Rare First Temple-era scroll exposes earliest Hebrew mention of Jerusalem

Source: Jerusalem Post

IAA announces finding of extra-biblical document, written in ancient Hebrew script dated back to the 7th Century BCE.
scroll-and-jerusalem
(Ancient papyrus scroll found with earliest Hebrew mention of Jerusalem)


On the same day UNESCO approved a resolution ignoring Jewish ties to the Temple Mount, the Israel Antiquities Authority on Wednesday displayed an unprecedented document containing a reference to Jerusalem from the First Temple period.

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Jerusalem

“And the LORDStrongs 3068: Yhwh; from 1961; (the) self-Existent or Eternal; name of God:—the Lord. Compare 3050, 3069. shall inheritStrongs 5157: nachal, naw-khal´; a primitive root; to inherit (as a (figurative) mode of descent), or (generally) to occupy; causatively, to bequeath, or (generally) distribute, instate:—divide, have ((inheritance)), take as a heritage, (cause to, give to, make to) inherit, (distribute for, divide (for, for an, by), give for, have, leave for, take (for)) inheritance, (have in, cause to, be made to) possess(-ion). Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall chooseStrongs 977: bachar, baw-khar´; a primitive root; properly, to try, i.e. (by implication) select:—acceptable, appoint, choose (choice), excellent, join, be rather, require. Jerusalem again. Be silentStrongs 2013: hacçah, haw-saw´; a primitive root; to hush:—hold peace (tongue), (keep) silence, be silent, still., O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.”
Zechariah 2:12-13

Written in ancient Hebrew script, and dating back to the Kingdom of Judah during the 7th century BCE, the rare relic made of papyrus is the earliest extra-Biblical source to mention Jerusalem in Hebrew writing.

Plundered from one of the Judean Desert caves by a band of antiquities robbers, the document was seized in a complex operation by the IAA’s Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery.

According to IAA Director Israel Hasson, two lines of ancient Hebrew were preserved on the document made from the pith of the papyrus plant.

“A paleographic examination of the letters and a C14 analysis determined that the artifact should be dated to the 7th century BCE, to the end of the First Temple period,” said Hasson.

“Most of the letters are clearly legible, and the proposed reading of the text appears as follows: .ירשלמה[מא]מת. המלך. מנערתה. נבלים. יין. (“From the king’s maidservant, from Naʽarat, jars of wine, to Jerusalem.”)

It was subsequently determined that the antiquity is an original shipping document from the time of the First Temple, indicating the payment of taxes or transfer of goods to storehouses in Jerusalem, Hasson said.

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“The document specifies the status of the sender of the shipment (the king’s maidservant); the name of the settlement from which the shipment was dispatched (Naʽarat); the contents of the vessels (wine); their number or amount (jars) and their destination (Jerusalem),” said Hasson.

“Naʽartah, which is mentioned in the text, is the same Naʽarat that is referred to in the description of the border between Ephraim and Benjamin in Joshua 16:7: ‘And it went down from Janohah to Ataroth, and to Naʽarat, and came to Jericho, and went out at Jordan,’” he added.

Dr. Eitan Klein, deputy director of the IAA’s Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery, said the document represents extremely rare evidence of the existence of an organized administration in the Kingdom of Judah.

“It underscores the centrality of Jerusalem as the economic capital of the kingdom in the second half of the 7th century BCE,” he said.

“According to the Bible, the kings Menashe, Amon, or Josiah ruled in Jerusalem at this time; however, it is not possible to know for certain which of the kings of Jerusalem was the recipient of the shipment of wine.”

Amir Ganor, director of the IAA’s Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery, noted that while organic material, particularly delicate paper like papyrus, decompose over time due to their sensitivity to moisture, the desert’s dry climate helped preserve the ancient document.

“The document specifies the status of the sender of the shipment (the king’s maidservant); the name of the settlement from which the shipment was dispatched (Naʽarat); the contents of the vessels (wine); their number or amount (jars) and their destination (Jerusalem),” said Hasson.

“Naʽartah, which is mentioned in the text, is the same Naʽarat that is referred to in the description of the border between Ephraim and Benjamin in Joshua 16:7: ‘And it went down from Janohah to Ataroth, and to Naʽarat, and came to Jericho, and went out at Jordan,’” he added.

Dr. Eitan Klein, deputy director of the IAA’s Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery, said the document represents extremely rare evidence of the existence of an organized administration in the Kingdom of Judah.

“It underscores the centrality of Jerusalem as the economic capital of the kingdom in the second half of the 7th century BCE,” he said.

“According to the Bible, the kings Menashe, Amon, or Josiah ruled in Jerusalem at this time; however, it is not possible to know for certain which of the kings of Jerusalem was the recipient of the shipment of wine.”

Amir Ganor, director of the IAA’s Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery, noted that while organic material, particularly delicate paper like papyrus, decompose over time due to their sensitivity to moisture, the desert’s dry climate helped preserve the ancient document.

  1. Etzel, 27 October, 2016

    Anyone with the ability to think and read history can also see that, while Jerusalem is mentioned in the Bible (Tanach) over 500 times, it is NEVER mentioned in the Quran, not once!

    Anyone disputing Israels claim to ancient occupation of Jerusalem, is unable to truly see anything other than their own bias.

    The lies of those who rebuff Israel’s history are accepted by most of the present world leaders.

    A lie need no proof and those willing to believe the lie will not believe the truth!

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