From the National Post, circa 2000, Reuters. Archeology shows the Bible is true concerning what it says. Every time this happens we are not astonished. We are happy to be reminded that we have believed the right thing. We have not believed the Bible in vain. The Bible is historically accurate.
The ancient Assyrian Empire occupies a comparatively substantial portion of Scripture’s historical narrative. It is mentioned, sometimes at large, in over a dozen Old Testament books. The Bible speaks of this Empire; archeology has often echoed what the Bible says about it; now we hear this echo again.
Pay special attention to the notice of these ‘winged lions’ that were discovered. Are these statues just a representation of some figure in Classical Mythology? Encyclopaedia Britannica tells us that “mythological and epic themes are…found in Geometric Art of the 8th century BC.” But the idea for these winged lions came from somewhere else than mythology. And much of mythology derives from facts laid out in the Bible.
Objects comparable to the winged lions were brought to light by a Dr. Layard just over a century ago from the same ruins of ancient Nineveh in Nimrud, Iraq. In his Inhabitants of Heaven (1862; 1877) James Killen demonstrates by careful research that sculptures like those referred to in our article are nothing else and nothing less than distorted depictions of the Cherubim of Ezekiel, Isaiah, and Revelation. “And this was their appearance…every one had four faces…four wings…the face of a man, and the face of a lion” etc. (Ezekiel 1.5, 6, 10.) Since “Paganism…is but a corruption of Patriarchism [the cultural paradigm during the time of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when Cherubic figures and images were already popular]…we need not be surprised to find, amongst the objects of Pagan superstition, forms more or less nearly resembling the Cherubic symbols” (Killen, p. 275.) In like manner, have we not found variations of the biblical Flood account among pagan civilizations?
Myth and legend originate from some truth more often than we realize. A biblical explanation for fabulous-looking creatures is satisfying and convincing. Compare Encyclopaedia Britannica’s take on the origin of the Minotaur (a half human, half bull) idea: “could have arisen from exaggerated accounts of bull leaping in ancient Crete.” How likely is that?
Discoveries of winged lions are exciting and fascinating because the idea for their creation came down through oral tradition and artistic representation of what the Cherubim guarding the entrance to the garden of Eden looked like! This is like a piece of heaven right here on the ground of history! “We have in these Assyrian remains, those winged figures…an evident and striking representation of the Paradisiacal Cherubim as the guardians of the tree of life in Eden” (Killen, p. 288.) Archeology corroborates the biblical narrative.