THE KETEF HINNOM AMULET
G’day my friends!
I cannot believe how lovely the weather has been in my part of the country these past few weeks. If I remember correctly the past years it has already been very hot by this time. But not this year, it has just been delightful! I pray that where every you are at, at least some part of the day or night is just lovely.
So what is the Ketef Hinnom Amulet? It is a discovery from many years past of two little silver amulets. An amulet is an object that is typically worn on a person, usually around their neck. Either it, or something(s) inside of it, are believed by the wearer that it contains magical/miraculous powers for the owner. Usually the power is for protection of some sort. An amulet is thought to be sacred.
The archaeology site where the amulets where discovered was under excavation in 1979 on an outcropping in the Valley of Hinnom. At the funerary site of Ketef Hinnomwhich is located just outside of Jerusalem, “archaeologist Gabriel Barkay uncovered two small silver scrolls—no bigger than the diameter of a quarter—that were originally worn as amulets around the neck. When researchers from the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, unrolled the sheets of silver, they detected tiny lines of the ancient Hebrew script inscribed on them. High-resolution photos of the miniature writing were taken in 1994 by the West Semitic Research Project at the University of Southern California, giving researchers the opportunity to study and decipher the Hebrew text on the ancient amulets. When they finally read the arcane writing, the researchers discovered that the inscriptions, dating to the eighth–sixth centuries B.C.E., contained blessings similar to Numbers 6:24–26… Upon discovery, Amulet 1 was 1 inch in height and 0.4 inches in diameter; unrolled, the scroll measures 3.8 inches in height and 1 inch in width. Amulet 2 was 0.5 inches in height and 0.2 inches in diameter; unrolled, the scroll has a height of 1.5 inches and a width of 0.4 inches. The second
Why is this so important? For many years scholars and archaeologists alike have tried to establish when the ancient Hebrew people first began to write. It has been widely accepted that Hebrew writing was no older than the captivity of the Hebrew people in 500 BC. However these little amulets are proof that Hebrews were writing well before that date (according to the radioactive dating, 100 to 300 years before the captivity).
Again you may ask, what is the significance of this? Many critics of both Judaism and Christianity claim that the Old Testament could not be older than 500 BC. Yet not only do the amulets prove that the ancient Hebrews were writing much earlier, but that the scripture inscribed on the silver is virtually the same as in the Bible we have today:
Translation of the amulet;
May h[e]/sh[e] be blessed by Yahweh, the warrior [or helper] and the rebuker of [E]vil: May Yahweh bless you, keep you. May Yahweh make His face shine upon you and grant you p[ea]ce.” (Yahweh is the Hebrew word for God).
The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.’ ”
The context is the same. How beautiful it is to see scripture from about 800 years before the incarnation of our Messiah, still be the same today. What
Blessings upon blessings!
Amulet 1 Photo: Zev Radovan/biblelandpictures.com.
Photo of Gabriel Barkey, By Ori229 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8837761