What’s the Oldest Hebrew Inscription?

Four contenders vie for the honor of the oldest Hebrew inscription. To decide we must determine (1) whether they are in Hebrew script and/or language and (2) when they date. Not easy! The first contender, the already famous Qeiyafa Ostracon, was discovered only in 2008 at Khirbet Qeiyafa, a site in the borderland of […]

Ancient Inscription Refers to Birth of Israelite Monarchy

The already famous Qeiyafa Ostracon, found only in 2008, has been read and interpreted quite differently by a variety of senior scholars, as recounted in the previous article by Christopher Rollston. One of the most fascinating interpretations is by Émile Puech, the senior epigrapher of the prestigious École Biblique et Archéologique Française in Jerusalem. […]

“Castle of the Slave”—Mystery Solved

One of the most dramatic archaeological monuments in Jordan—an admittedly Jewish one—has been repeatedly misidentified. French historian Ernest Will called it the “Finest Hellenistic monument in the Near East”1 and considered it a château.2 The structure is known locally as Qasr al-Abd, or “Castle of the Slave (or Servant).” It is part of a […]

When Job Sued God

Job is a righteous man from Transjordana who is deliberately made to suffer by God. The deity, incited by the Satan (see Job 2:3; ha-satan is Hebrew for “the adversary”)—the angel who is charged with finding fault with human beings—wants to discover how deeply Job’s piety runs. If all his worldly goods, his servants […]


Folkestone, England