Photo: The Ophel Inscription
According to archeologists, a 3,000-year-old text found in Jerusalem, may be dated to the 10th century B.C. Below is an excerpt from a news report detailing the significance of the inscription, which has been called “The Ophel Inscription”:
A few characters on the side of a 3,000-year-old earthenware jug dating back to the time of King David has stumped archaeologists until now — and a fresh translation may have profound ramifications for our understanding of the Bible.
Experts had suspected the fragmentary inscription was written in the language of the Canaanites, a biblical people who lived in the present-day Israel. Not so, says one expert who claims to have cracked the code: The mysterious language is actually the oldest form of written Hebrew, placing the ancient Israelites in Jerusalem earlier than previously believed.
“Hebrew speakers were controlling Jerusalem in the 10th century, which biblical chronology points to as the time of David and Solomon,” ancient Near Eastern history and biblical studies expert Douglas Petrovich told FoxNews.com.
“Whoever they were, they were writing in Hebrew like they owned the place,” he said.
First discovered near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem last year, the 10th century B.C. fragment has been labeled the Ophel Inscription. It likely bears the name of the jug’s owners and its contents.
Read the full report here.
There is no evidence that the inscription was related to the monarchy of David. However, if the inscription can be dated to the 10th century B.C. and if the language is indeed old Hebrew, then this discovery indicates that some of the people who lived in Jerusalem at that time when David lived could read and write.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary