Israeli archaeologists have unearthed a 2,900-year-old gate-shrine they say confirms the biblical story of King Hezekiah, who mandated the worship of God and the rejection of all other deities.
The gate-shrine in Tel Lachish National Park was uncovered decades ago, but a new excavation has completely exposed the gate, which is the largest one known from the First Temple period.
The 80×80-foot Lachish city gate is 13 feet tall and consists of six chambers, three on either side of the main street that passed between them. Among the artifacts found in its rooms were benches with armrests, jars, a large number of scoops for loading grain and stamped jar handles that bear the name of the official seal impression. Two of those impressions say “belonging to the king of Hebron.”
“It is most interesting that the horns on the altar were intentionally truncated,” Ganor said. “That is probably evidence of the religious reform attributed to King Hezekiah, whereby religious worship was centralized in Jerusalem and the cultic high places that were built outside the capital were destroyed.”
–www.foxnews.com, 28 September 2016
Commentary: This is an additional archaeological uncovering of the time when Hezekiah, King of Judah, ruled. The enemies came against Jerusalem and the proclamation was made: “But if ye say unto me, We trust in the Lord our God: is not that he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away, and hath said to Judah and Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem?” (2 King 18:22). King Hezekiah humbled himself, and Isaiah the prophet came with this message: “So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah. And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say to your master, Thus saith the Lord, Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me” (2 King 19:5-6).
Today, archaeology in Israel can confirm many stories as reported in Holy Scripture.
(For more on Biblical places, see The Baker Illustrated Guide to the Bible, Item 2316.)