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The Significance of the 53 Bible Characters Confirmed by Archaeology

Earlier this year the Biblical Archaeological Review updated a previous article written a few years back when 50 characters in the Bible had been confirmed archaeologically. (Please see the link at the bottom of this article). In addition there is a section for people for whom there is probable or reasonable evidence but not complete evidence yet, such as Shebna the Scribe (Isaiah 22:15-23). Obviously, these findings demonstrate that the Bible is reliable but when that list is examined closely a few themes quickly emerge.


Of the 53 characters a distinct pattern emerges. They are all either kings, pharaohs, co-regents, governors, officials, or high priests. This is what you would expect since they possessed materials that endured such as precious metals, documents, seals, buildings, and palaces.  You would not expect to find evidence for people who were less affluent mentioned in the Bible for the reason mentioned above. Nonetheless archaeological discoveries of this nature are remarkable since the findings are two thousand years old at the earliest, and a few are from as late as three thousand years ago.

Bible Land Locations

The Bible was written by around 40 authors over a period of approximately one and a half millennia, yet the Bible is a unit and fits together perfectly. These characters listed originate from Egypt, Moab, Aram-Damascus, the Northern Kingdom of Israel, Southern Kingdom of Judah, Assyria, Babylonia, and Persia. Consequently in Jerusalem, just across the street from the Israel Museum which contains the Shrine of the Book, you can also visit ‘The Bible Lands Museum’.

The Books from the Bible Where the Characters are Mentioned  

This again is specific and interesting. As expected, we see that the characters are mentioned in 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles and 1 Samuel which include lists of rulers or mention prominent ones. The books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Daniel correspond, and it is helpful to remember that the history books relate to the prophetic ones. The classic example concerns Hezekiah and Sennacherib both confirmed by archaeology who feature especially in 2 Kings 18-20 and Isaiah 36-38. The three books which have a Persian influence, Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther are also included.

The Implications

The above illustrates that the Bible should be taken seriously not just within an archaeological framework but that it is a timeless book written by the potentate of time who knows the end from the beginning. There is good reason why the Bible is the most widely read and influential book in the whole world since it speaks of the Messiah who stepped into time and space and changed the course of history forever. Have you read the book of the Lord and are you trusting in the Lord of the book?