In the British Museum – Portrait of a Biblical Figure

  Want to see an actual picture of a biblical character? It’s engraved on the Black Obelisk at London’s British Museum. The portrait is of Jehu, who was anointed King of Israel at the direction of the prophet Elijah. In 1 Kings 19:16, the Lord told Elijah, “Anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel.” In 2 Kings 9, Elijah sent his associate to fulfill the command.

It didn’t take long for the newly-crowned King Jehu to start killing people, including wicked Queen Jezebel (2 Kings 9:30-37). But in 841 B.C., Jehu surrendered himself as a vassal to Assyrian King Shalmaneser III. King Shalmaneser commemorated his victory by directing that a small monument be carved out of black limestone. This Black Obelisk was discovered in 1845 and taken to the British Museum where it’s now displayed in Room 6. The Black Obelisk shows rulers in their national dress bringing tribute to the victorious Assyrian ruler. The kneeling figure is Jehu – an actual engraved picture of a biblical character, an old testament king with ties back to the propht Elijah.

3 thoughts on “In the British Museum – Portrait of a Biblical Figure

  1. Very cool! Thanks for sharing, these will make great sermon illustrations. Shared this entry with one of my older church leaders yesterday, and it resulted in a great conversation about the OT.

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