Israel: New Discovery Confirms King Hezekiah Really Did Destroy Idols
Veronica NeffingerReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2016 Sep 28
CBN News reports that excavations in the Tel Lachish National Park in central Israel revealed a “gate-shrine,” dated to the period of the First Temple, about the eighth century B.C.
"The size of the gate is consistent with the historical and archaeological knowledge we possess, whereby Lachish was a major city and the most important one after Jerusalem," said excavation director Sa'ar Ganor.
The Bible contains accounts of King Hezekiah tearing down idols and desecrating the pagan temple, as well as fighting against Sennacherib, the Assyrian king.
2 Kings 18:4 says that King Hezekiah “removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles.”
The Bible says this took place at the city gates, and true to the biblical account, archaeologists found evidence of destruction of pagan artifacts near the city “gate-shrine.”
Included in the discovery were horns on the pagan altar which had been “intentionally truncated.”
"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," Ganor said.
Archaeologists also found a type of latrine in the temple, apparently also meant to desecrate the pagan place of worship. Tests showed that the latrine had not been used, and was purely symbolic.
2 Kings 10:27 talks of the practice of placing latrines in desecrated places of worship:
“They demolished the sacred stone of Baal and tore down the temple of Baal, and people have used it for a latrine to this day.”
The site is still undergoing excavation and is being prepared for visitors.
Publication date: September 28, 2016