Zev Radovan

Sacred theft. King Mesha, a ninth-century B.C.E. ruler of Moab, boasted of his defeat of the Israelites on a stela erected to commemorate the battle. His bragging is useful to scholars: He claims to have removed the vessels of Yahweh from the sanctuary at Nebo and to have installed them in a temple for the worship of the Moabite god Chemosh. Author Stern infers that there must have been a Judahite sanctuary to Yahweh at Nebo, just as other Yahwistic cult installations existed at many sites outside Jerusalem. From Mesha’s action we also learn that not only did the various nations share the name of their god’s consort, but it was perfectly acceptable for them to share cult objects as well.