Friday, February 01, 2008

Archeological find linked to another obscure O.T. figure

JERUSALEM (BP)--A 2,500-year-old stone seal unearthed during a Jerusalem archeological dig in early January isn't tied to the obscure Old Testament family initially thought, but instead possibly to an equally obscure and completely different biblical family.In mid-January, archeologist Eilat Mazar told the Jerusalem Post she had found a seal -- designed to make impressions in soft clay -- engraved with the name of the "Temech" family, the same family found in the list of Jewish families in Nehemiah 7 that returned to Jerusalem after being taken into exile by the Babylonians.But as it turns out, Mazar was misreading the inscription. Because the seal is designed to make an impression, the letters are written in mirror-image form, similar to how the word "ambulance" is written on the front of such a vehicle. Following critiques from scholars such as the ones associated with the Biblical Archeology Society, Mazar now acknowledges the letters should read Sh-l-m-t. (Hebrew had no vowels.) If that's the case, then scholars believe it could refer to Shelomith, a man mentioned in Ezra 8:10 who also returned from Babylon to Jerusalem, or to Shelomith, the daughter of Zerubbabel mentioned in 1 Chronicles 3:19. MORE HERE ....

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