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Funerary Stela (Saqqarah; Location Unknown) (2.63)

(70 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Mortuary Inscriptions; Aramaic Inscriptions Funerary Stela (Saqqarah; Location Unknown) (2.63) Blessed be Peṭees[e] son of Yhʾ[1… by/before DN] Bibliographical References Aimé-Giron 1939 Fitzmyer and Kaufman 1992:B.3.e.28  TAD D20.4. Notes^ back to text1. The praenomen is Eg. ( pʾ-dy-ʾs.t, “The [One] whom Isis Gave”) but the fragmentary patronym is unrecoverable.Porten, Bezalel

The Siloam Tunnel Inscription (2.28)

(875 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Dedicatory Inscriptions; Hebrew Inscriptions Commentary The inscription was discovered in 1880 on the wall of a Jerusalem tunnel that leads from the Gihon Spring to the pool of Siloam. The inscription occupies the lower half of a prepared panel that is approximately 0.50 m in height and 0.66 m in width. The tunnel winds through the Mizzi Ahmar dolomite rock for a length of approximately 533 m (corresponding roughly to the inscription’s 1,200 cubits).1 It is essentially an…

Kuntillet ʿAjrud: Inscribed Pithos 2 (2.47B)

(783 words)

Author(s): McCarter, P. Kyle
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Votive Inscriptions; Hebrew Inscriptions Commentary The second pithos from Kuntillet ‘Ajrud, like the first, is decorated with a number of drawings, including a cow, an archer with his bow drawn, and a group of five human figures, standing with their hands extended as if in worship or supplication. The pithos also bears four separate inscriptions. First is a complete Hebrew abecedary, with the letters pe and ʿayin re…

Kuntillet ʿAjrud: Inscribed Pithos 1 (2.47A)

(916 words)

Author(s): McCarter, P. Kyle
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Votive Inscriptions; Hebrew Inscriptions Commentary A number of Hebrew inscriptions, primarily religious in content, were found in excavations conducted during the 1970’s by Ze’ev Meshel for the Tel Aviv Institute of Archaeology at the site of Kuntillet ʿAjrud, a major crossroads in the northeastern Sinai. The inscriptions were found in the ruins of the better preserved of the two buildings found at the site, which h…

Kuntillet ʿAjrud: Plaster Wall Inscription (2.47D)

(582 words)

Author(s): McCarter, P. Kyle
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Votive Inscriptions; Hebrew Inscriptions Commentary This inscription fell from the doorjamb of the entryway to the western storage room in the main building at Kuntillet ʿAjrud. Preserved on the plaster are portions of five lines of a much longer text, which was poetic in character and similar in striking ways to certain theophanic passages found in archaic biblical poetry. Though the script is Phoenician, the language is probably Hebrew (cf. notes 1 and 2). Kuntillet ʿAjrud: Plast…

The El Khadr Arrowheads (2.84)

(658 words)

Author(s): Hamilton, Gordon
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Miscellaneous Inscriptions Commentary These five arrowheads, inscribed with Old Canaanite alphabetic letters, were found near Bethlehem and published between 1954 and 1980.1 Their weight and size, between 9.5 and 10.5 cm, fall within normal parameters for arrowheads used for practical purposes.2 Dating to ca 1100–1050 bce,3 these inscriptions provide witness both to literacy and goddess religion in Palestine during the late second millennium. The El Khadr Arrowheads (2.84) Su…

The Tomb Inscription of Siʾgabbar, Priest of Sahar (2.59)

(661 words)

Author(s): McCarter, P. Kyle
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Mortuary Inscriptions; Aramaic Inscriptions Commentary Two funerary reliefs depicting deceased priests and inscribed with their epitaphs were found in 1891 at Nerab, southeast of Aleppo. The two inscriptions, which date to the early seventh century bce, are written in the dialect known as Empire Aramaic, recognizable from a number of features of grammar and lexicon that show the influence of the dominant Assyrian language and culture of the perio…

