Apr 6, 2021
You might not realize it, but ninety percent of Iran is made of fault lines. This makes Iran one of the countries with the most seismic activity. The World Atlas listed Iran third in its article about countries with the most earthquakes.
You also might not know that Iran is full of interesting archaeological sites for Christians. You might not because they aren't advertised as such for obvious reasons. But if you dig into the history (see what I did there?), you can find information compatible with the Old Testament accounts of not only Esther but Abraham.
The province of Fars in southwest Iran has had eight magnitude 4+ earthquakes in the last five months. In this region is Anshan, a city mentioned in early Elamite texts and not located until 1971 when work at Tall-e Malyan confirmed it as the site of ancient Anshan.
The city was founded around 5000 BC. The findings at Anshan sent their own seismic waves through the academic world. The discovery proved civilization was not limited to Ur and the Sumerians in Iraq. Civilizations and big cities– Anshan at one time was five times bigger than Susa*–existed throughout Mesopotamia and beyond. This complicated the evolutionary view of most of the scholars. But it did nothing to invalidate biblical history.
Anshan was part of the Elamite Kingdom, even serving as its capital for a time. It was listed as a place in the Sumerian epic Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta when it declared,"Let Susin and the land of Ancan humbly salute Inana like tiny mice." Susin is most likely Susa and Ancan is Anshan.
It is also mentioned in the Sumerian King List of rulers and their cities. According to early texts these Elamite rulers battled with Ur and conquered it sometime around 2000 BC, give or take. The Sumerian King List states the Sumerian god Inana was then taken to Awan, another name for Anshan.
These findings represent the time period before the Persian Empire (559 BC) and include events close to the time of Abraham. Besides destroying the evolutionary timeline for early man, the discoveries are important because they point to another truth.
The account told in Genesis 12 is considered a myth to make Abraham look important. It is the story of a king named Kedorlaomer who came to make war against five Canaanite kings. This seemed absurd to scholars who doubted the Bible's accuracy, and it still does to those of that inclination. A king with an Elamite name coming from the region of Babylon? During the lifetime of Abraham? Not possible.
But it is only impossible if you place Abraham living later than the Bible says he did.
And, this is what they are inclined to do.
The truth is...
According to the Masoretic texts, Abraham was born 352 years after the flood. According to the Ebla texts, Abraham's culture was consistent with the culture at Ebla, dating Abraham to the time the Bible says he lived. With Elamite royalty over in Babylon.
The truth is...
The events of Genesis 12 are highly plausible when you consider the archaeological evidence for the time period.
- What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Has anyone ever told you the Bible is full of myths and it made you wonder if you could trust God?
- Do you know someone who would like to read this? Feel free to share it with them.
- Want to know more about Abraham, Kedorlaomer and the Ebla Texts? Check out our book, From Abram To Abraham. Or you can find it on Amazon here.
*A Companion to the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East edited by D.T. Potts
Image by Albert Dera courtesy of Unsplash.
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