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Discovery Magazine 7/1/2009

The Moabite Stone

Writing about a rock that was found almost 150 years ago certainly would not fit in an “in the news” section of a newspaper. In fact, since 1868, there have been many articles written about the stone. But the truth is, many people do not even know it exists. The Moabite Stone is very important because it helps to show that the Bible is always correct.

The Moabite Stone was found by a missionary named F. Klein in 1868. When he first saw the black basalt stone it measured about three and a half feet high and two feet wide. Upon hearing of Klein’s adventure, a French scholar named Clermont-Ganneau traveled to see the stone. He then made an impression of the writing on its surface. From that point, no one really knows what happened to the stone. Somehow, the stone was broken in several pieces. The pieces were scattered around the world, but about two-thirds of the original stone has been found and is currently on display at the Louvre, a famous museum in Paris.

The written inscription on the stone provides a piece of evidence that proves the Bible’s accuracy. Mesha, the king of Moab, had the stone cut in about 850 B.C. to tell of his many conquests. He told about the lands that he recaptured from Israel. In the text of the stone, which is over 30 lines and contains about 260 words, Mesha mentions that Omri was the king of Israel who had oppressed Moab. When we look in the Bible, we see that 1 Kings 16:21-28 gives us the same information. Furthermore, both the Moabite Stone and 2 Kings 3:4-6 say that Mesha was the king of Moab. The stele also names the Israelite tribe of Gad, and the Israelite God, Yahweh, two names the Bible mentions often. Once again, archaeology helps us see that the Bible writers only wrote things that were the truth.

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*Please keep in mind that Discovery articles are written for 3rd-6th graders.

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