Archaeological Find Verifies Bible Text

By Mark A. Kellner | Posted November 10, 2020

For more than a century, critics of the Bible have pointed to descriptions and accounts that seem to lack corroboration … until the archaeologists show up.

One case in point is the late August announcement of the discovery of an ancient Canaanite fortification—dating from the twelfth century B.C.—that confirms battles between that tribe and its Israelite neighbors, among others.

“Measuring 60 feet by 60 feet, the two-story citadel had watchtowers in each corner and a courtyard paved with stone slabs and columns in the center,” Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper reported.

According to The Times of Israel, “The … fort next to Kibbutz Gal On and the Guvrin Stream, some 70 kilometers (40 miles) south of Jerusalem, was built by the Egyptians, who ruled the area at the time, as a defense against the Philistines, in an era corresponding to the period of the biblical Book of Judges,” the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement.

Book of Judges Cited

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, quoting the archaeologists, explained the significance of the find.

“According to archaeologists Saar Ganor and Itamar Weissbein of the Israel Antiquities Authority, ‘The fortress we found provides a glimpse into the geopolitical reality described in the [book of] Judges, in which the Canaanites, Israelites and Philistines are fighting each other. In this period, the land of Canaan was ruled by the Egyptians and its inhabitants were [in] their custody. Then, during the 12th century B.C., two new players entered the game: the Israelites and the Philistines. This led to a series of violent territorial disputes. The Israelites settled in non-fortified settlements at the Benjamin and Judean Mountains. Meanwhile, The Philistines accumulated power in the Southern Coastal Plain and established big cities such as Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Gat. In an attempt to conquer more areas, the Philistines confronted the Egyptians and the Canaanites on the border line, which probably passed at the Guvrin river, between the Philistine kingdom of Gat and the Canaanite kingdom of Lachish. It seems that Galon fortress was built as a Canaanite/Egyptian attempt to cope with the new Geopolitical situation. However, in the middle of the [twelfth] century B.C., the Egyptians left the land of Canaan and returned to Egypt. Their departure led to the destruction of the now unprotected Canaanite cities—a destruction that was probably led by the Philistines.”

The report continues, “Watchtowers were built in the four corners. A massive threshold, carved from a single rock weighing around 3 tons, was preserved at the entrance of the building. Inside the fortress was a courtyard paved with stone slabs and columns in the middle. Rooms were constructed [on] both sides of the courtyard. Hundreds of pottery vessels, some still whole, were found in the rooms of the fortress, including special vessels such as bowl and cup that were probably used for religious ritual[s]. A large number of bowls were also found in the rooms, some of which were made in a style copying Egyptian bowls.”

Bible Verified Again

This recent archaeological find is the latest in a long line of discoveries that verify the truth of the Bible. In case after case, scenes and locales described in the Scriptures are shown to be actual locations and places. Unlike some texts held as sacred by the adherents of other faiths, you can go to the sites the Bible describes in Egypt, Israel, Iraq, and elsewhere and find what the accounts describe. The ruins of Babylon are still visible in Iraq. Tyre’s ruins can be found on the Mediterranean coast of Lebanon. Both cities were prophesied as ones that would never be rebuilt—and neither one has risen again.

It’s reassuring when more and more evidence comes forward to support the biblical accounts of ancient history in and around Israel. Few could doubt the pyramids since they are still extant. But finding, as has happened in the past 50-odd years, layer upon layer of the ancient city of Jerusalem, going down to the time of Jesus, lends credibility to the Gospel accounts.

In Nazareth, you can visit an area billed as a “first-century village,” and while some elements have been recreated, the ground, the stone wheel used to crush grain, and the threshing floor all date from the time of Jesus and could very well have been places where He walked. In Capernaum, the Latin rendering of the Hebrew name “K’far Nahum,” or village of Nahum, the synagogue ruins are atop those from the first century, again somewhere Jesus visited, not far from the excavated ruins of Peter’s home in the same town.

Pastor Doug Batchelor offers a survey of many discoveries that verify the Bible in “When the Rocks Cry Out,” a Sabbath school class you’ll find of great interest. Also helpful is another study hour program, “The Bible as History”. 

And if you’d like to tour many of the most historic locations in Israel with Pastor Doug and see where history happened, you can do so without leaving your home. Journey Through the Holy Land takes you to a dozen locations. It’s available on DVD or streaming via Vimeo, and it’s sure to aid your understanding of history as verified in the Bible and with the archaeologist’s spade!

Mark Kellner
Mark A. Kellner is a staff writer for Amazing Facts International. He is a veteran journalist whose work has been published in Religion News Service, The Washington Times, and numerous computer magazines.

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