Log In  |  Mobile View  |  Help  
Visiting Edmonton Central SDA's Shares (account name: edmontoncentralsda)




Biblical Characters Whose Existence has been confirmed from Archaeological or secular Historical Sources





Agrippa I or Herod Agrippa

Acts 12:1 - called Herod the King; grandson of Herod the Great; King of Judea, Persecuted Christians in Jerusalem.

  1. Josephus
  2. Contemporary Roman Records
  3. Coins with inscription of The Great King Agrippa, Friend of Caesar.
  4. Basalt fragment of a Nabatean inscription refers to Agrippa, the King (Could be either I or II).

Agrippa II

Acts 25:13 - 26:32 - Son of Agrippa I; ruler of Northern areas of Palestine; Paul appeared before him before going to Rome; Married Bernice.

  1. Josephus
  2. Contemporary Roman records
  3. Coins with likeness & inscription of King Agrippa
  4. Basalt fragment (see Agrippa I above)
  5. Monumental stone inscription found in Beirut mentions Herod Agrippa and Bernice.


1 Kings 16:28 - 8th King of Israel; son of Omri; wicked & idolatrous; married to Jezebel.

  1. Cuneiform tablets of Shalmaneser III's at Qarqar.
  2. Mesha Stela (Moabite Stone) refers to him as Omri's son but does not call him by name.


Esther 1:1 - Ahasuerus is Greek for Xerxes; King in Esther story.

  1. Audience Hall at Persepolis has relief of Xerxes with father, Darius.
  2. Palace at Persepolis portrays Xerxes on door.

3.      Clay tablet archives chronicle his life.

4.      Seals found in Egypt are inscribed Xerxes, the great king.

5.      Elephantine papyri dated by his reign.

6.      Herodotus histories


2 Kings 16:2 - 12th King of Judah; son of Jotham, idolatrous; listed ins Jesus' genealogy (Mt 1:9)

  1. Cuneiform inscription of Tiglath Pileser's campaign against Palestine (called Jehoahaz).
  2. Seal with inscription belonging to Usna, Minister of Ahaz
  3. Bulla with impression Ahaz (son of) Jotham King of Judah.


Acts 23:2 - Jewish High Priest who opposed Paul

  1. Josephus


Luke 3:2 - Jewish High Priest

  1. Josephus


Luke 3:1 - Called Herod the Tetrarch in Bible

  1. Josephus
  2. Coins carry inscription Herod the Tetrarch
  3. Inscription on Cos & Delos name Herod the Tetrarch.



Mat 2:22 - Also called Herod Archelaus; son of Herod the great; ruler of Judea & Samaria during Jesus' childhood.

1.      Contemporary Histories - Dio Cassius

2.      Josephus

3.      Coins that have inscription Ethrarch or Herod or Ethrarch Herod.

Aretas IV

2 Cor. 11:32-33 - King at Damascus who arrested Paul

1.      Josephus

2.      20 inscriptions use his name & reign for dating.

3.      Inscription at Khirbet et Tannur dates setting up of alter to his 2nd year.

4.      Inscription at Madeba calls him Ahe who loves his people.

5.      Coins with his likeness

Artaxerxes I, Longimanus

Ezra 4:7 - King of Persia; allowed Jews to return to Israel.

1. Tomb of Artaxerxes known near Persepolis.

2. Elephantine papyri use dates based on his reign.

3. Herodutus.



Ezra 4:10 (NIV) KJV calls his Osapper - Last Assyrian King

1. Library of cuneiform tablets found at Kuyunjik

2. Ruins of buildings with extensive sculptures at Ninevah

3. Annals of Ashurbanipal - clay prism


Luke 2:2 - Roman emperor during birth of Jesus; full name Gaius Octavius.

1. Full biography found in long Greek & Latin inscription in Ankara, Turkey

2. Inscription celebrating his birthday

3. Coins

4. Statuary

5. Contemporary histories



Num. 22:5 - The son of Beor; called by Balak, King of Moab, to curse Israel

An inscription found in 1967 at a temple at Deir >Alla (Biblical Succoth) contains an Aramic inscription that contains messages of doom and curses from Balaam, son of Beor. He is also called a Aseer of the gods. Inscription dated to 700 B.C.


