Don’t expect to see the mainstream media cover this story any time soon.
You see, while atheists claim there is not enough evidence to believe the accounts recorded in Scripture, archaeologists confirm more and more of the Bible with each new discovery.
So, you can be sure they’ll completely ignore the discovery of this artifact linked to an Israelite king they want us to believe never even existed.
During a three-week excavation trip in February, an archaeological team from Macquarie University uncovered important artifacts at the site of Khirbet al-Rai in Israel.
The team had been working in partnership with The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Israel Antiquities Authority to more fully excavate a site which has already yielded amazing finds.
Recently, another team had found artifacts and architecture leading them to claim that the site of Khirbet el-Rai was once the ancient Philistine city of Ziklag, mentioned in the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel.
In the Old Testament, David “had gone to live in the town of Ziklag to escape from King Saul,” (1 Chronicles 12:1). Ziklag proved to be a place of refuge for David in the years before his reign.
Ziklag was the city where David gathered an army, “Day after day, new men came to join David, and soon he had a large, powerful army” (1 Chronicles 12:22).
When David partnered with King Achish of the Philistines, Ziklag was the hub for his rise to power. From this city, David launched attacks against the Amalekites, among others, and planned for his eventual rule over Israel.
Ziklag was also the site of great tragedy for the future king. During one battle, a band of Amalekites pillaged the city, carrying off the women and children who had stayed behind (including David’s own wives, Ahinoam and Abigail).
“They had overcome Ziklag and burned it with fire and taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great” (1 Samuel 30:1-2). David and his army came home to find a ruined and deserted city.
Readers know, however, that David and his men defeated the Amalekites and rescued their own, demonstrating God’s power in a triumphant display when they returned to the city.
And finally, it was from Ziklag that David departed to be crowned king over Israel at Hebron!
Biblical archaeologists understand the importance of this site in Israelite history, and they are always excited to find more of its background and culture in the dirt of an excavation site.
“When we go on an archaeological excavation, we have high hopes and low expectations but of course it’s wonderful when we make exciting finds,” said Dr. Gil Davis, Director of the Ancient Israel Program at Macquarite University.
As one of the team leaders in this excavation, Dr. Davis is always optimistic about finding important artifacts.
“We dream of making discoveries that will change our understanding of a significant part of the ancient past.”
Past finds at the site of Khirbet el-Rai include burnt mud bricks, ceramic vessels, and architectural proof of the Amalekite raid recorded in 1 Samuel. But it’s the most recent artifacts that have the team excited.
Two tiny figurines, two seals, and decorated pottery dating back 3,300 years have provided links to David’s time in the city of Ziklag.
The figurines in particular—a bronze calf hearkening back to the calf idol made by the nation of Israel in Exodus, and a rare “smiting god” representation of the Canaanite god Baal—have confirmed many archaeologist’s theories about the location of Ziklag.
“Our site is chronologically the right time period and as we’ve excavated and discovered how significant this site was from a political and economic and geographical stance, we sought to identify it with a biblical site,” said Dr. Kyle Keimer, a member of the Macquarie team.
“I wholeheartedly think that it’s a very feasible explanation, particularly in comparison to the other sites which have been proposed, all of which have one issue or another with them whether it be chronological, archaeological, or geographical.”
Keimer, Davis, and others are excited to see what else this site yields. For them, it’s an exciting change to bring the Bible to life and prove the inerrancy of God’s Word.
“In order to write the history you need to understand it from your own perspective, actually see it for yourself and experience it yourself,” said Eva Rummery, one of the Macquarie students.
“And it connects you back to the geography of the place, how the environment works, which is so important because that puts you in the life of the people who originally lived there.”
Stay tuned for more updates on this site and others!