Just published: The 4-inch-wide, 3.5-inch-tall ostracon, or inscribed potsherd, contains the oldest complete extra-Biblical mention of the House (or Temple) of Yahweh (LBYT YHWH) ever found. Dated to the ninth-seventh century B.C., this ostracon is at least a century older than an ostracon from Arad that bears the only other complete extra-Biblical mention of King Solomon’s Temple.

No word divider, or dot, separates LBYT and YHWH on this newly published Temple ostracon, but the phrase unmistakeably means “House (or Temple) of Yahweh.” This translation strengthens the reading of BYT DWD on the Tel Dan inscription, which also lacks a word divider, as “House of David.” The Temple ostracon thus supports the understanding of the Tel Dan inscription as the first extra-Biblical mention of King David.