According to a report, archaeologists have unearthed a 3,000-year-old name mentioned in the Holy Scriptures.
The Associated Press reported Tuesday the name “Eshbaal Ben Beda” appears on a ceramic jar. Israel’s antiquities authority made the announcement after archaeologists put together the inscription discovered on shards found in a 2012 excavation in central Israel. As the AP notes:
Archaeologists Yosef Garfinkel and Saar Ganor say the jar belonged to a different Eshbaal, likely the owner of an agricultural estate.
They said Tuesday it is the first time the name was discovered in an ancient inscription. It is one of only four inscriptions discovered from the biblical 10th century B.C. Kingdom of Judah, when King David is said to have reigned.
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“This is the first time that the name Eshbaal has appeared on an ancient inscription in the country,” said Garfinkel, according to The Daily Mail. “It is interesting to note that the name Eshbaal appears in the Bible, and now also in the archaeological record, only during the reign of King David, in the first half of the tenth century BCE.”
“This name was not used later in the First Temple period,” he continued. “The correlation between the biblical tradition and the archaeological finds indicates this was a common name only during that period. The name Bedaʽ is unique and does not occur in ancient inscriptions or in the biblical tradition.”
The biblical Eshbaal was Saul’s fourth son, and first appears in 1 Chronicles 8:33.
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