The industrious team of eminent archeologist Dr Eilat Mazar may have done it again. Coming from a venerable archeological family, Mazar has spent her career in Jerusalem carefully uncovering the secrets of the City of David and the “Ophel”, the raised area that in ancient times connected the Temple Mount to the City of David. With the exception of the Temple Mount itself, from a Bible reader’s perspective no other locations hold as much interest as these areas.
Her labours have been rewarded with remarkable discoveries time and again. Though some of her conclusions are controversial, her work is always impossible to ignore. In 2005, she went public with the discovery of an ancient structure in the City of David that she identified as the palace of King David. For Bible critics who had always maintained that David was a mythological figure or at best an insignificant tribal leader of an insignificant town, Mazar’s conclusions were problematic. Continue reading
Earthquakes can cause catastrophic loss of life and devastate buildings of all sizes. Is it possible to discover evidence for an earthquake that happened in the distant past? Today, modern scientific methods coax the Earth into giving up her secrets. New fields of archeology and geology have revealed convincing evidence of ancient earthquakes and astonishingly, may even have illuminated a couple of well known earthquakes from the Bible.
A number of earthquakes are recorded in the Bible. In most cases, these are not natural events but manifestations of divine power. The inauguration of the Mosaic law covenant at Mount Sinai was accompanied by a fear-inspiring earthquake and possibly even volcanic action (Exodus 19:18). The rebel Levite Korah, along with his co-conspirators were executed by means of what may have been a divinely sent earthquake (illustrated above): Continue reading
“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat. We wept when we remembered Zion.” (Psalm 37:1)
(This is the third and final part of a three-part series on the Babylonian invasion of Judah in archeology. In part 1 we looked at the archeological memory of the invasion and conquest of Jerusalem. In part 2 we examined the famous “Lachish Letters”. In part 3 we will investigate evidence of the famous captivity of the Judean population in Babylon.)
As recently as last year, I heard an archeologist refer to the “so-called Babylonian exile”. Continue reading
(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 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
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