This is evidence of biblical accuracy!

A brief comment on a new story. Archaeologists have found a seal from the Beth Shemesh dig site in Israel. Naturally the article had to be labeled: “Ancient seal lends credence to biblical Samson-vs.-lion tale”. Now you take a look at the photo in the article (copyrighted, can’t put in my post). Does the seal show a man fighting a lion? (or perhaps leading a cow around, maybe this is the seal of a rancher). Does the “man” depicted in the seal look like the description of Samson? (If you see that either your vision is a lot better or your imagination is far greater than mine). Is a penny-size crudely carved stone “proof” of a particular fictional anecdote?

Any artifact from a dig is interesting but the second somebody digs something up in Israel it is immediately declared to be evidence of a book of fables. The text in the article is somewhat more modest in its claim:

The find doesn’t prove that the legendary strongman, who was said to have torn apart a lion as if it were a “young goat,” actually lived, but it does “anchor the story in an archaeological setting,” said Tel Aviv University archaeologist Shlomo Bunimovitz.

Now I don’t even buy it anchors it, because the literal seal itself doesn’t depict a man tearing apart a lion (where’s the blood and gore, the dismembered limbs). It’s just a seal of completely ambiguous connection to any tale (I think it’s just as likely a rancher roping a cow to brand it and castrate it, or did they do that then; or is it a big goat, perhaps a horse or stubborn donkey), much less a fable.  It’s an image you can read almost anything into. At least the article says this:

“If we are right and what we see on the seal is a representation of a man meeting a lion, it shows that the Samson legend already existed around the area of Beth Shemesh during that time period,” Bunimovitz said in a statement. “We can date it quite precisely.”

Now at least they’re using the word, ‘if‘, and, the term ‘Samson legend‘. I guess actual archaeologists are a little more restrained than news interns.

But I’m sure this soon while be trumpeted around fundy sites as evidence their book is true.


About dmill96

old fat (but now getting trim and fit) guy, who used to create software in Silicon Valley (almost before it was called that), who used to go backpacking and bicycling and cross-country skiing and now geodashes, drives AWD in Wyoming, takes pictures, and writes long blog posts and does xizquvjyk.
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