Telltale Tablets

On Tuesday, newspapers around the world, including the Barrie Examiner, reported the opening of a new museum exhibition in Jerusalem of some ancient clay tablets written by Jews who were taken to Babylon in the 6th century B.C. Most Christians are very much aware of the Biblical accounts of their 70-year stay, as written by prophets such as Daniel, Ezekiel and Jeremiah. Apparently the hand-sized clay tablets were discovered in modern-day Iraq several years ago and have been carefully examined by archaeologists.

Most of the writing describes mundane business accounting: taxes, debts, and some family matters such as inheritances. Some tell the tale of a particular Jewish family over four generations, from a father down through great-grandchildren – all living in Babylonian exile. Their names are even recorded. The tablets confirm that many Jews remained long after the official decree that the Jews could return to Judea, and led fairly normal lives doing business and even helping the government.

All of this spectacularly agrees with the Biblical accounts of the Babylonian captivity and the character of the lives of the Jews who chose to remain after it was officially over. The book of Esther speaks of hard-won Jewish freedoms in Babylon, Israelites helping with the administration of government, and the fact that great numbers settled there for good. Even more interesting is the tablets themselves, written by actual Jews who lived through these events recorded in Scripture.

Once again we have the modern archaeologist to thank for their uncanny way of confirming the Bible. The scriptures do not contain legends and myths; they contain real history.

– Tim Johnson