A prominent expert on Babylonian history has discovered the name of an official mentioned in the Bible on an official cuneiform-inscribed tablet recovered from that ancient city, reported British newspapers.
Dr. Michael Jursa of the University of Vienna has been routinely visiting the British Museum in London for the past 15 years as he toils away at deciphering a huge collection of tablets found at Babylon over the past century.
This week, Jursa finally managed to translate a small clay tablet he had been working on for some time, and found, much to his amazement and delight, that the cuneiform text includes the name of a leading Babylonian official mentioned in the biblical book of Jeremiah.
The official is Nevo-Sarsekim, chief eunuch to King Nebuchadnezzar, who took part in the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple during the time of Jeremiah. The clay tablet deciphered by Jursa records Nevo-Sarsekim making a small donation of gold at a temple in Babylon.
That a character from the Jeremiah narrative has proved to be real via hard archeological evidence lends a tremendous amount of credibility to the rest of the biblical account, say some historians.
“If Nevo-Sarsekim existed, [then] which other lesser figures in the Old Testament existed?” asked Irving Finkel, assistant keeper at the British Museum's Middle East Department, in an interview with The Telegraph. “A throwaway detail in the Old Testament turns out to be accurate and true. I think that it means that the whole of the narrative takes on a new kind of power.”