“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
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
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