Assyrian Camp Discovery May Support Biblical Account of Angel’s Intervention, Scholar Says

A newly discovered Assyrian military camp in Israel may support an epic biblical account of an angel of the Lord destroying 185,000 Assyrian soldiers, according to an independent scholar.

Stephen Compton, an independent scholar specializing in Near Eastern archaeology, used a modern mapping technique to locate what he believes are ancient Assyrian military camps, dating back to around 700 B.C.

The discovery, which is also documented in Assyrian texts, Greek histories, and the Bible, could validate the biblical account found in 2 Kings 19:35; Isaiah 37: 36-38 and 2 Chronicles, 32:21.

The scholar detailed his findings in the journal *Near Eastern Archaeology*.

“One of the important cities that he conquered, which is mentioned in the Bible as well as in Assyrian documents, is Lachish,” he said. “And on the wall of Sennacherib’s palace he had a relief depicting, in stone carving, the conquest of the city of Lachish, and then after one side his military camp. And his military camp was a large oval. This image from the wall of his palace is now on the wall of the British Museum. But it’s never been found.”

Matching the landscape to the relief in Assyrian King Sennacherib’s palace and using early aerial photographs of Lachish taken before modern development, Compton created a virtual map to pinpoint the site of the military camp.

The oval shape of Assyrian King Sennacherib’s military camp helped narrow down Compton’s research.

“We knew it was an oval. What I did was I took the image of the relief and match it up with recognizable features in the landscape with the actual landscape and overlayed the two,” he said. “I used earlier photographs of the landscape from World War II, right before major changes were made.”

“And it was a match,” he said.

Compton said the military camp’s location, position, dates and name fit into the description of Sennacherib’s invasion camp.

Compton shared that he hopes an archaeological excavation team will investigate the site to provide additional information.

“I think it’s exciting to have found the spot, and I hope that we’ll soon see archaeological excavations there that can give us more information ,” he said.