Judges And Archaeology

It is written:

“When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the LORD nor the work which He had done for Israel. 11  Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baals; 12  and they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the LORD to anger. 13  They forsook the LORD and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. 14  And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. 15  Wherever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for calamity, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn to them. And they were greatly distressed. 16  Nevertheless, the LORD raised up judges who delivered them out of the hand of those who plundered them. 17  Yet they would not listen to their judges, but they played the harlot with other gods, and bowed down to them. They turned quickly from the way in which their fathers walked, in obeying the commandments of the LORD; they did not do so. 18  And when the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed them and harassed them. 19  And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they reverted and behaved more corruptly than their fathers, by following other gods, to serve them and bow down to them. They did not cease from their own doings nor from their stubborn way.” (Judges 2:10-19)

It is sad to realize the vast numbers of people in our world who believe that the Bible is a book of mythology and antiquated belief. Many are not aware of the multiple evidences which confirm that the Bible is, in fact, the Word of God.

One way in which the Bible has been confirmed has been in the field of archaeology. Indeed, many archaeologists have testified of the ways that the study of ancient civilizations has confirmed the accuracy of the Scriptural record.

For example:

“W. F. Albright of Johns Hopkins University states, “There can be no doubt that archaeology has confirmed the substantial historicity of Old Testament tradition.”[ 1] Likewise, Millar Burrows of Yale University offers this endorsement: On the whole, however, archaeological work has unquestionably strengthened confidence in the reliability of the scriptural record. More than one archaeologist has found his respect for the Bible increased by the experience of excavation in Palestine. Archaeology has in many cases refuted the views of modern critics. It has shown, in a number of instances, that these views rest on false assumptions and unreal, artificial schemes of historical development. This is a real contribution and not to be minimized.”[ 2]” (Paul E. Little, Know Why You Believe, 108 (Kindle Edition); Downers Grove, Illinois; InterVarsity Press)

One particular area where skeptics have raised many objections is from the Book of Judges. It’s accounts, we are told, are unhistorical and untrustworthy. The people listed in Judges never truly lived!

Yet interestingly enough, Judges has been authenticated through archaeology in several ways.

“So, how do we now view the Book of Judges? The evidence that we have examined here is only a small portion of what is available, yet already we are led to conclude by it that the Book of Judges is no forgery. It is not mere propaganda either. It is rather an historical record that is so precise and exact that it can be tested even on the microscopic level and still be found to be faithful to the historical record–utterly faithful. That is certainly not a property that belongs to any humanly-devised document, forgery or no. What goes for the Book of Judges, goes also for any other Book of the Bible. I have been critically investigating the Books of the Bible for nigh fifty years now, and I never cease to be astonished at their accuracy. Even their unlikeliest statements turn out to be unnervingly accurate when they are investigated in any depth. Witness the account of Ehud bolting that door on the inside from the outside as he left the room (see Chapter Three above). More than one critic has suggested that we should butcher the Hebrew text in order to read that Ehud really made his escape by sliding down the royal privy, so impossible and unlikely did the account appear of him being able to bolt and lock that door from the outside. This argument is repeated even by some of our conservative scholars. And yet, when the evidence is examined in any depth, we find that the Hebrew text requires no alteration at all. What it speaks, it speaks truly-to the confounding of all its critics, conservative or liberal. And what of Cushan Rishathaim, the king who never existed according to the critics, assuring us over many years that he is not to be found in any records anywhere of any time or kingdom? What are we to make of their claim? Just by looking at the records we were easily able to identify him with the Assyrian king, Eriba-Adad I, who ruled from 1392-1366 BC. Here was the double-demon-worshipping, twice-wicked, king that the Book of Judges tells us about. It does not use his throne name by which he is famous. But then, 2 Kings 15: 19 doesn’t know Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria by his throne name either, calling him just Pul instead, which was the name that the Babylonians knew him by. In short, the critics’ claim that our Cushan Rishathaim was a fictional character, just doesn’t hold up. What does hold up, thanks to the archaeological record in this case, is the Book of Judges’ claim to belong to, and be part of, the inerrant Word of God.” (Bill Cooper, The Authenticity of the Book of Judges, 258-1273 (Kindle Edition))

The Bible is the proven Word of God. Why not make the decision to build your life on its’ Divine teachings?

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