Archaeology: Recent Discoveries Regarding the Hebrew Alphabet

ophel-inscriptionI’ve come across two fascinating articles regarding work done by Douglas Petrovich regarding the Hebrew alphabet.

From 2013: Oldest Hebrew writing in Jerusalem corroborates Hebrew history.

Wine jars found in the foundation of a building from around 1000 BC in Jerusalem (the biblical dating of David or Solomon) have an early form of Hebrew. Read the article for other implications.

showimageFrom 2016, Expert claims inscriptions from Egyptian exodus proves Hebrew is world’s oldest alphabet, from the Jerusalem News. Fox News has a similar, slightly longer report.

Egyptian Middle Kingdom inscriptions have been newly translated. If the translations stand up to scholarly scrutiny, the carvings make reference to Moses and other names found in the OT.

Petrovich said he subsequently translated 16 more Hebrew inscriptions from four other ancient slabs discovered in Egypt and Sinai, including one from 1446 BC, which describes Moses as a figure heralded by the ancient Jews shortly before he led the exodus from Egypt.

“I absolutely was surprised to find the Moses [reference], because he resided in Egypt for less than a year at the time of his provoking of astonishment there,” Petrovich told

After exhaustive research to determine if the combination of letters could have other meanings, the researcher said he eliminated all possible options.

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About Jay F Guin

My name is Jay Guin, and I’m a retired elder. I wrote The Holy Spirit and Revolutionary Grace about 18 years ago. I’ve spoken at the Pepperdine, Lipscomb, ACU, Harding, and Tulsa lectureships and at ElderLink. My wife’s name is Denise, and I have four sons, Chris, Jonathan, Tyler, and Philip. I have two grandchildren. And I practice law.
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5 Responses to Archaeology: Recent Discoveries Regarding the Hebrew Alphabet

  1. JohnF says:

    “The spectacular discovery of the inscription—the earliest alphabet letters found in Jerusalem—immediately inspired a number of epigraphers to attempt to translate it. Alan Millard notes that at least seven different readings have been proposed by as many eminent epigraphers.

    This new Proto-Canaanite Jerusalem inscription dates to a time before the direction of letters (whether they were read right to left or left to right) had been firmly determined and before a distinction between Hebrew, Aramaic and Phoenician had been established. Eilat Mazar has tentatively dated the wall in which the inscribed jar was found to the 10th century B.C.E.”
    — Biblical Archeology Reveiw (2014, they do not try to be sensational).

  2. Alabama John says:

    The Chinese had a wooden clock that told much of what our clocks do today 2000 years before Christ. Their history and its accomplishments are very interesting. Wonder why they are not mentioned as so smart in the Bible. They were writing way before the Jews

    God didn’t pick the Israelites because they were smart. Sheep herders, not scholars or city builders.

  3. Larry Cheek says:

    Alabama John,
    I am always susceptible of literature which contains statements that predate creation and never mention a flood.
    Notice this quote from,
    The Paleolithic Age was characterized by the use of some simple tools. It is said that Yuanmou Man lived 1,700,000 years ago and was the earliest man in China known to the people. It was found in Yunnan Province. Lantian Man and Peking Man also lived during the Paleolithic Age. Mainly inhabiting caves, humans at that time were gregarious. In addition to the use of some simple tools, they first discovered fire and used it often in their daily lives. The Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian in Beijing is good evidence for this.

  4. Alabama John says:

    I am also skeptical of experts writings that claim to have all that God has done for us on earth just right. Every writing has a main purpose, lesson, point, and is limiting on other topics.
    Our minds are very limiting.
    There will be so much for us to be amazed by when God throughout eternity releases all that could be written about in those books the earth couldn’t hold if he released them today.
    Great to guess and speculate about just how great and powerful our God is and all he has done we do not know about on this earth and in the millions of planets in this universe and the millions of other universes. Its way above our so limited imaginations.
    Adam and Eve were the first of Gods written man but they, mankind, spread fast, even after Noah.
    Studying ancient China is interesting as is many other countries.

  5. Dwight says:

    The problem with finding evidence is that we find evidence not in a linear format, but a punctuated format, meaning that when we find it we think we have found the next thing in line, even when it may not be, and using such things as radiocarbon and geology are not perfect tools as things change not in the same proportion to what we think they should be changing at. Scientist will look at stalagtites in caves and declare them to be milllions of years in the makings and then there is the case of a basement that had stalagtites that reached to the floor made within hundreds of years. Geological changes are often abrupt and not gradual and thus not great at dictating time.
    And the above is also true of humans. There are many engineering marvels and linguistics, etc. that have been lost to time and we struggle to figure how primitive people could have done them. Necessity and imagination and insight.

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