ISRAEL - Inscription with Name of Biblical Judge Found

Arno Froese

An inscription dating back some 3,100 years ago bearing the name of a biblical judge Jerubbaal was uncovered in the excavations at Khirbat er-Ra‘i, near Kiryat Gat in the Southern District of Israel, the Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced.

Inscriptions from that period—the 12th-11th century BCE—are extremely rare. All the dating has been carried out through both pottery typology and radiocarbon of organic samples found in the same archaeological layer.

The writing, inked on a jug, marks the first time that the name Jerubbaal has been found outside the biblical text. It is believed that the owner penned his name on the jug.

“The name Jerubbaal is familiar from biblical tradition in the Book of Judges as an alternative name for the judge Gideon ben Yoash,” according to Prof. Yosef Garfinkel and archeologist Sa‘ar Ganor from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

“Gideon is first mentioned as combating idolatry by breaking the altar to Baal and cutting down the Asherah pole,” they explained. “In biblical tradition, he is then remembered as triumphing over the Midianites, who used to cross over the Jordan to plunder agricultural crops. According to the Bible, Gideon organized a small army of 300 soldiers and attacked the Midianites by night near Ma‘ayan Harod.”

-www.jpost.com, 13 July 2021

Arno's Commentary

Saturated with repeated archaeological finds, the evidence for Israel’s history is undeniable.

Gideon lived during the time when the Midianites oppressed Israel. Judges 6:12 reads: “And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.” That was a surprising statement, as shown by his answer in verse 13: “And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? but now the Lord hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”

Then something strange is recorded. Gideon is instructed to do the impossible: “And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?” (verse 14). But not impossible with the Lord: “And the Lord said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man” (verse 16).

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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