Atheists and skeptics are insistent that the Bible is not an accurate historical record. They claim the times, dates, and names are off and the people are fictional. In the country of Turkey, near the Tigris River, a monolith inscription was found. It recorded the military victory of the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III over a coalition of forces. Among these forces were Syria (Aram) and Samaria. Samaria was the capitol city of the northern kingdom of Israel. Ahab, the infamously wicked king of Israel, is mentioned by name in the monument. There is an “order of battle” which lists the forces brought by each member of the coalition. Ahab is credited with providing 2,000 chariots and 10,000 soldiers. Obviously Ahab would not commit his entire army to a foreign commander, so the total size of the Israeli army would have been much larger. This is significant because critics have long denied the size, power, and influence of ancient Israel (especially under the reign of David and Solomon). They claim that Israel was never more than a piddling regional association of Jewish tribesman. Or, according to the favorite snarky insult of the skeptics, “a bunch of Bronze-Age shepherds.” Recent excavations in southern Israel of fortified cities and copper mines have verified the wealth and size of the kingdom under David and Solomon. In 2nd Chronicles 4:25 we read that “Solomon had 4,000 stalls for horses and chariots, and 12,000 horsemen.” Critics often laugh at these claims, but physical evidence has been found to support this. In Megiddo (near Samaria), immense stalls were excavated in the 1930’s. There was adequate room for hundreds of horses and chariots. They have been dated to the time of Ahab. This fits perfectly with the Bible’s claims as well as the outside historical record of Shalmaneser’s monolith. 1st Kings 20 mentions Ahab’s constant conflict with Syria/Aramea but also tells of a three-year period of truce between the two nations (1st Kings 20:31-34). This aligns perfectly with the timing of this coalition united against a bigger, common enemy: Assyria. Archaeology continues to prove the Bible to be true and accurate.
Posted by: Rob Lester | July 30, 2012