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Discussion Forum : News and Current Events : "Curse tablet" found on Mount Ebal...

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ccchhhrrriiisss
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 "Curse tablet" found on Mount Ebal...

Tablet with God’s Name, Biblical Curse, Discovered on ‘Curse Mount’ Ebal in Samaria
by David Israel
THE JEWISH PRESS
25 March 2022

https://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/tablet-with-gods-name-biblical-curse-discovered-on-curse-mount-ebal-in-samaria/2022/03/25/

A small, folded 3,200-year-old lead tablet that was unveiled on Thursday may shed new light on Biblical study as we know it. The tablet, which was discovered on Mount Ebal in Samaria, known as the biblical “Curse Mountain,” includes the explicit name of God and the text of a curse, both in the ancient Hebrew script.

Mount Ebal is one of the two mountains near the city of Shechem in Samaria and forms the northern side of the valley in which the city is situated. Shechem’s southern side is bordered by Mount Gerizim. The event at Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal or the event of blessing and cursing occurred near the entry of the people of Israel into the Land of Israel at the beginning of the settlement period, after the forty years of wandering in the desert. The commandment to hold the event appears in the book of Deuteronomy and the report on how it was carried out appears in the book of Joshua.

The event included the construction of an altar on Mount Ebal and the offering of Olah and Shlamim sacrifices on it; writing parts of the Torah on stones: the blessing of the Levites on the keepers of the commandments of God and their curse on the transgressors; and at the end of the event, Joshua bin Nun recited to the people the blessings and curses written in the parsha of Ki Tavo.

The small lead tablet that was discovered on Mount Ebal was dated to the 13th century BCE, bears this curse (transliterated, Arur means cursed, and Ye’ho is part of the explicit name of God):

Arur Arur Arur
Arur la’El Ye’ho
Tamut – Arur
Arur – Mot Tamut
Arur l’Ye’ho
Arur Arur Arur

Prof. Gershon Galil from the University of Haifa calls the discovery an “earthquake in Biblical studies,” since “the new find unearthed today is the earliest Hebrew inscription found so far.” Before the latest discovery, the oldest inscription in Hebrew was dated to the tenth century BCE. “It was an inscription found at the Kiafa ruin, near the Ella Valley, by Prof. Yossi Garfinkel from the Hebrew University, which I deciphered,” he says.

But wait, there’s more: “The new finding is a death blow to all biblical deniers,” Prof. Galil stresses. “Many Bible critics have claimed that in the 13th century BCE (the traditional Jewish timeline places the exodus at 1248 BCE – DI), the people of Israel did not read and write, and therefore could not have written the Bible. This is why Bible critics have claimed the Bible was written very late, in the Persian or Hellenistic period (fourth and thirds centuries BCE – DI).

According to Prof. Galil, the tablet’s text represents great proficiency: “Anyone who knows how to write a text with a chiastic pattern can write anything,” he says.

A chiastic pattern or structure is a literary technique in narrative motifs and other textual passages, with at least two ideas that are intertwined.

“At this point, unfortunately, it is not yet possible to reveal all the information that has been unveiled, as it is awaiting peer review and academic publication,” Prof. Galil says. But we should say She’hechyanu over finding the explicit name of God in Hebrew.”

The correlation between the 3,200-year-old lead tablet and the event described in Deuteronomy 27 is obvious:

Quote:
Thereupon Moses charged the people, saying: After you have crossed the Jordan, the following shall stand on Mount Gerizim when the blessing for the people is spoken: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin. And for the curse, the following shall stand on Mount Ebal: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali. The Levites shall then proclaim in a loud voice to all the people of Israel: Cursed be any party who makes a sculptured or molten image, abhorred by Hashem, a craftsman’s handiwork, and sets it up in secret. — And all the people shall respond, Amen.



The text proceeds with a list of “cursed be,” or “Arur,” as in our lead tablet. Which Prof. Galil believes makes the fact that it was discovered on the very mountain where the ceremony of reading the curses took place yet another proof of its authenticity.

“These are not curses per se,” Prof. Galil stresses. Rather, “the meaning of the expression ‘cursed’ is ‘would be cursed.’ It is a legal text that warns that whoever does not keep the commandment would be cursed. In the relationship between Israel and God, there is an informal relationship in which God declares that He loves the people, and there is also a formal and legal component. In other nations as well, in every contract, there are blessings as well as curses that would apply to whoever breaks the agreement.”

https://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/tablet-with-gods-name-biblical-curse-discovered-on-curse-mount-ebal-in-samaria/2022/03/25/


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Christopher

 2022/3/25 16:54Profile
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 Re: "Curse tablet" found on Mount Ebal...

I saw this yesterday here:

https://www.worthynews.com/67549-archaeologist-claims-to-find-oldest-hebrew-text-in-israel-including-the-name-of-god

Is the age of the tablet around the same date as Deuteronomy 27? Is that what they are implying?

 2022/3/25 17:16Profile
TMK
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 Re:

How was the tablet dated? I hope not some carbon-14 or other radiometric manner that many Christians deny the accuracy of when dating ancient sites like Gobekli Tepe, etc.


