New Translation of Khirbet Qeiyafa Inscription Published

Prof. Gershon Galil has published his own translation and drawing of the 10th century B.C. inscription from Khirbet Qeiyafa. It is quite different from the preliminary translation put forth previously by Prof. Hagai Misgav (see my previous post here, Prof. Aren Maeir’s report of Misgav’s translation here , and video here). It’s been tough to translate due to the faded 3,000 year-old ink and the fact that some letters face different directions in the text. (Check out the aleph in the upper left, and then in other places in the drawing below.)

I do not know of a translation into Hebrew characters, but here is the English version by Prof. Galil as reported on Eurekalert:

1′ you shall not do [it], but worship the [Lord].
2′ Judge the sla[ve] and the wid[ow] / Judge the orph[an]
3′ [and] the stranger. [Pl]ead for the infant / plead for the po[or and]
4′ the widow. Rehabilitate [the poor] at the hands of the king.
5′ Protect the po[or and] the slave / [supp]ort the stranger.

It is noted that this translation shows a similar content to Isaiah 1:17, Psalm 72:3 (I believe the article meant verse 4), Exodus 23:3 and other passages.

Courtesy of the University of Haifa

The inscription is the oldest Hebrew in the world, though the characters are “Proto-Canaanite”, dating to the time of the biblical David. There has been plenty of previous coverage in the scholarly world and in the popular media. Now to see how this translation holds up under peer review.

HT: Paleojudaica

Update: This translation has only been published in the news media. It has yet to appear in a scholarly journal for peer review and analysis.

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About LukeChandler

Luke holds an M.A. in Ancient and Classical History and has been an adjunct professor at Florida College in Temple Terrace, Florida. Luke and his wife Melanie have five children. He serves as a minister in English and Spanish with the North Terrace Church of Christ and participates annually in archaeological excavations in Israel. Luke also leads tours to Europe and the Bible Lands.
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One Response to New Translation of Khirbet Qeiyafa Inscription Published

  1. Pingback: Khirbet Qeiyafa Team’s Response to the New Inscription Translation « Luke Chandler's Blog

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