I wonder when, if ever, skeptics will cease to question the reality of people and events mentioned in the Old Testament. After all, science keeps verifying the biblical text, leading agnostic and atheistic scholars to go from, “He was most likely made up long after the fact,” to now go, “Well, he existed back then, but…”
He existed! So much for the Bible being a work of fiction! My faith in God is not based upon but it certainly is bolstered by archaeological discoveries. From fossilized tropical plants discovered in Scandinavia (evidence of the pre-flo0d earth) to the identification of ancient Israelite house in Egypt (Jacob’s descendants), science keeps uncovering and marveling at the true nature of the people and places of the Old Testament. Can archaeology prove miracles? No. Then again, in the same way, science cannot disprove the existence of a Creator God. It simply cannot!
The topic of science and the bible is on my mind today because of the announcement of another biblical discovery.
“Israeli archaeologists have discovered a mark from the seal of biblical King Hezekiah, who helped build Jerusalem into an ancient metropolis.
“The circular inscription, on a piece of clay less than a centimetre (0.4 inches) long, may very well have been made by the king himself,” said Eilat Mazar of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University who directed the excavation where it was uncovered.
Hezekiah ruled in the last half of the 700’s B.C. and was one of Judah’s most powerful and influential kings. He was also a godly king, and he reigned during a difficult time of Judah’s history. It was during his rule that Assyria, the barbarian bullies of the Middle East, destroyed the Northern Kingdom and either carried away, enslaved or killed the populous. Sennacherib, the most famous Assyrian king, besieged Jerusalem before a miracle forced his army to retreat (2 Kings 19:34-36).
The discovery of a seal by Hezekiah isn’t the first evidence of the biblical king. In fact, Hezekiah is the most-documented king of Israel.The siege of Jerusalem by Sennacherib was documented by the Assyrians. To prepare for the battle, Hezekiah did two things:
- he fortified the walls of Jerusalem, and
- he redirected the fresh water supply into the city walls so that it was available for his citizens during a siege.
The biblical accounts can be found in 2 Kings 20:20 and 2 Chronicles 32:1-5.
The second public work is a thing of magnificence. A tunnel was dug through the rock below Jerusalem’s southeastern edge, channeling water from the Gihon spring into the Pool of Siloam.
When archaeologists discovered Hezekiah’s tunnel, they found an official inscription carved on the wall where the tunnel diggers met — most likely to commemorate its completion. The Hebrew language has been dated to the time of Hezekiah.
Both public works are still on display in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Other seals have been discovered from Hezekiah’s reign. This most recent discovery was the first mention of a king of Israel unearthed in a “scientific excavation,” that is, an archaeological dig funded by an academic institution and highly monitored by the national Antiquities Authority.
There have been more than a dozen monarchs of Israel identified through non-government-supervised archaeological digs or in artifacts obtained on the antiquities black market. In the Southern Kingdom of Judah, seals from Jotham, Ahaz (Hezekiah’s father) and Manasseh have been discovered. David was mentioned in an inscription from Tel Dan. Solomon’s mighty building projects have been unearthed and they match the biblical accounts. In the Northern Kingdom, Jehu was mentioned on an Assyrian obelisk and a seal might be from evil queen Jezebel.
I guess that if there is a bottom line to today’s news it is this: don’t listen to academic and archaeological skeptics who refuse to believe evidence that is in their hands or before their eyes. So much physical and historical evidence has been uncovered in regards to the Old Testament.
Know this: in its pages the Bible claims to be the word of God, truthful and just. If God says that something happened, then it happened. I love that science is giving us a greater understanding of the “hows” and “whats” of biblical people and events. It makes the events even more real-to-life.
So enjoy every moment in which scientists have no choice but to admit that the Bible was right — even if they don’t believe in its Author!
A Cool Link: