Friday, January 08, 2010

Most Ancient Hebrew Inscription

Here is an interesting article about a pottery fragment with inscribed words found near the place that is thought to be the site of David's victory over Goliath (link). One of the most important notes from the article is the fact that this new artifact pushes back the secular chronology of Israel by centuries:
According to the university’s statement, such early Hebrew inscriptions make possible the idea that the Bible could have been written hundreds of years before current estimates.
Also of note is the similarity between the text and Scripture. Although the article states:
"The inscription is similar in its content to biblical scriptures, but it is clear that it is not copied from any biblical text.”
The following is the text that has been deciphered:
1' you shall not do [it], but worship the [Lord].

2' Judge the sla[ve] and the wid[ow] / Judge the orph[an]

3' [and] the stranger. [Pl]ead for the infant / plead for the po[or and]

4' the widow. Rehabilitate [the poor] at the hands of the king.

5' Protect the po[or and] the slave / [supp]ort the stranger.
(source)

Compare:

Psa 82:3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.
Psa 82:4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.

Psa 68:4 Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.
Psa 68:5 A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.

Isa 1:17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

-TurretinFan

CAVEAT: Archaeology is a science in flux. Today's remarkable discoveries sometimes turn out to be yesterday's frauds. Take all this sort of thing with a grain of salt. We know that Moses wrote the Pentateuch from divine revelation, not because of archaeology. Indeed, we recognize that it is possible that this archaeology is correct because it is consistent with Scripture, not the other way 'round.

Hat Tip to Randall Buth at the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog for pointing out the translation to me.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another obvious question is how they can even prove this inscription to be religiously Jewish when Lord is bracketed. For all we know the text could have said Baal. This isn't going to impress too many I don't think.

natamllc said...

One thing is sure about Truth, Everlasting and Eternal as Truth is, any discovery of "Truth" will never be found to be a fraud.

However, frauds have been known to bring forth Truth for fraudulent causes, such as:::>

Mat 4:3 And the tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread."

As a contributing aside, I find the inscription similar in essence and content as these Words of Psalm 72 too:::>


Psa 72:2 May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice!
Psa 72:3 Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness!
Psa 72:4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor!