I am never taken by surprise by new archaeological findings that match up with the Biblical narrative. While a few try to minimize the connection between the worlds of archaeology and the Bible (e.g. some are trying to distance Hezekiah’s connection with the Siloam Tunnel. See BAR, Sept, 2013), it’s only an attempt to discredit the historicity of the Bible.
Once again, this is why the publication of a recent find at the City of David excavations (specifically at the area of the Gihon Spring) makes me smile. As reported by Shlomo Pyutrokovski, archaeologists discovered many ancient artifacts that date to the 1st Temple Period (e.g. the time period of the Old Testament). One recently discovered item has aroused particular interest: a pottery shard dating back to this OT time period that includes part of a phrase etched into its rim. The writing seems to match the historical record of the Hebrew Scriptures.
Written in paleo or early Hebew, the partial phrase reads “…ryahu ben Benaya,” a possible reference to the prophet Jahaziel ben Zaharyahu ben Benaya, who is mentioned in the Biblical book of Chronicles 2, in chapter 20, verse 14. However, because the writing is incomplete, the full name cannot be verified.
The archaeologists who discovered the pottery shard have dated it to 2,700 years ago – some time between the kingdom of Hezekiah and the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE during the reign of King Zedekiah.
The article continues, “Archaeologists have previously found writing in the same area, on pottery as well as in the form of stamps and etchings in stone. Some writing has revealed names, including Gamaryahu ben Shafan (a family mentioned in the biblical texts as well) and Benayahu ben-Hoshayahu.”
Chalk up one more example of how archaeology confirms the accuracy of the Bible!