Merneptah Stele (The Israel Stele)
The hieroglyphic text of the stele made in Egypt describes the victories of Pharaoh Merneptah around 1230 BC over the Libyans and people of Palestine. The stele stands more than seven feet high (2.1 m).
The Oldest Picture of Israelites
In Egypt, on a long wall of the great Karnak Temple, is a recently identified scene of the aftermath of a battle between the Egyptians and Israelites dating to about 1209 BC.
Description of The Find
The Merneptah Stele the earliest extrabiblical mention of the name "Israel" thus far known. The Egyptian haroah brags of a victory over Israel around 1230 BC.
The picture above shows the Israelites vanquished by the armies of pharaoh Merneptah. Scen of the Karnak temple relief, Thebes (Luxor).
Importance of The Find
Although this battle between Egypt and Israel is not mentioned in the Old Testament, the stele does show that the Israelites were in fact living in the Promised Land at that time, and that their entrance into the land had already taken place by 1230 BC
Carved about 200 years after the time of Moses and Joshua, this battle scene is bar far the earliest picture of Israelites ever discovered. The same event is also told on The Merneptah Stele (above). It shows that the Exodus had taken place and the Israelites were living in the Promised Land by 1200 BC.
Shishak's Invasion Record
A record of Pharaoh Shishak's raid of 140 places, including the Kingdom of Judah has been found in Egypt carved on a wall in the Karnak Temple of Amun, god of Thebes (Luxor today). The Shishak Relief (Sheshonk 1) commemorates his victory over Rehoboam when Solomon's Temple was robbed of it's riches (probably 925 BC). The relief shows that Egypt raided Israel NOT just Judah.
The House of David Inscription (Tel Dan Inscription)
In 1993 and 1994 an archeologist working at the Old Testament site of the city of Dan found three pieces of an inscribed stone referring to David.
House of Yahweh Ostracon
This find appears to be a receipt for a donation of three shekels of silver to the House of Yahweh (Solomon's temple).
This stone inscribed in Aramaic with the expression "the House of David" refers to King David's descendants. Originally part of a victory pillar of a neighboring king of Damascus (possibly Hazael), the stone has been dated to two or three after David's time. It mentions a "king of Israel," possibly Joram son of Ahab, and a king of the "House of David," possibly Ahaziah of Judah.
This ostracon (writings on a piece of pottery) is 4 inches wide and 3 1/2 inches tall. It is not known where it was found. Some scholars date it between 835 and 796 BC, some 130 years after the temple was built.
The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser
This 6 1/2 foot (2m) tall black basalt obelisk (four sided pillar) reports in pictures and words the conquests of Assyrian King Shalmaneser III, enemy of the Israelites.
The Black Obelisk was discovered in the place at Nimrud in 1846 and shows the biblical Jehu, king of Israel, kneeling down and bringing tribute to Assyrian king, Shalamaneser. Dating from 841 bc, this important find is the only picture we have so far of an Israelite King. This is the first mention of tribute paid to Assyria by Israel. King Jehu's reign is mentioned in 2 Kings 9-10, even though the tribute is not.
The Cyrus Cylinder (The Decree of Cyrus)
This clay cylinder is inscribed in Akkadian cuneiform script with an account made by the famous king Cyrus of Persia (559-530 BC). The Cyrus Cylinder records his conquest of Babylon in 539 BC and the capture of Nabonidus, the last of the Babylonian kings.
2 Chronicles 36:22-23, Isaiah 44:28, Ezra 1:7-11
According to the Old Testament (1 Kings 14 and 2 Chronicles 12), Pharaoh Shishak of Egypt invaded Judah during the 5th year of King Rehoboam's reign. "Shishak, king of Egypt, came up against Jerusalem, because they had transgressed against Lord, with twelve hundred chariots, and three score thousand horseman; and the people were without number that came with him out of Egypt" (2 Chronicles 12:2-3). Other verses that refer to Thebes (the city of No) in Egypt are Jeremiah 46:25 and Ezekiel 30:14-16.
This Tel Dan inscription is a very important find because it is the first reference to King David found outside of the Bible.
This extremely important find is the oldest mention of Solomon's temple that has been found outside the Bible.
Above: Part of inscription (top) reads:
"Tribute of Jehu the Israelite."
The Cyrus Cylinder is an important discovery in the study of Biblical Archaeology because it speaks of Cyrus the Persian and his conquest of Babylon in 539 BC. as mentioned in Scripture. The portion of Cyrus' decree pertaining to the release of the Jews is recorded in Ezra 1:1-4, 6:35. His decree would allow the Jews to resettle in their homelands and restore their houses of worship.
