ISIS looting uncovers palace of 2 biblical kings

Archaeologists in Iraq are decrying the latest destruction of the nation’s historic heritage by the Islamic State while celebrating an amazing discovery of biblical significance made possible only by the terror group’s looting.

The slow recovery of Mosul by Iraqi forces, backed by an international coalition, has allowed archaeologists to examine ISIS’ damage to artifacts at the site of ancient Nineveh. In 2014, shortly after taking control of Mosul, ISIS militants rigged the Nabi Younus shrine – the traditional burial site of the prophet Jonah – with explosives and blew it up.

It is now known that ISIS dug tunnels beneath the leveled shrine in search of artifacts to sell on the world market to fund its military activities. Those now-abandoned tunnels, archaeologist say, have revealed the palace of the seventh century B.C. Assyrian King Sennacherib and his son King Esarhaddon.

Sennacherib’s invasion of the biblical kingdom of Judah in 701 B.C. is one of the most thoroughly documented historical events in the Bible, being recounted at 2 Kings 18:13-19:37, 2 Chronicles 32:1-23, Isaiah 36:1-37:38, as well as in a marble bas-relief now in the British Museum and on an Assyrian clay prism proclaiming Sennacherib’s “victory” over Judah’s King Hezekiah.

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