Henry Thompson/Jordan Department of Antiquities

“King of The Children of Ammon,” the Ammonite ruler’s official title, appears in an inscription on this bronze jar (compare with drawing of bronze jar) from about 600 B.C. The same title appears with the name of the Ammonite king Nahash in the newly recovered paragraph from the Book of Samuel that was found on a first-century B.C. Dead Sea Scroll fragment.

In the received biblical text, Nahash is called simply “Nahash the Ammonite.” But every other time that a foreign king is introduced in the received texts of the books of Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings, his full tide is given with his name. The appearance in the Dead Sea Scroll fragment of Nahash’s name with his title—an introduction like those in the other biblical books—is a strong argument for the restoration of this fragment as part of the original biblical text.

Excavated at the ancient site of Tell Siran, now located on the campus of the University of Jordan on the outskirts of Amman, the four-inch-long jar offers scholars the first complete Ammonite inscription ever discovered.