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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)

Silver Bowl (Brooklyn Museum 57.121) (2.51B)

(254 words)

Contributor(s): Hallo, William W.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Votive Inscriptions; Aramaic Inscriptions Silver Bowl (Brooklyn Museum 57.121) (2.51B) Subject: Ezra 7:17 (That which)1 Ḥarbek2 son of Pa (u)siri3 offered4  a to Hanilat the goddess5 Bibliographical References Text: I. Rabinowitz, ‛“Another Aramaic Record of the North-Arabian Goddess Han-ʾilat.”  JNES 18:154–155. ( 1959 ) ’ ,  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 ) ’ , Fit…

The Hazael Booty Inscriptions (2.40)

(631 words)

Author(s): Millard, Alan
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Dedicatory Inscriptions; Old Aramaic Inscriptions Commentary Four brief dedicatory inscriptions refer to “our lord Hazael” who is to be identified as the usurper who took the throne of Damascus from Ben-Hadad (Assyrian Hadad-idri; cf.  COS COSB.2.125A) and ruled ca. 842–800 bce; see Pitard 1987:145–160; Sader 1987:231–260. A. A trapezoidal bronze plaque cast with figures in relief, a horse’s nose-piece, was unearthed at the Hera temple in Samos in…

The Seal of ʿAśayāhū (2.79)

(288 words)

Author(s): Heltzer, Michael
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Seal and Stamp Inscriptions; Seals and Seal Impressions Commentary The Hebrew seal is dated paleographically to the second half of the 7th century bce.1 (Belonging) to ʿAśayāhū“servant” (minister) of the king It is most probable that this ʿAśayāhū of the seal is identical with “Aśayā, servant of the king,” mentioned in 2 Kings 22:12, 14 and 2 Chronicles 34:20. He appears as one of the team, sent by king Josiah ( Yošiyāhū) in the year 622 to the temple in connection wit…

The Azatiwada Inscription (2.31)

(2,148 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Dedicatory Inscriptions; Phoenician Inscriptions Commentary In 1946, a Phoenician-Hieroglyphic Luwian bilingual inscription was discovered on portal orthostats at the Iron Age fortification of Karatepe on the west bank of the Çeyhan River in the ancient region of Cilicia, the modern province of Adana, Turkey. It is the longest extant Phoenician inscription and is preserved at three locations on the site: …

Funerary Stela (Carpentras) (2.64)

(1,776 words)

Author(s): Porten, Bezalel
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Mortuary Inscriptions; Aramaic Inscriptions Commentary This inscription may be entitled “The Immortalization of Taba.” Its composer was well-versed in Egyptian funerary vocabulary. In a grammatically correct, well-fashioned quatrain he has deftly woven original Aramaic formulae — “Blessed be Tabi” (1a), “Before Osiris blessed be” (3a), “serve” (4a) — into translations of Egyptian terminology and formulary. Bicolon (1…

The Hadad Inscription (2.36)

(2,297 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Dedicatory Inscriptions; Old Aramaic Inscriptions Commentary Discovered in the village of Gerçin 7 km northeast of Zenjirli, dating to the mid-eighth century bce, this large statue of the god Hadad contains a thirty-four line inscription on its lower portion. The statue originally stood about 4 m high, though the top portion is not preserved. It was erected by Panamuwa I, king of Yʾdy (also known as Samʾal) (see Dion 1997…

Royal Judaean Seal Impressions (2.77)

(502 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 Over 1700 royal seal impressions, stamped on jar handles from at least 65 sites, are known.1 With few exceptions, each impression contains the word lamelekh ( lmlk), “(Belonging, or pertaining) to the king,” on the top line, a four-winged scarab or a two-winged symbol (possibly the sun-disc) in the middle, and on the bottom line one of four place names: Hebron and Ziph in Judah, …

The Temple of the Lord Ostracon (2.50)

(880 words)

Author(s): Younger, K. Lawson, Jr.
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Votive Inscriptions; Hebrew Inscriptions Commentary This is one of two ostraca in the Moussaïeff collection (for the other, see the Widow’s Plea Ostracon,  COS COSB.3). It is a five-line inscription that records a royal contribution of silver by a king ʾAshyahu to the temple of Yahweh to be made through the agency of a royal functionary named Zakaryahu. The ostracon is 10.9 cm x 8.6 cm, and is written in Hebrew script that dates1 on the basis of palaeography to the time of Josiah (640–609 bce)…

The Tell Dan Stele (2.39)

(1,003 words)

Author(s): Millard, Alan
Subject: Monumental Inscriptions from the Biblical World; West Semitic Monumental Inscriptions; Building and Dedicatory Inscriptions; Old Aramaic Inscriptions Commentary Three fragments of a basalt stele were found at Tell Dan in 1993 and 1994, re-used as building stones in structures dated on archaeological grounds to the eighth century bce. The pieces fit together, with gaps. Across the smooth face run parts of thirteen lines of clearly incised Aramaic letters, with word-dividers, of a style best placed late in the ninth century bce. An unknown number of lines is missing a…
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