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Todd

 2022/3/25 18:46Profile
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 Re:

I'm assuming you don't believe in a young earth?

 2022/3/25 19:20Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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 Re:

Hi TMK,

Quote:
How was the tablet dated?


According to another article in The Times of Israel:

"If the Late Bronze Age (circa 1200 BCE) date is verified, this tiny, 2-centimeter x 2 centimeter folded-lead “curse tablet” may be one of the greatest archaeological discoveries ever. It would be the first attested use of the name of God in the Land of Israel and would set the clock back on proven Israelite literacy by several centuries — showing that the Israelites were literate when they entered the Holy Land, and therefore could have written the Bible as some of the events it documents took place.

“This is a text you find only every 1,000 years,” Haifa University Prof. Gershon Galil told The Times of Israel on Thursday. Galil helped decipher the hidden internal text of the folded lead tablet based on high-tech scans carried out in Prague at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

BASED ON EPIGRAPHICAL ANALYSIS OF THE SCANS and LEAD ANALYSIS of the artifact, Stripling and his team date the curse tablet (or defixio) to the late Bronze Age, before or around 1200 BCE. If this dating is verified, it would make the text centuries older than the previous recordholder for oldest Hebrew text in Israel and 500 years older than the previously attested use of the tetragrammaton YHWH, according to Galil. Writing in a similar alphabet was discovered in the Sinai Peninsula dating to the beginning of the 16th century BCE."

https://www.timesofisrael.com/archaeologist-claims-to-find-oldest-hebrew-text-in-israel-including-the-name-of-god/

In other words, they used epigraphical analysis and lead analysis. An epigraphical analysis is based upon the inscriptions. It is similar to how archeologists can date (or use a range of dates) when analyzing Egyptian hieroglyphs.

As the Times of Israel article states, the earliest known Hebrew inscriptions go back to about the 10th century B.C. (roughly 3,000 years ago). This would date to centuries prior to that. And, as it points out, this is 500 years earlier than the earliest known inscription of the divine tetragrammaton -- the "YHWH" Name.

However, the findings haven't been published yet to ascertain just how this was deduced. It was part of an archeological dig on Mount Ebal; so, it could be based upon the epigraphical analysis coupled with dating based upon the dig layer.

We know the importance of Mount Ebal due to the instructions by Moses to build altars on Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal. For the blessing, Mount Gerizim was to be attended by six tribes (Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin); and, for the curses, Mount Ebal was to be attended by the other six tribes (Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali). This is found in Deuteronomy chapter 27.

Mount Gerizim was the choice of blessing. Interestingly, Mount Gerizim later came to be the mountain held as sacred by the Samaritans. This was the "mountain" referred to by the Samaritan woman who met Jesus by Jacob's well in John 4:20-26. This area was part of the Northern Kingdom of Israel which quickly fell into idolatry during the era of the divided kingdoms.

Mount Ebal, on the other hand, was the choice of cursing. This was the other option that the people of Israel could choose (i.e., "choose you this day whom you will serve"). It is explained well in Deuteronomy 11:26-32:
Quote:

26 “See, I am placing before you today a blessing and a curse:
27 the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today;
28 and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following other gods which you have not known.

29 “And it shall come about, when the Lord your God brings you into the land where you are entering to possess it, that you shall place the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal.
30 Are they not across the Jordan, west of the road toward the sunset, in the land of the Canaanites who live in the Arabah, opposite Gilgal, beside the oaks of Moreh?
31 For you are about to cross the Jordan to go in to take possession of the land which the Lord your God is giving you, and you shall possess it and live in it,
32 and you shall be careful to do all the statutes and the judgments which I am placing before you today.



It is also part of the idea of "life and death" that accompanies this. In Deuteronomy 30:19-20:

Quote:
19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have placed before you LIFE and DEATH, the BLESSING and the CURSE. So CHOOSE LIFE IN ORDER THAT YOU MAY LIVE, you and your descendants,
20 by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding close to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, so that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”



Personally, I think that this has the potential to be a tremendously important archeological find. Of course, I will wait to read the paper once it's published in a peer-reviewed journal.


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Christopher

 2022/3/25 19:29Profile
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 Re:

It is all very interesting. But when Christians rely on radiometric dating methods to support biblical archaeology they should not say it stinks when dating objects that do not fit into a biblical narrative, or a young earth narrative.

Not saying that is what is happening here- particularly if they are relying on other methods.


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Todd

 2022/3/25 21:27Profile
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 Re: TMK

Which narrative do you believe? Do you believe in evolution?

 2022/3/26 11:15Profile
TMK
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 Re:

Nope. But I do believe (know) the earth is way yonder older than 6000 years.


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Todd

 2022/3/26 12:11Profile
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 Re:

Had to rule out evolution.

Mark 10:6 - But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.

Man is as old as the earth (minus five literal 24 hour days).

 2022/3/26 14:04Profile
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 Re:

Ok Platy if you say so!


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Todd

 2022/3/26 14:39Profile





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