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Handbook of Ancient Hebrew Inscriptions
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Handbook of Ancient Hebrew Inscriptions

From the Period of the First Commonwealth and the Beginning of the Second Commonwealth (Hebrew, Philistine, Edomite, Moabite, Ammonite, and the Bileam Inscriptions)

by Shmuel Ahituv
2nd edition 21
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An expansive and updated revision of Handbook of Ancient Hebrew Inscriptions first published in 1992, and reprinted four times. The new volume differs significantly from its predecessor. At the request of its users, facsimiles (line drawings) of most of the documents have been added. Omitted from the volume are the seals, which will be published in a separate volume, now in advanced stages of preparation. Also omitted are inscriptions that were of dubious authenticity or were determined to be forgeries. Included are new inscriptions discovered since the publication of the Handbook of Hebrew Inscriptions in 1992. The commentaries on the inscriptions have been updated in light of recent scholarship.

The volume contains documents in Hebrew and related languages: Edomite, Moabite, Ammonite, and the tongues of the inhabitants of Philistia and the Jordan Valley, documents that any reader of Hebrew will be able to read and understand. The documents are direct evidence of the language and culture of their authors, having been written by them. They even permit discernment of dialectical differences between the inhabitants of Judah and the language of Northern Israel.

The documents of Israel's neighbors are the only remnant of their language and literature. Among their literary attestations of special prominence are the monumental Inscription of Mesha, king of Moab, and the long inscription from Deir-`Alla (Valley of Sukkot) telling of Balaam, son of Beor, and his vision of doom.

Among the documents from ancient Israel, especially worthy of attention is the famous Siloam Inscription dating to the time of King Hezekiah, which maybe a citation from the lost "Chronicles of the Kings of Judah"; the Reaper's complaint from Metzad Hashavyahu near Yavneh-Yam, recalling Pentateuchal Laws concerning collateral; the Lachish letters reflecting the situation in the region of Lachish and Maresha on the eve of the destruction of the First Temple; the Arad archive and others. Occupying a special place are the documents from Kuntillet `Ajrud in the northern Sinai, which testify to Israelite religious beliefs around the year 800 BCE. The religious situation reflected in these documents clearly supports the claim of Elijah the prophet that the Israelites are straddling both sides of the fence, believing in both Baal and the God of Israel.

Product Details

Publisher: Bialik Institute
Publication date: 2005
Bibliographic info: 480 pages with 400 illustrations
Language(s): Hebrew


Cover: Paper



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