Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
Henry Crenswicke Rawlinson (left) and Austen Henry Layard (right)
In the 19th century, a new science was developing that was to shatter the Franco-German school of higher criticism. It was Assyriology and its pioneers were Archaeologists Sir Austen Henry Layard (1817-1894) and Near Eastern linguist Henry Crenswicke Rawlinson (1810-1895). They are little known today, but these men resurrected the ancient civilisations of the Near East that were hidden from man for thousands of years. Housed in Museums across Europe are priceless artefacts that strengthened the historical accuracy of the Holy Scriptures. There were a number of vicious attacks against the historical and scientific credibility of the Holy Scriptures and Charles Darwins’ Origin of Species in 1859 only added to Western scepticism, but when the archaeological contributions of these Assyriologists came to light in an age of discovery, those who questioned the historical accuracy of the Holy Scriptures were silenced. Scholars who still attempt to criticise the Sacred Canon need to take a trip to the British Museum and would come across a vast collection of Near Eastern and Egyptian/Nubian artefacts which records a number of kings and empires that are mentioned in the Bible as well as the names of a few Hebrew kings. The following are a number of artefacts that strengthen and authenticate the historical accuracy of the Holy Scriptures as well as commentaries by Layard, James White and the man labelled as 'the father of history', the 5th century Greek historian Herodotus.
Elder James Springer White (1821-1881), Seventh-day Adventist pioneer, author, teacher, preacher, minister, Entrepreneur
''Babylon was the first kingdom of universal empire. It was founded by Nimrod, the great-grandson of Noah. See Gen. 10:8-10. It lasted seventeen hundred years, though under different names; sometimes called Babylon, sometimes Assyria, and sometimes Chaldea. It continued from the time of Nimrod, to that of Belshazzar, who was its last king." (1)
Herodotus, (484BC - 425BC), Greek historian
'Babylon ... in addition to its enormous size it surpasses in splendour any city of the known world.
The Euphrates, a broad, deep, swift river which rises in Armenia and flows into the Persian Gulf, runs through the middle of the city and divides it into two.
The dress of the Babylonians consists of a linen tunic reaching to the feet with a woollen one over it, and a short white cloak on top; they have their own fashion in shoes, which resemble the slippers and sees in Boeotia. They grow their hair long, wear turbans, and perfume themselves all over; everyone owns a seal and a walking-stick specially made for him, with a device carved on top of it, an apple or rose or lily or eagle carved on something of the sort; for it is not the custom to have a stick without one such ornament.
They bury their dead in honey.
For knowledge of the sundial and the gnomon and the twelve divisions of the day came into Greece from Babylon.' (2)
This is what the early Babylonians looked like. The Semites from very early, supplanted the Kushite population in Iraq according to French Assyriologist Francois Lenormant (1837-1883) and British historian Canon George Rawlinson (1812-1902) and became the dominant race in the East
Cylinder seals came from Babylon. They had a hole at the top and the bottom where a chain went through it and it was worn around the neck
A cylinder seal discovered in pre-dynastic Egypt (c.3100 BC)
A cylinder seal discovered in Cyprus (c.1400-1200 BC)
"The engraved gems and cylinders in the ruins bear ample witness to the skill of the Babylonian lapidaries.' (3)
The front page of the London newspaper 'The Independent' on Monday, 17 September, 2007, recording the destructive impact of the 2003 Us-led Iraq invasion and the priceless artefacts that have been destroyed as a result of it. The article calls Iraq (ancient Babylon) the 'cradle of civilization'. It just verifies what the Bible has always said (Gen. 10:8-12; 11:1-9)
An article in the British journal 'The Daily Telegraph' where English Assyriologist George Smith (1840-1876) deciphered a number of Babylonian tablets which recorded the creation, the fall and the flood.