Jer. 40:14 - King of the Ammonites

A seal impression found in 1984 at Tel el-Umeiri by the Andrews University excavation team.


Jer. 32:12 - Scribe of Jeremiah the prophet; son of Neriah

1. Bulla bought in Jerusalem antiquities market in 1975

2. Bulla in the collection of Shlomo Moussaieff. This bulla actually shows a fingerprint on the back.


Daniel 5 - King of Babylon

Cuneiform tablet - Yale Babylonian collection

Ben Hadad I

1 Kings 15:18 - Son of Tabrimmon, Son of Hezion, King of Syria (Aram)

1. Stone monument of treaty with King Pygmalion of Tyre.

2. Stele dedicated to god, Baal Melqart found at Aleppo bears an Aramaic inscription that mentions Barhadad, son of Tabrimmon, son of Hezion, King of Aram.

Ben Hadad II (May be same person as Ben Hadad I)

1 Kings 20:1 - King of Syrian (Aram)

Called Hadadezer in Assyrian records from 853 B.C. that records the battle of Qarqar with Shalmaneser III.

Ben Hadad III

2 Kings 13:24-25 - King of Syria (Aram); Son of Hazael

Zakir King of Hamuth relates that Barhadad, the son of Hazael, fought against him.


Acts 25:13 - Oldest daughter of Herod Agrippa I; accompanied brother (lover) Agrippa II when Paul appeared before him.

1. Roman records including Suetonius and Dio Cassius

2. Josephus

3. Monumental stone inscription found in Beirut mentions King Agrippa and Bernice.




Mt. 26:3 - High priest during time of Jesus

1. Josephus tells us his name was Joseph Caiaphas

2. Ossuary found in Jerusalem in 1990 has Hebrew inscription that reads AJoseph, son of Caiaphas.


Acts 11:28; 18:2 - Roman Emperor; ordered Jews to leave Rome

1. Roman historical records by Suetonias, Orosius, Tacitus and Dio Cassius

2. Coins with his name

3. Statuary

Cyrus II or Cyrus the Great

2 Chr. 36:22 - Persian King who founded the empire; defeated Babylonians; allowed Jew to go home from captivity.

1. Inscription from Pasargadae saying, 'I am Cyrus..."

2. Nabonidus Chronicle - cuneiform inscription

3. Cyrus cylinder

4. Historical records by Herodotus and Aeschylus

5. Tomb at Pasargadue in SW Iran


Darius I Hystaspes or Darius the Great

Ezra 4:5 - King of Persia

1. Behistun Rock inscription celebrating his victories over contenders to the throne

2. Copy of Behistun inscription found on papyrus at Elephantine

3. Palace & Audience Hall at Persepolis with numerous reliefs and inscriptions portraying Darius

4. Numerous cuneiform tablets

5. Other papyri found at Elephantine

Darius the Persian

Neh. 12:22 - King of Persia, Successor of  Artazerzes I

The passover Papyrus found at Elephantine


1 Sam 16:13; 2 Sam 5:3-4 - Second King of united Israel; Killed Goliath

Stone inscription found at Tel Dan by Avraham Biran in 1993 which speaks of the King of Israel which was of the house of David.


Acts 24:24 - Wife of Felix; Paul appeared before them.

1. Josephus

2. Suetonius history



2 Kings 18:18 - Steward (palace administration) of King Jehoiachin; son of Hilkiah

Seal impression on jar handles found at Tell Beit Mirsim reading Belonging to Eliakim, steward of Yaukin (Jehoiachin).


Jer. 36:12 - Scribe

Seal impression on bulla from Jerusalem hoard that reads Elishama, servant of the King.


Romans 16:13 - City treasurer of Corinth; Convert of Paul

Latin inscription found in Corinth says that Erastus laid this pavement at his own expense in return for receiving his position in the government.


