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Wednesday, December 14, 2022, at 8 pm via Zoom

Strong Inscriptional Confirmations of People in the Hebrew Bible

Lawrence Mykytiuk 

How many people named in just the Five Books of Moses have been confirmed by historians?

Bible-era inscriptions confirm the historical reality of more than 55 persons in the entire twenty-four book Hebrew Bible (Tanach). Most of these inscriptions are from the lifetime of the people in the Bible.

Of 43 Hebrew monarchs in the Hebrew Bible, 16 have been confirmed: 45% of the kings of the northern kingdom of Israel and 30% of the kings of Judah. These confirmations are about 3/8 of the Bible’s Hebrew monarchs. Also confirmed have been 25 of approximately 160 Gentile monarchs in the Hebrew Bible, or about 15%.

Finally, more than 14 royal officials, priests, and others have been confirmed as recorded in inscriptions; several more await publication. These persons are Hebrew, Assyrian, and Babylonian, plus Persian-empire governors who might not have been Persian. Examples illustrate the two ways researchers identify a biblical person in an inscription.

Lawrence Mykytiuk is Emeritus Professor at Purdue University