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Stretch of wall in ancient Jerusalem vindicates the holy book's account, archaeologists claim

Alfred Persson

Free Will Reformed Baptist
2024 Supporter

The ruins that could prove the Bible was TRUE: Stretch of wall in ancient Jerusalem vindicates the holy book's account, archaeologists claim​

By MICHAEL HAVIS FOR MAILONLINE

PUBLISHED: 05:05 EDT, 3 May 2024 | UPDATED: 05:53 EDT, 3 May 2024

A scientific breakthrough has exposed the truth about a site in ancient Jerusalem, overturning expert opinion and vindicating the Bible's account.

Until now, experts believed a stretch of wall in the original heart of the city was built by Hezekiah, King of Judah, whose reign straddled the seventh and eighth centuries BC.

He had seen his neighbours to the north, the Kingdom of Israel, destroyed by the Assyrian Empire, and it was thought that he built the wall to defend against the invaders.

But now an almost decade-long study has revealed it was built by his great-grandfather, Uzziah, after a huge earthquake, echoing the account of the Bible.

The wall is in the City of David – the historic archaeological site that formed the original town of Jerusalem, according to the Bible.
The stretch of wall, at the eastern slopes of the City of David, was long assumed to be built by Hezekiah, King of Judah

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The stretch of wall, at the eastern slopes of the City of David, was long assumed to be built by Hezekiah, King of Judah
An almost decade-long study has revealed it was built by his great-grandfather, Uzziah, after a huge earthquake, echoing the account of the Bible

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View gallery
An almost decade-long study has revealed it was built by his great-grandfather, Uzziah, after a huge earthquake, echoing the account of the Bible

Who was Hezekiah?​

Mentioned in the books of Kings, Isaiah and Chronicles in the Bible, King Hezekiah is regarded as one of the greatest kings of Judah.
He is thought to have ruled between 715BC and 686BC following the death of his father King Ahaz. According to the Hebrew Bible he was 25 when he assumed the throne.
Following the death of the Assyrian king Sargon II, Hezekiah took the opportunity to throw off the subservience of his kingdom to the Assyrians.
He ceased to pay the tribute imposed upon his father and instead allied himself with Egypt.
Sargon's son Sennacherib embarked on a series of attempts to suppress this rebellion which culmulated in the siege of Jerusalem.
Hezekiah's reign is thought to have brought about a notable increase in the power of Judah in the region and it became an important state on the frontier between Assyria and Egpt.
The Hebrew Bible also describes how Hezekiah made a miraculous recovery from a sickness after praying to God. He went on to live for another 15 years.

Joe Uziel of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said: 'For decades, it was assumed that this wall was built by Hezekiah, King of Judah.
'But it is now becoming clear that it dates back to the days of King Uzziah, as hinted at in the Bible.
'Until now, many researchers assumed that the wall was built by Hezekiah during his rebellion against Sennacherib, King of Assyria, in order to defend Jerusalem during the Assyrian siege.
'It is now apparent that the wall in its eastern part, in the area of the City of David, was built earlier, shortly after the great earthquake of Jerusalem, and as part of the construction of the city.'
The Old Testament describes the construction in the Second Book of Chronicles.
It reads: 'Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, at the Valley Gate and at the angle of the wall, and he fortified them.'
Scripture also attests to the seismic activity – with the Old-Testament Book of Amos dating itself to 'two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah'.
The study, a joint project between the IAA, Tel Aviv University, and the Weizmann Institute of Science, revealed the provenance of the ancient wall using carbon-14 dating.
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Also known as radiocarbon dating, this technique uses the decay of a radioactive isotope of carbon (14C) to measure the time and date objects containing carbon-bearing material.
According to the IAA, this period of history was previously considered a 'black hole' for carbon-14 dating, due to fluctuating levels of the isotope in the atmosphere at the time.
Hezekiah, King of Judah, reigned between the seventh and eighth centuries BC

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Assyrian records indicate that Uzziah reigned for 42 years (c. 783–742)

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Until now, experts believed a stretch of wall in the original heart of the city was built by Hezekiah, King of Judah (left). But the study has revealed it was built by his great-grandfather, Uzziah (left) after a huge earthquake
Illustration of the the First Temple Period city fortification built in the days of King Uzziah, around 783 to 742 BC

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Illustration of the the First Temple Period city fortification built in the days of King Uzziah, around 783 to 742 BC
Pictured, Dr Joe Uziel of the Israel Antiquities Authority (left) and Professor Yuval Gadot of Tel Aviv University

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Pictured, Dr Joe Uziel of the Israel Antiquities Authority (left) and Professor Yuval Gadot of Tel Aviv University
The city wall unearthed in the City of David was not built during the days of Hezekiah as part of the preparations for the Assyrian siege, but rather earlier, during the days of King Uzziah, subsequent to the earthquake that occurred in Jerusalem

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The city wall unearthed in the City of David was not built during the days of Hezekiah as part of the preparations for the Assyrian siege, but rather earlier, during the days of King Uzziah, subsequent to the earthquake that occurred in Jerusalem

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A tablet found in the West Bank could feature the oldest writing of God

But using ancient tree rings from Europe, scientists were able to chart these fluctuations year by year.
Elisabetta Boaretto of the Weizmann Institute said: 'The resolution of c-14 was very bad – 200-300 years; it was impossible to distinguish anything else.
'With the work we've done in the City of David, we succeeded to reach a resolution less than 10 years, which is really something very very new and dramatic.'
The scientists took their samples from organic artifacts found at four different excavation sites in the ancient heart of Jerusalem – sometimes called the City of David.
Among these were grape seeds, date pits and even bat skeletons.
All were cleaned, converted into graphite, then put into a particle accelerator at speeds of 3,000km per second to separate the carbon-14 from other organic material.
Measuring the carbon then revealed the sample's true age.



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