Top Biblical Discoveries of 2022 (Part Two)

 #4 Oldest Proto-Alphabetic Inscription in Israel Contains the Name of YHWH.

A lead tablet, first discovered in 2019, only recently had its hidden texts revealed. Found during the wet sifting led by Dr. Scott Stripling, the lead tablet contained a curse written in Hebrew text. The wet sifting project was going through the dump piles from Adam Zertal's excavations on Mount Ebal. While researchers knew the tablet contained writing, they were unable to read the inscription until just last year.

Using advanced tomographic scans, researchers were able to reveal the hidden texts. The tablet has been dated to somewhere between 1,200 and 1,150 B.C. While it cannot be confirmed, many believe the tablet may be connected with the renewal of the covenant on Mount Ebal found in Joshua.

"At that time Joshua built an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, on Mount Ebal, just as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the people of Israel, as it is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, “an altar of uncut stones, upon which no man has wielded an iron tool.” And they offered on it burnt offerings to the Lord and sacrificed peace offerings. And there, in the presence of the people of Israel, he wrote on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written. And all Israel, sojourner as well as native born, with their elders and officers and their judges, stood on opposite sides of the ark before the Levitical priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, half of them in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, just as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded at the first, to bless the people of Israel. And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the Book of the Law. There was not a word of all that Moses commanded that Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel, and the women, and the little ones, and the sojourners who lived among them." - Joshua 8:30-35

The text, once revealed, read,

"Cursed, cursed, cursed, cursed by the God YHW,

You will die cursed.

Cursed you will surely die,

Cursed by YHW - Cursed, cursed, cursed. "


Some point out this provides solid evidence the Bible was written at the time it says it was written, not centuries later as some groups claim.


#3 Lost Papyrus Found in Plain Sight

While most discoveries are made in the field during archaeological excavations or through special projects such as wet sifting, other discoveries are waiting in plain sight to be found. This was the case with #3 on our list of the top biblical archaeological discoveries of 2022.

Far from the excavations in Israel and Jordan, the artifact was found in a frame in the home of a woman living in Montana. Experts say they are uncertain of exactly where the artifact came from, but they are certain it is genuine. This is made even more remarkable when you consider the artifact, a piece of papyrus dates to 700 B.C. and is older than the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The papyrus, which is about the size of a postage stamp, contains four short lines written in Hebrew, which includes the name of Ishmael. The item was a gift the current owner's mother when she visited Israel in 1965. The owner has donated the item to the IAA (Israel Antiquities Authority). 

#2 Ancient Ivory Inlays Discovered in Jerusalem

The number 2 item on our lists was yet another discovery made during a wet sifting project. The original material was excavated at a Givati parking lot and was later part of a wet sifting project at Emek Tzurim National Park. In sheer number, this is the largest discovery on the list. Some 1,500 Ivory fragments were recovered. The fragments were dated to the time of the first temple, approximately 1,000 B.C. 

The fragments were parts from 12 square plaques that measured 1.9 inches by 1.9 inches. These plaques were carved with geometric shapes, Lotus flowers and Rosettes. It is believed these came from some type of monumental building that belonged to either Jewish Elites, or even Royalty. These inlays appear to match up with biblical verses.

"Then the king made a huge throne, decorated with ivory and overlaid with fine gold."  1 Kings 10:18

"You lie on beds adorned with ivory and lounge on your couches. You dine on choice lambs and fattened calves. You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments." - Amos 6:4 

It is believed the structures which once held these furnishings were destroyed by the Babylonians in the 6th century B.C. While ivory inlays and decorations are mentioned in the Bible, these are the first such inlays ever to be discovered in Jerusalem. 

#1 Study Confirms Biblical Battles Using Earth's Magnetic Field

The Bible records a great number of conflicts and battles. These battles are in the Old Testament and have been the subject of debate for many years, perhaps centuries. The archaeological evidence can confirm these battles took place, and in many instances where they took place. What has always been debated is exactly when these battles took place. Did they happen when the Bible says they did, or where these dates modified or exaggerated.

With new technology the timeline for these battles may no longer be subject to debate. Recently, a new Paleomagnetic study was published in "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences".  The study looked at twenty-one destruction layers at seventeen sites in Israel. 

Paleomagnetics studies the ferromagnetic particles contained in objects that have bene heated to a very high temperature. This would be items such as a pottery kiln, or a structure destroyed by fire. This makes it a perfect method to examine and date a battle scene where there were intense fires. By testing the sites of biblical battles the study was able to confirm the battles took place when the Bible said they did.

The results of these tests are considered by many to be one of the most important and significant discovers ever made. If and when these battles took place is significant to determining the accuracy of the Bible. By proving these battles not only took place, but took place where and when the Bible records, is extremely important and exciting.  

You can read more about this study/discovery in Haaretz / Archaeology

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