You are here

50 People in the BAS Library

Lawrence Mykytiuk’s popular BAR feature “Archaeology Confirms 50 Real People in the Bible” describes 50 Hebrew Bible figures that have been identified archaeologically. In this BAS Library Special Collection, BAR editors have arranged an extensive list of Biblical Archaeology Review, Bible Review and Archaeology Odyssey articles that provide additional context for each figure.

Mykytiuk followed up his BAR article with a complete online list of endnotes detailing the archaeological evidence identifying each Biblical figure. We know that not all of our readers have access to some of the relatively obscure scholarly publications mentioned in his endnotes, so we put together a list of BAS Library-exclusive articles on each of the 50 figures.

In some cases (such as King David), the BAS Library has dozens of articles on the Biblical and archaeological evidence related to a single figure. In these cases, we only included the three articles that best explore the archaeological evidence for the Biblical figure, or best explain their relevance to the period’s history. In other cases, the figure Mykytiuk identified is relatively obscure (such as Ben-hadad, son of Hadadezer) and we have included articles from Biblical Archaeology Review, Bible Review or Archaeology Odyssey that briefly mention the figure or provide the historical context in which they can be understood.

 


Egypt

1. Shishak (= Shoshenq I), pharaoh, r. 945–924, 1 Kings 11:40 and 14:25

Did Pharaoh Sheshonq Attack Jerusalem?

Yigal Levin, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jul/Aug 2012.

Shishak’s Military Campaign in Israel Confirmed

Sidebar to: Alan R. Millard, “Does the Bible Exaggerate King Solomon’s Golden Wealth?” Biblical Archaeology Review, May/Jun 1989.

2. So (= Osorkon IV), pharaoh, r. 730–715, 2 Kings 17:4

Where Did Solomon’s Gold Go?

Kenneth A. Kitchen, Sidebar to Alan R. Millard, “Does the Bible Exaggerate King Solomon’s Golden Wealth?” Biblical Archaeology Review, May/Jun 1989.

3. Tirhakah (= Taharqa), pharaoh, r. 690–664, 2 Kings 19:9, etc.

Rewriting Jerusalem History: Jerusalem Under Siege

William H. Shea, Biblical Archaeology Review, Nov/Dec 1999.

Sennacherib’s Siege of Jerusalem: Once or Twice?

Mordechai Cogan, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jan/Feb 2001.

4. Necho II (= Neco II), pharaoh, r. 610–595, 2 Chronicles 35:20, etc.

Caught Between the Great Powers

Abraham Malamat, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jul/Aug 1999.

What Was Josiah Thinking?

Peter Cooper, Sidebar to: Eric H. Cline, “Why Megiddo?” Bible Review, June 2000.

5. Hophra (= Apries = Wahibre), pharaoh, r. 589–570, Jeremiah 44:30

The Evidence: Funerary Stelae

Sidebar to: Leo Depuydt, “How to Date a Pharaoh,” Archaeology Odyssey, Jul/Aug 2005. [minor reference only]


Moab

6. Mesha, king, r. early to mid-9th century, 2 Kings 3:4–27

Why the Moabite Stone Was Blown to Pieces

Siegfried H. Horn, Biblical Archaeology Review, May/Jun 1986.

Why King Mesha of Moab Sacrificed His Oldest Son

Baruch Margalit, Biblical Archaeology Review, Nov/Dec 1986.

Moab Comes to Life

P. M. Michèle Daviau and Paul-Eugène Dion, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jan/Feb 2002.


Aram-Damascus

7. Hadadezer, king, r. early 9th century to 844/842, 1 Kings 22:3, etc.

Did King Jehu Kill His Own Family?

Tammi Schneider, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jan/Feb 1995.

8. Ben-hadad, son of Hadadezer, r. or served as co-regent 844/842, 2 Kings 6:24, etc.

“David” Found at Dan

Biblical Archaeology Review, Mar/Apr 1994. [Minor references only]

Tripartite Buildings: Divided Structures Divide Scholars

Moshe Kochavi, Biblical Archaeology Review, May/Jun 1999. [Minor references only]

9. Hazael, king, r. 844/842–ca. 800, 1 Kings 19:15, etc.

Did King Jehu Kill His Own Family?

