Archaeological Dig in Israel Unearths Biblical Event

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The ruins appear to have a connection to Assyria’s takeover of the region, as mentioned in the Book of Isaiah.

(Ashdod-Yam, Israel)—According to a report from Tel Aviv University (TAU), the Ashdod-Yam archaeological dig has yielded something remarkable—and it lines up with information from the Bible. (Photo: Tel Aviv University)

The TAU researchers unearthed the remains of an ancient wall—massive fortifications—which date back to the 8th century BC.

The mud-brick wall is said to be well preserved and over 12 feet wide, 15 feet high, and “formed a crescent-shaped defense” that covered “more than 17 acres” at the time it was built.

The “fortifications appear to protect an artificial harbor,” noted Alexander Fantalkin, leader of the TAU excavations at Ashdod-Yam.

“If so, this would be a discovery of international significance, the first known harbor of this kind in our corner of the Levant,” he said.

According to the press release…

When the fortifications were built, the Assyrians ruled the southeastern part of the Mediterranean basin, including parts of Africa and the Middle East. Assyrian inscriptions reveal that at the end of the century, Yamani, the rebel king of Ashdod, led a rebellion against Sargon II, the king of the Assyrian Empire. The Kingdom of Judah, under King Hezekiah, rejected Yamani’s call to join the insurrection. (Photo: Philip Sapirstein / TAU)

The Assyrians responded harshly to the rebellion, eventually destroying Philistine Ashdod. As a result, power shifted to the nearby area of Ashdod-Yam, where the TAU excavations are taking place. The fortifications seem to be related to these events, but it is not yet clear exactly how.

The Assyria’s put down of Ashdod is described in Isaiah 20 in the Bible:

In the year that the supreme commander, sent by Sargon king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and attacked and captured it— 2 at that time the LORD spoke through Isaiah son of Amoz. He said to him, “Take off the sackcloth from your body and the sandals from your feet.” And he did so, going around stripped and barefoot.

3 Then the LORD said, “Just as My servant Isaiah has gone stripped and barefoot for three years, as a sign and portent against Egypt and Cush,[a] 4 so the king of Assyria will lead away stripped and barefoot the Egyptian captives and Cushite exiles, young and old, with buttocks bared—to Egypt’s shame. 5 Those who trusted in Cush and boasted in Egypt will be dismayed and put to shame. 6 In that day the people who live on this coast will say, ‘See what has happened to those we relied on, those we fled to for help and deliverance from the king of Assyria! How then can we escape?'”

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