The Rosetta Stone

Was this stone the key to deciphering the hieroglyphs of ancient Egypt? This black basalt stone slab was found in 1798 by French soldiers in the rubble of a wall near the Egyptian town of Rosetta. The writing on it appeared very ancient, at the top of the stone were hieroglyphs reading right to left. In the middle there was shorthand demotic script, and at the bottom was Greek reading left to right. The soldiers realized that it might be an important discovery and they brought it to their authorities. Napoleon Bonaparte became immediately interested in the stone and he had ink impressions made and sent to scholars in Europe. No one understood the meaning of the inscriptions on the Rosetta Stone until French scholar Jean Francois Champollion. He spent a good portion of his life studying the hieroglyphs of ancient Egypt and the Rosetta Stone. He finally solved the mystery in 1822 when he deciphered the text by matching the name of Ptolemy in the Greek with a hieroglyph found on an ancient Egyptian ring with a stamp which bore the name of Ptolemy. He did the same with the royal name Cleopatra which was from a cartouche of Cleopatra found on an obelisk from Philae. Champollion determined the phonetic values of the inscriptions and of the signs. Ezekiel 20:5 - And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when I chose Israel, and lifted up mine hand unto the seed of the house of Jacob, and made myself known unto them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up mine hand unto them, saying, I [am] the LORD your God; "And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." - Exodus 32:3,4 The discovery of the Rosetta Stone is important in the study of Biblical Archaeology, it ushered in the era of modern Egyptology and opened our eyes to 3000 years of peculiar pictures inscribed on Egyptian temples, statues, and monuments, and a wealth of information verifying and never contradicting the Scriptures.

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