Tammi Schneider, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jan/Feb 1995.

“David” Found at Dan

Biblical Archaeology Review, Mar/Apr 1994.

Excavating Philistine Gath: Have We Found Goliath’s Hometown?

Carl S. Ehrlich and Aren M. Maeir, Biblical Archaeology Review, Nov/Dec 2001.

10. Ben-hadad, son of Hazael, king, r. early 8th century, 2 Kings 13:3, etc.

Excavating Philistine Gath: Have We Found Goliath’s Hometown?

Carl S. Ehrlich and Aren M. Maeir, Biblical Archaeology Review, Nov/Dec 2001. [Minor reference only]

11. Rezin (= Raḥianu), king, r. mid-8th century to 732, 2 Kings 15:37, etc.

Israelites in Exile

K. Lawson Younger, Jr., Biblical Archaeology Review, Nov/Dec 2003.


Northern Kingdom of Israel

12. Omri, king, r. 884–873, 1 Kings 16:16, etc.

Why the Moabite Stone Was Blown to Pieces

Siegfried H. Horn, Biblical Archaeology Review, May/Jun 1986.

The Black Obelisk

Sidebar to: Erika Belibtreu, “Grisly Assyrian Record of Torture and Death.” Biblical Archaeology Review, Jan/Feb 1991.

Did King Jehu Kill His Own Family?

Tammi Schneider, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jan/Feb 1995.

13. Ahab, king, r. 873–852, 1 Kings 16:28, etc.,

How Bad Was Ahab?

Ephraim Stern, Biblical Archaeology Review, Mar/Apr 1993.

Jezreel—Where Jezebel Was Thrown to the Dogs

David Ussishkin, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jul/Aug 2010.

Israelite Kings in Non-Biblical, Non-Israelite Inscriptions

Sidebar to: Baruch Halpern, “Erasing History,”Bible Review, Dec 1995.

14. Jehu, king, r. 842/841–815/814, 1 Kings 19:16, etc.

Portraits of Ancient Israelite Kings?

Irit Ziffer, Biblical Archaeology Review, Sep/Oct 2013.

Did King Jehu Kill His Own Family?

Tammi Schneider, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jan/Feb 1995.

The Black Obelisk

Sidebar to: Erika Belibtreu, “Grisly Assyrian Record of Torture and Death.” Biblical Archaeology Review, Jan/Feb 1991.

15. Joash (= Jehoash), king, r. 805–790, 2 Kings 13:9, etc.

The Persisting Uncertainties of Kuntillet Ajrud

Hershel Shanks, Biblical Archaeology Review, Nov/Dec 2012.

Israelite Kings in Non-Biblical, Non-Israelite Inscriptions

Sidebar to: Baruch Halpern, “Erasing History,”Bible Review, Dec 1995.

16. Jeroboam II, king, r. 790–750/749, 2 Kings 13:13, etc.

First Person: Have You Seen This Seal?

Hershel Shanks, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jan/Feb 2000.

Israelites in Exile

K. Lawson Younger, Jr., Biblical Archaeology Review, Nov/Dec 2003.

17. Menahem, king, r. 749–738, 2 Kings 15:14, etc.

Israelites in Exile

K. Lawson Younger, Jr., Biblical Archaeology Review, Nov/Dec 2003.

The Patriarchal Age: Myth or History?

Kenneth A. Kitchen, Biblical Archaeology Review, Mar/Apr 1995.

Israelite Kings in Non-Biblical, Non-Israelite Inscriptions

Sidebar to: Baruch Halpern, “Erasing History,”Bible Review, Dec 1995.

18. Pekah, king, r. 750(?)–732/731, 2 Kings 15:25, etc.

Israelite Kings in Non-Biblical, Non-Israelite Inscriptions

Sidebar to: Baruch Halpern, “Erasing History,”Bible Review, Dec 1995.

