Archaeology: What an Ancient Hebrew Note Might Mean
Aren Maier, an Israeli archaeologist who is excavating the ruins of the large Philistine city of Gath, six miles west of Khirbet Qeiyafa, is watching the neighboring dig with great interest. He sees Qeiyafa's fortifications as strong evidence for a centralized Israelite government.
"I believe that the size of Gath in the 10th-9th century reflects not only its size and importance, but also, most likely, the fact that the Gath polity existed in relationship to a competing polity in the east," he asserted. "Now the finds from Qeiyafa seem to provide strong archaeological evidence for this Israelite kingdom."
you shall not do [it], but worship the [Lord].
Judge the sla[ve] and the wid[ow] / Judge the orph[an]
[and] the stranger. [Pl]ead for the infant / plead for the po[or and]
the widow. Rehabilitate [the poor] at the hands of the king.
Protect the po[or and] the slave / [supp]ort the stranger.
Reading of Haggai Misgav (official Khirbet Qeiyafa epigrapher):
Do not do [ ] and servant a[ … ]
Judge … .. [ ] El(?) …
El(?) and Ba'all
Pe[rso]n will revenge, YSD king (of) G[ath(?)]
Seren(?) a[ … ] from Gederot (?)
(Rough translation of Misgav provided by archaeologist Aren Maier on his blog, The Tell es-Safi/Gath Excavations Official (and Unofficial) Weblog)
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Previous articles on archaeology and history include:
Finders of the Lost Ark? | Why some amateurs are stirring up dust and little else. (May 5, 2008)
Looking Back | Claims to new Sodom locations are salted with controversy. (Mar. 12, 2008)
Wall Eyed | Some archaeologists wonder how lucky a colleague can be. (Jan. 14, 2008)
A Grounded Faith | Jesus and Archaeology digs deep for biblical insights. (Oct. 22, 2007)
Tyrant's Tomb Unearthed | Herod the Great's final resting place said to be found. (June 28, 2007)
Remains of the Day | Scholars dismiss filmmakers' assertions that Jesus and his family were buried in Jerusalem. (Feb. 28, 2007)
Three Big Digs | Discoveries bolster understanding of early church, biblical account of David's kingdom. (Jan. 1, 2006)