In the south of Lebanon there is evidence of an ancient battle so fierce that it permanently altered the Mediterranean coastline. A peninsula juts out from the mainland in the place where a proud island city once refused an invader, providing silent testimony as to the fate of all those who defied Alexander the Great. The city is called Tyre and it is located approximately 20 kilometres north (12 miles) of the Israeli border and about 80 kilometres (50 miles) south of the Lebanese capital Beirut. Tyre is well-known to Bible students particularly (although not exclusively) from the prophecy of Ezekiel who was inspired to foresee details of Tyre’s downfall that would have seemed wildly improbable to his contemporaries yet in the course of time proved accurate to the smallest detail.
“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