the shepherd boy David and the giant Philistine soldier Goliath. Continue reading

More Evidence for Hezekiah’s Reforms At Lachish!

(Alternate Title: The Wrong Kind Of Throne!)

About 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Jerusalem is a massive mound that was once the Biblical city of Lachish. Only Jerusalem was more important in all the cities of the ancient Kingdom of Judah. Bible students are grateful for years of careful archeological study of the site as it has enriched our understanding of important Biblical events like the Assyrian invasion of Judah and the later Babylonian invasion.

Recent work shines a light on another important Biblical event: the religious reforms of King Hezekiah. When Hezekiah was enthroned, the worship of Jehovah, centered around the temple in Jerusalem, had been neglected for decades, certainly during Continue reading