Biblical Archaeology Evidences for
the Accuracy of the Scriptures


Mesha Inscription Mesha Tablet text

Discovered in Dhiban, Jordan, in 1868 by a Anglican medical missionary by the name of F. A. Klein. The language is Moabite. The translation is by A. Lemaire in 1994. The following is a list of some of the people, places and things that the tablet has in common with the Scriptures.

"I am Mesha ... the Dibonite" (line 1)
Mesha- Genesis 10:30 2Kings 3:4 ; a Moabite king ~853 BC
Dibon- Numbers 21:30 ; a city

"Omri had taken posession of the land of Medeba" (line 7)
Omri- 1Kings 16:16 ; king of Israel (the Northern Kingdom) 885-873 BC
Medeba- Numbers 21:30 ; a city

"And I built Baal Meon .... And I built Kiriathaim' (lines 9-10)
Beth Ball Meon- Joshua 13:7 Ezekiel 25:9 ; a city and Baal was a Cannanite fertility god
Kiriathaim- Joshua 13:19 Ezekiel 25:9 ; a city

"the men of Gad had dwelt in the land of Ataroth from of old, and the king of Israel built Ataroth for himself," (line 10)
Gad- Genesis 30:11 ; a person/tribe/territory
Israel- Genesis 32:28 ; a person/nation/territory (mentioned 4 times)
Ataroth- Numbers 32:3 ; & 32:4 ; a city

"the town belonged to Chemosh and to Moab ... Kerioth my town' (line 12)
Chemosh- Numbers 21:9 ; a Moabite god (mentioned 11 times)
Moab- Genesis 19:37 ; a person/tribe/territory
Kerioth- Joshua 15:25 ; a city

"men of Sharon ... take Nebo against Israel" (line 14)
Sharon- 1 Chronicles 5:16 ; a plain
Nebo- Numbers 32:3 ; a city

"the king of Israel had built Jahaz" (line 18-19)
Jahaz- Numbers 21:23 ; a city

"I built Aroer, and made the highway through the Arnon" (line 26)
Aroer- Numbers 32:24 ; a city
Arnon- Numbers 21:13 ; a river

"I built Bezer, for it was in ruins" (line 27)
Bezer- Deuternomy 4:43 ; a city, location uncertain.

"And the house [of Dav]id dwelt in Horanaim" (line 31)
The translation of the above line is uncertain due to the condition of the tablet and is in dispute.
(ref: B$S Vol.9, No.2, Spring 1996)

Moab map

Biblical Archaeology evidences for the accuracy of the Scriptures.

Samaria Ostraca identifying Clans of Manasseh

The Helek Ostracon

Evidence for the locations of the clans of Manasseh, son of Joseph, were discovered in 1910 under the direction of G. A. Reisner in Samaria ( the capital city established 880 BC by king Omri ). Discovered were 63 potsherds with inscriptions written in ink, called ostraca ( plural ) or ostracon (singular). Though seemingly a minor find, they remain among the earliest of the archaeological discoveries of ancient Hebrew writings. Commercial records that document the transaction of oil and wine from various regions of Samaria to various officials. Thirty of them identify the clan/district name of 7 of the 10 offspring of Manesseh identified in Joshua 17:2-3 when they were being assigned their territory in chapter 17. Each of the five sons of verse 2 are identified, Abiezer ( 1 ostracon), Asriel ( 2 ostraca ), Helek ( 6 ostraca ), Shechem ( 1 ostracon ), and Shemida ( 17 ostraca ). Only two of the daughters of Zelophehad (verse 17:3) are identified, Hoglah ( 2 ostraca ) and Noah ( 1 ostracon ). The potsherds are estimated to date approximately 784-783 BC. The allocation of the territories took place in the 15th century BC and one might suspect that clan designations could have possibly passed out of use by that time. However, the locations and the spellings are unchanged. An indication of the strength of the clan loyalty of the nomatic Israelite tribes and a testimony to the accuracy of the Biblical records.
(ref. B&S Vol 10, No. 1, Winter 1997)

Samaria Clan Locations
Biblical Archaeology evidences for the accuracy of the Scriptures.

Customs and laws of Nuzi

The Nuzi Tablets

A library of tablets dating from 1600 to 1350 BC was located at Nuzi, an ancient trade center in Assyria. The site possibly had been settled since 3000 BC and was first called Gasur. Among the more interesting discoveries in the tablets were some of the social and religious practices of the periods as recorded in the deeds, wills, marriage agreements, and adoptions. They possibly shed light on many of the customs that are documented in the Scriptures that may appear to us as being unusual (wierd?).

In the case of a childless couple, the wife could locate another wife for the husband.

"If Gilimninu (the wife) will not bear childern,
Gilimninu shall take a woman of Lulluland as a wife for Shennma (the husband)."
Sarah provided Hagar for Abraham (Genesis 16:3) for the purposes of bearing children. Should the first wife later bear a son, he would rank over a son born to the second wife. Such was the case when Isaac was born (Genesis 21:1-10)

Adoptions were used, a man could adopt a woman as a sister and he agreed to provide a husband for the woman, and a childless couple could adopt a slave or a man lacking property. Possibly applying to the relationship of Abraham to Sarah (Genesis 20:2) and also that of Eliezer (Genesis 15:2) in Abraham's household. The adopted person was obligated to care for the needs, weep over and bury them when they died.

Fathers were not required to select the first born son as the heir, the could select any of the sons as they so pleased. Example Jacob's selection of Joseph and then passing this right of inheritance onto the sons of Joseph, Ephriam and Manasseh as though they were his sons. (Genesis 48:5)

A father was required to find a wife for the sons (Genesis 24:4) and arrange marriage contracts for the daughters. If the parents died, the heir was required to arrange the marriage of his sisters. But in this case the heir had less authority and the sister had the right of refusal.

Wills referred to the family gods as symbols of ownership and authority and were highly valued. Possibly explaining why Laban was so concerned that Rachel had taken the images when Jacob was fleeing Laban (Genesis 31). Tablets were also highly valued and passed down from generation to generation.

Also there were tablets documenting that a heir could legally sell their birthright to a brother. Example, Esau exchanging his birthright for soup in a time of need (Genesis 25:29-34).

Also found were tablets recording blessings pronounced by aging men just before an expected death. As did Jacob in Genesis 48-49, Moses in Deuteronomy 33 and Joshua in Joshua 23-24.

Therefore, many of the recorded customs in Genesis are demonstrated to be consistent with the customs of the ancient mideast societies.
(ref. B&S vol. 7, No. 1, Winter 1994)

Biblical Archaeology evidences for the accuracy of the Scriptures.