The Adam and Eve cylinder seal (c.2200 to 2100 BC) in the British Museum
An article in the 'The Times' of London 1914 where Dr Langdon, Professor of Assyriology at Jesus College, Oxford found a pre-Semitic account of the flood among Babylonian tablets
Babylonian tablet (1635 BC) with an account of the biblical flood in the British Museum
Tablet XI from the Library of Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (7th century BC) recording the flood
A clay model of the entrails of a cow liver. Ezekiel the co-prophet of Daniel (Ezekiel 14:14, 20), a priest and a captive in ancient Babylon recorded the Babylonians occult practice of divination through the liver (Ezekiel 21:21)
The war in Iraq has led to some interesting archaeological discoveries. The late US Assyriologist, Samuel Noah Kramer (1897-1990), wrote a book in 1959 titled 'History Begins at Sumer' and documented that Sumeria, the biblical Shinar is the origin of all our "firsts", which included government and politics, education and literature, philosophy and ethics, law and justice, agriculture and medicine, tax reduction, pharmaceuticals, etc. The London newspaper the METRO, documented some of the things which existed in Babylonia thousands of years ago which we believe has only been accomplished by modern man.
'Between 2400BC and 600BC, Assyrians invented time-keeping, paved roads, door keys, libraries, magnifying glasses, aqueducts, flushing toilets and even guitars.' (4)
Magnifying glass called the 'Nimrod Lens', discovered by Sir Austen Henry Layard in the ruins of Babylon (modern Iraq). It proves that the Babylonians were very technically advanced
Batteries in ancient Babylon. The babylonians had the technology to make electricity. It proves that modern man is not as advanced and technically skilled as his early forbears
Sir Leonard Woolley (right) and his wife with a drainage system in the city of Ur of the Chaldees
A US soldier photographing a ziggurat (temple) in Iraq in what used to be Ur of the Chaldees
Deep beneath the sands of time great empires were waiting to be resurrected to the modern world. The patriarch Abraham, the spiritual father of many nations (Gen. 12:1-3; Rom. 4; Gal. 3:28, 29; Heb. 11:8-10) is recorded as leaving the Babylonian city of Ur of the Chaldees (Gen. 11:31) and in 1929 the archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley (1880-1960), with finance from the British Museum excavated this site in Mesopotamia in where priceless artefacts are housed in the British Museum.
Artefacts discovered in Ur of the Chaldees, the birthplace of Abraham
At that time Berodach-Baladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present unto Hezekiah: for he had heard that Hezekiah had been sick.
II Kings 20:12
The Babylonian Chaldean monarch Merodach-Baladan
Marduk-apla-iddina II, better known in the Holy Scriptures as Merodach-Baladan, means ‘Marduk has given me an heir’. He was a Chaldean prince who usurped the Babylonian throne in 721 BC and reigned from 722 BC – 710 BC, 703 BC – 702 BC. He gets mentioned in the Holy Scriptures twice, most probably because he wanted to form a league with the King of Judah and Egypt to defeat the Assyrian army. He sent ambassadors to the royal court of Judah to form an alliance. Instead of Hezekiah using that great opportunity to witness to these heathens about the true and living God, he boasted of his riches and gave them a personal tour of his palace. God was angry and prophesied that Judah would eventually be overthrown by the same heathen power it had entertained, which prophecy was fulfilled over a 100 years later with the invasion of Judah by King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon (Isa. 39; Jer. 52).
‘Merodach Baladan is called king of Kar-Daniyos, a city and a country frequently mentioned in the Assyrian inscriptions, and comprising the southernmost part of Mesopotamia, near the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates, together with the districts watered by these two rivers, to the borders of Susiana. This king, with the help of his Susanian allies, had recently recovered Babylon, from which Sargon, Sennacherib’s father, had expelled him in the twelfth year of his reign. (5) In B.C. 703 or 702, Babylonia was plunged in anarchy – the Assyrian yoke was throne off, and various native leaders struggled for the mastery. Under these circumstances the exiled monarch seems to have returned, and recovered his throne. Merodach-Baladan had obtained a body of troops from his ally, the king of Susiana; but Sennacherib defeated the combined army in a pitched battle. (6) The result was that Sennacherib totally defeated Merodach-Baladan, who fled to save his life, leaving behind him his chariots, waggons (?), horses, mares, asses (?) camels, and riding horses with their trappings for war (?). The victorious king then advanced to Babylon, where he plundered the palace, carrying off a vast treasure of gold, silver, vessels of gold and silver, precious stones, men and women servants, and a variety of objects which cannot yet be satisfactorily determined. No less than seventy-nine cities (or fortresses), all the castles of the Chaldeans, and eight hundred and twenty small towns (or villages), dependent upon them, were taken and spoiled by the Assyrian army, and the great wandering tribes “that dwelt around the cities of Mesopotamia, the Syrians (Arameans), and Chaldeans, & c & c. were brought under subjection. (7) Merodach-Baladan fled to “the islands at the mouth of the Euphrates.” He lost his recovered crown after wearing it for about six months, and spent the remainder of his days in exile and obscurity. (8)
Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Because ye have not heard my words, behold, I will send Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations.