Hebrew (2.70)

(2,766 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Seal and Stamp Inscriptions; Seals and Seal Impressions Commentary 2.70A. Two bullae of Berechyahu son of Neriyahu the scribe, made by the same seal (Hebrew; provenience unknown).1 These identical inscriptions are written in the Hebrew script of the seventh century bce. This Berechyahu is probably Jeremiah’s secretary “Baruch son of Neriyahu the scribe” (Jer 36:32). Baruch is the hypocoristicon, or nickname, for Berechyahu. The shorter form of Baruch’s patronym, N…

The Inscription of King Yaḥimilk (2.29)

(521 words)

Author(s): Segert, Stanislav
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Dedicatory Inscriptions; Phoenician Inscriptions Commentary The inscription on the limestone block (× x 45 cm) was found in the ruins of the Crusader Castle in Byblos (Ǧebail) in 1929 and published in the same year. Its seven lines are written over a text in “Byblos hieroglyphic” that is no longer clearly visible. Yaḥimilk’s building inscription can be dated to about 950 bce. It is now kept in the National Museum in Beirut. The Inscription of King Yaḥimilk (2.29) Subject: 1 K…

The Nabataean Tomb Inscription of Ḥalafu at Madāʾin ṣāliḥ (2.68)

(453 words)

Author(s): Healey, J. F.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Mortuary Inscriptions; Nabataean Inscriptions Commentary For general comments see the Kamkam inscription above. The Ḥalafu inscription is dated 31/32 ce and located on the facade of tomb no. E 18.1 The Nabataean Tomb Inscription of Ḥalafu at Madāʾin ṣāliḥ (2.68) Subject: Gen 31:5; 32:10; 43:23 Ownership ( lines 1–7a) This is the tomb which Ḥalafu son of Qosnatan2 made for himself and for Suʿaydu, his son, and his brothers, whatever male children may be born to this Ḥalafu,3 a…

Jerusalem Ostracon (2.49)

(269 words)

Author(s): McCarter, P. Kyle
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Votive Inscriptions; Hebrew Inscriptions Commentary The ostracon, a fragment of the shoulder of a storage jar bearing three incomplete lines of Hebrew script written in ink, was found in 1971 during N. Avigad’s excavations in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem. The poorly-preserved inscription is of special interest because of its third line, which may read “Creator of the Earth,” a well-known epithet of the biblical an…

The Jerusalem Pomegranate (2.48)

(703 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Votive Inscriptions; Hebrew Inscriptions Commentary This inscription is carved on a thumb-sized ivory in the shape of a pomegranate (height 4.3 cm, diameter 2.1 cm). It has been dated on paleographic grounds to the end of eighth century bce. Since the text circles on the pomegranate, there is some uncertainty concerning the starting and ending points. The text appears to mention a sanctuary of Yahweh which may possibly be associated with the temple …

A Nabataean Commemorative Inscription From ʿAvdat (2.43)

(345 words)

Author(s): Healey, J. F.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Dedicatory Inscriptions; Nabataean Inscriptions Commentary This is a rare example of a non-funerary Nabataean building inscription. Found ca. 2 km south of ʿAvdat on what was probably a libation altar, it mentions a religious celebration (mrzḥ) connected with Dushara and is dated, though the reading of the date is uncertain.1 A Nabataean Commemorative Inscription From ʿAvdat (2.43) Subject: Jer 16:5; Amos 6:7 Event being recorded ( lines 1–2a) This is the dam (whic…

A Nabataean Shrine Inscription From Egypt (2.46)

(197 words)

Author(s): Healey, J. F.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Dedicatory Inscriptions; Nabataean Inscriptions Commentary This well-preserved inscription on a white limestone block is particularly important historically because of the detailed chronological synchronism it gives. It comes from the site of Tell esh-Shuqafiya in the eastern delta of lower Egypt and is dated to 34 bce.1 The Nabataeans were active in Egypt and have left many inscriptions there. A Nabataean Shrine Inscription From Egypt (2.46) Dedication ( lines 1–4a)…

