Thursday, May 9, 2019

Ancient Stone Tablet Suggests The Bible Got Something Right

Archaeologists have recently noted an inscribed tablet dating from the 9th century BCE, known as the Mesha Stele, might contain the name of Balak. The stone, which has been heavily chipped and cracked over the centuries, is written in the ancient language of Moabite. Dating back to 840 BCE, the black basalt stone was unearthed around the ruins of the biblical town of Dibon in present-day Jordan in the 1800s. It’s now held in the Louvre art museum in Paris, although Jordan has demanded its return.
Its 34 surviving lines tell the story of how King Mesha of Moab triumphed over the Kingdom of Israel. In fact, it is also one of four known contemporary inscriptions containing the name of Israel. Reporting in Tel Aviv: The Journal of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University, archaeologists are now unsure about whether conventional interpretations may have mistranslated the name of a monarch in Line 31. Previously it was assumed to read “House of David,” but the researchers now cautiously argue it could actually read “Balak.”
The confusion is largely due to the crumbling condition of the Mesha Stele. So, the researchers used new high-resolution photographs of the stone that better highlight the original lettering. The new images appear to show that the name on Line 31 has three consonants, the first of which is the Hebrew letter "beth," which sounds like "B." The team can't be too certain this correspondents to Balek, however, this king was mentioned as being a rival of Mesha.
If their hypothesis is on the money, this would be the first reference to Balak outside of the Bible, suggesting he was a real historical figure.

1 comment :

  1. Yes, but if one reads the whole article it says that reading it as Balak would contradict the Bible's timing of events.


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