Archaeology - Confirming The Truth -- By: Bryant G. Wood

Journal: Bible and Spade (First Run)
Volume: BSP 11:1 (Winter 1982)
Article: Archaeology - Confirming The Truth
Author: Bryant G. Wood

Archaeology - Confirming The Truth

Bryant G. Wood

Archaeological discoveries in Bible lands over the past 150 years have remarkably verified the accuracy of the biblical record and the reliability of our biblical text. While doing some archaeological research in Israel in the Fall of 1981, I had the opportunity to examine some of these discoveries firsthand. In the pages that follow, I would like to take you on a short tour of some ancient ruins and ancient places where archaeology has confirmed the truth of the Bible, the foundation of our Faith.

Period of the Judges

The city of Shechem, in the hill country of Samaria, was the site of several famous biblical events. It was here that the events of Judges 9 transpired, when Abimelech, son of Gideon, attempted to establish himself as king over Israel. Abimelech did indeed rule for three years (vs. 22), but then opposition arose in Shechem. As a result, Abimelech destroyed the city and sowed it with salt (vs. 45). When the site was excavated between 1956 and 1964, archaeologists found that the city had been violently destroyed in about 1125 B.C., the time of Abimelech, just as the Bible said.

Judges 9 further mentions a temple of Baal Berith, or “the Lord of the Covenant.” Funds from the treasury of this temple financed Abimelech’s rise to power (vs. 4), and it was here that some of the Shechemites sought refuge when Abimelech attacked the city (vs. 46). Abimelech set fire to the temple, killing everyone inside (vss. 47–49). The temple of Baal Berith was laid bare by the excavators of Shechem and can still be seen at the site today. It is an enormous building, some fifty-four by sixty-five feet, with walls six feet thick. What is more, a sacred stone was found in front of the temple which is quite possibly the stone set up by Joshua when he made a covenant with the tribes of Israel in Joshua 24:26. The stone is mentioned again in Judges 9:6. There was evidence that the temple was also destroyed in about 1125 B.C.

The great temple at Shechem, undoubtedly the temple of Baal Berith in Judges 9. The sacred stone can be seen in the right center of the photo.

During the days of the...

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