Tuesday, September 26, 2023

An inscription fragment related to King Hezekiah? Caution urged.

NORTHWEST SEMITIC EPIGRAPHY: King Hezekiah's riddle: Has the ancient royal inscription finally been cracked? Using advanced tech, Israeli expert decodes stone inscription found in Jerusalem 40 years ago, linking it to Judean King's water project, highlighting his power; ‘After the king's death, his opponents deliberately damaged his inscriptions, in an attempt to tarnish his memory and erase his achievements’ (Yitzchak Tessler, Ynet News).

The technology sounds interesting, but there isn't much inscription to use it on. At best it may illuminate a couple of broken letters and show that another possible letter is not there. (The English version incorrectly says that the last letter of line 3 is an aleph. The Hebrew article correctly says it is a he.)

The rest of the new material is Professor Galil's conjectural restoration of completely lost text. As always, one should be cautious about such conjectures.

You can see the Hebrew text in question in the Hebrew version of the article here. (HT Joseph Lauer.)

For previous discussions of Professor Galil's readings of other ancient lapidary Hebrew inscriptions that have or may have some connection with King Hezekiah, start here and follow the links. The evidence for some of these inscriptions remains to be published.

Cross-file under Technology Watch.

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