Israelites in Exile

K. Lawson Younger, Jr., Biblical Archaeology Review, Nov/Dec 2003.

19. Hoshea, king, r. 732/731–722, 2 Kings 15:30, etc.

Royal Signature: Name of Israel’s Last King Surfaces in a Private Collection

André Lemaire, Biblical Archaeology Review, Nov/Dec 1995.

Israelite Kings in Non-Biblical, Non-Israelite Inscriptions

Sidebar to: Baruch Halpern, “Erasing History,”Bible Review, Dec 1995.

20. Sanballat “I,” governor of Samaria under Persian rule, ca. mid-fifth century, Nehemiah 2:10, etc.

The Historical Importance of the Samaria Papyri

Frank Moore Cross, Biblical Archaeology Review, Mar 1978.

Bells, Pendants, Snakes and Stones

Yitzhak Magen, Biblical Archaeology Review, Nov/Dec 2010.


Southern Kingdom of Judah

21. David, king, r. ca. 1010–970, 1 Samuel 16:13, etc.

“David” Found at Dan

Biblical Archaeology Review, Mar/Apr 1994.

“House of David” Restored in Moabite Inscription

André Lemaire, Biblical Archaeology Review, May/Jun 1994.

Has David Been Found in Egypt?

Hershel Shanks, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jan/Feb 1999.

22. Uzziah (= Azariah), king, r. 788/787–736/735, 2 Kings 14:21, etc.

Royal Signature: Name of Israel’s Last King Surfaces in a Private Collection

André Lemaire, Biblical Archaeology Review, Nov/Dec 1995.

The City of Salt

Zvi Greenhut, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jul/Aug 1993.

Israelite Kings in Non-Biblical, Non-Israelite Inscriptions

Sidebar to: Baruch Halpern, “Erasing History,”Bible Review, Dec 1995.

23. Ahaz (= Jehoahaz), king, r. 742/741–726, 2 Kings 15:38, etc.

First Impression: What We Learn from King Ahaz’s Seal

Robert Deutsch, Biblical Archaeology Review, May/Jun 1998.

Erasing History

Baruch Halpern, Bible Review, Dec 1995.

Israel in Exile

Zvi Gal, Biblical Archaeology Review, May/Jun 1998.

24. Hezekiah, king, r. 726–697/696, 2 Kings 16:20, etc.

In the Path of Sennacherib

Oded Borowski, Biblical Archaeology Review, May/Jun 2005.

Sennacherib’s Siege of Jerusalem: Once or Twice?

Mordechai Cogan, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jan/Feb 2001.

Israelite Kings in Non-Biblical, Non-Israelite Inscriptions

Sidebar to: Baruch Halpern, “Erasing History,”Bible Review, Dec 1995.

25. Manasseh, king, r. 697/696–642/641, 2 Kings 20:21, etc.

Arad—An Ancient Israelite Fortress with a Temple to Yahweh

Miriam Aharoni, Ze’ev Herzog and Anson F. Rainey, Biblical Archaeology Review, Mar/Apr 1987.

Israelite Kings in Non-Biblical, Non-Israelite Inscriptions

Sidebar to: Baruch Halpern, “Erasing History,”Bible Review, Dec 1995.

Strata: The Taxing Work of Archaeology

Biblical Archaeology Review, Mar/Apr 2012.

26. Hilkiah, high priest during Josiah’s reign, within 640/639–609, 2 Kings 22:4, etc.

Name of Deuteronomy’s Author Found on Seal Ring

Josette Elayi, Biblical Archaeology Review, Sep/Oct 1987.

Six Biblical Signatures

Tsvi Schneider, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jul/Aug 1991.

“Signature” of King Hezekiah’s Servant Recovered

Biblical Archaeology Review, Dec 1975.

27. Shaphan, scribe during Josiah’s reign, within 640/639–609, 2 Kings 22:3, etc.

Six Biblical Signatures

Tsvi Schneider, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jul/Aug 1991.

