The Moabite Stone

When, in 1868, the Moabite Stone was discovered in the possession of the Arabs, the German and French authorities offered to purchase it. But as the Turkish Governor of Nablus claimed the proceeds of the sale, the Arabs refused to sell and broke it up, distributing the pieces to a number of families as charms. It was fortunate that the French had been able to take an impression of the inscription, for although they eventually gathered together the pieces and restored the stone, it was impossible then to decipher the whole inscription. The restored stone is now in Paris, but a cast of it may be seen in the British Museum.

The inscription is an account from the Moabite viewpoint of the conflict of the allied armies of Israel, Judah and Edom against Moab, as recorded in II Kings 3 in the Bible. This was one of the Bible records attacked by modernist critics on the ground that Mesha, King of Moab, is not mentioned by secular historians and must therefore be a fictitious character, although Josephus records the incident. The discovery of the Moabite Stone, which mentions the supposedly non-existent king by name, is thus another example of the way in which archaeology consistently confirms the Bible narrative.

Hope of Israel Ministries
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