|Size:||20 centimeters high|
16.5 centimeters wide
|Length:||14 lines of writing|
|Approximate Date:||639609 BCE|
|Place of Discovery:|
(near Yavneh-Yam, on the
|Date of Discovery:||1960|
|Current Location:||Israel Museum|
(Adapted from Gibson 1973:28)
by K. C. Hanson
(Adapted from Albright 1969:320)
1. YŠMc 'DNY HSR
2. 'T DBR cBDH cBDK
3. QSR HYH cBDK BH
4. SR 'SM WYQSR cBDK
5. WYKL W'SM KYMM LPNY ŠB
6. T K'ŠR KL cBDK 'T QSR W'
7. SM KYMM WYB' HŠBYHW BN ŠB
8. Y WYQH'T BGD cBDK K'ŠR KLT
9. 'T QSRY ZH YMM LQH 'T BGD cBDK
10. WKL 'HY YcNW LY HQSRM 'TY BHM
11. HŠMŠ 'HY YcNW LY 'MN NQTY M'
12. ŠMH HŠB N' 'T BGDY W'ML' LSR LHŠ
13. B 'T BGD cBDH WLŠM 'LW RHMM
14. 'M ŠMcT 'T DBR cBDK WL' TDHM N
15. [broken off]
Transliteration of special characters
H = Heth
T = Teth
c = cAyin
S = Sadê
Š = Šin
1. Discuss how this harvester's petition relates to the situations in each of the following
passages: Exodus 22:25-26; Leviticus 6:1-7; Deuteronomy 24:12-17; 2 Kings 4:1-7; Amos 2:8;
2. Why might this have been a persistent problem in the ancient world?
3. What risks might the harvester be taking by appealing to the governor?
4. Read Ahiqar saying #77 (col. xi:171). How does the theology of the Ahiqar saying compare to the theology of Exodus 22:25-26 on pledges?
5. How does this harvester's situation resonate with the complaint of Job in 24:1-12? What sort of society do these documents presuppose?
6. Compare the sayings of Jesus on confiscation of clothing: Matt 5:40; Luke 6:29-31. What is Jesus' point? Do you think he is being literal, or is he using hyperbole (exaggeration) to make his point? How can you tell?
Albright, W. F. "Palestinian Inscriptions." In Ancient
Near Eastern Texts, 568-69. 3rd ed. Ed. J. B. Pritchard. Princeton,
N.J.: Princeton Univ. Press, 1969.|
Borowski, Oded. Agriculture in Iron Age Israel. Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1987.
Cross, Frank M., Jr. "Epigraphic Notes on Hebrew Documents of the EighthSixth Centuries B.C.: II. The Murabba'at Papyrus and the Letter Found Near Yabneh-Yam." Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 165 (1962) 34-36.
Gibson, John C. L. Textbook of Syrian Semitic Inscriptions. Volume 1: Hebrew and Moabite Inscriptions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 1973.
Hopkins, David C. The Highlands of Canaan: Agricultural Life in the Early Iron Age. Social World of Biblical Antiquity 3. Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1985.
Naveh, Joseph. "A Hebrew Letter from the Seventh Century B.C." Israel Exploration Journal 10 (1960) 129-39.
Naveh, Joseph. "More Hebrew Inscriptions from Mesad Hashavyahu." Israel Exploration Journal 12 (1962) 27-32.
Pardee, Dennis. "The Juridical Plea from Mesad Hashavyahu (Yavneh-Yam): A New Philological Study." Maarav 1 (1978) 33-66.
Suzuki, Yoshihide. "A Hebrew Ostracon from Mesad Hashavyahu: A Form-Critical Reinvestigation." Annual of the Japanese Biblical Institute, Tokyo 3 (1982) 3-49.
Talmon, Shemaryahu. "The New Hebrew Letter from the Seventh Century B.C. in Historical Perspective." Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 176 (1964) 29-38.