JERUSALEM — An archaeological dig near the hills of Hebron in Israel has uncovered the ruins of a building believed to mark the site of the biblical city of Eglon.
Following the paths of burrowing mole rats, Professor Avraham Faust of Bar-Ilan University and crew located the ruins underneath the soil at Tel ‘Eton, about 30 miles from Jerusalem. The team has been exploring the site since 2006.
See one of the preliminary published reports here.
Faust recently told Breaking Israel News that he believes that the site is indeed Eglon as there were “signs of a social transformation the region underwent, including the construction of a large edifice in a plan known to archaeologists as ‘the four-room house,’ which is common in Israel but is rare to non-existent elsewhere.”
“The new discovery at Tel ‘Eton, located in the Judean Shephelah to the east of the Hebron hills, seems to suggest that the highland kingdom controlled larger areas than some scholars believe,” he also said.
Using radiocarbon methods and other factors, Faust estimated the structure as dating back to the 10th Century B.C.
Eglon is mentioned in the Scriptures on numerous occasions, including in Joshua 10, which describes the advancement of Joshua’s army toward the Promised Land, as five kings—the king of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish and the king of Eglon—had united themselves together against God’s people.
The Bible speaks of Joshua’s defeat of Eglon and his procession to nearby Hebron.
“And from Lachish Joshua passed unto Eglon, and all Israel with him, and they encamped against it, and fought against it,” verse 34 reads.
“And Joshua went up from Eglon, and all Israel with him, unto Hebron, and they fought against it,” verse 36 outlines.
Bodie Hodge, a speaker, author and researcher with Answers in Genesis, the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter, told Christian News Network that while he disagrees with secular dating methods utilized, he believes that the recognition of the site as Eglon is in line with Scripture.
“From a big picture, this archaeological find is yet another confirmation of the Bible’s text,” he said. “There is evidence of a transformation from one culture to another in this ruined city. Biblically, this is expected, since the territory of Eglon became part of the land of Judah, one of the inheriting tribes of Israel.”
“This city was reused by the Israelites in their new land and the city survived until the Assyrians invaded and destroyed the area and laid siege to Jerusalem. They did not conquer Jerusalem, however, because of the Lord’s protection,” Hodge outlined.
While Faust and others state that the find is proof of the existence of King David, and thus counters claims that the biblical king is a myth, Hodge said that he believes in this particular instance, the dots being connected are an “overreach.” However, he noted that other archaeological finds have indeed pointed to David, and said that even without that, Christians rely on the Word of God and not the limited knowledge of man for truth.
“We know David and Solomon exist because God told us they existed in his Word. God is the ultimate authority on the issue—not arbitrary personal opinions of humanists,” Hodge said. “We have archaeological finds confirming the existence of David and Solomon: the remains of the Temple [Mount] and Jerusalem, plus David is mentioned in archaeological finds (e.g., the Tel Dan inscription), and so on.”
“We are in a culture where certain people appeal to themselves as a greater authority than God, and arbitrarily dismiss God’s Word and say, ‘you can’t use the Bible’ to support archaeological finds. As a result, these same people often make wild claims that David or Solomon didn’t exist,” he continued. “It is unwise and illogical to dismiss the Bible and archaeology, and then draw conclusions like this.”
“In this instance, the Bible, once again, is vindicated in archaeology,” Hodge said.