More and more archeological finds confirm Biblical information
Oldest Hebraic Text deciphered
By Johannes Gerloff, Jerusalem, israenetz
Translation Birgit Barandica
Josef Garfinkel on Chirbet Keijafa in the Ela valley. This valley is said to be the place where young shepherd David fought against Philistine warrior Goliath.
The oldest Hebraic inscription (Photo: University of Haifa)
Professor Gerschon Galil of the department for Biblical studies at the university of Haifa is said to have found the oldest Hebraic Bible scripture and acclaims its deciphering as a breakthrough in Bible research. There are five pale lines of ancient Hebrew characters that had been written with ink and are being preserved on a potsherd of 15 x 16,5 cm which now caused some commotion.
The Hebraic text is said to stem from the 10th century BC, the era of King David and was found a year and a half ago at excavations lead by professor
If the Haifa professor is right in his assumption, then this is the oldest ever known Hebraic text. Professor Galil, who did his PhD at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and has distinguished himself with a "Chronology of the Kings of Israel and Judah", sees in the inscribed potsherd a historic "evidence in that Israel did in fact exist already in the 10th century BC."
Yet this find is not only significant in historical research, but also in theology. "At least one part of the biblical texts had been written hundreds of years earlier than modern research presents," says Galil. In his opinion, the fact that such a text might have been produced in the peripherals of the Kingdom of Israel implies that there must have been highly qualified scribes in the capital of Jerusalem at that time. "Then there really did exist scribes in the reign of David who were able to write such literary texts and complicate historical works like the book of Judges, for example, or the biblical books of Samuel." The discovery of impressive fortifications in Chirbet Keijafa in the Ela valley and so complex texts therein refutes every speculation that tries to deny the existence of the Kingdom of Israel in the 10th century BC.
The text on this potsherd deals with slaves, widows and orphans. As to the researchers, the language is characteristic and unique for the Hebraic, compared to other antique languages of the region. The social aspect is characteristic of the Hebrew people and tpyical for the biblical prophets, whereas the neighboring cultures rather requested a glorification of the gods and the care of their physical needs. In Isaia 1:17, Psalm 72:4 and Exodus 23:3, the same as in other scriptures, the rights of widows, orphans and foreigners were demanded in the same way.
The deciphered text
1' ’l t‘ś w‘bd ’[t ….…]
2' špt [‘]b[d] w’lm[n] špt yt[m]
3' [w]gr [r]b ‘ll rb [d]l w
4' ’[l]mn šqm ybd mlk
5' ’[b]yn [w]‘bd šk gr t[mk]
1' shalt not do, but serve [the Lord].
2' do right to the sla[ve] and the wid[ow] / do right to the orph[an]
3' [and] to the foreigner. [Ad]vocate for the child / advocate for the po[or and]
4' the widow. Lift up [the poor] through the hand of kings.
5' Protect the po[or and] the salve / [sup]port the foreigner.