Did Babylon Really Conquer Israel 2,500 Years Ago?
The Old Testament describes both the Assyrian Empire and the Babylonian Empire invading the country of Israel. In 722BC the northern kingdom of Israel is conquered by Assyria. In 586BC the Bible explains the Babylonian Empire conquering the southern kingdom, including the total destruction of Jerusalem. The Babylonians were led by Nebuchadnezzar.
All of this information comes from the Bible. What if, however, the Bible is a book of fairy tales? What if it's all meant to be taken metaphorically? What if the country of Israel wasn't really a country 2,500 years ago? What if there never was a Nebuchadnezzar, emperor of Babylon? In a skeptical world it's common for many people to easily discount the Bible since they're so far removed from those professed moments of history.
The artifact above is not a forgery. It was not discovered in a pawn shop in Las Vegas. It was found in the ground by archeologists.
From 1899-1917 Robert Koldewey excavated in Babylon and discovered the palace and gates of Babylon during the time of Nebuchadnezzar. Yes, you read that correctly. They actually discovered the palace of the Nebuchadnezzar mentioned in the Bible. Many interesting things were discovered. This artifact speaks directly to whether the Bible's explanation of events in the 6th Century BC can be supported outside of the Bible.
Underground, underneath the city gate, a building was discovered. The building had vaulted ceilings and rows of rooms. In one of those rooms a barrel was found with a tablet inside. The tablet, amazingly, was part of Nebuchadnezzar's royal archives. A journal discussing aspects of his government.
This particular tablet, the one mentioned above, records the rations of food given out to feed the people of Israel whom they have just conquered. This is a fascinating artifact. It shows the government needed to ration the food for the large number of Jewish refugees now in Babylon since being defeated by Nebuchadnezzar and taken away as prisoners.
The discovery simply mentioning the ration of food of Israel would have been significant enough. But the tablet also specifically mentions the rations given to the Jewish king, Jehoiachin. This is an absolutely amazing discovery supporting even the most specific details of the events described in the Bible.
2 Kings 24:10-16 states:
At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up to Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to the city while his servants were besieging it, and Jehoiachin the king of Judah gave himself up to the king of Babylon, himself and his mother and his servants and his officials and his palace officials. The king of Babylon took him prisoner in the eighth year of his reign and carried off all the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king's house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold in the temple of the Lord, which Solomon king of Israel had made, as the Lord had foretold. He carried away all Jerusalem and all the officials and all the mighty men of valor, 10,000 captives, and all the craftsmen and the smiths. None remained, except the poorest people of the land. And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon. The king's mother, the king's wives, his officials, and the chief men of the land he took into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.
If you're ever in Berlin, Germany you need to swing by the Pergamon Museum and check out the artifact known as the Jehoiachin Ration Tablet.
* This artifact, and over a hundred other artifacts, is part of the free BibleMap+ app