Archaeological Finds of Biblical Interest

There are many many discoveries of archaeology that corroborate equally many details of the biblical text.  It is obviously impossible to list all of them; this page merely presents a small handful of discoveries that I happen to have run across recently (mostly in classes).

Note that this lists only very specific finds.  Things like "ancient Jerusalem existed" are surely true archaeological finds and certainly do corroborate biblical statements; however it's a rather general and obvious archaeological find.  We're going for things that are a bit more specific.

Biblical Passage Description of Discovery Found By / When Other Notes

1 Chr. 3:17-18

"The sons of Jeconiah were ..., Pedaiah, ..."

Seal with inscription "Belonging to Pedaiah, son of the king."  Note that the seal also depicts a proto-ionic capital (very similar to those found at Ramat Rahel, just SW of Jerusalem) that is typical of the 1st Temple period [i.e., pre-Exile]. Info to come. In the Hecht, Dagon Collection.

Isaiah 22:10

"Then you counted the houses of Jerusalem / And tore down houses to fortify the wall."

The famous "Broad Wall" of Jerusalem is built overtop (i.e., it cuts through) previously-built houses.  (The Broad Wall finally proved that Jerusalem in Hezekiah's time was not limited to the small area of the SE hill -- a la the "minimalist" view -- but rather was a much larger city.  This had been a huge debate within archaeology for many decades.)

Nahman Avigad.

Discovered: 1969.
Excavated enough to discern what it was: 1970.

-Nahman Avigad, Discovering Jerusalem, 1983. See chapter 1.

To come.

Isaiah 22:15-16

"Go to this steward, to Shebna, who is in charge of the royal household... '...You who hew a tomb on the height...' "

The Tomb of the Royal Steward.
Inscription carved on the lintel of a tomb hewn on the slope of the Mt. of Olives. It uses the identical title for the tomb's owner, and appears to retain a couple letters of a name that would fit "Shebna".  Also, the paleography (form of the letters) fits the right time period.   [Text to come.]
Charles Clairmont-Ganneau, 1870s. Due to earlier mutilation, the inscriptions were not deciphered until 1953-5 by Nahman Avigad.


More to come.

Jeremiah 36:10

"...Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe..."

A bulla (i.e., a clay impression from a seal) was found in a house in the City of David, reading: "Belonging to Gemaryahu son of Shaphan". To come. To come.

1 Chr. 9:11 (see also 1Chr.6:13; Ezra 7:1; Neh. 11:11)

"...Azariah the son of Hilkiah..."

A bulla (i.e., a clay impression from a seal) was found in a house in the City of David, reading: "Belonging to Azaryahu son of Hilkiyahu". To come. To come.

2 Chr. 32:30 (see also 2Chr.32:3; 2 Kings 20:20)

"It was Hezekiah who stopped the upper outlet of the waters of Gihon and directed them to the west side of the city of David."

Both the famous "Hezekiah's Tunnel" and the equally famous "Siloam Inscription" testify to the accuracy of these biblical statements. More to come. To come. The Siloam Inscription is in the Istanbul Museum.  Occasionally the 2nd floor is even open to the public, and you can see it. (I've tried 3 times, but have never got in.)

Jer. 37:3 and 38:1

"King Zedekiah sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah ... to Jeremiah the prophet..." and "Jucal the son of Shelemiah ... heard the words that Jeremiah was speaking to all the people..."

A bulla from the seal of this official of Zedekiah (the last King of Judah). Jehucal was one of the officials who tried to kill Jeremiah, by throwing him into a cistern. The seal was found in the excavation of a large public building at the top of the City of David. The building is from the 10th century BC (David or the early Monarchy) and the excavator suspects it was a palace. The seal reads, "Yehochal, son of Shelemyahu, son of Shuvi". Curiously, the seal now provides us with the name of Jehucal's grandfather, which we did not have from the biblical account. This even contributes a tiny bit to our understanding of the passage, since we can now conclude confidently that Jehucal was not the brother of Irijah (Jer 37:13), because they had different grandfathers [i.e., their fathers' names were the same merely by coincidence]. Well, this was a fairly good implication of the text of Jer. 37, already. But now we can be sure. Eilat Mazar, 2005.