“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
Has archeological evidence been found of the Tabernacle?
During the conquest of Canaan, the Tent of Worship or the Tabernacle was set up in a hill town named Shiloh. It was here that Joshua, successor to Moses, completed the apportioning of the Land of Promise. The Tabernacle, the portable Temple built according to the exact design specifications given by God to Moses was to remain in Shiloh for over 3 centuries. It would stay here for most if not all of the era of the Judges (356 years). According to Talmudic sources, it was in place in Shiloh for a total of 369 years. Continue reading
Were the Canaanites merciless child killers or gentle nature worshipers?
Warning: Subject matter may disturb
Historical revisionist theories regularly receive more traction among Bible critics than the facts would warrant. For example, consider the case of polytheism verses monotheism. Most religious history books teach that cultures that were polytheistic (believers in many gods) naturally progressed towards becoming monotheistic (believers in one God). This is seen, even by agnostics as being a necessary step toward becoming a more mature society. Increasingly however, Bible critics challenge that idea. They see the move from polytheism to monotheism as a negative thing. According to their revisionist version of history, gentle nature worshiping polytheistic societies such as Canaan were supplanted by aggressive monotheistic cultures like the Hebrews which were less tolerant, sexually repressed and war-like. Continue reading
Where was the Land of Uz? (Map and photo by author)
Post 29 – The faithful man Job lived in the “land of Uz” (Job 1:1). But where was the land of Uz? It’s tricky to identify as the name “Uz” seems to be an informal name applied by the Israelites to a region and not the formal name of a country. Job 1:3 says that Job was, “the greatest of all the people of the East.” But east of where? Continue reading