David and his Mum

18 01 2010

This is too funny for words. N.T. Wrong has recently uploaded some information on a very exciting new archaeological find! I was alerted to this in the Agade mailing list and I can barely contain my enthusiasm for it:

BETHLEHEM, ISRAEL, January 13, 2010 – Archaeologists have announced
the discovery of a text written by King David shortly following his
defeat of Goliath, authenticating the biblical story narrated in 1
Samuel 17. Excavation directors, Dr. Benny bar Throom and Dr. Eilat
Mezimah unveiled a tenth century ostracon uncovered only days ago, in
Bethlehem, David’s hometown.

“The Bethlehem Ostracon appears to be a short letter written by David
to his mother, shortly after killing Goliath,” explained Dr Mezimah.
“This remarkable and hitherto unparalleled letter not only proves the
historical existence of David, but also of the giant Goliath. It also
sets out David’s ambition to become king over the entire region from
Egypt to Babylon, thereby supporting the legitimate and God-given
right of the modern State of Israel to the entire region of the

The text is written in ink on a potsherd and is only six lines in
length. Dr Bar Throom dates it to “the time of David.” The first line
identifies “David son of Jesse” as the sender of the brief letter, and
it is addressed to “my mother.” Dr Mezimah remarked that the
tenderness of the address corresponds to what we know of the biblical
David, whose relationships with others were marked by great love and

The following lines of the Bethlehem Ostracon describe David’s victory
over the infamous Philistine terrorist, and appear to be written
shortly after the event. The main body of the Ostracon reads as
follows: “What a great day! I killed the giant, Goliath. And now I
will be king over all Israel, from the Wadi of Egypt to the River

“Writing a nice letter like this, to his Mom back at home, displays
just the sort of Torah-observant respect for parents that we would
expect from the young King David. And it is entirely consistent with
the biblical picture we have of him,” noted Dr Mezimah. “This high
level of morality is quite unlike anything we find amongst Israel’s
neighbours during this period.”

The Hebrew letter aleph is visible on the obverse of the ostracon,
together with parts of the letters beth, he, and tav. Although the
text is difficult to reconstruct, Dr Bar Throom believes that it is a
short sentence in the first person, “probably something along the
lines of, ‘I’ll be home for dinner soon, Mom!'”

“What a good and faithful boy David was,” added Dr Mezimah.

Reactions from Old Testament scholars in this country have been
universally positive. Professor James Digmore of Dallas Seminary
welcomed news of the Bethlehem Ostracon as “the archaeological find of
the century.” Commenting on highly skeptical scholars who “only want
to cause trouble” by denying biblical truths (the so-called
“minimalists”), Professor Digmore proclaimed, “It is not too much to
say that it sounds the death-knell of minimalism as we know it.”

“What this find shows us,” said Professor Digmore, “is that it is
entirely possible that the Bible’s account of David was written by
David’s own hand. We are dealing with eyewitness testimony. In any
case, it was certainly written centuries before the critics have
previously claimed. I guess they will have to change their tune, now.”

[As read on NT Wrong]




One response

23 01 2010
N. T. Wrong

These are very exciting times, שמעון. Very exciting, indeed.

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