Fallen Empires - Archaeological Discoveries and the Bible
former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and
there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from
ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, 'My counsel shall
stand, And I will do all My pleasure,'" -Isa 46:8-10
database of maps for study and teaching.
Black Obelisk. In the 1840's a British man named Austen Henry
Layard had a desire to travel to the Middle East and dig around some of
the strange looking mounds near the City of Mosul. He had heard many
tales about things being found in these mounds. He was looking for any
trace of evidence that would lead him to the lost city of Nineveh, the
capital of the ancient Assyrian Empire. Little did he know that one of
his discoveries would turn Europe upside down with excitement. He
discovered a black limestone monument which is known today as The Black
Obelisk of Shalmaneser III. This discovery brought a new authenticity
and historicity to some of the stories in the Bible. It also gained him
the support of the British Museum, and all the finances he needed to
continue his excavations, and become known as "The Father of
Pilate Inscription. It
wasn't long ago when many scholars were questioning the actual existence
of a Roman Governor with the name of Pontius Pilate, the procurator who
ordered Jesus' crucifixion. In June 1961 Italian archaeologists led by
Dr. Frova were excavating an ancient Roman amphitheatre near
Caesarea-on-the-Sea (Maritima) and uncovered this interesting limestone
block. On the worn face is a monumental inscription which is part of a
larger dedication to Tiberius Caesar which clearly says that it was from
"Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea."
Megiddo Seal Bearing King Jeroboam's Name.
It is very interesting that the Jasper Seal, found at Tel Megiddo
bearing the name of King Jeroboam who ruled in the Northern Kingdom of
Israel, would contain the symbol for their rival, the Southern Kingdom
of Judah. But in examining all of the circumstances involved and seeing
what the Bible says it is no wonder that the prosperous and victorious
Northern Kingdom of Israel would boast with a symbol of their enemy.
Tomb of Cyrus the Great. An inscription on the tomb of the great
Persian monarch read: "O man, whoever you are and wherever you come
from, for I know that you will come--I am Cyrus, son of Cambyses, who
founded the Empire of the Persians and was king of the East. Do not
grudge me this spot of earth which covers my body." - Cyrus".
Is it true that Isaiah the Hebrew prophet mention Cyrus by name almost
200 years before he was born?
Hexagonal Prism. This amazing discovery excavated in Nineveh in
the 1830 records the Assyrian king Sennacherib's 8th campaign, which
includes his siege of Jerusalem during the reign of "Hezekiah the
Judahite" in 701 BC. There are 500 lines of writing in the Akkadian
language on this magnificent clay prism. Is the story true that it was
purchased by an American from an antiquities dealer in Baghdad?
Coming SoonThe Ishtar Gate of Babylon.
During the last days of the southern kingdom of Judah the Jews were
taken captive to a distant land called Babylon at the latter part of the
6th century BC. They passed through a beautiful entrance gate made of
mud brick masonry and glazed skin which stood 47 feet tall, commonly
referred to as the Ishtar Gate since its discovery at the turn of the
20th century near modern Baghdad, Iraq. The tall gate was dedicated to
the gods by Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylonia who reigned from 605—562
BC). Is it true that Hitler had it transported to Berlin? Where is the
Ishtar Gate now?
The Bible mentions many
things about people, places and events that happened in history. The
Bible also gives an accurate chronology of those people, places and
events. What is amazing is that modern archaeology has confirmed that
the Bible has never made one error, or given any clear contradictions in
all of its text in matters of historical fact. The paintings and
illustrations below of archaeological discoveries and ruins illustrate
Paintings By Bjanikka
Ben, Maliyah Weston, and Galina Nelson
A voice says, "Cry out." And I said, "What shall I cry?"
"All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of
the field." Isa. 40:6
Archaeology provides one of the many sober reminders that we are not eternal.
As we see history's graveyard, it's like viewing the tombstone of an empire.
"Here lies the once proud Assyrian Empire who ruled many and feared none"
As you watch the video provided by a thoughtful soldier in Iraq taking a
moment to tour the ruins of Nineveh, the once mighty capital of the Mesopotamian
Fertile Crescent, try to imagine life there and the surrounding countryside.
How many people saw the powerful Nineveh gates as a part of their daily scenery?
The gates were just always there, part of the skyline, taken for granted,
testifying to the King's authority and glory.
What was it like for the rulers? They enjoyed that eternal feeling that
we all have while we are young and strong. Living in grandeur and
exercising power over a kingdom of peoples they enjoyed all that life could
King Sennacherib would have moved through these gates on his way to confront
the humble nation of Judah and King Hezekiah who Sennacherib said he had trapped
in Jerusalem like a "caged bird". Little did he know that he alone
would be confronted by God Himself!
If he could have experienced a terrifying dream of a Humvee with soldiers
carrying M-16's driving upon the ruins of his empire, contemplating the lessons
of their fallen empire, he might have gained that perspective that his life was
finite, his empire would one day fall, and his only hope was in humbly seeking a
relationship with the God of heaven. The same lesson that each of us today has
to learn. As happened to every empire uncovered by the spade, will also
happen to each of us. All that is left in the end is our relationship with
God and what we have wrought for His kingdom. The only thing we can take
beyond the grave are the others we have served by feeding them the Word of God.
I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun,
because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. Ecc. 2:18
little, one city after another, one civilization after another, one
culture after another, whose memories were enshrined only in the Bible,
were restored to their proper places in ancient history by the studies
of archaeologists... Contemporary records of biblical events emphasized
by contrast and comparison... Nowhere has archaeological discovery
refuted the Bible as history."
-John Elder "Prophets, idols
and Diggers" (New York: Bobbs Merrill, 1960) p. 16
proof for the accuracy of the Old Testament text has come from
archaeology. Numerous discoveries have confirmed the historical
accuracy of the biblical documents, even down to the obsolete names of
foreign kings... Rather than a manifestation of complete ignorance of
the facts of its day, the biblical record thus reflects a great
knowledge by the writer of his day, as well as precision in textual
-Norman L. Geisler, William Nix
"A General Introduction to the Bible" 5th Edition (Chicago:
Moody Press 1983) p. 253