An archaeological discovery that is linked to the story of Queen Esther has been made in Israel. It is the first time an inscription of King Darius has been made in Israel.

King Darius is the father of King Xerxes (King Ahasuerus) who married Queen Esther, so he was Queen Esther’s father-in-law. King Darius’s life is documented in four books of the Bible; The books of Haggai, Zechariah, Ezra and Nehemiah.

There are many archaeological discoveries from throughout the Middle East that verify the existence of King Darius and his son King Xerxes, from artwork and sculptures to solid gold inscription plates. There is no question that these people existed and that the stories about them that are documented in the Bible are real. This is, however, the first time an inscription of King Darius has been discovered in the land of Israel.

The person who discovered the piece was Eylon Levy, who is the international media adviser to President Isaac Herzog, and was on a hike around the area when he made the accidental discovery.

“When I picked up the ostracon and saw the inscription, my hands shook. I looked left and right for the cameras because I was sure someone was playing an elaborate prank on me,” he said.

What was discovered was a 2,500-year-old ostracon (a pottery shard used for writing) with an Aramaic inscription that reads “Year 24 of Darius”. This dates the piece to 498 BC.

Levy immediately reported the ostracon to the IAA, who after conducting several examinations and tests, confirmed its uniqueness.

Dr. Haggai Misgav of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem explained, “The British Archaeological Expedition that carried out excavations at Tel Lachish in the 1930s uncovered an elaborate administrative building from the Persian period, built on top of the podium of the destroyed palace-fort of the Judean kings.” It had elaborate halls and courtyards with a majestic Persian-style columned portico entrance.

Eli Escuzido, the director of the Israeli Antiquities Authority, said, “It’s amazing that visitors to the site come across such a rare inscription ‘reviving’ the Persian King Darius known to us from the sources! “His son King Ahasuerus [Xerxes] … could never have imagined that we would find evidence of his father in Israel 2,500 years after the dramatic events in his royal court!”

It is always encouraging to hear about these amazing archaeological discoveries. Each one not only reveals that the Bible is true but also solidifies the Jewish claim to the land of Israel as given to them by God and documented in the Bible.

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