Writing about a rock that was discovered almost 150 years ago certainly would not fit in a current in the news section. In fact, since 1868, so much has been written about this stone that very few new articles pertaining to it come to light. But the truth of the matter is that even though it was discovered more than a century ago, many Christians do not even know it exists, and need to be reminded of its importance.
The stone is known as the Moabite Stone (or the Mesha Inscription). A missionary named Klein first discovered the stone in August of 1868 (Edersheim, n.d., p. 109). When he initially saw the black basalt stone, it measured about 3.5 feet high and 2 feet wide. Upon hearing of Kleins adventure, a French scholar named Clermont-Ganneau located the antiquated piece of rock and made an impression of the writing on its surface. From that point, the details surrounding the stone are not quite as clear. Apparently, the Arabs who had the stone thought that it was a religious talisman of some sort, and broke it into several pieces by heating it in fire and then pouring cold water on it. The pieces were scattered, but about two-thirds of the original stone has been relocated, and currently resides at the Louvre in Paris (Jacobs and McCurdy, 2002).
The written inscription on the stone provides a piece of rock-solid evidence verifying the Bibles accuracy. Mesha, the king of Moab, had the stone cut in about 850 B.C. to tell of his many conquests and his reacquisition of certain territories that were controlled by Israel. In the over 30-line text composed of about 260 words, Mesha mentions that Omri was the King of Israel who had oppressed Moab, but then Mesha says he saw his desire upon Omris son and upon his house. The Mesha stele cites Omri as the king of Israel, just as 1 Kings 16:21-28 indicates. Furthermore, it mentions Omris son (Ahab) in close connection with the Moabites, just as 2 Kings 3:4-6 does. In addition, both the stele and 2 Kings 3:4-6 list Mesha as the king of Moab. The stele further names the Israelite tribe of Gad, and the Israelite God, Yahweh. Taken as a whole, the Moabite stone remains one of the most impressive pieces of evidence verifying the historical accuracy of the Old Testament. And, although this find has been around almost 150 years, it still speaks to us today (Hebrews 11:4).
Edersheim, Albert (no date), The Bible HistoryOld Testament, book VI (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Jacobs, Joseph and J. Frederick McCurdy (2002), Moabite Stone, JewishEncyclopedia.com, [On-line], URL: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=680&letter=M.
Copyright © 2003 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
We are happy to grant permission for items in the "Bible Bullets" section to be reproduced in their entirety, as long as the following stipulations are observed: (1) Apologetics Press must be designated as the original publisher; (2) the specific Apologetics Press Web site URL must be noted; (3) the authors name must remain attached to the materials; (4) any references, footnotes, or endnotes that accompany the article must be included with any written reproduction of the article; (5) alterations of any kind are strictly forbidden (e.g., photographs, charts, graphics, quotations, etc. must be reproduced exactly as they appear in the original); (6) serialization of written material (e.g., running an article in several parts) is permitted, as long as the whole of the material is made available, without editing, in a reasonable length of time; (7) articles, in whole or in part, may not be offered for sale or included in items offered for sale; and (8) articles may be reproduced in electronic form for posting on Web sites pending they are not edited or altered from their original content and that credit is given to Apologetics Press, including the web location from which the articles were taken.
For catalog, samples, or further information, contact:
230 Landmark Drive
Montgomery, Alabama 36117
Phone (334) 272-8558