Archaeologists May Have Uncovered Ruins of Important Old Testament City

Tel Burna (Libnah) Dig Site (1024x683)TEL BURNA, Israel – Archaeologists are increasingly confident that they have discovered the remains of Libnah—an ancient city in Israel that is mentioned multiple times in the Bible.

Since 2009, researchers have studied the remains of an ancient village at a dig site named Tel Burna, located 20 miles southwest of Jerusalem. The area was once a strategic border region between ancient Israel to the east and the Philistines to the west.

Though the Tel Burna site has yielded important archaeological findings, the true identity of the site has long been uncertain.

“The identification of the site has been debated for more than a century,” Dr. Itzhaq Shai, director of the Tel Burna dig project, told Popular Archaeology. “There are scholars who have claimed that Tel Burna is biblical Libnah, which was mentioned several times in the Bible. This identification was based mainly on geographical and historical arguments.”

The ancient city of Libnah played notable roles in several Old Testament Bible passages. Moses and the Israelites visited Libnah during the Exodus from Egypt (Numbers 33:20-21). Joshua and the Israelite army conquered Libnah during their conquest of the Promised Land (Joshua 10:29-30), later devoting the town to Aaron’s descendants, the priests (Joshua 21:13). And, according to 2 Chronicles 21:9-10, the Edomites and the inhabitants of Libnah revolted against Jehoram, the evil king of Judah.

“Then Jehoram went forth with his princes, and all his chariots with him: and he rose up by night, and smote the Edomites which compassed him in, and the captains of the chariots,” 2 Chronicles states. “So the Edomites revolted from under the hand of Judah unto this day. The same time also did Libnah revolt from under his hand; because he had forsaken the Lord God of his fathers.”

Experts now agree that the Tel Burna site was an important location during biblical times, primarily because of its location.

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“The site of Tel Burna is located in the Shephelah region, which served as a border between the kingdoms of Judah and Philistia in the Iron Age,” explains The Tel Burna Excavation Project’s website. “A fertile area that supported agricultural production, the region became known as the breadbasket of the south. … Survey finds from the 2009 season indicate that the city was an important entity in the Bronze and Iron Ages.”

Is the Tel Burna site actually the ruins of the ancient city of Libnah? According to archaeologists, it most likely is.

“To date, there are other candidates for the location of ancient Libnah, including nearby Tel Zayit,” Shai explained. “However, the exposed archaeological remains at Tel Burna support this identification, with both the geographical, survey and excavation data fitting well with what we know and expect from a border town in the Iron Age.”

Artifacts discovered at the site, including beads, seals, figurines, and ceramic vessels, have been dated to the 9th and 8th centuries B.C.—a period known as the Iron Age. This time frame closely coincides with the Bible’s historical accounts of Libnah.

“The Iron Age remains attested to the importance of the settlement at the site and that it was a fortified Judahite border site facing the Philistines in the west,” Shai stated.

As a fortified city, Libnah was most likely a strategic border city from which the Israelites fended off attacks from the neighboring Philistines.

“The Iron Age II (1000 – 586 BCE) wall reflects the role of this site during this period,” Shai said. “The location of Tel Burna—midway between Gath, the dominant Philistine city in the Iron Age IIA (1000 – 925 BCE), and Lachish, the main Judahite city, monitoring the road along Nahal Guvrin, with visibility all the way to the coastal plain—would account for the investment of the central authority of Judah in establishing such a walled city so close to the city of Lachish.”

Other archaeological finds in Israel have recently confirmed notable biblical accounts. As previously reported, a 3,000-year-old stone slab recently on display in New York City corroborated the biblical account of King David. Other recent finds include an ancient synagogue in Israel where Jesus may have taught and the possible location of King Herod’s palace—where Jesus stood trial before being crucified.

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  • Joseph Beatty Cain

    Their is no Leviticus 33 in the old testament?

    • Larry Hardison

      Correct there is not a Leviticus 33 in the BIble. However, there is an Exodus 33:20 & 21 which ties in to the article and the archaelogical discoveries described. Thus this work at Tel Burna a.k.a. Libnah supports the Biblical record. Another nail in the coffin of the doubters and skeptics.

  • TheBigMachine

    Just adding to the mountain of proof that the books of the Bible are legitimate, historical documents.

    • Badkey

      Just like Stephen King’s IT! You know, it contains real places, so it MUST be true!

    • Paul Hiett

      Just to be clear, the existence of places in the Bible is somehow proof that the stories are real? Is that your claim?

      • Pererin

        That’s not the claim. The claim is that the bible is full of baseless mythical stories which is so common today. Findings like these don’t proove the bible to be true but the way you suggest but it does proove, like any times before that the bible does not make details up. Discoveries like these just add to the mountain of details proven to be true adding to it’s authenticity.

        • David Hrutka

          just a question….if you don’t believe in God or that anything in the bible is true then why are you on this site? being a troll i am assuming

          • Pererin

            Who are you asking? If you are asking me, please read my post again, my post claims the bible’s authenticity. If you are referring to Paul Hiett, please don’t chase him away, here he has the opportunity to hear the gospel and have his beliefs challenged and with God’s blessing, changed. Are you up to the challenge David? I know it can be a pain and they can be extremely annoying, but we all have to start somewhere, coming here could be the beginning of his salvation.

  • Jimmy Var

    Hey guys, Jesus yes is coming back whether you believe or not..He’s coming back..

    • lynn


  • bowie1

    Always interesting to see some site mentioned outside of the biblical account. It goes beyond the “the bible says so.”

  • Thomas Pyke

    Have they found the urinal Mohammed crawled out of and raped children?

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    Archaeological discoveries always confirm the truthfulness of the Holy Bible.