Jeremiah 25:8, 9
Jeremiah 25:8, 9
A clay tablet in the British Museum that records King Nebuchadnezzar' invasions of the nations he conquered which included Jerusalem
The artefact above may look very insignificant especially to a visitor who may walk pass it, paying it no attention and having no knowledge of its historical value. It is written in Chaldean cuneiform and it covers the years 605-595 B.C. where it starts off with the Battle of Carchemish, when Nebuchadnezzar II (634-562 B.C.) routed the Egyptians, captured the city of Ashkelon in 604 and Jerusalem in 598 B.C. The Neo-Babylonian empire which defeated the Assyrian Empire reached its zenith under King Nebuchadnezzar II (c.634BC - 562BC), whose name means "Nebu is the protector against misfortune." Unbeknownst to him he was fulfilling prophecy when he invaded Jerusalem and God had His hand in it. It was because of the children of Israel’ constant rebellion that led them into captivity in ancient Babylon as God forewarned them years before in the ‘law of Moses’, of what would happen to them if they constantly rebelled against Him (Deut. 28:36; Dan. 9:13).
In the days of King Hezekiah of Judah and just prior to the invasion of Jerusalem, the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah prophesied that they would be overthrown and led into captivity by their Chaldean neighbours (Isa. 39:6, 7; Jer. 1:14, 15; 4:6; 6:1; 24, 25) and other prophets also recorded that experience (Dan1; Eze. 1:1-3). The tablet above is a recorded testament to the validity and accuracy of God’ prophetic warnings.
'The name of Nebuchadnezzar is written in many ways - in the Bisutun inscription we have Nabokhodrossor, Nabukhadrachar, and Nabukhudrachar. In pure Babylonian inscriptions it undergoes even more numerous changes. In Daniel he is called Nebuchadnezzar, or Nabuchadrezzar. The first component of the word, Nebo, was the name of a Babylonian divinity. (Isaiah, ch. xlvi. v. 1.)' The interchanges which takes place in consonants is shown by the names of several Babylonian kings, as given by the Greeks.' (9)
Two of a number of artefacts in the British Museum with King Nebuchadnezzars' name inscribed on them in the ancient Mid Eastern script that the Western World has labelled cuneiform (wedge-shaped)
The Ishtar Gate was built by Nebuchadnezzar and it is classed as one of the 8 wonders of the world. It is a testament to the high splendour of pagan art. It was transferred from Iraq to Germany where it is on display in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin
The dragon (also a serpent), a symbol of Satan (Rev. 12:9; 20:2), was worshipped in every culture on earth. It adorns the Ishtar Gate of Nebuchadnezzar
The lion symbolises Babylon in Bible prophecy (Jer. 50:17; Dan. 7:4) and it is one of the many animals that adorn the Ishtar Gate
Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.
A cylinder that documents the name of the last king of Babylon, Belshazzar on display in the British Museum. This artefact defeated the many sceptics in the 19th century who doubted if King Belshazzar even really existed.
