The Stones Cry Out -- By: Anonymous
BSP 0 (Autumn 1987) p. 28
The Stones Cry Out
“If these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out...”
For almost two hundred years archaeological finds in many cases have helped to confirm or illuminate the Bible.
On the other hand, some finds seem to contradict the Scriptures. A safe approach in such a case is just to wait. Often, archaeological finds have been wrongly interpreted when applied to the Bible, so that what at first may seem to be a contradiction, later is not.
An example is Sargon II, Emperor of Assyria. Early in the nineteenth century, scholars had concluded that there never was an emperor with his name. The only mention of him in all of ancient literature was in the Bible, and that only once in Isaiah 20:1.
But, in 1843, when Khorsabad was excavated in Iraq, Sargon’s capital was discovered with thousands of clay tablets written by his scribes. Today we know more about Sargon than any other Assyrian emperor.
Critics claimed the Bible was in error, but archaeology confirmed the Bible as Truth.
“The next Assyrian king after Sargon was Sennacherib, who attacked Jerusalem during King Hezekiah’s time. The story is told
BSP 0 (Autumn 1987) p. 29
in 2 Kings 18 and Isaiah 36, 37 (and is summarized in 2 Chronicles 32).
Sennacherib’s version of the attack is recorded on the Taylor Prism, discovered at Ninevah in 1830. Parallels between the two accounts are remarkable. But there are some differences.
One difference was the amount of tribute paid by Hezekiah: 300 talents of silver according to Scripture, but 800 talents according to Sennacherib. The solution seems to be that the Babylonian and Palestinian talent weights differ.
In his inscription Sennacherib tells that he made other Palestinian cities yield. But when he describes his campaign against Jerusalem he fails to tell of capturing it and its king, Hezekiah. When he says, “As for himself, like a bird in a cage in his royal city Jerusalem, I shut (him) up,” he was trying to make the most of his failure. Actually, Hezekiah was reposing very safely in his “cage”, under the Lord’s protection.
Finds like the Taylor Prism not only confirm the Bible, but also illuminate many of its details and help us to gain new insights.
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