Friday, January 15, 2010
earliest hebrew writing
Scientists have discovered the earliest known Hebrew writing - an inscription dating from the 10th century B.C., during the period of King David's reign.
The writing was discovered on a pottery shard dug up during excavations near Israel's Elah valley.
The excavations were carried out by archaeologist Yosef Garfinkel of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
The ancient text is written in ink on a trapezoid-shaped piece of pottery about 6 inches by 6.5 inches (15 cm by 16.5 cm). It appears to be a statement about how people should treat slaves, widows and orphans.
In English, it reads:
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.
The content, which has some missing letters, is similar to Biblical scriptures, such as Isaiah 1:17, Psalms 72:3, and Exodus 23:3.