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What's the Oldest Hebrew Inscription?
Biblical Archaeology Review ^ | May/Jun 2012 | Christopher A. Rollston

Posted on 05/28/2012 9:24:09 AM PDT by SunkenCiv

Four contenders vie for the honor of the oldest Hebrew inscription. To decide we must determine (1) whether they are in Hebrew script and/or language and (2) when they date. Not easy!

The first contender, the already famous Qeiyafa Ostracon, was discovered only in 2008 at Khirbet Qeiyafa, a site in the borderland of ancient Judah and Philistia.a The five-line ostracon (an ink inscription on a piece of broken pottery) is not well preserved and is subject to varying readings.

As the Qeiyafa Ostracon is a recent find, so the Gezer Calendar is an old one. It was discovered exactly a hundred years earlier, in 1908, by Irish archaeologist R.A.S. Macalister at Tel Gezer, between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. It describes agricultural activities over a 12-month period. Inscribed on a piece of soft limestone, it is sometimes supposed to be a schoolboy's ditty.

(Excerpt) Read more at bib-arch.org ...


TOPICS: History; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: epigraphyandlanguage; godsgravesglyphs; khirbetqeiyafa; letshavejerusalem; qeiyafaostracon
With faded ink and missing letters, the Qeiyafa Ostracon is a five-line text on a 6-by-6-inch piece of broken pottery. It is written in Early Alphabetic script, prior to the development of Phoenician script from which Hebrew script was derived. [Photo by Clara Amit, Courtesy Yosef Garfinkel]

Photo by Clara Amit, Courtesy Yosef Garfinkel

1 posted on 05/28/2012 9:24:22 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
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Khirbet Qeiyafa keyword, newest to oldest:
2 posted on 05/28/2012 9:27:50 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv; mickie; flaglady47
Translated it says:

Obama saves
Moses invests

Leni

3 posted on 05/28/2012 9:28:45 AM PDT by MinuteGal (OMG !!!.....Obama Must Go !!!)
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To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Here's an article about one of the four candidates: To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


4 posted on 05/28/2012 9:35:21 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv
There is an old Hebrew book parts of which were found with the Dead Sea Scrolls that said that one of Adam's sons invented the early Hebrew characters.
5 posted on 05/28/2012 9:37:03 AM PDT by mountainlion (I am voting for Sarah after getting screwed again by the DC Thugs.)
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To: SunkenCiv

“In God we trust, all others pay cash”.


6 posted on 05/28/2012 9:58:28 AM PDT by yarddog
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To: SunkenCiv

It actually says “Pound pastrami, can kraut, six bagels—bring home for Emma”

Jack


7 posted on 05/28/2012 11:59:22 AM PDT by JackOfVA
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To: SunkenCiv

“Be sure to drink your Ovaltine.”


8 posted on 05/28/2012 12:23:16 PM PDT by Raycpa
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To: SunkenCiv

the Qeiyafa Ostracon seems to be, by consensus, the oldest document written in a Hebrew alphabet. From the little I can discern from the writing, the text appears to be written in the Proto-K’na’anite script which was a forerunner of the Proto-Sinai and K’tav Ivri scipts, the latter of which was used throughout the First Temple Period.

However, recent findings - not widely published, perhaps for political reasons - have been made along the newly documented exodus route in today’s Saudi Arabia, among which are an engraving of God’s name, Yahweh, written in Thamudic, which is very closely related to Proto-K’na’anite. Not far from this engraving are others of Israelite symbols, including the Menorah, conclusively proving that the engravings were written by Israelites.

So, an interesting point concerning this matter is what exactly is meant by a Hebrew inscription: is it one written by Hebrews in some kind of alphabet, or is it one written by Hebrews in the fist exclusively Hebrew alphabet?

“There is an old Hebrew book parts of which were found with the Dead Sea Scrolls that said that one of Adam’s sons invented the early Hebrew characters.”

If you believe the above, you might as well believe the idiotic claim made by some rabbis that God invented the Aramaic alphabet Ashurit) for the Jews.


9 posted on 05/28/2012 12:41:37 PM PDT by Yadan (Yadan)
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To: Yadan
So, an interesting point concerning this matter is what exactly is meant by a Hebrew inscription: is it one written by Hebrews in some kind of alphabet, or is it one written by Hebrews in the fist exclusively Hebrew alphabet?

I would think the latter, but that's a very good question. Of the two, which would you say is the archaeologists' primary focus?

