There are frequent discoveries in Israel. Some are very common, like an ancient coin and others are more rare and important, like the capitals from the time of King David found in the City of David. Some however turn heads of even the most ardent of disbelievers in the biblical account of history. This would include findings such as the Dead Sea Scrolls or Warren’s Shaft. Recently, we had another finding that arguably is of this level. An amulet on Mt Ebal.
An amulet might not seem like it should be very exciting, but it is what was on the amulet and where it was found that has raised eyebrows and interest.
The amulet is very small. It is only about 2 cm square. It was discovered in 2019 from dirt excavated 30 years ago upon Mt. Ebal. There appeared to be writing on it that was unable to be read, until new technology allowed for the scanning of the artifact recently. What was found was positively stunning.
Upon the amulet was a very pointed inscription:
“Cursed, cursed, cursed – cursed by the God Yahweh. You will die cursed. Cursed you will surely die. Cursed by Yahweh – cursed, cursed, cursed.”
This might not seem particularly historically exciting, but when you hear the details you suddenly understand why this is in fact so exciting.
Mt. Ebal is one of two mountains located in the West Bank. The other mountain being Mount Gerizim which together forms the valley in which the current city of Nablus is located. If you haven’t heard of these peaks, you may be interested in the verse found in Deuteronomy:
When the Lord your God has brought you into the land you are entering to possess, you are to proclaim on Mount Gerizim the blessings, and on Mount Ebal the curses. – Deuteronomy 11:29
This verse is part of the instructions to the Israelites just after passing into the Promised Land.
So, how does this all work together to make irrefutable evidence of one of the most meaningful events in history?
The amulet is a curse tablet which was found in the dirt that was excavated from a site believed to be that of a possible alter on the slopes of the very mountain that was dictated to them for curses.
Furthermore, the tablet is being dated around 1200 BC, centuries older than the next oldest example of Hebrew.
What does this mean?
- The formations on Mt. Ebal are almost certainly the alters spoken of in Mt. Ebal.
- The Old Testament could have been written in the time of the events it speaks of.
- This is the earliest recording of the name of God known.
- This is further evidence of the trustworthiness of the Bible!
We look forward to hearing more about this wonderful discovery! As you consider your journey to Israel, we hope you will contact Immanuel Tours so we may make your Christian Holy Land Tour the best experience possible!