United Church of God, ia
Portland Oregon

Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

A Clay Tablet's Astounding Testimony

A few years ago I was touring the famous Pergamon Museum in Berlin, which contains many artifacts excavated in the ruins of ancient Babylon. My German guide pointed out a clay tablet covered with cuneiform text. Next to it, in German, was an explanation of the text, which mentioned one of the last kings of Judah, Jehoiachin, also known as Jeconiah.

During his reign, according to Scripture, the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar besieged and looted Jerusalem and took Jehoiachin and most of the rest of Jerusalem's nobility captive to Babylon. A few years later Jerusalem was destroyed (2 Kings 24:8-25; 25:1-11).

After nearly four decades of imprisonment in Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar's son and successor Evil-Merodach (or Amel-Marduk) released Jehoiachin and gave him an honored position at the Babylonian court. "And as for his provisions, there was a regular ration given him by the king, a portion for each day, all the days of his life" (2 Kings 25:30).

What was the tablet on display in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin? It was the 2,500-year-old shopping list for the house-hold of King Jehoiachin, mentioning him by name and listing the food provided by the Babylonian king who had bestowed honor on him!

There, among hundreds of other artifacts in the museum, was a piece of living history proving once again the biblical story is real history! This is just one of many such examples. And how many artifacts that corroborate more of the biblical record are yet to be unearthed in the lands of the Bible?

Skeptics will point to the lack of hard proof for people such as Moses or Abraham as evidence to support their personal belief that the Bible is not true. Yet it should be realized that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. And could it be that physical evidence yet exists within undiscovered ancient libraries or other caches of objects and records from that time that, when discovered and properly analyzed, will yield additional information on that period and again confirm the biblical record to be true? This is why I find the criticism of and attacks on the Museum of the Bible to be so absurd.

- Darris McNeely

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