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The Mystery Of The Ebla Tablets

Ebla Tablets 200x300 The Mystery Of The Ebla TabletsAncient Ebla was located in Northern Syria, approximately halfway between the modern cities of Hamath and Aleppo.  Excavations at that site began in the 1960s, and in the 1970s a series of extraordinary tablets was discovered among the ruins of an ancient palace.  These tablets became known as "The Ebla Tablets", and they were originally discovered under the direction of two professors from the University of Rome - Dr. Paolo Matthiae and Dr. Giovanni Petinato. At this point, about 17,000 tablets from the ancient Eblaite Kingdom have been recovered.  These tablets appear to have been written during the two last generations of ancient Ebla.  This means that they probably come from some time around 2300 to 2250 B.C.  But what is remarkable about the Ebla tablets is not how old they are, but rather the amazing parallels to the Bible that they contain.

For example, one scholar was very surprised at just how close much of the language on the tablets is to ancient Hebrew....

The vocabularies at Ebla were distinctively Semitic: the word "to write" is k-t-b (as in Hebrew), while that for "king" is "malikum," and that for "man" is "adamu." The closeness to Hebrew is surprising.

In addition, a vast array of Biblical names that have not been found in any other ancient Near Eastern languages have been reported to have been found in similar forms in Eblaite (one of the two languages found on the tablets).

For instance, the names of Adam, Eve, Abarama/Abraham, Bilhah, Ishmael, Esau, Mika-el, Saul and David have been found on the tablets.  Now, it is important to note that the tablets are not necessarily referring to those specific people.  Rather, what it does demonstrate is that those names were commonly used in ancient times.

In addition, quite a few ancient Biblical cities are also mentioned by name in the Ebla tablets.

For example, Ashtaroth, Sinai, Jerusalem, Hazor, Lachish, Megiddo, Gaza, Joppa, Ur, and Damascus are all reportedly referred to by name in the tablets.

Giovanni Pettinato says that he also found references to the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in the tablets.  In fact, one key discovery appears to relate directly to Genesis chapter 14.  Some Bible skeptics have long tried to claim that the victory of Abraham over Chedorlaomer and the Mesopotamian kings in Genesis 14 was fictional and that the five "cities of the plain" (Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim and Zoar) referred to in that chapter are legendary.  But it turns out that the Ebla tablets refer to all five of the "cities of the plain", and on one tablet the cities are listed in the exact same order that we find in Genesis chapter 14.

Amazing.

But that is not all.

Even more extraordinary was the discovery of "a creation hymn" in the tablets.

In fact, three different versions of the Eblaite "creation hymn" were discovered. One of the creation hymns was translated by Pettinato as follows....

Lord of heaven and earth:
the earth was not, you created it,
the light of day was not, you created it,
the morning light you had not [yet] made exist.

This clearly parallels the Biblical account.  In the Bible we also find a "Lord of heaven and earth" who created the earth and everything around it out of nothing.

However, it is important to note that Ebla was primarily a pagan culture.  Pagan gods such as Dagan, Baal and Ishtar were very important to the people of that time.  But the truth is that these tablets do confirm quite a few historical details found in the Scriptures. 

There is probably much more to be discovered about the ancient Eblaite people, but in recent decades progress has been slowed by religious and political conflicts.  Perhaps we will never know for certain where the people of ancient Ebla came from, how much they actually knew of the true God of the Bible, or why their language had such similarities to Hebrew.

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  • Samir Eissa

    The author should have known that the words “k-t-k” is the same, not only close, word for “write” in Arabic.

    Also, Ebla tablets show the bibical stories were copied from previous civilizations in the Middle East.

  • Hani

    Eblaite has no special relation to Hebrew. It is just a Semitic language.

  • Al

    I agree about the Semitic language. From my limited study of language I was under the impression that it is not surprising for one to be so close, or even the same, as another in writing.

    However, to Samir Eissa, to say that the tablets show that the Biblical stories were copied from previous civilizations is an unecessary leap in reason carried by a lot of presumption based solidly upon individual bias/personal faith. They could exist because the information they contain was once common knowledge among the peoples of the ancient world or they could exist because their contents are simply made up stories that people have been retelling in some form or another for millenia. Their existence in and of itself doesn’t prove either.

  • http://www.aidsfraudvideo.com Will See

    The Ebla tablets have probably done more to destroy the documentary hypothesis that tried to make the claim earlier that the story of Moses was a “myth” by citing so many references believed to be Hebrew fables as actual history. The Sumarian accounts of a great flood would also indicate that languages may have divided after the Tower of Bable and tribes scattered to the north, taking with them the unwritten history, arriving at many stories that correlated with Biblical history but lacked the actual genealogy and direct history found in Enoch and Genesis. The best bet is that the Biblical account is more accurate.

  • BillyClyde

    “Ebla tablets show the bibical stories were copied from previous civilizations in the Middle East.” ?????
    A nonsensical statement. What the Ebla tablets show is that many of the events recorded in the bible were common knowledge in ancient times.
    Actually if we found no mention of those stories outside of the Bible it would make them seem less likely to be true events. Think about it, if an event like the deluge took place you would expect it to be mentioned often in ancient history, which it is. Exactly what we would expect to see if these events actually happened.

  • ENOCH DJOSER

    THE EBLA TABLETS SHOWS NO EVIDENCE THAT THESE CHARACTERS EVER EXISTED.THE BIBLE IS A COPIED BOOK FROM ANCIENT STORIES,EVEN THE GREAT DELUGE HAPPENED IN EGYPT,SUMERIA,INDIA,AND OTHER COUNTLESS TRADITIONS..AND THE LANGUAGES THAT WERE FOUND ON THIS TABLET WERE NOT SEMETIC,THEY WERE SUMERIAN AND CUNEIFORM WITH SUMERIAN LOLOGRAMS..WHERE IS THE HARD PHYSUCAL EVIDENCE OF THESE NAMES ON THIS TABLET OR ANY PARALLEL STORIES OF THEIR LIFE IN THE BIBLE???DON’T THINK SO..

  • Boykie

    Critics will always believe what they want to believe and find fault with the bible. Initially they dismissed the bible claiming there were no records of certain Biblical names, places and events. Now Ebla tablets confirm the existence of the very same people, places and events, and what do the critics say, instead of acknowledging that they were wrong or at least mistaken, they rather say the bible was copied from ancient records. Quite typical!

  • Louisette

    You said it right Boykie, quite typical. I think Enoch is not happy that those tablets simply solidify Bible truths…:). God is in control, believe it or not.

  • Derinos

    People will believe any half-truths that support religious dogma, especially if “Bible” is involved.
    Sure, the Bible is valuable,as one of the few early records of Mid-East history, but no more exact and infallible than any other multiple-author log-book.
    The Ebla tablets confirm as do many other sources, that there were several imperial civilizations in the Middle East around 2500 BC, and that languages based on Semitic were the most widely spoken, of which modern Arabic and the Aramaic-Hebrew adopted in Israel are late descendants. Those names, said to be of so-called “prophets”, were common across the ages in many everyday connections.

  • MaximusFubaris

    Semitic (from the Biblical “Shem”, Hebrew: שם‎, translated as “name”, Arabic: ساميّ‎) was first used to refer to a language family of largely Middle Eastern origin, now called the Semitic languages. This family includes the ancient and modern forms of; Akkadian, Aramaic, Hebrew, Arabic, Ge’ez, Maltese, Canaanite/Phoenician, Amorite, Eblaite, Ugaritic, Sutean, Chaldean, Mandaic, Ahlamu, Amharic, Tigre and Tigrinya among others.

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