Prophets' Names Appear in the Ebla
1500 Years Older Than the Torah
Dating back to around 2500 BC, the Ebla
tablets provide very important information regarding the history
of religions. The most important feature of the Ebla tablets, discovered
by archaeologists in 1975 and which have been the subject of much
research and debate ever since, is that they contain the names of
three prophets referred to in holy scriptures.
The discovery after thousands of years of the Ebla tablets and
the information they contain is extremely important from the point
of view of clarifying the geographical location of societies revealed
in the Qur'an.
Around 2500 BC, Ebla was a kingdom covering an area that included
the Syrian capital Damascus and south-east Turkey. This kingdom
reached a cultural and economic peak but later, as happened to a
great many civilizations, it disappeared from the stage of history.
It was apparent from the records that were kept that the Kingdom
of Ebla was a major cultural and commercial center of the time.
(1) The people of Ebla possessed a civilization
that established state archives, built libraries and recorded commercial
contracts in written form. They even had their own language, known
The History of Buried Religions
The true importance of the Kingdom of Ebla, regarded as a great
success for classical archaeology when first discovered in 1975,
came to light with the finding of some 20,000 cuneiform tablets
and fragments. This archive was four times greater than all the
cuneiform texts known to archaeologists over the last 3,000 years.
When the language used in the tablets was deciphered by the Italian
Giovanni Pettinato, an epigrapher from the University of Rome, the
scale of their importance was better understood. As a result of
this, the finding of the Kingdom of Ebla and this magnificent state
archive became a matter not just of archaeological interest, but
one of interest to religious circles, too. That was because as well
as the names Michael (Mi-ka-il) and Talut (Sa-u-lum), who struggled
alongside the Prophet David, they also contained the names of prophets
mentioned in the three holy books: The Prophet Abraham (Ab-ra-mu),
the Prophet David (Da-u-dum) and the Prophet Ishamel (Ish-ma-il).
The Importance of the Names on the Ebla Tablets
The names of the prophets identified in the Ebla tablets are of
the greatest importance as this was the first time that they had
been encountered in historical documents of such age. This information,
dating back to 1500 years before the Torah, was most striking. The
appearance in the tablets of the name of the Prophet Abraham recorded
that the Prophet Abraham and the religion brought by him had existed
before the Torah.
Historians analyzed the Ebla tablets from this perspective, and
this major discovery regarding the Prophet Abraham and his mission
became the subject of research with regard to the history of religions.
David Noel Freedman, an American archaeologist and researcher into
the history of religions, reported, based on his studies, the names
of such prophets as Abraham and Ishmael in the tablets. (3)
Other Names in the Tablets
As stated above the names in the tablets were those of prophets
referred to in the three holy books, and the tablets were far older
than the Torah. In addition to these names there were also other
subjects and place names in the tablets, from which it can be seen
that the Eblaites were very successful traders. The names Sinai,
Gaza and Jerusalem, not too distant from Ebla, also appeared in
the texts, showing that the Eblaites enjoyed commercial and cultural
links with these places. (4)
One important detail seen in the tablets was the names of the areas
of Sodom and Gomorrah, where the people of Lot lived. It is known
that Sodom and Gomorrah was a region on the shore of the Dead Sea
where the people of Lot lived and where the Prophet Lot communicated
his message and called people to live by religious moral values.
In addition to these two names, that of the city of Iram, which
appears in the verses of the Qur'an, is also among those in the
The most noteworthy aspect of these names is that apart from in
the texts communicated by the prophets, they had never before appeared
in any other text. This is important documentary evidence showing
that reports of the prophets who communicated the message of the
one true religion at that time had reached those areas. In an article
in Reader's Digest magazine it was recorded that that there
had been a change in the Eblaites' religion during the reign of
King Ebrum and that people had begun to add prefixes to their names
in order to exalt the name of Almighty God.
God's Promise Is True
The history of Ebla and the Ebla tablets which came to light after
some 4,500 years actually point to one major truth: God sent messengers
to Ebla, as He did to every community, and these called their peoples
to the true religion.
Some people adhered to the religion that came to them and thus
attained the true path, while others opposed the message of the
prophets and preferred a wicked life. God, Lord of the heavens,
the earth, and all that lies between, reveals this fact in the Qur'an:
We sent a Messenger among every people saying:
"Worship God and keep clear of all false deities." Among
them were some whom God guided but others received the misguidance
they deserved. Travel about the earth and see the final fate of
the deniers. (Qur'an, 16: 36)
1) "Ebla", Funk &
Wagnalls New Encyclopaedia, © 1995 Funk & Wagnalls Corporation,
Infopedia 2.0, SoftKey Multimedia Inc.
2) Howard La Fay, "Ebla: Splendour of an Unknown Empire,"
National Geographic Magazine, December 1978, p. 736; C. Bermant
and M. Weitzman, Ebla: A Revelation in Archaeology, Times Books,
1979, Wiedenfeld and Nicolson, Great Britain, pp. 184.
3) Bilim ve Teknik magazine (Science and Technology), No. 118,
September 1977 and No. 131 October 1978
4) For detailed information, please see Harun Yahya's Miracles
of the Qur'an.