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However, the skepticism of 150 or even 100 years ago has had to reckon with the loud voice of archaeological research that cannot be silenced.In a most unusual example of a thrice-recounted biblical event (2 Kgs –; 2 Chr 32:1–23; Isa 36:1–), Sennacherib, king of Assyria (705–681 BC), is reported as having come against Judah, and especially Jerusalem, to reduce it to vassalage.Both accounts suggest that Moab had become tributary to Israel, probably as early as the time of Omri (885–874; 1 Kgs –28), since Mesha refers to Israel as the "House of Omri." In any case, the historicity of the event as recorded in the book of Kings is established beyond doubt by the Mesha version.Of interest is the fact that historiography takes shape according to the vantage-point and predilections of the historian.At length a corpus of texts was found and published that shed illuminating light not only Babylonian-Judean affairs but with full sets of dates, even down to months, when this or that king of Babylon, beginning with Nebuchadnezzar's father Nabopolassar, through the 53-year reign of Nebuchadnezzar (605–562 BC), and even beyond.The effect of all this has been mutually enlightening: The history of Judah/Judea/Yehud has been put on unassailable chronological grounds and the Chronicles in turn have taken on a new humanness and pathos through the color provided by the Old Testament.Of special interest to the Old Testament is the fact that Judah, the rump kingdom of a once greater Israel, became incorporated into this new hegemony under its notorious ruler Nebuchadnezzar II.
Legends abounded as to the whereabouts of cities referred to in the Bible as well as in classical historical writings such as those of Homer (ninth century BC), Herodotus (ca. In fact, the very existence of a Hittite people, to say nothing of an empire, was thought to be a fable since nothing could be found of their historical reality despite what the Bible said about them.
850–840 BC) comes the Moabite monument self-attributed to Mesha, King of Moab.
In it he provides a most telling reportage of his conflict with Joram, king of Israel, hence, the "other side" of the story recorded in 2 Kings 3:1–27.
His very retreat with no mention of gaining access to Jerusalem speaks volumes about the humiliating setback he had experienced, of which the biblical accounts give full information.
Nevertheless, the Assyrian document validates with great specificity the biblical versions.
In fact, the Old Testament situates itself in that very environment as early as the Patriarchal Age (ca. The interface of these two related but different fields of study has subsequently found expression in two major ways, depending on the faith-stance of those seriously engaged in study of the respective sets of comparative data:1.