Two of Daniel’ prophecies regarding the rise and fall of four major world empires were recorded in the first and third year of the reign of Belshazzar, king of Babylon (Dan. 7:1; 8:1). He was one of the monarchs within those empires who were to meet a terrible fate. The writing on the wall in Daniel 5 by the hand of God in Belshazzar’ palace, recorded his overthrow by the Medes and Persians and the prophecy was fulfilled to precision not long afterwards (Isa.13:1, 17, 18; Jer. 51:11, 28, 29).
When the British archaeologist Sir Austen Henry Layard, a descendant of the persecuted French Protestant Huegenots excavated the ruins of the Assyrian plains in Iraq, he was amazed to find that the description of Babylon by the prophets Ezekiel and Daniel was spot on and he recorded it in his book 'Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon' in 1853.
'The fingers of the man's hand wrote the words of condemnation of the Babylonian empire "upon the plaster wall of the king's palace."
The vast trade, that rendered Babylon the gathering-place of men from all parts of the known world, and supplied her with luxuries from the remotest climes, had at the same time the effect of corrupting the manners of her people, and producing that general profligacy and those effeminate customs which mainly contributed to her fall. The description given by Herodotus of the state of the population of the city when under the dominion of the Persian kings, is fully sufficient to explain the cause of the speedy decay and ultimate ruin. The account of the Greek historian fully tallies with the denunciation of the Hebrew prophets against the sin and wickedness of Babylon. Her inhabitants had gradually lost their warlike character. When the Persians broke into their city they were revelling in debauchery and lust; and when the Macedonian conqueror appeared at their gates, they received with indifference the yoke of a new master.' (10)
That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, thy foundation shall be laid.
The 2,500 year-old Cyrus cylinder is on display in the British Museum
One of the greatest archaeological finds in the 19th century was the Cyrus cylinder. This artefact is written in ancient Persian cuneiform and was discovered by the assistant to Assyriologist, Sir Austen Henry Layard, Iraqi born Chaldean Catholic Hormuzd Rassam, who was born within the then Ottoman Empire. Cyrus was prophesied over 100 years by the prophet Isaiah for restoring Jerusalem and laying down the foundation of the temple after the 70-week captivity of the Jews in Babylon (Jer. 25:9-12; Dan. 9:1, 2). Though the Jews are not recorded on this artefact, which has been labelled the first ‘Declaration of Human Rights’, they definitely reaped the benefits of this Persian monarch who was guided by providence. King Cyrus’ achievements must have been extraordinary for he is mentioned in three prophetic books. Isaiah prophesied it (Isa. 45:1) and the prophets Daniel and Ezra experienced it (Dan. 1:21; 6:28; 10:1; Ezra 1-3). Cyrus probably had no idea that he had played a pivotal role in fulfilling Bible prophecy.
This artefact is causing quite a contentious stir between the diplomatic ties between Britain and Iran (ancient Persia). As the British Museum houses many artefacts from around the world of countries which were its formerly colonies, many of these governments want their artefacts returned back from where they originally were taken from and others just wants to borrow them on loan (e.g. Rosetta Stone from Egypt). Who would have ever believed that a Biblical artefact would cause a row?
Mr Hormuzd Rassam, native Assyrian who found the Cyrus cylinder
The Mesha Stele (Moabite Stone)
And Mesha king of Moab was a sheepmaster, and rendered unto the king of Israel an hundred thousand lambs, and a hundred thouand rams, with the wool. But it came to pass, when Ahab was dead, that the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel.
