Biblical Judge’s Name Found on 3,000 Year Old Inscription

Stand for Israel  |  July 12, 2021

Name of biblical judge Jerubbaal (Gideon) found on 3,000 year old inscription
Dafna Gazit/Israel Antiquities Authority

The Book of Judges in the Old Testament tells an important part of Israel’s story – that of the era between the reception of the Promised Land and the establishment of the kingdom of Israel. During this period, a judge led the Israelites, instead of the kings to come.

One of the judges we read about in the Bible was “Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon)” (Judges 6:7). You might remember Gideon as having received God’s calling and leading the Israelites to victory over their Midianite enemies.

But, in this latest Holy Land Dig, once again the Bible comes to life before our very eyes. The Jerusalem Post’s Rossella Tercatin reports how our friends at the Israel Antiquities Authority have just unearthed a 3,000-year-old inscription carrying the name of the judge, Jerubbaal:

An inscription dating back some 3,100 years ago bearing the name of a biblical judge, Jerubbaal, was uncovered in the excavations at Khirbat er-Ra‘i, near Kiryat Gat in the Southern District of Israel, the Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced on Monday.

The researchers highlighted that while there cannot be any certainty on whether the inscription refers to the figure mentioned in the Book of Judges, this discovery offers important insights on the connection between the biblical text and historical reality.

Inscriptions from that period – the 12th-11th century BCE – are extremely rare. All the dating has been carried out through both pottery typology and radiocarbon of organic samples found in the same archaeological layer.

The writing, inked on a jug, marks the first time that the name Jerubbaal has been found outside the biblical text. It is believed that the owner penned his name on the jug…

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