We believers in the Bible don’t need “proof”, and we aren’t living at the mercy of skeptical and unbelieving experts. However, if what we are already convinced of is really true, confirmations are expected and welcome. I’m focusing here on just one of the many recent confirmations.
To provide a little background, In the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy God through Moses tells the ancient Israelites how they will be greatly blessed if they follow His Law and commandments, when they have crossed the Jordan River into the promised land. However, Deuteronomy also gives warnings of curses which the people will bring upon themselves if they disobey. God is given a bad press by athiests and skeptics, so to dispel some of the claims that God was oppressing people, here is one of the curses which demonstrates otherwise:
“Cursed is anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow.”
Then all the people shall say, “Amen!” (Deuteronomy 27:19 NIV).
The curses, then, along with the blessings, were for the benefit of all as individuals and as a nation. They were not laws of oppression at all.
The Lord also tells the nation through Moses to set up an altar on Mount Ebal, inside the promised land, where these blessings and cursings will be remembered.
v1 Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people: “Keep all these commands that I give you today… v4 And when you have crossed the Jordan, set up these stones on Mount Ebal, as I command you today, and coat them with plaster…v5 Build there an altar to the Lord your God, an altar of stones. Do not use any iron tool on them. (Deuteronomy 27:1-8).
The book of Joshua records the building of the altar, under the leadership of Joshua, upon Mount Ebal:
Then Joshua built on Mount Ebal an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the Israelites (Joshua 8:30-31. Read also verses 32-35).
In the 1980s Israeli archaeologist Adam Zertal, from the University of Haifa, discovered a stone altar on Mount Ebal, and subsequently concluded that it was the very altar used by the Israelites under the leadership of Joshua, as foretold through Moses. His conclusion was attacked by skeptics (who attack and hide anything which might confirm Scripture) who claimed that it was in the wrong spot to be Joshua’s altar. However, there’s no Scriptural reason to conclude that the altar found is in the wrong spot. Here’s a video discussing this (note 1).
Bones of sacrificial animals found at the site did not include those forbidden in the Law, such as pig bones-commonly found in Canaanite and other sites. See video in note 6.
More recently a tablet has been recovered from Zertal’s excavation site, dated to around 1400 BC (sorry all you BCE fans) The small lead tablet contains an inscription on the inside, which, when scanned by experts in the Czech Republic, was found to be a curse. Not only that, but the curse also contains the name of Yahweh-the ancient Hebrew name for God, at that time spelled YWH. Here once again is a rebuttal for all those skeptics of past decades who have wanted us to believe that Yahweh was invented at a much later date. It shows clearly that the skeptics who claimed that our Old Testament Scriptures of the Exodus were written during the Persian or even the Hellenistic period were completely wrong. It greatly contributes to confirmation of the Biblical Exodus, at the Scriptural early date (see notes 2-5)
NOTES (All YouTube videos except note 7)
1 Exploring Joshua’s Altar in Israel, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tb1h45LqYpw
2 The Altar, the Curse & the Alphabet (Mount Ebal Ep 1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAgsh0MRews
3 Curses and Covenants (Mount Ebal Ep 2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rrmfw9BuQ4
4 The Name of God from Mount Ebal (Mount Ebal Ep.3) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ArIIDmWfnfA
5 Mt. Ebal “Curse Tablet” Full Press Conference, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDD92qp_lfQ
6 Game-changing Discovery at Site of Joshua’s Altar, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9UarW5O2Bs