Royal Rosettes: Fit for a King

Jane M. Cahill, Biblical Archaeology Review, Sep/Oct 1997.

Which Came First?

Sidebar to: Steve Delamarter, “Thus Far the Words of Jeremiah,” Bible Review, Oct 1999.

28. Azariah, high priest during Josiah’s reign, within 640/639–609, 1 Chronicles 5:39, etc.

Six Biblical Signatures

Tsvi Schneider, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jul/Aug 1991.

Name of Deuteronomy’s Author Found on Seal Ring

Josette Elayi, Biblical Archaeology Review, Sep/Oct 1987.

29. Gemariah, official during Jehoiakim’s reign, within 609–598, Jeremiah 36:10, etc.

Six Biblical Signatures

Tsvi Schneider, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jul/Aug 1991.

30. Jehoiachin (= Jeconiah = Coniah), king, r. 598–597, 2 Kings 24:5, etc.

The Yoke of Nebuchadnezzar

Sidebar to: Ephraim Stern, “The Babylonian Gap,” Biblical Archaeology Review, Nov/Dec 2000.

31. Shelemiah, father of Jehucal the official, late 7th century, Jeremiah 37:3; 38:1

and

32. Jehucal (= Jucal), official during Zedekiah’s reign, fl. within 597–586, Jeremiah 37:3; 38:1

Did I Find King David’s Palace?

Eilat Mazar, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jan/Feb 2006.

The Wall That Nehemiah Built

Eilat Mazar, Biblical Archaeology Review, Mar/Apr 2009.

The Interchange Between Bible and Archaeology

Nadav Na’aman, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jan/Feb 2014.

33. Pashhur, father of Gedaliah the official, late 7th century, Jeremiah 38:1

and

34. Gedaliah, official during Zedekiah’s reign, fl. within 597–586, Jeremiah 38:1 only

Jeremiah’s Opponents

Sidebar to: Eilat Mazar, “The Wall That Nehemiah Built,” Biblical Archaeology Review, Mar/Apr 2009.

The Interchange Between Bible and Archaeology

Nadav Na’aman, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jan/Feb 2014.


Assyria

35. Tiglath-pileser III (= Pul), king, r. 744–727, 2 Kings 15:19, etc.

Israel in Exile

Zvi Gal, Biblical Archaeology Review, May/Jun 1998.

Grisly Assyrian Record of Torture and Death

Erika Bleibtreu, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jan/Feb 1991.

36. Shalmaneser V (= Ululaya), king, r. 726–722, 2 Kings 17:2, etc.

Did King Jehu Kill His Own Family?

Tammi Schneider, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jan/Feb 1995.

Grisly Assyrian Record of Torture and Death

Erika Bleibtreu, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jan/Feb 1991.

37. Sargon II, king, r. 721–705, Isaiah 20:1

Grisly Assyrian Record of Torture and Death

Erika Bleibtreu, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jan/Feb 1991.

Israelites in Exile

K. Lawson Younger, Jr., Biblical Archaeology Review, Nov/Dec 2003.

38. Sennacherib, king, r. 704–681, 2 Kings 18:13, etc.

Rewriting Jerusalem History: Jerusalem Under Siege

William H. Shea, Biblical Archaeology Review, Nov/Dec 1999.

Destruction of Judean Fortress Portrayed in Dramatic Eighth-Century B.C. Pictures

Hershel Shanks, Biblical Archaeology Review, Mar/Apr 1984.

Will King Hezekiah Be Dislodged from His Tunnel?

Hershel Shanks, Biblical Archaeology Review, Sep/Oct 2013.

In the Path of Sennacherib

Oded Borowski, Biblical Archaeology Review, May/Jun 2005.

39. Adrammelech (= Ardamullissu = Arad-mullissu), son and assassin of Sennacherib, fl. early 7th century, 2 Kings 19:37, etc.

