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Photo Courtesy: Tel Aviv University

This Biblical Account of Goliath's Home Town Has Just Been Confirmed by Scientific Breakthrough

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Israeli scientists have used breakthrough technology to confirm the destruction of a Philistine city described in the Second Book of Kings in the Bible.

Researchers from Tel Aviv University, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Bar-Ilan University, and Ariel University used a method of measuring the Earth's magnetic field to verify the destruction of the Philistine city of Gath by Hazael, king of Aram, as recorded in 2 Kings 12:17. 

"About this time Hazael King of Aram went up and attacked Gath and captured it. Then he turned to attack Jerusalem," it reads. 

Lead scientist, Dr. Yoav Vaknin, from the Sonia & Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University, explained that, unlike previous methods, the new technique determined the intensity of the fire and the scope of the destruction in Gath, which was the home of Goliath.

Vaknin and his team used the new method to settle an archeological dispute as to whether previously discovered bricks of the city wall were burned in an extensive fire or rather if the bricks found in the structure had been fired in a kiln before construction. 

Previous research proposed the building had merely collapsed on its own over several decades. 

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"Our findings are important for determining the intensity of the fire and the scope of destruction in Gath—the largest and most powerful city in the land at the time, and also for understanding construction practices in the region," said Professor Aren Maeir, one of the co-authors of the study from the Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology at Bar-Ilan University.

A finding published in the PLOS One journal explained that bricks, which are made from mud, contain millions of ferromagnetic particles. When bricks are heated in fire the magnetic particles align with the earth's magnetic field.

"When a brick is fired in a kiln before construction, it records the direction of the earth's magnetic field at that specific time and place. In Israel this means north and downward. But when builders take bricks from a kiln and build a wall, they lay them in random orientations, thus randomizing the recorded signals. On the other hand, when a wall is burned in-situ, as might happen when it is destroyed by an enemy, the magnetic fields of all bricks are locked in the same orientation," explained Vaknin.

The method confirmed that the Gath bricks discovered during excavation were not fired in a kiln, but rather were burned by a large fire, which verifies the account in 2 Kings 12:17 – that the town was indeed destroyed through a common method of warfare. 

"Our method allowed us to determine that all bricks in both the wall and debris had burned during the conflagration: those at the bottom burned at relatively low temperatures, and those that were found in higher layers or had fallen from the top -at temperatures higher than 600°C (1112°F) ," Vaknin added.

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About The Author


Talia Wise has served as a multi-media producer for, CBN Newswatch, The Prayer Link, and CBN News social media outlets. Prior to joining CBN News she worked for Fox Sports Florida producing and reporting. Talia earned a master’s degree in journalism from Regent University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia.