The Destruction of the Southern Kingdom of Judah
Archaeological Discoveries and the Invasion of
"If I forget you, O Jerusalem, Let my right hand forget its skill! If I do not
remember you, Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth -- If I do not exalt
Jerusalem Above my chief joy."
The Babylonian Chronicles
Chronicles make it possible to assign the fall of Jerusalem to the Second of
Adar (March 16) in 597 B.C. with complete accuracy, confirming the Biblical
accounts of Babylonian attacks on Jerusalem in 597 and 586 B.C.
"In the seventh month (of Nebuchadnezzar-599 BC.) in the month Chislev (Nov/Dec)
the king of Babylon assembled his army, and after he had invaded the land of
Hatti (Syria/Palestine) he laid seige to the city of Judah. On the second day of
the month of Adara ( 16th of March) he conquered the city and took the king (Jehoiachin)
prisoner. He installed in his place a king (Zedekiah) of his own choice, and
after he had received rich tribute, he sent (them) forth to Babylon."
When comparing this
text from ancient Babylon with the record of the Babylonian invasion in the Book
of II Kings 24:7-17 they demonstrate very clearly the accuracy of the Biblical
Important light has
been revealed regarding the last days of Judah by the discovery in 1935 of
eighteen ostraca (clay tablet with writing in ink) written in an ancient cursive
script belonging to the seventh century B.C.
discovered at Lachish (Tell ed-Duweir) among the ruins of a small guard room
just outside the city gate. Then a few years later three inscribed potsherds
were also found at the site, and like the others, they contained names and lists
from the period just before the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.
Most of the letters
were dispatches from a Jewish commander named Hoshaiah who was stationed at an
outpost north of Lachish, who apparently was responsible for interpreting the
signals from Azekah and Lachish during the time when the:
Jer 34:7 "when the king of Babylon's army fought against Jerusalem and all the
cities of Judah that were left, against Lachish and Azekah; for only these
fortified cities remained of the cities of Judah."
communications which mentioned the political and religious turmoil of the last
days of Judah reveal the intensity of this time period and confirm that which
was written in the Bible by the prophet Jeremiah.
This is one of the
clay tablets that reveal the presence of the Judean royal house as prisoners in
Babylon. They were excavated from an arched building near the Ishtar Gate of
ancient Babylon. The cuneiform texts, which are dated between 595 and 570 B.C.,
contain lists of rations of barley and oil issued to the captive princes and
artisans, including "Yaukin, king of the land of Yahud." This is a direct
reference to Jehoiachin, and some of the other tablets also mentioned his 5 sons
who accompanied him to Babylon. (Staatliche Museum, Berlin).
This seal bears the
inscription "The property of Eliakim, steward of Jehoiakin." It is from Debir
(Tell Beit Mirsim) located 13 miles southwest of Hebron. It was excavated by
William F. Albright in 1926.
This seal was found
at Lachish and bears the inscription "Gedaliah, who is over the house." Gedaliah
was the name of the man who the Babylonians had appointed as governor of Judah
after the destruction of Jerusalem.
The Events Surrounding the
Destruction of Jerusalem
The Fall of Judah
Bible History Online
The Story of the Bible
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