The Biblical Account of Sennacherib’s Attack

Oded Borowski, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jan/Feb 2001. [Biblical reference only]

40. Esarhaddon, king, r. 680–669, 2 Kings 19:37, etc.

Solomon’s Temple in Context

Victor Hurowitz, Biblical Archaeology Review, Mar/Apr 2011.

The Kitchen Debate

William W. Hallo, Ronald S. Hendel, and Kenneth A. Kitchen, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jul/Aug 2005.

Grisly Assyrian Record of Torture and Death

Erika Bleibtreu, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jan/Feb 1991.


Babylonia

41. Merodach-baladan II (=Marduk-apla-idinna II), king, r. 721–710 and 703, 2 Kings 20:12, etc.

Nebuchadnezzar and Solomon

Bill T. Arnold, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jan/Feb 2007. [Minor Reference only]

42. Nebuchadnezzar II, king, r. 604–562, 2 Kings 24:1, etc.

Nebuchadnezzar and Solomon

Bill T. Arnold, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jan/Feb 2007.

Nebuchadnezzar and Solomon

Ephraim Stern, Biblical Archaeology Review, Nov/Dec 2000.

The Fury of Babylon: Ashkelon and the Archaeology of Destruction

Lawrence E. Stager, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jan/Feb 1996.

43. Nebo-sarsekim, chief official of Nebuchadnezzar II, fl. early 6th century, Jeremiah 39:3.

Strata: Cuneiform Tablet Confirms Biblical Name

Biblical Archaeology Review, Nov/Dec 2007.

44. Evil-merodach (= Awel Marduk, = Amel Marduk), king, r. 561–560, 2 Kings 25:27, etc.

Thus Far the Words of Jeremiah

Steve Delamarter, Bible Review, Oct 1999.

45. Belshazzar, son and co-regent of Nabonidus, fl. ca. 543?–540, Daniel 5:1, etc.

Daniel and Belshazzar in History

Alan R. Millard, Biblical Archaeology Review, May/Jun 1985.

Who was Nabonidus?

Sidebar to: Matt Waters, “Making (Up) History,” Archaeology Odyssey, Nov/Dec 2005.


Persia

46. Cyrus II (=Cyrus the great), king, r. 559–530, 2 Chronicles 36:22, etc.

Cyrus the Messiah

Lisbeth S. Fried, Bible Review, Oct 2003.

Strata: Exhibit Watch: Cyrus Cylinder Begins American Tour

Biblical Archaeology Review, May/Jun 2013.

Big City, Few People

David Ussishkin, Biblical Archaeology Review, Jul/Aug 2005.

47. Darius I (=Darius the Great), king, r. 520–486, Ezra 4:5, etc.

Why Darius Built Persepolis

Ali Mousavi, Archaeology Odyssey, Nov/Dec 2005.

Making (Up) History

Matt Waters, Archaeology Odyssey, Nov/Dec 2005.

Past Perfect: Deciphering Darius

Matt Waters, Archaeology Odyssey, Sep/Oct 2005.

48. Xerxes I (= Ahasuerus), king, r. 486–465, Esther 1:1, etc.

Making (Up) History

Matt Waters, Archaeology Odyssey, Nov/Dec 2005.

Why Darius Built Persepolis

Ali Mousavi, Archaeology Odyssey, Nov/Dec 2005.

49. Artaxerxes I Longimanus, king, r. 465-425/424, Ezra 4:6, 7

Why Darius Built Persepolis

Ali Mousavi, Archaeology Odyssey, Nov/Dec 2005.

Making (Up) History

Matt Waters, Archaeology Odyssey, Nov/Dec 2005.

Who Returned First: Ezra or Nehemiah?

Aaron Demsky, Bible Review, Apr 1996.

50. Darius II Nothus, king, r. 425/424-405/404, Nehemiah 12:22

Who Returned First: Ezra or Nehemiah?

Aaron Demsky, Bible Review, Apr 1996. [No direct reference, though this provides context for the period]


Click here to read Lawrence Mykytiuk’s popular BAR feature “Archaeology Confirms 50 Real People in the Bible.”