Moabite Stone

Moabite Closeup Moabite Closeup

The Moabite Stone (also called the Mesha Stele) is one of the earliest discoveries directly related to the biblical narrative. For it refers by name to King Omri of Israel, and thus, provides a written source from another ruling power of Israel’s existence. Moreover, it claims to have conquered the people of Israel, who were led by this king and his unnamed son, and to have captured cultic objects of worship that were dedicated to YHWH (line 18). Thus, the inscription makes an explicit connection between YHWH and Israel.

Read More The Moabite Stone and Israel

hoto courtesy of Jonathan Moore, Amridge University. Photo taken at the Louvre Museum, Paris. hoto courtesy of Jonathan Moore, Amridge University. Photo taken at the Louvre Museum, Paris.

The backstory to the discovery of the Moabite Stone is quite a fascinating account. On August 19th 1868, Frederick Augustus Klein (F. A. Klein), an Anglican medical missionary in Jerusalem, was made aware of the stone. Accompanied by the son of a famous Arab tribal sheikh, named Zattam, who provided protection for the duration of a trip, Klein undertook a journey—as he often did—to provide medical aid to both Jews and Arabs. This included a community of Bedouins on the east side of the Dead Sea at “an encampment about ten minutes from the ruins” of Dibon.

Read More The Discovery and Acquisition of the Moabite Stone