2 Kings 19:37 - King of Assyria; Son of Sennacherib; Settled foreigners in Samaria

1. Stele depicting victory over Egypt & Tyre

2. Commemorative stone tablet recounting the rebuilding of Babylon

3. Cuneiform clay prism contains annuals of Esarhadden

4. Bronze plague in Louvre depicting Esarhadden and mother Nagia

5. Many other cuneiform tablets

Evil - Merodach

2 Kings 25:27-30 - King of Babylon; son of Nebuchadnezzar, also called Amel-Marduk

1. Cuneiform tablet about the family of Nabonidus

2. Cuneiform tablet listing kings



Acts 23:24 - Roman procurator (governor) of Judea under Claudius; Paul appeared before him. Full name Marcus Antonius Felix.

1. Tacitus, Suetonius histories

2. Josephus

3. Known to have struck at least two coins but they do not bear his name.


Acts 24:27 - Roman procurator (governor) of Judea under Nero, succeeded Felix; full name Porcius Festus; Paul appeared before him appealed to Caesar.

1. Josephus history

2. Struck at least one coin but it bears the name, of Nero, not Festus



Acts 18:12 - Proconsul of Achaia; Paul appeared before him while in Corinth. Full name Junius Gallio Annaeus; forced to commit suicide.

1. Inscription at Delphi found in 1905 by E. Bourguet in which the emperor Claudius calls Gallio his friend and proconsul of Achaia.

2. Senaca, Pliny, Dio Cassius and Suetonius.


Acts 5:34 - Member of Jewish Sanhedrin; Teacher of Paul

1. Josephus

2. Mishna calls him Gamaliel the Elder.


2 Kings 25:22 - Governor of Judah appointed by Nebuchadnezzr; murdered by Jewish royal relatives.

Seal impression (bulla) found at Lachish reads"Belonging to Gedaliah", who is over the house (Administrator of palace)


Jer. 29:3 - Emissary from Zedekiah to Nebuchadnezzar; son of Hilkiah

Lachish Ostracon I mentions a Gemariah son of Hissilyahn

Greshem the Arab

Nehemiah 2:19 - Opposed Nehemiah and building of Jerusalem Temple

1. Silver vessel from shrine at Tell-el - Maskhuta with Aramaic inscription stating that it was presented by Cain, son of Geshem, King of Qedar.

2. Lihyanite inscription names Geshem along with the Persian governor of Dedan.



1 Kings 19:15 - King of Aram (Syria); succeeded (murdered) Ben-Hadad II

1. Ivory inlay fragment found at Arslan Tash bears the name Hazael

2. Cuneiform inscriptions of Shalmaneser III military campaigns

3. Inscription on statue mentions Barhadad, son of Hazael.

Herod the Great

Mt. 2:1 - King of Judea

1. Coins which have inscription Herod the King

2. Great builder of many monuments

3. Josephus

4. Inscription on column from Sica honored Herod

5. Pot sherds found at Masada - one says Herod, King of the Jews

Herod the Tetrarch

Luke 3:1 - Son of Herod the Great; ruler of Galilee & Persia during Jesus ministry; Rebuked by John the Baptist for marrying Herodias and had him killed

1. Coins simply bear name Herod or Herod the tetrarch

2. Josephus


Kings 18:2 - 13th King of Judah; dug tunnel for water from Gihon Spring

1. Clay bulla in Israel Museum bears inscription, Jehozara,...servant of Hezekiah.

2. Sennacherib records shutting Hezekiah up like a bird in Jerusalem and twice more mentions him elsewhere


1 Kings 15:18 - Father of Tabrimmon, father of Barhadad

Stele dedicated to god Baal Melqart found at Aleppo bears an Aramaic inscription that mentions Barhadad, son of Tabrimmon, son of Hezion


2 Kings 22:8 - high priest during Josiahs reign who found scroll of Torah.

Ring with seal reads belonging to Hanan, son of Hilkiah, the priest.


