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 as Eblaite.
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
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that they had been encountered in historical documents of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
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
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,
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.