The British Museum in London is one of the greatest museums in the world. It includes the Roseta Stone, which broke the code to reading Egyptian Hieroglyphics, as well as Easter Island statues, and many things of biblical significance. It’s also completely free to the public!
There are so many things of biblical significance in the British Museum that there are entire books dedicated to the subject, such as:
The British Museum: Depiction of the Capture of Lachish from Sennacharib’s Palace in Nineveh
In 2 Kings 18, the Bible tells the story of how Sennacharib, King of Assyria attacked Hezekiah, King of Judah, and that at this time, Sennacharib captured the city of Lachish (2 Kings 18:13) and made it his base of operations in Judah (2 Kings 18:14).
Sennacharib, 2 Kings 19 tells us, tried to intimidate Hezekiah into submission and sent him a threatening letter. The Prophet Isaiah encouraged Hezekiah to defy Sennacharib, and he prophesied Sennacharib’s fall.
In the British Museum, you can see sculptures and base reliefs from Sennacharib’s palace in Nineveh (the capital of Assyria, the same place where Jonah went and against which Nahum prophesied), which depict the Assyrian capture of Lachish.
Interestingly, another item which is held in the British Museum is the annals of Sennacharib, which describe his conquest of much of Judah. These annals mention how he made Jerusalem pay tribute to him (recorded in 2 Kings 18), but while they chronicle the many cities he succeeded in conquering, Jerusalem is left out of the list – which is exactly what the Bible says in 2 Kings 18-19.
The importance of these artifacts, in other words, is that the corroborate the fact that the Bible is historically accurate.
Here are the sermons I preached on 2 Kings 18 & 19 in our “Desiring the Kingdom” series:
The Louvre: The Moabite Stone
In a previous post I showed some of the famous paintings in the Louvre Museum in Paris which wrongly depict Bible stories: Bible Stories Gone Wrong in the Louvre
But the Louvre is more than just an art museum, it is also an archaeology museum, including items of incredible significance, such as Hammurabi’s Code and Tutankhamen’s sarcophagus.
There are also items in the Louvre of biblical relevance, such as the “Moab Stone,” which bears one of the oldest written references to the Kingdom of Israel. It mentions specifically a victory which Moab had in a battle against the Israel, whom it refers to as the House of Omri.
This parallels a story found in 2 Kings 3.
Omri was the sixth king of Israel, and the most famous king to come from the House of Omri was Ahab, who famously tried to convert Israel into a pagan nation, with Baal worship as its official religion. Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18, in which God sent fire from heaven upon a sacrifice as a sign that He alone is God.
Another important element of the Moabite Stone is that it refers to Yahweh as the God of Israel.
These and other items in these museums help us to see that the Bible is trustworthy and accurate, and as archaeologists make more discoveries, those discovers validate, rather than contradict, the historicity of the Biblical accounts.