ISRAEL - Inscription Confirms Israel’s Ancient Borders

Arno Froese

A newly-discovered Hebrew-language inscription might confirm that the border of ancient Israel reached areas that some archaeologists were previously skeptical about, thus confirming the Bible’s account.

The inscription was discovered at the site of Abel Beth-Maacah, archaeologists Dr. Naama Yahalom-Mack and Dr. Nava Panitz-Cohen from the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem told The Jerusalem Post.

Abel Beth-Maacah is mentioned in the Bible several times.

“Ben-hadad responded to King Asa’s request; he sent his army commanders against the towns of Israel and captured Ljon, Dan, Abel-Beth-Maacah and all Chinneroth, as well as all the land of Naphtali,” reads the first reference in I Kings 15:20 (translation by Sefaria.org).

Later, in II Kings 15:29, the city is listed among those conquered by the king of Assyria.

The archaeologists pointed out that 3,000 years ago the city was also at the crossroad between different political entities, namely the Kingdom of Israel, the Aramean kingdom and the Phoenicians, who were not part of a unified state but lived in several independent cities along the northern coast.

At the very end of the excavation period last summer, the team, led by the two archaeologists from Hebrew University and Prof. Robert Mullins from Azusa Pacific University in Los Angeles, found five crushed jars in an Iron Age building.

Only much later, when Antiquities Authority restorer Adrienne Ganur was working no them, did she realize that one of the jars featured an ink inscription, quite rare for that time. After further studies, Prof. Christopher Rollston from George Washington University in Washington said that the inscription included the word Lebenayau, or “belonging to Benayau,” a name formed by the root Bana—which in Hebrew and many Semitic languages refers to the concept of building—and the theophoric ending “yahu”—referring to YHWH, the God of the Israelites.

A crucial question about the inscription is also related to its dating: The archaeologists think that it likely dates back to the second half of the 9th century BCE, or the beginning of the 8th at the latest. If this proved to be true, the inscription would be one of the earliest examples of this type of northern theophoric ending.

-www.jpost.com, 8 February 2020

Arno's commentary

Fervently, archaeologists continue to uncover Israel’s ancient past. In this case, the discovery is supposed to confirm Israel’s ancient borders. While we highly respect archaeological work, when it comes to Israel’s borders, we have the clear documentation in Genesis 15:18: “In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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