All posts tagged: Mesha stele

The discovery of the oldest mention of the ‘Hebrews’ outside the Bible hints of spiritual warfare

Archaeologists working at Atarot, located in Jordan, recently uncovered a large cylinder shaped altar dated to the 9/8 the century BC. It was created by an ancient king of Moab, one of the dreaded enemies of Israel mentioned several times in the Old Testament. Archaeologists believe the altar, found inside an ancient shrine, was used for burning incense. But as they deciphered the seven lines of script written on the altar, they discovered the oldest reference to the “Hebrews” outside the Bible. The inscription is linked to a Biblical battle mentioned in 2 Kings 3. According to the Biblical record, Israel had conquered Moab and were forcing the country to pay an annual tribute to Israel. However, when the Israeli King died (Ahab), the Moabite King decided to take advantage of the political instability to break free from Israel’s control by refusing to make the annual payment. When that happened, the new Israeli King, Jehoram, contacted Judah’s King Jehoshaphat and an unnamed King of Edom to bring Moab to heel. If the King of Moab …

An Israeli sunset Credit: Israel Nature Photographers/Flickr/Creative Commons

Does an ancient archaeological discovery tell us something about ‘spiritual warfare’?

There is a strange story in the Old Testament talking about a battle that took place between Israel and Moab. Found in 2 Kings 3, we are told that Israel had the kingdom of Moab in subjection. As a vassal, the Moabites paid an annual tax to Israel of 100,000 lambs and the wool from 100,000 sheep. The reason was obvious, we are told that Mesha, the King of Moab, was a breeder of sheep (verse 3) and had obviously developed a unique breed that was in demand. By this time, Israel had split apart into two nations, Samaria (Israel) and Judah. King Ahab of Israel had just died and King Mesha decided this was an opportune time to break free from Israel’s domination. Undoubtedly, Israel became aware of the problem when Mesha refused to pay the tribute. So Jehoram, the new King of Israel contacted King Jehoshaphat of Judah and an unnamed King of Edom to help Jehoram bring Moab back into submission. Obviously, it was in everyone’s best interest to keep Moab under …