10 posted on 05/28/2012 12:53:09 PM PDT by COBOL2Java (FUMR)
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To: Yadan

Thanks Yadan.
"There is an old Hebrew book parts of which were found with the Dead Sea Scrolls that said that one of Adam's sons invented the early Hebrew characters."
I didn't say it, write it, post it, or believe it.


11 posted on 05/28/2012 4:16:34 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: dennisw; Cachelot; Nix 2; veronica; Catspaw; knighthawk; Alouette; Optimist; weikel; Lent; GregB; ..
Middle East and terrorism, occasional political and Jewish issues Ping List. High Volume

If you’d like to be on or off, please FR mail me.

..................

12 posted on 05/28/2012 6:43:35 PM PDT by SJackson (As a black man, you know, Barack could get shot going to the gas station, M Obama)
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To: SunkenCiv

MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN?

Is there a prize for the right answer?


13 posted on 05/28/2012 11:03:08 PM PDT by wildbill (You're just jealous because the Voices talk only to me.)
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To: wildbill; 444Flyer; Yehuda; Jeremiah Jr; Bellflower
MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN?

Is there a prize for the right answer?

Number, number, weigh, divide. What should be obvious is that "the writing's on the wall"... literally, at the White Hut.

Superstition - Stevie Wonder live at the White Hut:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekkkD8HU944

Deu 6.22 And the LORD shewed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his household, before our eyes:

Eh but whose paying attention to these small details?

14 posted on 05/28/2012 11:57:18 PM PDT by Ezekiel (The Obama-nation began with the Inauguration of Desolation.)
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who is


15 posted on 05/28/2012 11:58:18 PM PDT by Ezekiel (The Obama-nation began with the Inauguration of Desolation.)
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To: SunkenCiv
Good morning.

The translation reads: Who is John Galt?

5.56mm

16 posted on 05/29/2012 7:23:46 AM PDT by M Kehoe
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To: M Kehoe

The way I heard it it says “Stand back Eve, I don’t know how big it’s going to get.”


17 posted on 05/29/2012 7:27:50 AM PDT by csmusaret (Obama's new slogan: "Fo Mo Mo Fo.")
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To: SunkenCiv
Accepting Genesis in some literal sense, I don't think Abraham (who set out with his small clan/band from Mesopotamia/Sumeria) read and wrote in “Hebrew”.

And, unless I am wrong - that the Bible is silent on the development of “Hebrew”, it “evolved” over time and with the living experience of “the Jews” and most likely in the same human context that Aramaic script developed.

Is the settlement of this mystery important? To language scholars and just understanding written language history, yes; to Judeo-Christian faith, no. In my own personal view.

18 posted on 05/29/2012 3:41:49 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: Wuli

It’s been called the flaming language with reference to spiritual etymology. Perhaps it predates man.


19 posted on 05/29/2012 5:59:09 PM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Wuli

You really made it look as if you were interested, but since this isn’t important to you, why post?

By the time Judaism arose, Hebrew had been supplanted by Aramaic. Abraham spoke — did not write — Hebrew.


20 posted on 05/29/2012 10:07:25 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SJackson

:’) Thanks for the ping!


21 posted on 05/29/2012 10:08:54 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (FReepathon 2Q time -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: SunkenCiv

I did NOT say it was not important “to me”.

I said that resolving the question was, to me, not important to a Jewish or Christian faiths (in my view), but it does have importance in the history of written language.


22 posted on 06/02/2012 12:26:57 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: SunkenCiv
As to Abraham - the first "Hebrew" (Genesis 14:13) - it would likely be safer to say he "spoke" the father Semitic tongue/language, or a proto-Semitic language, from which the spoken languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic and Samaritan evolved - as they have their differences but a common root that is distinguishable, large and pronounced.

"The etymology of the Semitic languages, which are fully developed yet have retained their primeval root system in pristine form, is of a different nature; theirs is an entirely internal affair. There is very little that Hebrew can gain from the etymological consideration of the few other surviving members of its family of tongues. Hebrew and its living relatives — Arabic and Aramaic [and Samaritan] — are formally similar, have identical roots of assorted shades of meaning, and are barely etymologically distinguishable from one another." [ http://www.hebrewetymology.com/Introduction%20%28English%29.pdf ]

23 posted on 06/02/2012 1:30:58 PM PDT by Wuli
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