Amidst the plethora of major geopolitical events taking place–many of which have a biblical prophetic context–there are some other developments which also deserve to be noted. This post is devoted to discoveries with biblical connections found in an archaeological site in Jerusalem. I think everyone should know about them so I wanted to take this chance to inform readers of my blog about these discoveries. 

Over the decades, various inscriptions and evidence found on a variety of artifacts have verified that many ancient people named in the Bible really did exist. The first link is an earlier post I wrote which cited an article that 83 people named in the Bible have been attested to by archaeological or historical evidence of some kind. Jesus Christ’s existence as a real life person, for example, is attested to by references to him in the historical writings of the Roman Empire. I discuss these mentions of Jesus Christ extensively in my books (available at the home page of this website), but some of the information on this subject is included in the first link.

Some of the important and prominent personalities of the Bible are referred to in historical accounts and others are referenced in small artifacts dug up out of the ground at archaeological sites. The ancient Assyrian historical accounts for example, when translated, were found to contain the names of many of the Israelite kings named in the Bible. Others named on artifacts are obscure Israelite officials. Such is the case with an official of the kingdom of ancient Judah named Nethanmelek (or “Nathanlmelek”) in II Kings 23:11 (second link). His name was found on an artifact excavated in a site in the location where ancient Jerusalem was located. This person lived in the transition period from King Ahaz to King Josiah, and it is not clear if this official served under one or both of these Judean kings. Since the artifact was found in a physical location and in an historical context that is consistent with the mention of him in the Bible, it is highly likely the individual named in the Bible is the individual with the same name found on the ancient artifact. If the Bible was just a work of fantasy, we would not have people from biblical narratives turning up as real persons in ancient records and in archaeological excavations.

Another recent discovery bears mention. Archaeological excavations have found approximately 1,500 fragments made of ivory in an area of Jerusalem where the influential and ruling class of ancient Judah lived and worked (third link). The ivory artifacts are small, indicating they were likely smashed by the Babylonian soldiers who captured and destroyed ancient Jerusalem in the early 6th century BC. The Bible records that ivory was very much prized by the rich and influential people in the ancient kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Amos 6:4-7 mentions “beds of ivory” as being present in the upper classes of ancient Israel before it fell. The kingdoms of Judah and Israel were born from the division of the former United Kingdom of Israel under Kings David and Solomon. I Kings 10:18 records that King Solomon made a throne out of ivory and so it is not surprising the two kingdoms born from his empire both highly valued ivory. Later, in the reign of King Ahab of Israel, I Kings 22:39 states that Israel had so much ivory that Ahab made a royal “house” out of ivory.

The ivory had to come from elephants in either Asia or Africa. Israel and Judah were located at the juncture of Asia, Africa and Europe so they had no difficulty procuring supplies of ivory on the caravan routes. I Kings 10:22 tells us that King Solomon had a fleet that sailed the oceans obtaining not only ivory, but gold, silver, peacocks and apes. Peacocks are associated with India and apes mostly with Africa so the ivory found in the excavation in Jerusalem from the kingdom of ancient Judah could have come from either Africa or India. Both destinations were easily accessible for the merchants of ancient Judah.

The second link also has a piece of information that I find very informative. It mentions storage jars in the Jerusalem excavation and traces of vanilla were found in some containers. The article mentions that vanilla comes from Africa or India. Vanilla is not directly mentioned in the Bible but could be indirectly mentioned as one of the various “spices” that  King Solomon had access to via the “spice merchants” of his time (I Kings 10:15). This adds weight to an assertion that ancient Israel and Judah had long-standing trade relations with India and Africa, dating back at least to the time of King Solomon’s trans-oceanic fleets. Once again, details from modern archaeological excavations periodically produce evidence that support the real existence of historical biblical personalities and accurately describe aspects of the cultural environments of ancient Israel and Judah recorded in the Bible.

If you are intrigued by the facts that ancient Israel and Judah were involved with the international commerce of their times, you will find far more evidence substantiating their far-flung influence, colonies and transplanted Israelite kingdoms in my books, which can be obtained at the home page of my website