August 15, 2007

The Kneeling King

Among the many ancient treasures of statues and monuments in the Assyrian room at the British Museum we stumbled upon a 7 foot black limestone excavated by the late Henry Layard in 1845, just a year after the Great Disappointment. It had been found in the ruins of the palace of Shalmaneser lll near the city of Nineveh, an ancient capital of the Assyrian empire situated on the Tigris River in northern Iraq.

The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser lll contained panels displaying the Assyrian king's exploits. Biblicial Archaelogy consider this to be one of the most important discovery because one of the panels show the Hebrew king, Jehu, bringing gifts and kneeling at Shalmaneser's feet. The inscription above the scene, written in Assyrian cuneiform, reads:

"The tribute of Jehu, son of Omri, silver, gold, bowls of gold, chalices of gold, cups of gold, vases of gold, lead, a sceptre for the king, and spear-shafts, I have received"

The story of Jehu can be found in the Bible... 2 Kings 9 and 10