Treasure Trove: A 3,000-year-old message about Israel gets one important fact wrong

The Moabite Stone depicted on this trading card is from the series of Fifty Jewish Symbols and Ceremonies, issued by the West London Synagogue in 1961.

Also known as the Meshe Stele, the stone was discovered in 1868 in Dhibon, Jordan and is now at the Louvre in Paris. It is about one meter high and written in Phoenician (also called paleo-Hebrew).

The 34 lines describe events which took place in the 9th century BCE and tell a story which parallels, with some differences, an episode in 2 Kings 3:4- 8. It contains the most extensive inscription ever recovered that refers to the Kingdom of Israel and it mentions Omri, the sixth king who ruled from 885 to 874 BCE. The stone also contains the name of Israel multiple times and some scholars have concluded it includes a reference to the ‘House of David.’   

Depending on one’s perspective, the stone helps prove that the stories in the Bible are true.

Purported to be written by Mesha, the king of Moab, the stone includes the following statement, “and Israel has been defeated; it has been defeated forever!” 

That part, of course, is not true and 2,900 years later, we are still here!