I was browsing through some of our cuneiform tablets and spotted this otherwise unexciting receipt. The last two lines are kind of cool though.
The tablet is dated to the 5th day of the month of Addaru in the 19th year of Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon = 585 BC. This is only a year or two after the final fall of Jerusalem and the deportation of the Jewish elite.
The first capture of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 597 is mentioned not only in the Bible (2 Kings 25), but also in the so-called Babylonian Chronicle No. 5 (in the British Museum). It reads:
In the seventh year [598/597], the month of Kislimu, the king of Akkad* mustered his troops, marched to the Hatti-land,** and besieged the city of Judah and on the second day of the month of Addaru he seized the city and captured the king [Jehoiachin]. He appointed there a king of his own choice [Zedekiah], received its heavy tribute and sent [it] to Babylon.
This, of course, is the point when the Book of Mormon narrative begins.
The puppet-king Zedekiah did not last long, and ten years later he was captured, blinded and sent to Babylon as a prisoner. He was probably still a prisoner when my little tablet was written.
*”Akkad” was a hoary name for Babylonia.
**”Hatti-land,” ditto for the Levant, or the West in general.