Archaeologists find an old artifact tied to Judge Gideon from the Bible.
ARCHAEOLOGISTS in southern Israel have discovered a 3,100-year-old piece of pottery inscribed with the name of Gideon, a Jewish military leader from the Old Testament.
After being discovered during archaeological excavations south of Tel Aviv, the “unique inscription” was dated to around 1100 BC. On a little jug that may have once housed perfume, oil, or medicine, the word “Yerubaal” was scribbled in ink as a proof of ownership. More importantly, Yerubaal or Jerubaal is a name that appears frequently in the Book of Judges of the Old Testament.
According to biblical legend, the Jewish military leader Gideon ben Yoash (Gideon son of Yoash/Joash) was given the nickname Jerubaal.
Gideon is described in the Bible as a military genius, prophet, and judge who led a force of 300 Israelites to victory against the Midianites.
“The angel of the Lord came and sat down under Joash the Abiezrite’s oak in Ophrah, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to protect it from the Midianites,” according to Judges 6.
“When the Lord’s angel appeared to Gideon, he said, ‘The Lord is with you, great warrior,'” says the Bible.
The antique pottery was discovered near Kiryat Gat at the Horbat al-Ra’i or Khirbat er-Ra‘i archaeological site.
An expert at George Washington University in the United States deciphered the inscription.
“Yod, resh, bet, ayin, lamed” and indications of other letters that have been lost to time can be seen in the preserved letters.
Of course, there’s no way of knowing if the ceramic jug ever belonged to the biblical hero.
However, given that this is the first time the name Jerubaal has been recorded outside of the biblical record, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) believes it is a tantalizing prospect.
“Inscriptions from the biblical period are incredibly rare – and just a handful incorporate more than several unrelated letters,” the group wrote on Facebook.
“This is the first time the name Jerubaal has been found in an archaeological context dating from the Judges period, circa 1110 BC.
“Moreover, the Yarubaal inscription adds to our knowledge of how the alphabetic script spread during the transition from the Canaanite to the Israelite periods.”
Judges refers to the 12 biblical judges who are mentioned in the Hebrew Bible and Old Testament.
These people were well-known leaders. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”