Cuneiform Receipt from King Nebuchadnezzar's Court Confirms Detail of Old Testament Book of Jeremiah
by Rich Deem


Bible: History or Fiction?

Does the Bible contain real history or is it just made-up fiction? A recent discovery of a sixth century BC cuneiform tablet goes a long way to confirm the accuracy of biblical narrative accounts.

Rich Deem

Skeptics often claim that Old Testament writers made up the names of rulers and leaders with whom the Israelites reportedly interacted with. However, the recent discovery of a cuneiform tablet dated to 595 BC confirms one of the minor details about an obscure official from the court of King Nebuchadnezzar II, mentioned in the Old Testament book of Jeremiah.1

New evidence

Michael Jursa, associate professor at the University of Vienna, discovered the Assyrian cuneiform tablet in the British Museum's great Arched Room, which houses 130,000 such tablets. The small tablet, is a bill of receipt acknowledging Nabu-sharrussu-ukin's payment of 0.75 kg of gold to a temple in Babylon.

The full translation of the tablet reads:

1.5 minas of gold, the property of Nabu-sharrussu-ukin, the chief eunuch, which he sent via Arad-Banitu the eunuch to [the temple] Esangila: Arad-Banitu has delivered to Esangila. In the presence of Bel-usat, son of Alpaya, the royal bodyguard, [and of] Nadin, son of Marduk-zer-ibni. Month XI, day 18, year 10 [of] Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.2

Professor Jursa noted that chapter 39 of the Book of Jeremiah contained the same name - Nebo-Sarsekim, although it was spelled differently. According to Jeremiah's account, Nebo-Sarsekim was Nebuchadnezzar's "chief officer" and was with him at the siege of Jerusalem in 587 BC, 8 years after he had provided the cuneiform receipt.

Conclusion Top of page

The discovery of a cuneiform tablet that confirms the existence of a once-mentioned minor official in the Old Testament book of Jeremiah is somewhat of a shock to Bible skeptics. Previous to this discovery, the only confirmed biblical figures were well-known kings. Therefore, this discovery goes a long way to confirm the accuracy of biblical historical accounts.

Recibo Cuneiforme del Tribunal del Rey Nabucodonosor Confirma Detalle del Libro del Antiguo Testamento de Jeremías

References Top of page

  1. This is how Jerusalem was taken: In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army and laid siege to it. 2 And on the ninth day of the fourth month of Zedekiah's eleventh year, the city wall was broken through. Then all the officials of the king of Babylon came and took seats in the Middle Gate: Nergal-Sharezer of Samgar, Nebo-Sarsekim a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer a high official and all the other officials of the king of Babylon. (Jeremiah 39:3)
  2. Tiny tablet provides proof for Old Testament By Nigel Reynolds
    Nebo-Sarsekim Tablet at Wikipedia
Last Modified July 24, 2007


Rich's Blog