Volume 2 (2021–2022)

Special Issue: Epigraphic Studies

Editor: Yosef Garfinkel and Avraham Faust

Rollston, C., et al., 2021. The Jerubba‘al Inscription from Khirbet al-Ra‘i: A Proto-Canaanite (Early Alphabetic) Inscription. pp. 1-15 , 2 , pp. 1-15.Abstract
This article presents a Proto-Canaanite inscription written in ink on a jug. It was unearthed in 2019 at Khirbet al-Ra‘i, located 4 km west of Tel Lachish, in a level dated to the late twelfth or early eleventh century BCE. Only part of the inscription had survived, with five letters indicating the personal name Yrb‘l ( Jerubba‘al). This name also appears in the biblical tradition, more or less in the same era: “[Gideon] from that day was called Yrb‘l” ( Judg. 6:31–32). This inscription, together with similar inscriptions from Beth-Shemesh and Khirbet Qeiyafa, contributes to a better understanding of the distribution of theophoric names with the element ba‘al in the eleventh–tenth centuries BCE in Judah.
Golub, M.R., 2021. Personal Names on Iron Age I Bronze Arrowheads: Characteristics and Implications. pp. 16-40 , 2 , pp. 16-40.Abstract
This study analyzes 110 personal names found on 63 Phoenician inscribed bronze arrowheads, each owned by a different individual. Except for one item discovered in situ, all the arrowheads came from the antiquities market. Most of the arrowheads are paleographically dated to the Iron Age I. The study reveals similarities between the arrowhead onomasticon and the Iron Age II Phoenician onomasticon. These similarities suggest that the arrowhead onomasticon is a typical Phoenician collection of names and that most of the arrowheads are probably authentic. The few differences between the two onomastica may be attributed to changing onomastic trends over time, from the Iron Age I to the Iron Age II.
Dvira, Z. & Barkay, G., 2021. Clay Sealings from the Temple Mount and Their Use in the Temple and Royal Treasuries. pp. 41-75 , 2 , pp. 41-75.Abstract
In the course of sifting earth removed from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, dozens of clay sealings from the First Temple period were recovered. Among them was a sealing bearing the name of the priestly family of Immer. In-depth study of the writing on the sealing, as well as the fabric imprint on its reverse, indicated with a high probability that this sealing was used in the Temple treasury. The article reviews the function and use of sealings in the administration of ancient Near Eastern treasuries and the significance of sealings with a textile imprint on their reverse. The study revealed similar patterns in the finds near the “Royal Building” exposed in the Ophel excavations, and we therefore suggest identifying it with Judah’s royal treasury.
Vainstub, D., 2022. The Bullae of the Son of אוחל from the City of David. pp. 120-129 , 2 , pp. 120-129.Abstract
In the excavations conducted by Y. Shiloh in the City of David in Jerusalem during 1978–1985, an impressive hoard of 45 Hebrew bullae was found in the stratum destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE. Two of them, stamped by the same seal, were read לאליקם̇ בן אוהל. The plene spelling with waw for the vowel o in the name אוהל was a novelty in the Hebrew epigraphy of the First Temple period, as this was the first time that such a spelling had been found in a fully preserved and provenanced inscription. In this study, it will be shown that the third letter in the second name is, in fact, a ḥet rather than a he and, hence, that the name should be read אוחל. This name is built on the root wḥl, which implies that the letter waw on the bullae is not a mater lectionis. The misreading of this letter led to a series of far-reaching conclusions concerning some aspects of the pronunciation of the Hebrew spoken by the inhabitants of Judah in the 7th–6th centuries BCE and consequently the historical development of the orthography of the Hebrew script, conclusions that should now be revised.