Jer. 44:30 - Pharaoh of Egypt; 4th King of 26th Dynasty; also called Wahibpre or Apries

1. Stele records defeat of Apries by Amasis (in Cairo Museum)

2. Palace found at Memphis

3. Vase has a painting of Apries head and name in hieroglyphics

4. Stele depicts him making offering to gods.


2 Kings 17:1 - 20th (and last) King of Israel

1. Seal purchased at Sothebys reads Belonging to Abdi, servant of Hoshea

2. Tiglath-Pilser III records helping Hoshea come to throne.


Mt. 14:3 - Wife of Herod Antipus (after being married to his brother); Mother of Salome who had John the Baptist beheaded



2 Kings 25:23-25

Bulla that reads Abelonging to Ishmaael, the king's son.

Israel (Nation)

Exodus 5:1 - The Old Testament name for the Jewish Nation

The Israel stele of Merneotah is the earliest mention by the nation of Israel in a secular source.



2 Kings 25:23 - Army officer under Gedaliah

Seal found at Mizpah in 1932 bears inscription belonging to Jaazaniah, servant of the King.


Mark 6:3 - Brother of Jesus

Josephus recounts that he was stoned.


2 Kings 23:31 - 17th King of Judah; son of Josiah

Seal reading belonging to Jehoahaz, the son of the King.


2 Kings 24:6 - also called Coniah; 19th ruler of Judah

1. 4 pottery handles stamped with a seal that readsbelonging to Eliakim, steward of Jehoiachin.

2. Cuneiform tablets found in Babylon record rations given to Jehoiachin, King of Judah.


Ezra 10:6 - Son of Eliashib, the high priest

1. Elephantine papyrus to Biguai, governor of Judah, mentions Johanan, the high priest of Jerusalem.


1 Kings 19:16 - 11th King of Israel

1. Black obelisk of Shalmaneser III in British Museum depicts Jehu bowing and tells of the tribute of Jehu, son of Omri.

2. Cuneiform tablet of Shalmaneser III, also records receiving tribute from Jehu.


Jeremiah 36:26 - Son of the King Jehoiahim (possibly an official) sent to arrest Jeremiah and Baruch

Seal with inscription belonging to Jerahmeel, the son of the King

Jeroboam II

2 Kings 13:13 - 14th King of Israel; son of Jehoash

Seal of Jasper found at Megiddo has a roaring lion and the inscription belonging to Shema, servant of Jeroboam.


Mt. 1:1 - the Christ, the Son of God

Roman Historians - Tacitus, Josephus, Lucian, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger


1 Kings 16:31 - Wife of Ahab; wicked Baal worshiping queen

Fine seal in the Israel Museum has the name Jezebel.

Jehoash (Joash)

2 Kings 13:10 - 13th King of Israel; son of Jehoahuz

On a stele found at Tell al-Riman in 1967, Assyrian King Adad-Nirari III relates how he received tribute from Jehoash the Samarian

John the Baptist

Mt. 3:1 - Prophet pointing to Jesus

Josephus tells of his death.


2 Kings 15:32 - 11th King of Judah

1. Seal, signet ring found at Ezion Geber (Elath) inscription - belonging to Jotham also ram in seal - in Smithsonian Institution.

2. Bulla in collection of Shlomo Moussaieff which reads Ahaz (son of) Jotham, King of Judah.

Judas the Galilean

Acts 5:37 - Gamaliel names him as having led a failed revolt



Luke 3:1 - Tetrarch of Abilene

1. Josephus

2. Inscription for dedication of temple at Abila mentions Lysanias the Tetrarch



2 Kings 20:21 - 14th King of Judah

1. Seal reading belonging to Manassah, the son of the King may be from time when he was crown prince.

2. Esarhaddon lists AManassah, King of Judah on Prism B which lists those who contributed material to his new palace.

3. Ashurbanipal, on Cylinder C, lists Manassah, King of Judah as being forced to accompany him on his Egyptian campaign.


2 Kings 15:17 - 17th King of Israel

Tiglath-Pileser relates in a cuneiform text found at Calah that he received tribute from Menahem of Samaria.


