Mesha Inscription

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Does the Moabite Stone really contain the phrase “House of David?” It should also be noted that the line in question is severely fragmented. Keeping in mind that one-third of the inscription has been restored from available squeezes, the uncertain translation has been reconstructed partly by what is visible on the stone and what is visible from these squeezes.

Read More The Moabite Stone: Does it Reference the “House of David?”

Moabite Closeup Moabite Closeup

The stone has no doubt become the subject of a great amount of controversy within the guild. This should not be surprising in an era where the field has experienced a noticeable shift from maximalists like W. F. Albright, Cyrus Gordon, and Yigael Ladin—who led the way in believing that the Bible reflected true history—to minimalists, like Thomas L. Thompson, Philip Davies, and Niels Peter Lemche— who posit that the biblical text is not historically oriented.

Read More Controversy over the Moabite Stone: II Kings 3

Moabite Closeup Moabite Closeup

The Moabite Stone (also called the Mesha Stele) is one of the earliest discoveries directly related to the biblical narrative. For it refers by name to King Omri of Israel, and thus, provides a written source from another ruling power of Israel’s existence. Moreover, it claims to have conquered the people of Israel, who were led by this king and his unnamed son, and to have captured cultic objects of worship that were dedicated to YHWH (line 18). Thus, the inscription makes an explicit connection between YHWH and Israel.

Read More The Moabite Stone and Israel

hoto courtesy of Jonathan Moore, Amridge University. Photo taken at the Louvre Museum, Paris. hoto courtesy of Jonathan Moore, Amridge University. Photo taken at the Louvre Museum, Paris.

The backstory to the discovery of the Moabite Stone is quite a fascinating account. On August 19th 1868, Frederick Augustus Klein (F. A. Klein), an Anglican medical missionary in Jerusalem, was made aware of the stone. Accompanied by the son of a famous Arab tribal sheikh, named Zattam, who provided protection for the duration of a trip, Klein undertook a journey—as he often did—to provide medical aid to both Jews and Arabs. This included a community of Bedouins on the east side of the Dead Sea at “an encampment about ten minutes from the ruins” of Dibon.

Read More The Discovery and Acquisition of the Moabite Stone