I continue to love the ways biblical archaeology confirms the historical authenticity of the Bible! A few weeks ago, a seal impression bearing the name of King Hezekiah was found in the Ophel area of the excavations just south of the Temple in Jerusalem. It’s not the first one found bearing the name of this late 8th century BC Judean king. The find is nonetheless extraordinary!
The name of Hezekiah appears numerous times in the Bible. Being one of the few who brought religious reform to the kingdom (Josiah was another king who would so the same about 100 after), Hezekiah also withstood the Assyrian attack from the north. 2 Kings 20 and 2 Chronicles 32 (as well as Isaiah 36 & 37) record the story of the invasion of Assyrians led by King Sennacherib. Leading over 100,000 men, Sennacherib’s very words are recorded on an important archaeological find called the Taylor Prism (found by Col. Taylor in Assyria in 1830) it is displayed in the British Museum). In the very words of this “ISIS-type” barbarian invader (the ancient Assyrians were brutal to their enemies), Sennacherib “surrounded Hezekiah like a bird in a cage.” Once again, this reveals exactly what the Bible says!
Not to be outdone, the Siloam Inscription was found in the 19th century (1880 by Jacob Spafford) during the Ottoman Empire days about 50 feet from the end of a 1,720 foot tunnel called today “Hezekiah’s Tunnel.” The texts of the 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles passage mention that a water tunnel was chiseled out of bedrock in order to bring the water of the Gihon Spring safely into the city. What I believe to be a 4-year project (in anticipation of Sennacherib’s invasion), the inscription precisely tells us how the water tunnel was chiseled. One team of rock cutters started at one end (the Gihon Spring) while a second team began at the opposite side of the rocky bedrock. With great joy they heard each others’ picks and axes until they finally met and broke through the rock.
But let’s ask “what if a water tunnel wasn’t found in these excavations?” Would we then begin to doubt the historicity of the Bible? As it has been said by Dr. Bryant Wood (of Associates for Biblical Research) and others, does the “absence of evidence mean the evidence of absence?” Not at all! Yet to the contrary, when archaeology reveals the historical accuracies of Scripture, we simply stand back in awe. As I tell people on my tours all the time, archaeology does not need to prove the Bible. Rather, archaeology simply reveals its truth!
If you want to read about this recent seal find, HERE is the full article.
Praise God for guys like Hezekiah, archaeology, and the historicity of the Bible!