Thursday, July 12, 2007

A BABYLONIAN OFFICIAL hitherto known only from a mention in the book of Jeremiah, has turned up in a cuneiform tablet from the time of Nebuchadnezzar:
Museum’s tablet lends new weight to Biblical truth
Dalya Alberge, Arts Correspondent

The British Museum yesterday hailed a discovery within a modest clay tablet in its collection as a breakthrough for biblical archaeology – dramatic proof of the accuracy of the Old Testament.

The cuneiform inscription in a tablet dating from 595BC has been deciphered for the first time – revealing a reference to an official at the court of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, that proves the historical existence of a figure mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah.

This is rare evidence in a nonbiblical source of a real person, other than kings, featured in the Bible.

The tablet names a Babylonian officer called Nebo-Sarsekim, who according to Jeremiah xxxix was present in 587BC when Nebuchadnezzar “marched against Jerusalem with his whole army and laid siege to it”.

UPDATE (20 July): More here.

UPDATE (21 July): More here, with photo.