The Arch of Titus
Carved in relief on the triumphal Arch of Titus, in the ancient Forum (public square) of Rome, is a scene of Roman soldiers on parade carrying the sacred items looted from the temple in Jerusalem in AD 70. These items included the table of the showbread, the Menorah (Golden Lampstand), and a scroll of God's Law.
Between Christ's resurrection and the time when the gospel was spreading throughout the Mediterranean world, a cataclysmic event occurred: the Roman army, under General Titus, invaded Jerusalem. On the ninth of Av in AD 70, the army destroyed both the city and the temple, carrying away the sacred temple items. In the ancient Forum in Rome there still stands a triumphal archway commemorating the victory of Titus and his army. (Mark 13:2, Luke 2:16)
Newark Holy Stones: 1860
The Newark Holy Stones refer to a set of artifacts allegedly discovered by David Wyrick in 1860 within a cluster of ancient Indian burial mounds near Newark, Ohio.
The set consists of the Keystone, a stone bowl, and the Decalogue with its sandstone box.
It was on a small, portable stone and its letters were in the square Hebrew characters, confirming that it dated to a more recent century than the Ten Commandments stone in New Mexico. Also pointing to the Native American Indians connection to the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel
Bat Creek Stone: 1889
Also called the Bat Creek Inscription or Bat Creek Tablet, is a Hebrew inscription .
It is an inscribed stone collected as part of a Native American burial mound excavation in Loudon County, Tennessee, in 1889 by the Smithsonian Bureau of Ethnology's Mound Survey, directed by entomologist Cyrus Thomas.
Found in the American Southeast in the region of the Cherokee near the Tennessee/North Carolina border. It's authenticity has been documented by both Dr. Fell and Dr. Gordon. Dr. Gordon's book, Before Columbus, includes a scathing denunciation of those who attempt to deny the authenticity of this artifact, which he dates to the 2nd century A.D.
The Biblical phrase "Holy to YaHaWaH" (QDSh LYHWH) would have appeared in Paleo-Hebrew
Guayanilla Stones of Puerto Rico: 1890
The first mention of the stones was in 1890 by French researcher Alphonse Pinart, who interviewed Father Nazario and concluded that the first pieces found were authentic. However, the stones were found in Guayanilla, Puerto Rico in 1880.
Father Nazario who, who had experience in ancient sciences, concluded that the stones contained the writing known as Hebrew-Chaldaic and were related to the 10 lost tribes of Israel. He concluded that some branches of these tribes had moved to the Americas, arriving at Puerto Rico.
The Los Lunas Decalogue Stone: 1960
The Decalogue Stone is a large boulder on the side of Hidden Mountain, near Los Lunas, New Mexico, about 35 miles (56 km) south of Albuquerque, that bears a very regular inscription carved into a flat panel.
The Tomb of The Priestly Hezir Family (OT)
In an elaborate tomb complex cut into the wall of Jerusalem's Kidron Valley is a Hebrew inscription identifying the burial cave as belonging to the descendants of Hezir.
Caiaphas's Family Tomb (NT)
In 1990 builders accidently uncovered a first-century AD burial cave south of Jerusalem. Later, archeologists investigated, and found several stone boxes (called ossuaries) that contained human bones.
The inscription is interpreted to be an abridged version of the Decalogue or Ten Commandments in a form of Paleo-Hebrew. A letter group resembling the tetragrammaton YHWH, or "YaHaWaH," makes three appearances. The first recorded mention of the stone is in 1933, by the late professor Frank Hibben.
The names of three generations of priestly Hezir family members also appear in the inscription, verifying the existence of this priestly family mentioned in 1 Chronicles 24:15 and Nehemiah 10:20
Left: The ossuary of Caiaphas, the priest who brought Christ to trial. Ossuaries were used to store the bonesof several generations of family members.
A list of the Levitical Priests during King David's time found in 1 Chronicles 24 includes the name of Hezir. Later, in Nehemiah 10, another priest named Hezir (possibly a descendant of the former Hezir) is listed as one of the priests who signed a covenant to keep God's law in the restored temple around 450 BC.
Inside the stone boxes were the bones of two infants, a child, a teenager, a woman, and a man. One box had the name of "Caiaphas" on it. The man's bones may have be those of Caiaphas, the priest who brought Christ to trial, mentioned in Matthew 26:57 and John 18:13-14