2 Kings 20:12 - King of Babylon

1. Stele for a land grant depicts Merodach-Baladar and has text about him.

2. Babylonian chronicle

3. King List A

4. Numerous cuneiform inscriptions of Tiglath-Pileser III, Sargon II, and Sennacherib.

5. Cuneiform cylinder written by Merodach-Baladar boasting of driving out Assyrians.


2 Kings 3:4 - King of Moab

On Moabite stone, Mesha complains about having been oppressed by Omri, King of Israel and boasts of driving Israel out.


Est. 2:5 - Gate official in reign of Ahasuerus at Sousa

Undated tablet found at Borsippa speaks of a Mordecai who served in Sousa during Xerxes reign.



2 Kings 24:1; Daniel 1:1 - Babylonian King; conquered Judah; God gave prophecies

1. Many cuneiform inscriptions - Babylonian Chronicle; building dedications.

2. Clay bricks of Babylon contain his name

3. Boundary stone from Sippar records land grant by Nebuchadnezzar

4. Business texts dated by Nebuchadnezzar's reign.

Neco (Necho)

2 Kings 23:29 - Pharaoh of Egypt; 26th dynasty; fought and killed Josiah

1. Sculpture in University Museum

2. Ushabti

3. Bowl found at Persepolis bears name and titles.

4. Stele at Sidon with name in hieroglyphics


Jer. 39:3 - Called a prince in Babylon; son-in-law of Nebuchadnezzar; ruled Babylon after Evil-Merodach.

1. Cuneiform tablets of contracts.

2. Tablets tell that he rebuilt temples.

3. Cuneiform text tells of military campaign into Cilicia.


Acts 25:8 - Not called by Nero in Bible, but by Caesar. Caesar whom Paul appealed to.

1. Coins bear his name and likeness.

2. Statues

3. Contemporary historians


1 Kings 16:16 - 6th King of Israel

1. Mesha stele (Moabite stone) tells that Omri, King of Israel subjugated Moab.

2. Assyrian records refer to Israel as Omri-land or the house of Omri.

3. Black obelisk refers to Jehu, son of Omri.


Paul the Apostle

Acts 13:9

Portion of Marble inscription found on Cyprus that could be reconstructed Paul Apostle


2 Kings 15:27 - 19th King of Israel

1. Tiglath-Pileser III records in an annalistic text that he overturned Pekah.

2. Pottery jar at Hazor from the time of Pekah is inscribed with name Pekah.

Philip (Herod)

Mark 6:17 - 1st husband of Herodias

Josephus tells about him and calls him Herod.

Philip the Tetrarch

Luke 3:1 - Tetrarch of part of Palestine; son of Herod the Great and Cleopatra of Jerusalem; married Salome

1. Josephus

2. Coins with inscription Philip the Tetrarch.

3. Nabatean text mentions erection of a statue in the year 33 of our Lord Philip.

Pontius Pilate

Luke 3:1 - Governor of Judea; allowed crucifixion of Jesus

1. Josephus, Tacitus, Philo

2. Latin inscription found in 1961 at Theater in Caesarea tells us that Pontius Pilate, the prefect of Judea built a temple for Tiberius.

3. Coins that are known to be Pilate's do not bear his name.


Acts 28:7 - Chief man of Malta

Inscriptions on Malta refer to the 1st man of the island and others refer to Publius.

Pul (Tiglath-Pileser III)

