Two French scholars claimed to have deciphered the Mesha Stele in early January, revealing a reference to the “House of David” well before Jesus Christ walked our Earth.
The Mesha Stele, or Moabite Stone, is an ancient basalt rock tablet discovered in 1868 that dates back to at least the 9th century BC, according to World History. After some significant social upheaval at the location of its discovery, at least the last five lines on the stone were broken, so it was unclear how the narrative ended. Shortly before the Mesha Stele was damaged, a paper-mache impression (known as a paper squeeze) was made of the inscription, which has now been used in the latest analysis.
Mystery solved! Digital photography method confirms that the Mesha Stele references the biblical King David. Read more in this weeks THINKER UPDATE https://t.co/PFjJWG68aQ pic.twitter.com/pEvP4WvNgi
— Patterns Of Evidence (@PattOfEvidence) January 27, 2023
Researchers Andre Lemaire and Jean-Philippe Delorme published an article in Biblical Archaeology Review detailing how they identified a reference to King David using reflectance transformation imaging. The “House of David” inscription is believed to be on the 31st line of the 34 that make up the tablet.
Lemaire originally hypothesized in 1994 that the tablet referenced King David, but it has taken until now for technology to shed light on his presumption. “Numerous digital images are taken of an artifact from different angles and then combined to create a precise, three-dimensional digital rendering of the piece,” the authors wrote in the study. “This method is especially valuable because the digital rendering allows researchers to control the lighting of an inscribed artifact, so that hidden, faint, or worn incisions become visible.” (RELATED: Dear Kay: I Watched ‘Ancient Apocalypse’ And Now I’m Scared We’re Going To Die Before 2025)
The “House of David” reference is argued to come from five letters uncovered on the tablet: “btdwd.” “Bt” on its own means “house” in Hebrew and “dwd” would be the name of David. The stele is currently in the Louvre museum in Paris, France.
Biblical scholars have argued that King David lived around 1000 BC, Britannica notes. The discovery is yet another that may confirm the Old Testament’s accounts of the man who founded ancient Israel’s legacy of Kings.