Archaeology

Archaeology Certifies Psalm 137:1-2

Many accounts in the Biblical books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Daniel have been challenged by the critics. However, upon closer look, the record of God’s Word stands true.
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Archaeology Certifies Psalm 137:1-2

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The sons and daughters of God—the blood-bought—possess the potential to do marvelous, divine things.  Jesus speaks of what one should expect from a believer in Mark 16:17-18:

17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

II Peter 1:2-4:

2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Putting on the divine nature of Christ and participating in the divine promises—promises that affect and even interact with the material and physical world—is the calling and expectation of the redeemed.  A believer develops into this divine nature beginning at a place Jesus calls “born again,” a place where clean hands, a pure heart, and childlike faith opens the gateway to the miraculous ministry of reconciliation. 

Have you been born again—literally born a second time, this time of the Spirit of God?  Will today be the day God begins to develop His divine nature in you?  Will today be the day your sin, shame, and bondages are broken and removed—even expunged from your record?  Do it while it is still called TODAY.  Click onto “Further with Jesus” for childlike instructions and immediate entry into the Kingdom of God.  NOW FOR TODAY’S SUBJECT. 

GOD SAID, Jeremiah 29:1-7:

1 Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem unto the residue of the elders which were carried away captives, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon;

2 (After that Jeconiah the king, and the queen, and the eunuchs, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the carpenters, and the smiths, were departed from Jerusalem;)

3 By the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, (whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent unto Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon) saying,

4 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon;

5 Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them;

6 Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.

7 And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.

GOD SAID, II Kings 24:12-15:

12 And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign.

13 And he carried out thence 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 which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said.

14 And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.

15 And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king's mother, and the king's wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.

GOD SAID, Psalm 137:1-2:

1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.

2 We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.

MAN SAID: The Bible is simply not a reliable account of anything of consequence.  It’s not worthy of our attention. 

Now THE RECORD:  You need to know it’s true.  You need to know it is God’s inerrant truth.  The Word of God is the foundation of eternal promise, even the “substance of things hoped for.”  Welcome to GodSaidManSaid feature article 810 that will once again certify the absolute, supernatural accuracy of the Word of God.  All of these features are archived here in text and streaming audio for your edification and as ammunition in the battle for the souls of men.  Every Thursday eve, God willing, they grow by one. 

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Thank you for coming.  May God’s favor rest upon you and your home. 

Satan’s champions challenge the inerrancy of God’s Holy Scriptures from the very first verse—from Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning, God created…” to every verse thereafter.  After 6,000 years of relentless, rigorous attacks, God’s majority-text Holy Bible stands unassailed; as carnal academia continues to search for cracks in the Solid Rock, they unwittingly certify its supernatural veracity.  Be of good cheer, saints: Your childlike faith will not be disappointed. 

Archaeology is one of the four proof planks used on GodSaidManSaid.  In this category, we include paleontology, ancient history and societal accounts, geology, and, in some instances, microbiology. 

Many accounts in the Biblical books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Daniel have been challenged by the critics. However, upon closer look, the record of God’s Word stands true.  Many of these amazing accounts are featured on GodSaidManSaid and would include such things as:

  • The defeat of the Israeli people by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar and the exile of their best to Babylon. 
  • The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple. 
  • Young Jewish men made eunuchs in order to serve the Babylonian king. 
  • The fiery furnace and Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  
  • Daniel, the great interpreter of dreams. 
  • The animalization of King Nebuchadnezzar—a malady known to medical science as lycanthropy. 
  • Daniel, the great last-days prophet. 
  • Daniel and the lions’ den, and more.

The headline in the September/October 2016 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review reads, “How Bad Was the Babylonian Exile?”  Excerpts follow:

While the words of the Psalmist capture the longing of some Judeans to return from the Babylonian Exile, the prophet Jeremiah exhorted Judah’s exiles to build houses, plant gardens, marry and have families—to engage in activities that would assure the stability and continuity of life and community in a foreign land (Jeremiah 29:5-7). 

