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By Dr. Hugh Ross
For over two centuries liberal skeptics of an inerrant Bible have challenged the Bible’s historical accounts. Archaeological digs in Israel over the past hundred years, however, have been silencing these critics, artifact discovery by artifact discovery, making an ever stronger case for the complete reliability and inerrancy of the Bible’s historical narratives and geographical descriptions.
In the February 2017 issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports three archaeologists, Erez Ben-Yosef, Dafna Langgut, and Lidar Sapir-Hen, announced their findings from excavations they performed in one of the most inhospitable regions in southern Israel.1 They excavated a gatehouse and livestock pens in Timna, Israel. The red dot in the figure below marks the location of Timna, approximately 19 miles north of the northernmost point of the Gulf of Aqaba. It is in one of the most arid and desolate parts of the Negev Desert.
The excavated gatehouse and livestock pens were part of one of the largest copper smelting camps in the Timna Valley. The dating of several recovered artifacts established that the camp supported a community of copper metalworkers in the tenth century BC.
This dating resolved a major historical controversy. While there is abundant historical evidence that the rich copper ore in the region had been mined since the fifth century BC, historians expressed considerable skepticism about whether the mines and smelters were active during the reign of Israel’s King Solomon. The new dating measurements remove that skepticism. The mines and smelting camps in the Timna Valley indeed are the fabled King Solomon’s mines…
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