II Kings 3:4, 5
The 9th century BC Moabite stone in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France
The name Moab means “from her mothers father”. Moab was the product of an incestuous liaison between Lot and his firstborn daughter, after she and her sister both made him drunk and slept with him after they fled Sodom and Gomorrah, fearing that they would have no descendants (Gen. 19:30-36). Moab is ‘the father of the Moabites unto this day’ (Gen. 19:37), according to the sacred canon. The Moabites land was East of Jordan (Num. 21:13-15; Deut. 1:5) and though they were distant relatives of the children of Israel, both tracing their lineage to Terah, the father of Abraham and the grandfather of Lot (Gen. 11:12), they sent Balaam to curse Israel, for ‘Moab was sore afraid of the people’ (Num. 22-24) and they also refused Israel passage into the land of Canaan (Judges 11:17, 18). The second king of Israel, David, which means, “loving”, was a descendant of a Moabitess, called Ruth whose name means “friend” (Matt. 1:5; Ruth 1:4; 4:13-22), who was his great-grandmother. Though of Moabite blood, he still conquered and ruled over them (II Sam. 8:2, 11, 12; II Chron. 18:2, 11). The Moabites formed an alliance with the Syrians and the Chaldees, whose king was Nebuchadnezzar, to overthrow the nation of Israel after their constant rebellion against God (II Kings 24:1, 2). They were denounced by many of the pre-exile prophets who foretold their overthrow and their eventual annihilation (Isa. 15-16; Jer. 9:26; Eze. 25:8-11; Amos 2:1; Zeph. 2:8-11). Their history would have been quite meaningless to any Biblical scholar and thrown into oblivion if it was not for one of their kings, Mesha, who took it upon himself to rebel and secede from being under Israel’ rule and making a record of that historical act on that black stone which consists of 34 lines, the Mesha Stele, better known as the “Moabite stone”. It is known as ‘the earliest important Hebrew inscription”, though it is written in Moab, a Semitic language similar to Hebrew.
This is what the full text reads:
"I, Mesha son of Chemosh-melech king of Moab, the Di-
bonite. My father reigned over Moab thirty years and I rei-
ned after my father. I made this monument to Chemosh at
Korkhah. A monument of sal-
vation, for he saved me from all invaders, and let me see my
desire upon all my enemies. Omri
[was] king of Israel, and he oppressed Moab many days, for
Chemosh was angry with his
land. His son followed him, and he also said: I will oppress
Moab. In my days Che[mosh] said:
I will see my desire on him and his house. And Israel surely
perished for ever. Omri took the land of
Medeba and [Israel] dwelt in it during his days and half the
days of his son, altogether forty years. But there dwelt
Chemosh in my days. I built Baal-meon and made therein
he ditches; I built
Kirjathaim. The men of Gad dwelt in the land of Ataroth
from of old, and the king of Israel built there
Ataroth; and I made war against the town and seized it.
And I slew all the [people of]
he town, for the pleasure of Chemosh and Moab; I captured
from thence the Arel of Dodah and tore
him before Chemosh and Kerioth. And I placed therein the
men of Sh(a)r(o)n, and the men
of M(e)kh(e)rth. And Chemosh said to me: Go, seize Nebo
upon Israel; and
I went in the night and fought against it from the break of
dawn till noon; and I took
it, and slew all, 7000 men, [boys?], women, [girls?],
and female slaves, for to Ashtar-Chemosh I devoted them.
And I took from it the Arels of Yaveh and tore them
before Chemosh. And the king of Israel built
Jahaz, and dwelt in it, while he waged war against me;
Chemosh drove him out before me. And
I took from Moab 200 men, all chiefs,and transported them
to Jahaz, which I took
too add to it Dibon. I built Korkhah, the wall of the forests
and the wall
of the citadel: I built its gates and I built its towers. And
I built the house ofMoloch, and I made sluices of the water-
ditches in the middle
of the town. And there was no cistern in the middle of the
town of Korkhah, and I said to all the people: Make
yourselves every man a cistern in his house. And I dug the
canals for Korkhah by means of the prisoners
of Israel. I built Aroer, and I made the road in [the province of] the Arnon. [And]
I built Beth-Bamoth, for it was destroyed. I built Bezer,
for in ruins
[it was. And all the chiefs] of Dibon were 50, for all Dibon
is subject; and I placed
one hundred [chiefs] in the towns which I added to the land.
Beth-Medeba and Beth-diblathaim and Beth-baal-meon
and transported thereto the [shepherds? ...
and the pastors] of the flocks of the land. And at Horonaim
dwelt there ...
... And Chemosh said to me: Go down, make war upon
Horonaim. I went down [and made war]
... And Chemosh dwelt in it during my days. I went up
from thence ..." (11)
Tel Dan Stele with King David' name inscribed on it.
