Excavating Truth

Paul Emile Botta, a French born archaeologist, is credited with unearthing the 741 acre Assyrian capital Dur-Sharrukin (“Fortress of Sargon”), present day Khorsabad.  In December 1842 he began excavation at a site in Nineveh east of the Tigris.  It wasn’t until shortly after March 1843, when moving to a more favorable location did he make his first find.  Not very far under the surface, he struck the top of a wall.  After digging a trench along the wall, he found himself in an enormous room.  Many more discoveries would be made including many extravagant statues which later got sent to Paris.  Some are on display in the Louvre and British Museum.  Prior to this discovery, very little was written or know about the Assyrians.  Only vague accounts of classical historians and a few biblical references.  And the only reference to this unknown king, Sargon, was by the Hebrew prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah 20:1  “In the year that Tartan came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him, and he fought against Ashdod and took it,”

Victor Place, Botta’s successor, discovered 14 inscribed barrel cylinders with historical records.  In Sargons records was a description of his defeat of Ashdod, as was mentioned in the verse:

“Azuri, king of Ashdod, also planned in his heart not to pay tribute, and among the kings of his neighborhood disseminated hatred of Assyria.  On account of the evil he had done I cut off his lordship over the people of his land.  In the anger of my hear, the mass of my army I did not muster.  I did not assemble my whole camp  With only my usual bodyguard I marched against Ashdod; I besieged it, and I conquered it.  I took as spoil his gods, his wife, his songs, his daughters, his possessions, the treasures of his palace, together with the people of his land.”

I find it very interesting how “unreliable” and “false” the Scriptures are, yet the very existence of Sargon was unknown except from the Bible, and low and behold, he was real.  Don’t be so quick to pass judgement on the Scriptures!

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