Recently published cuneiform tablets reveal fascinating aspects of Judean life under Babylonian and Persian rule.  Written by Babylonian and Babylonian-writing scribes in service to the imperial administration, these sources inform our understanding of the social and economic standing of Judeans in the Mesopotamian landscape. 

Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 586 BCE, but the Judean Exile had already begun as early as 597 BCE, with the removal to Babylon of Judahite king Jehoiachin, his mother, sons, and “mighty men of valor, 10,000 captives and all the craftsmen and the smiths” (II Kings 24:12, 15-16).  The Biblical text continues, recording the cataclysmic destruction of Jerusalem, the burning of the “house of the Lord, the king’s palace and all the houses of Jerusalem” (II Kings 25:9), and the subsequent removal of the population, along with the Temple furnishings and treasury. 

Nebuchadnezzar’s early years are retained in cuneiform tablet, part of the Babylonian Chronicle.  The tablet covers events between 605 and 594 BCE.  Each entry recounts military events in successive regnal years of the Babylonian kings.  Horizontal lines separate the events by year.  The fifth section of this tablet documents the conquest of Jerusalem and Judah and corroborates the Biblical account of Judahite royalty being taken into exile (II Kings 25:30, Jeremiah 52:31-34). 

The brief Babylonian record of the conquest of Jerusalem and Judah is narrated in the Babylonian Chronicle in the Early Years of Nebuchadnezzar, now housed in the British Museum, which acquired it in 1896: “The seventh year: In the month Kislev, the king of Akkad [i.e. Nebuchadnezzar] mustered his army and … encamped against the city of Judah, and on the second day of the month Adar, he captured the city [and] seized [its] king.  A king of his own choice he appointed in the city, [and] taking the vast tribute, he brought it into Babylon.” 

Both cuneiform and Biblical evidence thus corroborate that members of the Judahite court were exiled to Babylon and contribute to an understanding of their status there.  The Bible tells us that Evil-Merodach (Babylonian Amēl-Marduk), son and successor of Nebuchadnezzar, released King Jehoiachin from prison, elevated him above other captive kings, and provided him with a daily food allowance.  (II Kings 25:30; Jeremiah 52:31-34).  This Biblical notice finds support in cuneiform ration lists excavated in Nebuchadnezzar’s South Palace, not far from Babylon’s famed Ishtar Gate.  These texts preserve the names and titles of Levantine kings and high officials deported along with Jehoiachin.  The ration texts confirm the diverse origins of deportee populations; Judeans as well as Egyptians, Philistines, Elamites, Lydians, Ionians, Medes, and Persians received monthly disbursements of grain and oil. 

Outside courtly circles, the lives of ordinary Judeans in Babylonia were documented in some 700 texts excavated at Nippur in the late 1800s.  They record the activities of a family of businessmen, descendants of an entrepreneur named Murašû.  Through assembly, sublease and, sometimes, foreclosure of parcels of land, members of the family profited from barley and date agriculture. 

Gold for the Temple of Marduk: This small receipt from Sippar reports that Nabû-šarrūssu-ukīn (Nebosarsekim in the Bible) delivered 1.5 mina of gold to Marduk’s temple in 594 BCE.  Nebosarsekim, according to Jeremiah (Jeremiah 39:3, 13), was present among “all the princes of the king of Babylon” during the siege of Jerusalem. 

A settlement called “Judahtown” (Babylonian āl-Yāḫūdu) was unknown until the 1999 publication of a single administrative text written there in 498 BCE.  Since then, a group of 44 administrative and legal documents written in āl-Yāḫūdu has been identified and published.  These texts, along with approximately 160 texts written in nearby towns, provide balance to the known documentation, now attesting to the lives of the lowly as well as high-born Judean and other West Semitic exiles, in rural as well as the previously-documented urban landscapes, from the start of the Judean Exile to the time of the rebuilding of the Temple and beyond. 

