King of Moab Confirms Bible History

The Moabite Stone (Mesha's Stele)

The Moabite Stone cannot be seen in the British Museum, although for years an actual-size copy was exhibited. We mention it here because it is one of the most sensational memorials to turn up, throwing light on Bible history. The original stone is exhibited in the Louvre, Paris. The land of Moab lay east of the Dead Sea, and was roughly 600 miles long by 25-30 miles wide. David and Solomon subdued it as a vassal state, but after 930 BC it threw off the yoke of Israel. However, the Bible records that by 853 BC (the year Ahab died) Moab had long been subdued once again by Israel, and was preparing for a second at­tempt at independence. 2 KINGS 3:4-5 tells us:

`And Mesha king of Moab was a sheepmaster, and rendered unto the king of Israel 100,000 lambs, and 100,000 rams, with the wool. But it came to pass, when Ahab was dead, that the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel.'

In 1868 this ancient memorial stone came into the possession of an Arab sheikh, confirming the accuracy of the text quoted, naming the Israelite kings Omri and Ahab, and providing a list of the accomplishments of Mesha, the Moabite king. In 39 lines of writing he tells us:

`I am Mesha ... king of Moab ... As for Omri, king of Israel, he humbled Moab many years ... and his son [Ahab] ... also said, I will humble Moab. In my time he thus spoke, but I have triumphed over him ...'

The Moabite Stone goes on to speak of the taking of other districts from Israel, and of the building of reservoirs and townships. It is certainly a most significant confirmation of the accuracy of the his­torical details in the Bible.

 


Excerpt from Peter Masters: "Heritage of Evidence in the British Museum", The Wakeman Trust, London 2004 (available in book stores)