An Old Testament conquest reported in the Book of Kings has been verified using new technology.
The Second Book of Kings described the conquest of the Philistine city of Gath by Hazael, king of Aram, and new research backs up that claim.
“Our findings are important for determining the intensity of the fire and the scope of destruction in Gath — the largest and most powerful city in the land at the time and also for understanding construction practices in the region,” study co-author Professor Aren Maeir from the Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at Bar-Ilan University said, according to the Jewish News Syndicate.
💥PROOF OF THE TRUTH OF THE BIBLE:
A new Israeli study scientifically corroborates the conquest of the Philistine city of Gath by Hazael, king of Aram-Damasus, as described in the Second Book of Kings, 2 Kings 12:17.https://t.co/I1p8b0dH8B
— Jewish News Syndicate (@JNS_org) January 4, 2024
The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.
The study said researchers used samples from “burnt materials from an Iron Age structure at Tell es-Safi/Gath (central Israel)” to test whether the bricks were made in a kiln at high temperature or burned in the kind of fire that might accompany a city being burned by an invader.
The study said its findings “led to a revision of the previously published understanding of this archaeological context.”
“We demonstrated that the conflagration occurred within the structure, and not only in its vicinity as previously suggested. We also showed that a previously published hypothesis that bricks were fired in a kiln prior to construction is very unlikely. Finally, we conclude that the destruction of the structure occurred in a single event and not in stages over several decades,” the study said.
That would argue for the bricks being destroyed in war, but a previous paper by researchers that included one member of the new research team said a wall of kiln-fired bricks that had been excavated had collapsed over several years.
The study sought to determine if kiln-fired bricks were used, which would be much earlier than estimated in other accounts, and if the Bible was correct.
Using technology that measured the magnetic field of bricks to determine the temperatures at which they burned through chemical changes that took place, researchers said a calamity the Bible recorded was to blame.
“Our findings signify that the bricks burned and cooled down in-situ, right where they were found, namely in a conflagration in the structure itself, which collapsed within a few hours,” Yoav Vaknin from Tel Aviv University’s Nadler Institute of Archaeology Entin Faculty of Humanities said.
“Our findings are very important for deciphering the intensity of the fire and scope of destruction at Gath, the largest and most powerful city in the Land of Israel at the time, as well as understanding the building methods prevailing in that era,” Maeir said.
Vankin explained the science behind the research.
“The clay from which the bricks were made contains millions of ferromagnetic particles — minerals with magnetic properties that behave like so many tiny ‘compasses’ or magnets,” Vaknin said.
“In a sun-dried mud brick, the orientation of these magnets is almost random, so that they cancel out one another. Therefore, the overall magnetic signal of the brick is weak and not uniform,” he said, noting that bricks fired in a kiln have more uniform magnetic particles that “tend to align with the earth’s magnetic field at that specific time and place. When the brick cools down, these magnetic signals remain locked in their new position, and the brick develops a strong and uniformly oriented magnetic field that can be measured with a magnetometer.”
Kiln-fired bricks in a wall might have random magnetic signals because of how they were arranged, but sun-dried bricks burned at the same time in a fire would have the same magnetic signals, he said, as did the samples tested from Gath.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.