The Inscription of Zakkur, King of Hamath (2.35)

(1,206 words)

Author(s): Millard, Alan
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Dedicatory Inscriptions; Old Aramaic Inscriptions Commentary H. Pognon bought parts of a basalt stele in north Syria which he published in 1907–8; they are now in the Louvre (AO 8185). Now 1.03 m. high, 62 cm. wide, the squared block was originally taller, the upper part carved with a figure in relief of which only the feet resting upon a dais or stool survive. Below the sculpture an inscription was engraved in Aramaic, starting on the front (a), continuing on the left (b) and righ…

Funerary Stela From Saqqarah (Berlin Gipsformerei 939 Formerly ÄM 7707 [destroyed WW II]) (2.62)

(1,296 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Mortuary Inscriptions; Aramaic Inscriptions Commentary Aramaic text Funerary Stela From Saqqarah (Berlin Gipsformerei 939 Formerly ÄM 7707 [destroyed WW II]) (2.62) Subject: Esth 1:1; Dan 9:1; Ezra 4:6 Blessed be Abah son of Ḥor1 and Aḥatabu daughter of Adiyah,2 all (told),3 of Khastemeḥi the city4 before Osiris the god.5 Absali son of Abah,6 his mother (being) Aḥatabu,7 thus said8 in year 4, month of Meḥir, (of) Xerxes9  a the king10 … Hieroglyphic text ( Transcrip…

The Ekron Inscription of Akhayus (2.42)

(947 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Dedicatory Inscriptions; Philistine Inscriptions Commentary Written in a lapidary style script developed by the Philistines at Ekron, the text is a royal dedicatory inscription for the temple of the goddess Ptgyh made by Akhayus,1 the son of Padi, the ruler of Ekron. The royal names (“Padi” and “Akhayus”) are names known from Assyrian sources: for Padi, the inscriptions of Sennacherib ( COS COSB.2.119B) and another inscription from Ekron (see n. 2 below); for Akhayus…

Silver Bowl (Brooklyn Museum 54.50.36) (2.51A)

(159 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Votive Inscriptions; Aramaic Inscriptions Commentary To Hanilat1 Silver Bowl (Brooklyn Museum 54.50.36) (2.51A) Bibliographical References Text: I. Rabinowitz, ‛“Aramaic Inscriptions of the Fifth Century B.C.E. from a North-Arab Shrine in Egypt.”  JNES 15:1–9. ( 1956 ) ’ ,  TAD D15.1. Studies: W. J. Dumbrell, ‛“The Tell el-Maskhuṭa Bowls and the ‘Kingdom’ of Qedar in the Persian Period.”  BASOR 203:33–44. ( 1971 ) ’ , Fitzmyer and Kaufman 1992:B.3.f.12. Notes^ back to text1. Elli…

Moabite (2.72)

(116 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Seal and Stamp Inscriptions; Seals and Seal Impressions Commentary The seal of Kemosham son of Kemoshel the scribe (Moabite; provenience unknown).1 This seal is in the Moabite script of the eighth-seventh centuries bce.2 (Belonging) to Kemosham3(son of) Kemoshel4the scribe Moabite (2.72) Notes^ back to text1. Avigad and Sass 1997 #1010; Hestrin and Dayagi-Mendels 1979 #2.^ back to text2. Avigad 1970:289; Herr 1978:156–157.^ back to text3. Kemosham means “Kemosh is a ki…

Kuntillet ʿAjrud (2.47)

(42 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Votive Inscriptions; Hebrew Inscriptions Commentary Kuntillet ʿAjrud: Inscribed Pithos 1 Kuntillet ʿAjrud: Inscribed Pithos 2 Kuntillet ʿAjrud: the Two-line Inscription Kuntillet ʿAjrud: Plaster Wall Inscription Kuntillet ʿAjrud (2.47)
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