The Bible maintains several characteristics that prove it is from God. One of those is the fact that the Bible is accurate in every one of its details. The field of archaeology brings to light this amazing accuracy. (Part 2 of 5 in video series on Bible and Archaeology, name of David pops up in 1993, Hezekiah’s tunnel, Taylor Prism)
The value of the Bible in scholarly instruction is as literature, not as history.
I remember reading all these amazing stories in the Old Testament and thinking they were strange. However, I knew that they were true because everytime I researched the facts, I found the Bible was true after all. Here is a perfect example below.
Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)
Does this record of Sennacherib’s war campaigns mention Hezekiah the Judahite?
This beautifully preserved six-sided hexagonal prism of baked clay, commonly known as the Taylor Prism, was discovered among the ruins of Nineveh, the ancient capital of the Assyrian Empire.
It contains the victories of Sennacherib himself, the Assyrian king who had besieged Jerusalem in 701 BC during the reign of king Hezekiah, it never mentions any defeats. On the prism Sennacherib boasts that he shut up “Hezekiah the Judahite” within Jerusalem his own royal city “like a caged bird.” This prism is among the three accounts discovered so far which have been left by the Assyrian king Sennacherib of his campaign against Israel and Judah. British Museum. The Taylor Prism discovery remains one of the most important discoveries in Biblical Archaeology.
Interesting note: Egyptian sources make mention of Sennacherib’s defeat in the conflict with Judah, but gives the credit for the victory to an Egyptian god who sent field mice into the camp of the Assyrians to eat their bowstrings and thus they fled from battle.
(See 2 Kings 19; 2 Chronicles 32 and Isaiah 37)
“Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: ‘He shall not come into this city, Nor shoot an arrow there, Nor come before it with shield, Nor build a siege mound against it. By the way that he came, By the same shall he return; And he shall not come into this city,’ Says the LORD. ‘For I will defend this city, to save it For My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.'” Then the angel of the LORD went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses–all dead. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh.” Isaiah 37:33-38
Material – Baked Clay
Neo Assyrian (Reign of Sennacherib)
Language: Akkadian (Cuneiform)
Text: Records the first 8 campaigns of King Sennacherib
Date: 691 BC
Dates of Sennacherib’s reign: 701–681 BC
Height: 38.5 cm
Width: 16.5 cm (max.)
Width: 8.57 cm (faces)
Nineveh, northern Iraq
Excavated at Nebi Yunus
It was acquired by Colonel Taylor and Sold to the British Museum in 1855
Location: British Museum, London
Item: ANE 91032
Room: 69a, Temporary Displays
Biblical Reference: 2 Kings 18:13-19:37; Isaiah 36:1-37:38
British Museum Excerpt
The Taylor Prism
Neo-Assyrian, 691 BC
From Nineveh, northern Iraq
Recording the first 8 campaigns of King Sennacherib (704-681 BC)
This six-sided baked clay document (or prism) was discovered at the Assyrian capital Nineveh, in an area known today as Nebi Yunus. It was acquired by Colonel R. Taylor, British Consul General at Baghdad, in 1830, after whom it is named. The British Museum purchased it from Taylor’s widow in 1855.
As one of the first major Assyrian documents found, this document played an important part in the decipherment of the cuneiform script.
The prism is a foundation record, intended to preserve King Sennacherib’s achievements for posterity and the gods. The record of his account of his third campaign (701 BC) is particularly interesting to scholars. It involved the destruction of forty-six cities of the state of Judah and the deportation of 200,150 people. Hezekiah, king of Judah, is said to have sent tribute to Sennacherib. This event is described from another point of view in the Old Testament books of 2 Kings and Isaiah. Interestingly, the text on the prism makes no mention of the siege of Lachish which took place during the same campaign and is illustrated in a series of panels from Sennacherib’s palace at Nineveh.
The British Museum
March 16, 2011. Two search and rescue teams from the U.S. and a team from the U.K. with combined numbers of around 220 personnel searched the town for survivors Wednesday to help in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami.