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English Bible Dictionary

The Moabite Stone

 

In the year 1868 Rev. F. Klein, of the Church Missionary Society at Jerusalem, found at Dhiban (the biblical Dibon), in Moab, a remarkable stone, since called the Moabite Stone. It was lying on the ground, with the inscription uppermost, and measures about 3 feet 9 inches long, 2 feet 4 inches wide and 1 foot 2 inches thick. It is a very heavy, compact black basalt. An impression was made of the main block, and of certain recovered parts broken off by the Arabs. It was broken by the Arabs, but the fragments were purchased by the French government for 32,000 francs, and are in the Louvre in Paris. The engraved face is about the shape of an ordinary gravestone, rounded at the top. On this stone is the record in the Phoenician characters of the wars of Mesha, king of Moab, with Israel. (2 Kings 3:4) It speaks of King Omri and other names of places and persons mentioned in the Bible, and belongs to this exact period of jewish and Moabite history, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. The names given on the Moabite Stone, engraved by one who knew them in daily life, are, in nearly every case, identical with those found in the Bible itself, and testify to the wonderful integrity with which the Scriptures have been preserved. "The inscription reads like a leaf taken out of a lost book of Chronicles. The expressions are the same; the names of gods, kings and of towns are the same."--(See Rawlinson's "Historical Illustrations;" American Cyclopedia ; and Bibliotheca Sacra, Oct. 20, 1870: ED.)

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