“The temple (which) Achish son of Padi son of Ysd son of ’Ada’ son of Ya‘ir ruler of Ekron built for Pt[n]yh, his Lady. May she bless him and ke[e]p him and prolong his days and bless his [l]and.”—translated by Aaron Demsky.

The inscription calls on a goddess (her name is highlighted in the drawing) to bless king Achish and his land. It is significant that the formula used here, “May she bless him and keep him” (tbrkh vtsûmrh), is reminiscent of the first of the three Priestly blessings as recorded in the Bible (Numbers 6:24): “May the Lord bless you and keep you” (yevarekhekha YHWH veyishmerekha) and in the inscriptions discovered by Gabriel Barkay at Ketef Hinnom in Jerusalem.b

The title sareqron (ruler of Ekron) is written as one word in a construct state, that is, without a word divider. It reminds us of the phrase bytdavid, “the House of David,” a reference to the king of Judah (see Isaiah 7:13), in the ninth-century B.C.E. inscription from Tel Dan that has raised such foolish alternative translations.c The same convention can be found in the tenth-century B.C.E. royal inscriptions of Ahiram and Yehimilk from Byblos, where the title “king of Gebal” is written as one word, mlkgbl.