2 Kings 15:19 - Assyrian King; called Pul in Bible; his records mention several Jewish kings.

1. Palace found at Ninevah.

2. Another palace found with reliefs of Tiglath-Pileser

3. Numerous cuneiform tablets including 2 King lists and the annals of Tiglath-Pileser.


Luke 2:2 - Governor of Syria at time of Jesus's birth

1. Inscription found in Antioch of Pisidia names Quirinius as legatus.

2. Contemporary histories - Tacitus

3. Josephus


2 Kings 15:37 - King of Aram (Syria); killed by Tiglath-Pileser III

1. Cuneiform tablet of Tiglath-Pileser III lists tribute received from Rezin

2. Tablet tells of fall of Damascus and names Rezin.



Neh. 2:10 - governor of Samaria who opposed Nehemiah's rebuilding projects

1. Aramic papyrus from Elephantine refers to the sons of Sanballat, governor of Samaria.

2. Scrolls found in Waid Daliyeh refer twice to a son of Sanballat ... once in a sealing and once in an Aramaic test.

Sargon II

Isa. 20:1 - King of Assyria; brother of Shalmaneser V

1. Palace found at Khorsabad with multiple carvings of Sargon in relief.

2. Extensive cuneiform texts tell about his exploits and reign (which include the annals & Sargon's prism).

3. Fragment of stele found at Ashdod and erected after Sargon's victory.


2 Kings 18:13 - Assyrian King; son of Sargon II

1. Prism of Sennacherib records that he besieged Jerusalem and made Hezekiah a prisoner in Jerusalem, his royal residence - like a bird in a cage.

2. Palace at Ninevah records his siege of Lachish with portraits and name of Sennacherib

3. Extensive cuneiform texts


Jeremiah 51:59 - Sent by Jeremiah to Babylon with Zesekiam

Personal seal reading belonging to Seriah, son of Neriah.

Sergius Paulus

Acts 13:7 - Roman proconsul (governor) of Cyprus; Converted by Paul on 1st missionary journey

Latin inscription lists name of L. Sergius Paulus as an official of the Tiber.

Shalmaneser V

2 Kings 17:3 - King of Assyria; son of Tiglath-Pileser

1. Babylonian Chronicle cites his activities.

2. Name found on boundary stone to date an event to his third year.

3. Bronze weight has inscription which contains his name.

4. Babylonian King list records him.


2 Kings 19:37 - Son of Sennacherib; helped kill his father.

Cuneiform tablet refers to Nabusharuzur as an officer in right time period.


2 Kings 18:18 - Court official of Hezekiah

Partial tomb inscription found in Silvan has been reconstructed by Avigad to contain part of Shebna's name


1 Kings 11:40 - Pharaoh of Egypt; 22nd Dynasty; also called Sheshonq I; attacked Judah and Israel

1. Massive reliefs on temple of Amun at Karnak.

2. Mummy case in Cairo Museum.

3. Victory stele at Megiddo.

4. Gold bracelet found in tomb of grandson is inscribed with Shishak's name.

5. Chair of a seated statue found at Byblos bears Shishak's name.



1 Kings 15:18 - Father of Ben Hadad

Stele dedicated to god Baal Melgart found at Aleppo bears an Aramaic inscription that mentions Ben Hadad as son Tabrimmon, King of Damascus.


Ezra 5:3 - Governor of Samaria during reign of Darius the Great who opposed building of Jerusalem

Cuneiform tablet refers to a slave of Tatutanni.


Acts 5:36 - Led a failed revolt referred to by Gamaliel.



Luke 3:1 - Roman Caesar during Jesus' ministry

1. Josephus

2. Contemporary Roman historians.

3. Numerous statues.

4. Coins with inscription and portrait.

5. Inscription from Caesarea when Pontius Pilate dedicated a temple to Tiberius.

Tirhakah or Taharqa

2 Kings 19:9: Egyptian King; also known as Taharqa

1. Inscribed stele tells of Taharka's rise to the throne.

2. Funerary stele of an Apis bull dated to 26th year of Taharqa.

3. Numerous stele and building inscriptions.

4. Art objects with his name.

5. Tomb found, but empty.

6. Numerous cuneiform texts of Assyrian Kings Esarhaddon and Ashurpanipal - Senjirli stele actually has picture of Taharqa.


Neh. 2:19 - Tobiah the Ammonite; tried to prevent the rebuilding of Jerusalem by Nehemiah

1. Family tomb from 6th century B.C. that bears name Tobiah.

2. Name found in the Zenon papyri.


2 Kings 15:13 - also called Azariah; 10th King of Judah; leper when he died.

Aramaic inscription on a stone plaque - 13" x 14" - reads Hither were brought the bones of Uzziah, King of Judah. Plaque found in tomb on Mt. of Olives but bones were not found.

Home ]

Creation date: Jan 6, 2012 3:27 pm     Last modified date: Jan 6, 2012 3:29 pm   Last visit date: Jun 2, 2017 2:32 am     link & embed ?...
    Report Objectionable Content   
Select a Color