Two texts in the corpus, earlier than the first published Judahtown text, preserve a writing of the town’s name as ālu ša Yāḫūdu, “the city of the Judeans,” written in cuneiform as URU šá ia-a-ḫu-da-a-a.  This toponym thus confirms that Judeans were the primary inhabitants of that settlement; it is but one of several that reflect the demographic profile of towns Nebuchadnezzar established in old and abandoned, or in newly-created, settlements in the countryside, particularly in the area around Nippur, populated primarily with deportees from defeated lands.  The new residents worked to reclaim these lands, and in exchange for their access to the land, owed military service and taxes to the state.  The system served not only to extend the state’s control of agriculture, but also to integrate and acculturate foreign populations into the empire. 

The dates of these earliest texts from āl-Yāḫūdu mean that there is now a nearly seamless continuum in documentation of Judean presence that extends from the destruction of Jerusalem through the early part of the reign of the Persian king Xerxes (the latest text in the corpus dates to 477 BCE). 

Near āl-Yāḫūdu lay other towns named for other individuals of West Semitic origin, for example: Bīt-Našar (the estate of Našar) and Bīt-Abī-râm ( the estate of Abī-râm).  The town of Nār-Kabara (the town of river Kabara) is of special interest, as the component Kabara parallels the name of the river Chebar, a place from which Ezekiel began to prophesy to his fellow captives, and which figures prominently in the Biblical book that bears his name: Ezekiel 1:1-3; 3:15, 22; 10:15, 20, 22; 43:3.  On the Babylonian landscape, Nār-Kabara refers to a waterway extending through rural Babylonia to Susa, along which commerce was transacted. 

Judeans of āl-Yāḫūdu inhabited the countryside and participated in the activities and business of agriculture.  The record of the Judeans and āl-Yāḫūdu corroborates the depiction of Jeremiah’s words. 

Documentation of Rapā-Yāma’s activity ends following 532 BCE, at which time his son, Aḫīqam, succeeds him in business and assumes his father’s role, even repaying some small debts remaining at the time of his father’s death.  Some of these texts post-date the first year of Cyrus’s rule, when Cyrus (according to the narrative in Ezra 1”1-3) issued the proclamation that authorized Judeans to return and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. 

Aḫīqam’s business activities presented risk as well as potential for profit, as is evident in his contribution to a joint venture to build a plow team.  Against the considerable expense of bringing together two oxen, two farmers, as well as the seeder plow and seed necessary for efficient and intensive grain agriculture, Aḫīqam and his partner also stood to share in the profits.  Aḫīqam’s business acumen is seen in his exchange of a donkey mare for an ox and the payment in silver made to compensate for the differential value between the animals; the expense incurred contributed to Aḫīqam’s building a stock of animals that could be leased in future profit-making ventures.  All of these mark him as an entrepreneur, interacting with the Babylonian population in and around āl-Yāḫūdu. 

It’s a family thing:  Aḫīqam is the central figure in a cache of 44 records from Judahtown (āl-Yāḫūdu) that mentions several generations of his family.  The Yahwistic names of his father and grandfather point to their Judean heritage.  The records mentioning his sons reflect the successes of the Judean community in exile.  Here, the male lineage of this family is presented with the dates for which each family member’s activity is attested. 

Although the evidence for Judeans on the Babylonian landscape, from the time of the Exile through the Persian period, remains scattered over time and topography, the cuneiform sources substantiate many of the brief notices preserved in the Bible.  [End of quotes]

Every account in God’s Word is true.  I need to know it.  Everything depends on it—and I mean everything

GOD SAID, Jeremiah 29:1-7:

1 Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem unto the residue of the elders which were carried away captives, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon;

2 (After that Jeconiah the king, and the queen, and the eunuchs, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the carpenters, and the smiths, were departed from Jerusalem;)

3 By the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, (whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent unto Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon) saying,

4 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon;

5 Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them;

6 Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.

7 And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.

GOD SAID, II Kings 24:12-15:

12 And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign.

13 And he carried out thence 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 which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said.

14 And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.

15 And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king''s mother, and the king''s wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.

GOD SAID, Psalm 137:1-2:

1 By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.

2 We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.

MAN SAID: The Bible is simply not a reliable account of anything of consequence.  It’s not worthy of our attention.

Now you have THE RECORD.

 

 

References:

Authorized King James Version

Pearce, L., “How Bad Was the Babylonian Exile?” Biblical Archaeology Review, September/October 2016

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