Meshe Stele – One Metre Tall Black Basalt StoneAccording to researcher doing a study, on a 2,800 year old inscribed stone, considered King Balak to be a biblical King of the ancient Hebrews. The Mesha Stele of black basalt stone is said to be one meter tall dating back to the second half of the 9th century BC.
This piece of stone was discovered intact in August 1868, by Frederick Augustus Klien who was an Anglican missionary. It was discovered at an ancient site in Dibon, presently Dhiban, Jordan.The Mesha Stele also considered as the Moabite Stone has inscription which dates way back to 840 B.C.
Mesha Stele, the ancient tablet has labelled several conflicts and conquests which had occurred during that period. Surprisingly, the Mesha Stele is said to be the longest Iron Age inscription ever created in the region and establishes the main indication for the Moabite language and is considered a `corner-stone of Semitic epigraphy’.
King Balak – Main Character in Biblical Parable – Book of Numbers
Though the inscriptions have been found to be battered and broken, it is said that line 31, earlier considered to refer to ‘House of David’ could in fact be describing King Balak. Three consonants had been observed by the group of researchers from Tel Aviv University, the first be in Hebrew letter `beth’ which sounds like `B’.
Name with Three Characters
Israel Finkelstein from Tel Aviv University informed NewsWeek that they have been dealing with a name having three characters starting with `B’. They are aware that Balak was the king of Moab and had ruled from a location in southern Moab, which has been described in the Stele.
However, he has acknowledged that he was not certain and that eventually the reconstruction of the name `Balak’ is incidental.The writers had researched the novel high resolution images of the tablet of the Stele. According to the latest analysis it was mentioned that Balak, being the key personality in a biblical parable in the book of Numbers, Chapter 22 -24, could be considered in the Stele as a rival to Mesha over Moab for power.
According to the story he had asked the prophet Balaam to curse the people of Israel. In Line 31, the seat had asked the prophet Balaam to curse the people of Israel. In Line 31, the seat of the king was at Horonaim. It is a place which has been mentioned four times in the Bible in connection with the Moabite territory south of the Arnon River.
The authors have stated that Balak could be a historical personality like Balaam who earlier to the discovery of the Deir Alla inscription had been considered to be an invented figure. The historians have not found any other reference of Balak, outside the Bible and the Stele. The authors in their papers have stated that the new images of Mesha Stele shows that the understanding `House of David’ that has been accepted by several scholars for over two decades, is no more a possibility.
The interpretation `Balak’ instead of `House of David’ eliminates the likelihood that Judahreigned over Moab. This tends to portray Balak as a historical figure according to Mr. Finkelstein. The Mesha Stele is said to be 3 foot-tall stone of black basalt dating back to the second half of the 9th century BC.
Displayed at Louvre – Paris
The relic was revealed 150 years ago in the ruins of the biblical town of Dibon in Moab, which is presently Jordon and had been on display at the Louvre in Paris. Many westerners after learning about it made attempts to purchase it from the Bedouins who were the owners of the stone.
Due to political relationships, negotiations were ruined between the Bedouins and the prospective buyers, Prussia (North Germany, France and England with an Ottoman official who was unpopular with the Bedouins. This resulted in the Bedouins smashing the Mesha Stele into pieces by heating it up and dousing it with cold water.
Several parts of the ancient stone still tend to be missing. Archaeologists thereafter have been making attempts in reassembling the smashed tablet.This has proved to be wealth of information with regards to the history of ancient Israel. Moreover it has also been a constant source of debate on the truth of the Bible.
In the text there is a mention which dates back to the second half of the 9th century B.C.E. that Moabite King Mesha takes pride in defeating the northern Kingdom of Israel and its deity.
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