« Home | Haredi assaulter in Beit Shemesh gets too light a ... » | The 10-year-old weightlifting girl » | Rock-throwing jihad » | Thousands of Muslims in London protest against fre... » | There are still al Qaeda terrorists in Gaza » | This is why I prefer station wagons » | Lady talmudists » | Victims of jihadism speak out » | Really? Mitt Romney may have found a lead among Je... » | Haredi "modesty squads" are trying to dictate how ... » 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 

Land of great inscriptions

It's great to find a sensible article on the Huffington Post, this by Richard Elliot Friedman, that makes clear the Jewish roots in Israel's history:
On Sept. 24, the president of Iran informed reporters that Israel has "no roots there in history" in the Middle East. Now a lot of good jokes come to mind at the expense of this clueless man, but, seriously folks, he has at least conveyed an important truth: he recognizes that Israel's historical presence in that world since antiquity matters -- matters enough to deny it. Now, the Bible pictures an Israelite-Jewish population and government there starting in the 12th century B.C.E. and continuing until the end of the Bible's history about 800 years later. But how do we know if this is true? As scholars, we can't just say, "The Bible tells us so." We need to see evidence that could be presented to any honest person, whether that person be religious or not, Jewish or Christian or from some other religion or no religion, or from Mars.

In the first place, the land is filled with Hebrew inscriptions, so I begin with that. These are not just an occasional inscription on a piece of pottery or carved in a wall. Nor should we even start with one or two of the most famous archaeological finds. Rather, there are thousands of inscriptions. They come from hundreds of excavated towns and cities. They are in the Hebrew language. They include people's names that bear forms of the name of their God: YHWH. This means names like:

Hoshaiah, which means "YHWH Saved"
Ahijah, which means "YHWH is My Brother"
Shemariah, which means"YHWH Watched"

The inscriptions also refer to their kings. They include stamps and seals from official documents. They come from tombs where that land's people were buried. They name people who are mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. They include wording that also appears in the Hebrew Bible. They reflect a widespread community whose dominant language was Hebrew, who didn't eat pork and who worshipped a God named YHWH.

I happened to be present at the time of the discovery of another important inscription in Jerusalem. Right below the Church of Scotland in Jerusalem, in a Jewish tomb from the seventh century B.C.E., was a silver cylinder with the words inscribed in it:

"May YHWH bless you and keep you. May YHWH make his face shine to you and give you peace."

It is the words of the Priestly Blessing in the Hebrew Bible (Numbers 6:24-26). That's just one inscription. The distinguished scholar Jeffrey Tigay of the University of Pennsylvania sums up: "The names of more than 1,200 pre-exilic Israelites are known from Hebrew inscriptions and foreign inscriptions referring to Israel." Of these, 557 have names with YHWH as their divine element, 77 have names with El.
Very good stuff.

Labels: , , ,

Links to this post

Create a Link

About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
My profile




      I also contribute to

    • The Astute Bloggers
    • Infidel Bloggers Alliance
    • Which also includes (open menu)

      My other sites

    • The Four Color Media Monitor
    • The Comic Book Discrimination Dossiers
    • Hawkfan
    • The Greatest Thing on Earth!
    • The Outer Observatory
    • Earth's Mightiest Heroines
    • Puzzle Paradise
    • The Co-Stars Primer
    • Cinema Capsule Cavalcade
    • Food Diner
    • News/Opinion sites (open menu)

      Writers and special activity groups (open menu)

      Media Watchdogs (open menu)

      Columnist bloggers (open menu)

      Research on terrorism (open menu)

      Milbloggers (open menu)

      Trackback parties (open menu)

      Trackback tools

    • Wizbang Standalone pinger
    • Other bloggers: Israel and Asia (open menu)

      Other bloggers: Europe (open menu)

      Other bloggers: American continent (open menu)

      Museum sites (open menu)

      blog search directory Bloggeries Blog Directory blog directory Top Blogs Politics blogs Politics Blogs Politics Blogs Politics Blogs
      Politics blog TopOfBlogs Blog This Here
      View My Stats All Politic Sites Society blog Blog Directory & Search engine blog directory
    • JBlog Central
    • W3 Counter stats
    • eXTReMe Tracker SpeedCounter.net - Free web counter Locations of visitors to this page

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

    make money online blogger templates

Older Posts Newer Posts

Tel-Chai Nation is powered by Blogspot and Gecko & Fly.
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.
Join the Google Adsense program and learn how to make money online.