An Israeli ancient history professor has recently translated inscriptions describing the life of the biblical Judean King Hezekiah.
Professor Gershon Galil of Haifa University's Institute for Biblical Studies and Ancient History and Eli Shukron of the Bible and Ancient History research institute say the find is "one of the most important archaeological discoveries in Israel of all time."
Experts spent more than 10 years deciphering the stone tablets, which were initially discovered during excavation work in the City of David National Park in 2007.
According to CBN News, the stone is about the size of the palm of a hand, includes Hezekiah's name and lists his achievements from the first 17 years of his reign.
One of those actions included directives to carve out a pool at Siloam and a tunnel to access waters underneath the Gihon Spring. Historians say that helped to save the city.
"When Hezekiah saw that (Assyrian King) Sennacherib had come, intent on making war against Jerusalem, he consulted with his officers and warriors about stopping the flow of the springs outside the city, and they supported him. A large force was assembled to stop up all the springs and the wadi that flowed through the land, for otherwise, they thought, the King of Assyria would come and find water in abundance "(2 Chronicles 32:2-4).
The stones likely date from the 8th Century B.C.
"These are the most complete royal inscriptions we have, and they are further evidence that the kings of Israel and Judah wrote royal inscriptions that indicated their name and deeds," Galil said.
"These are actually the earliest manuscripts of the Bible," he said. "They predate the Ketef Hinnom silver amulets by about 100 years and the Dead Sea Scrolls by hundreds of years. They also support the claim that scriptures in the Book of Kings are based on texts originating from chronicles and royal inscriptions and that the Bible reflects historical reality and not imagination."
Photo courtesy: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Luke_Franzen
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.