Gershon Galil, a professor at Israel’s Haifa University’s Institute for Biblical Studies and Ancient History has declared a stone the size of a person’s hand as one of the greatest archaeological finds in recent years, CBN reports.
The inscription on the stone from the 8th century BC, not only named one of Judah’s greatest kings, Hezekiah, but it also listed some of his accomplishments, which confirm the Biblical reports of his achievements.
It took ten years for Galil and Eli Shukron from the Bible and Ancient History institute to decipher the stone’s inscription discovered in Old Jerusalem in 2007.
They found that it not only listed the construction of the Siloam pool connected to the redirecting of the Gihon springs into Jerusalem but also spoke of Hezekiah’s religious reforms and as well of his successful attack on the Philistines.
The Bible reports that when Hezekiah realized that King Sennacherib of Assyria was invading Israel, he ordered his men to block the Gihon springs that were flowing outside the city walls. They then dug a massive tunnel and redirected the waters into Jerusalem creating the Siloam pool.
This would seriously complicate Sennacherib’s invasion as it removed easy access to a much-needed water resource for his invading army (2 Chronicles 32:2-4).
2 Kings 18:5 also describes Hezekiah (741 BC to 687 BC) as Judah’s greatest king. This was due in part to his several religious reforms that included repairing and removing the idols from the temple, and as well reforming the priesthood.
He even made an effort to religiously reunite the Kingdom of Israel and Judah, by inviting the tribes associated with Israel to join Judah in celebrating the Passover, an invitation that was not only largely ignored but actually mocked (2 Chronicles 30).
The Bible also mentions how Hezekiah successfully conquered the Philistines in 2 Kings 18:8-10.
This record of Hezekiah’s accomplishments on this small stone is so important that Galil likened it to the scripture.
“These are actually the earliest manuscripts of the Bible” Galil said. “They predate the Ketef Hinnom silver amulets by about 100 years and the Dead Sea Scrolls by hundreds of years. They also support the claim that scriptures in the Book of Kings are based on texts originating from chronicles and royal inscriptions and that the Bible reflects historical reality and not imagination,”
READ: Israel Professor: Discovery of King Hezekiah Inscriptions Among ‘Most Important’ Archaeological Finds Ever