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Experts Decipher Message on Jar Found Where David Killed Goliath… Confirms Key Part of Scripture

After three years, Israeli archaeologists have pieced together several ceramic fragments uncovered during a dig in the Valley of Elah, a place best known for the battle between David and Goliath as described in 1 Samuel.

The Israeli Antiquities Authority made an announcement Tuesday about the discovery and deciphering of the ancient text found on a 3,000-year-old jar reconstructed from the fragments.

Yosef Garfinkel from Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology and Saar Ganor of the Israel Antiquities Authority led an excavation in 2012 during which time the archaeologists found potsherds with individual letters of Canaanite script inscribed on them.

The individual potsherds were then carefully pieced together and experts in the language were able to decipher the text which spelled out a name: Eshba’al Ben Bada’.

What makes this find so significant is that, according to the Israeli researchers, this was the first time an inscription of “Eshba’al” — which appears in the Bible — has been found in an archaeological excavation in Israel.

Eshba’al, also known as Ish-bosheth, was the son of King Saul who ruled the Kingdom of Israel after his father and three brothers died in the Battle of Gilboa as described in 1 Samuel and before David, who ruled Judah, united he two kingdoms several years later (H/T The Blaze).

The experts in this case believe the name on the jar was not a reference to the biblical king’s son, but did note that the name “Eshba’al” went out of style by the end of King David’s rule, putting the date the inscription around the 10th century B.C.

“Eshbaʽal was murdered by assassins and decapitated and his head was brought to David in Hebron,” Garfinkel and Ganor said in a statement describing the biblical connection.

“It is interesting to note that the name Eshbaʽal 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,” they added.


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