Teksten frå Khirbet Qeiyafa

Den gamle hebraiske teksten som blei funnen på eit potteskår i 2008, vekte interesse langt utanfor fagmiljøa. Til og med NTB hadde ei melding om saka. Potteskåret (ca 15 x 16,5 cm) med fem tekstlinjer blei datert til ca 1000-975 f Kr, altså kong Davids tid. Dette gjer inskripsjonen til den eldste hebraiske tekst som nokon gong er funnen, mest 1000 år eldre enn Dødehavsrullane.

Forskarar er nå godt i gang med å tyda teksten, noko som er eit vanskeleg arbeid. Saka er aktuell nå etter at Universitetet i Haifa denne veka har sendt ut ei pressemelding med ei tolking av teksten. Her står det:

‘It indicates that the kingdom of Israel already existed in the 10th century BCE, and that at least some of the biblical texts were written hundreds of years before the dates presented in current research.’

Potteskåret blei funne sørvest for Jerusalem, ein stad som heiter Khirbet Qeiyafa, i området som er omtalt som Terebintedalen i forteljinga om David og Goliat i 1. Sam 17,2-3. Eg har tidlegare vist til ein artikkel på BiblePlaces Blog (24.12.2008!) som gir bakgrunnsstoff om funnet. Noko seinare  (her) blei funnet rangert som det viktigaste bibelarkeologiske funnet i 2008, med denne grunngjevinga:

1) The site was occupied for only a limited time during the reign of King David. 2) The site is located near the battle location of David and Goliath. 3) A strongly fortified site is indicative of a strong central government, at a time when scholars question the existence of such.  4) A early Hebrew inscription discovered this summer points to the site’s owners (Judeans) and the state of literacy in this period.  5) These discoveries will certainly shed light on what is currently the most debated issue in biblical archaeology: the nature of Israel/Judah during the 10th century.

Eit hovudpunkt i den aktuelle pressemeldinga frå Universitetet i Haifa, er å bekrefta at teksten verkeleg er skriven på hebraisk. Dette er også, ved sidan av sjølve innhaldet i teksten, truleg det mest interessante ved funnet for bibelforskinga.

A breakthrough in the research of the Hebrew scriptures has shed new light on the period in which the Bible was written. Prof. Gershon Galil of the Department of Biblical Studies at the University of Haifa has deciphered an inscription dating from the 10th century BCE (the period of King David’s reign), and has shown that this is a Hebrew inscription. The discovery makes this the earliest known Hebrew writing. The significance of this breakthrough relates to the fact that at least some of the biblical scriptures were composed hundreds of years before the dates presented today in research and that the Kingdom of Israel already existed at that time.

(…)

Prof. Galil’s deciphering of the ancient writing testifies to its being Hebrew, based on the use of verbs particular to the Hebrew language, and content specific to Hebrew culture and not adopted by any other cultures in the region. “This text is a social statement, relating to slaves, widows and orphans. It uses verbs that were characteristic of Hebrew, such as asah (“did”) and avad (“worked”), which were rarely used in other regional languages. Particular words that appear in the text, such as almanah (“widow”) are specific to Hebrew and are written differently in other local languages. The content itself was also unfamiliar to all the cultures in the region besides the Hebrew society: The present inscription provides social elements similar to those found in the biblical prophecies and very different from prophecies written by other cultures postulating glorification of the gods and taking care of their physical needs,” Prof. Galil explains.

(…)

English translaton of the deciphered text:

1′ you shall not do [it], but worship the [Lord].
2′ Judge the sla[ve] and the wid[ow] / Judge the orph[an]
3′ [and] the stranger. [Pl]ead for the infant / plead for the po[or and]
4′ the widow. Rehabilitate [the poor] at the hands of the king.
5′ Protect the po[or and] the slave / [supp]ort the stranger.

Les heile pressemeldinga her.

(via PaleoJudiaca)

Oppdatering 20.01.2010:
Christianity Today har ein artikkel med ulike reaksjonar på professor Galils tolking av teksten:

What an Ancient Hebrew Note Might Mean
Scholar says five lines of ancient script on a broken piece of pottery confirm Kingdom of Israel’s existence in 10th century B.C. Others are cautious. (les meir)

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  1. […] skreiv første gong om utgravingane i Khirbet Qeiyafa her (2008). Sjå også oppfølging frå 2010 her. Share this:FacebookLik dette:LikVer den fyrste til å like dette […]

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