Islamic State’s looting accidentally reveals information on one mentioned in the Bible

Ancient relief of King Sennacherib


Another archeological discovery supports what the Bible teaches in the Hebrew scriptures (AKA the Old Testament). This one was the results of looting and pillaging by the terrorist group calling itself the Islamic State:

Archaeologists in Iraq are decrying the latest destruction of the nation’s historic heritage by the Islamic State while celebrating an amazing discovery of biblical significance made possible only by the terror group’s looting.

The slow recovery of Mosul by Iraqi forces, backed by an international coalition, has allowed archaeologists to examine ISIS’ damage to artifacts at the site of ancient Nineveh. In 2014, shortly after taking control of Mosul, ISIS militants rigged the Nabi Younus shrine – the traditional burial site of the prophet Jonah – with explosives and blew it up.

It is now known that ISIS dug tunnels beneath the leveled shrine in search of artifacts to sell on the world market to fund its military activities. Those now-abandoned tunnels, archaeologist say, have revealed the palace of the seventh century B.C. Assyrian King Sennacherib and his son King Esarhaddon.

Sennacherib’s invasion of the biblical kingdom of Judah in 701 B.C. is one of the most thoroughly documented historical events in the Bible, being recounted at 2 Kings 18:13-19:37, 2 Chronicles 32:1-23, Isaiah 36:1-37:38, as well as in a marble bas-relief now in the British Museum and on an Assyrian clay prism proclaiming Sennacherib’s “victory” over Judah’s King Hezekiah.

The palace of the Biblical King Sennacherib, long buried underneath the tomb of the prophet Jonah in the Biblical city of Nineveh, has incredibly been discovered by Iraqi archaeologists as a result of efforts by the Islamic State (ISIS) to destroy the site and loot its priceless antiquities.

The shrine is, according to tradition, built on the burial site of Jonah, known as Nabi Yunis in the Koran. Located in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the structure was destroyed by ISIS in July 2014. When the city was liberated by Iraqi troops a few weeks ago, archaeologist were dismayed to find that not only had ISIS used dynamite to destroy the shrine, but the terror group had tunneled underneath and carried away hundreds of artifacts to sell on the black market.

However, the tunnels revealed a completely unexpected treasure: the 2,300-year-old palace of King Sennacherib, mentioned in the Bible. During Sennacherib‘s reign, Nineveh was one of the richest cities in the world. His military campaign against the Kingdom of Judah is described in the Bible.

After these things, and this faithfulness, Sancheriv king of Ashur came, and entered into Yehudah, and encamped against the fortified cities, and thought to make a breach therein for himself. II Chronicles 32:1

The palace, built by Sennacherib, who ruled Assyria from 705 BCE to 681 BCE, was later expanded by his son, Esarhaddon (681-669 BC). The palace was partly destroyed during the Sack of Nineveh in 612 BCE.

Archaeologists are working desperately to save whatever they can, as the tunnels are unstable.

“I can only imagine how much Daesh (ISIS) discovered down there before we got here,” Iraqi archaeologist Layla Salih, who is supervising the team carrying out the emergency exploration, told the Telegraph. “We believe they took many of the artifacts, such as pottery and smaller pieces, away to sell. But what they left will be studied and will add a lot to our knowledge of the period.”

A few years ago, the Islamic State destroyed and pillaged what has been called Jonah’s tomb (see ‘Persecuted’ film, coming persecution, Iraqi persecution, and unearthing Jonah?).

Sennacherib is mentioned in thirteen passages in the Old Testament. Here is the first:

13 And in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. 14 Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong; turn away from me; whatever you impose on me I will pay.” And the king of Assyria assessed Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 So Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the Lord and in the treasuries of the king’s house. 16 At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria. (2 Kings 18:13-16)

The relief shown at the beginning of this post has Sennacherib coming as a conquering king–which is apparently how Hezekiah originally viewed him.

This find in Nineveh is interesting as we get closer to the end that archeologists continue to find more evidence of biblical peoples, figures, and events.

Of course, for those of us who believe the Bible, no further proof is needed. But for some who have heard statements from pseudo-archaeologists that deny the biblical accounts, it may be helpful for them to realize that as time goes on, more and more archaeological evidence surfaces that supports the Bible.

Anyway, the archeological discovery provides further evidence of the accounts in the Bible. The Bible has proven trustworthy as it truly is.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Read the Bible Christians should read and study the Bible. This article gives some rationale for regular bible reading. Here is a link in Mandarin Chinese: 读圣经 Here is a link in the Spanish language: Lea la Biblia..
Bible: Superstition or Authority? Should you rely on the Bible? Is it reliable? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
How to Study the Bible David Jon Hill wrote this initially and Dr. Thiel added scriptures, tips, and suggestions to it. A 2015 sermon is available and is also titled How to Study the Bible.
What is the Appropriate Form of Biblical Interpretation? Should the Bible be literally understood? What do the writings of the Bible, Origen, Herbert W. Armstrong, and Augustine show?
Why Terrorism? Is Terrorism Prophesied? What does the Bible teach? Which nations may be affected? Here is a link to a related sermon: Terrorism, Christianity, and Islam.

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