Written by Ashton Snyder on
 June 17, 2024

Ancient Military Base Discovery Supports Biblical Tale

Researchers have discovered a potentially significant ancient military base that may support a Bible story in which an angel of the Lord is said to have killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers to protect Jerusalem.

According to Daily Mail, archaeologist Stephen Compton's findings using modern mapping techniques have shed new light on ancient conflicts and military sites related to the Assyrian Empire.

The Bible story tells of a divine messenger killing 185,000 Assyrian soldiers 2,700 years ago. However, archaeological evidence for this supernatural event or the battle has been lacking until now.

Modern Mapping Techniques Unveil Ancient Military Site

Stephen Compton, an archaeologist, utilized modern mapping techniques to gather evidence supporting the biblical account. Compton's work has been focused on identifying the layout and locations of ancient military sites connected to the Assyrian Empire, which thrived from 1365 to 609 BC.

King Sennacherib of Assyria invaded Jerusalem, aiming to dominate the trade routes to the Mediterranean. Previous archaeological discoveries included carvings in Sennacherib's palace depicting the layout of a military base.

By comparing these palace carvings with early 20th-century photographs, Compton identified an area that matched the described military site. The ruins found included a perimeter wall and pottery shards, indicating a long abandonment.

Significance of the Discovery for Biblical and Historical Studies

Compton's discovery has broader implications for biblical and historical studies. The site, known as Khirbet al Mudawwara, translates to "The ruins of the camp of the invading ruler" in Arabic, aligning with historical maps and the narrative of Sennacherib's invasion.

Roman military camps were typically rectangular, whereas the oval shape of the discovered site is characteristic of Assyrian camps. This discovery supports the biblical story and provides a template for locating other Assyrian military sites and cities destroyed by their campaigns.

Compton's methods have been praised for their innovative approach. "In some cases, it has also been possible to use the newly discovered camps to locate the sites of ancient cities that were known to have been besieged by the Assyrians but whose locations were unknown or uncertain," Compton stated.

Connecting Biblical Narratives with Archaeological Evidence

The Bible passages describing the divine intervention (Isaiah 37:36-38, 2 Kings 19:35, 2 Chronicles 32:21) recount the angel of the Lord protecting Jerusalem following prayers by the ruler Hezekiah. The stories vary, with some attributing the Assyrian defeat to a plague or mice rather than a divine messenger.

Compton announced the discovery of Sennacherib's military camps via a 2021 post on X (formerly Twitter), saying, "Each was a round site a little over a mile north of the respective old city walls and each bore the same Arabic name on at least one early map, 'Mudawwara.'" This announcement sparked significant interest in the archaeological and religious communities.

The site known as Ammunition Hill was reused in the 1930s and saw military action during World War II and the Six-Day War. Today, it serves as a memorial and museum, preserving these conflicts' history and impact. This discovery offers a new perspective on ancient military strategies and the historical context of biblical events. The findings could lead to further archaeological research and potentially uncover more sites linked to the Assyrian Empire's extensive campaigns.

Conclusion

Stephen Compton's discovery of an ancient military base supports the biblical story of an angelic intervention that saved Jerusalem. Using modern mapping techniques, Compton has identified key features of Assyrian military sites, linking them to historical maps and carvings. The site known as Khirbet al Mudawwara aligns with descriptions of Sennacherib's invasion, offering new insights into ancient conflicts. Compton's innovative methods promise further discoveries, enhancing our knowledge of biblical and historical narratives.

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