The Tel Dan Stele was a stone discovered in 1992/3. The text reads as follows;
1. [. .. ... ] and cut [ ... ]
2. [ ... ] my father went up [against him when] he fought at [ ... ]
3. And my father lay down, he went to his [ancestors]. And the king of I [s-]
4. rael entered previously in my father's land. [And] Hadad made me king.
5. And Hadad went in front of me, [and] I departed from [the] seven [ ... -]
6. s of my kingdom, and I slew [seven]nty king [gs], who harnessed thou[sands of cha-]
7. Riots and thousands of horsemen (or:horses). [I killed Jeho]ram son of [Ahab]
8. king of Israel, and [I] killed [Ahaz]iahu son of [Jehoram kin-]
9. g of the House of David. And I set [their towns into ruins and turned]
10. their land into [desolation ... ]
11. other [ ... and Jehu ru-]
12. led over Is[rael ... and I laid ]
13. siege upon [ ...] 
The earliest depiction of an Israelite on the black obelisk of Shalmanaser III in the Assyrian room in the British Museum
In the British Museum is a black obelisk and inscribed on it is an Assyrian king named Shalmaneser, (reigned 858-824 BC) which means ‘the god Shulman is chief’. On one of the columns is an inscription with a name of a Hebrew king. It reads thus:
"The tribute of Jehu, son of Omri: I recieved from him silver, gold, a golden bowl, a golden vase with pointed bottom, golden tumblers, golden buckets, tin, a staff for a king [and] spears."
Clay bulla/seal of Baruch, the scribe of the prophet Jeremiah.
In the Israel Museum is housed a clay bulla/seal of Jeremiah’ secretary and close confident Baruch, whose name means “the blessed of Yahweh”, the son of Neriah (Jer. 32:12; 36:4-32; 45:1-5), who wrote his prophecies when Jeremiah was imprisoned for standing for truth. The three lines on the clay seal is written in Middle Semitic script and it reads as thus:
Line 1: "Berekhyahu
Line 2: son of Neriyahu
Line 3: the scribe."
The above artifacts from the Orient, the Near East, confirm that the Bible written over a space of 1,500 years is historically accurate and that the names of places and kings which before Egyptology and Assyriology arose were seen as myths, were now confirmed to be true. More light is going to be shed on the authority of God’ word before the Second Coming of Christ.
In our age of skepticism where a generation is taught there are no absolutes and that all is relative and Revelation is displaced by reason, and truth is overridden by agnosticism, these ideas have been proven to benefit and profit nothing and have left this generation empty with nothing tangible to stand for and believe in. All of the 19th century ideas that were designed to replace the Bible have been proven to not benefit man in any way shape or form - Marxism, Freudism, Darwinism and Nietzsche’ godless existentialism have not benefited the West at all.
While senseless ongoing debates will rage on, on how irrelevant the Bible is to our modern culture by pagan philosophical minds, they can never give an alternative, but are like the Epicureans and Stoicks at Mars’ Hill in Athens, Greece who ‘spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing’ (Acts 17:21).
Truth will continue to spring out of the earth and no matter how hard man tries to undermine the Word of God, no matter how many Bibles will burn and Christians are persecuted around the world, no matter how many governments want to de-Christianize and secularize their societies and remove prayers from schools, the timeless declaration from heaven will continue to ring from now throughout eternity by the gospel prophet where under inspiration he says:
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
Source: (1) Bible Adventism by James White p.78; (2) Herodotus, Book One, 178, 179, 180, 195, 198, Book Two, 109; (3) Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon by Austen Layard pp. 537, 538; (4) METRO, Thursday, August 16, 2007; (5) Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon by Austen Henry Layard 140; (6) A Concise Dictionary of the Bible by William Smith p.546; (7) Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon by Austen Layard pp. 140, 141; (8) A Concise Dictionary of the Bible by William Smith p.546; (9) Nineveh and its Remains, VOL. II by Austen Henry Layard p.177; (10) Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon by Austen Layard pp. 529, 539; (11) The Higher Criticism and the Verdict of the Monuments by Rev. A. H. Sayce pp. 366, 367, 368