In 1868 Reverend F. Klein of the Church Missionary Society at Jerusalem found a remarkable stone monument at Dhiban in what was at one time Moab. The stone is shaped like an old tombstone with a round top. It is two feet wide, over a foot thick and almost four feet tall. What is remarkable about this stone is the record found upon it. There are thirty-four lines of Phoenician characters describing the wars of King Mesha of Moab. This is the same King Mesha found in Second Kings 3:4 and following. The Moabite Stone records the military victories of the king. It speaks of King Omri, one of the latter kings of Israel who reigned about 885 B.C. This monument, which was written contemporaneously with Mesha and Omri, gives the names of individuals involved in the wars, the names of their gods and the names of towns as recorded in the Bible. It is a wonderful confirmation of the historical accuracy of the Bible. Those who wish to denigrate the Word of God do not like the Moabite Stone.
A great bidding war evolved between the Berlin Museum and the Paris Museum for the purchase of the Moabite Stone. The sum of money offered for the stone became very large. This caused the Arabs to begin fighting among themselves over who owned the stone and would, therefore, receive the money. Unable to resolve this rivalry, the Arabs built a fire under the stone, and when it was hot, poured cold water over it causing it to break into many pieces. Fortunately, an impression was made of the stone previous to this event. Later the fragments of the stone were purchased by the French government and reassembled.
The Moabite Stone
There could be a modern parallel to the Moabite Stone.
The Israelis number about eight million and are surrounded by hundreds of millions of Arabs. There have been several wars between the Arabs and the Israelis since 1948 when Israel became a recognized state. If the Arabs lose another war they will continue on as they have for centuries. The Israelis know that if they lose the next war, they will cease to exist as a nation. They take every Palestinian assault seriously. As this conflict escalates, a time may come when the Israelis drive the Palestinians out of Jerusalem and maybe out of Israel.
The Prophet Zechariah calls Jerusalem “a burdensome stone” and anyone attempting to move will injure themselves. (Zechariah 12:3) The Moabite Stone points out a great danger to Jerusalem and the Middle East. If the same attitude is shown by the Arabs toward Jerusalem as toward the monument, they may say to themselves, “If I can’t have it, no one can,” and attempt to destroy Jerusalem with missiles and bombs. The result of such an action can only be imagined.
According to the Lord, this city is the most important piece of real estate on earth. Pray for Peace in Jerusalem and the Middle East.