the Moabite Stone

The Moabite or Mesha stone (found in Dibhan, Jordan in 1868) was dated back to 800 BC and the inscription was etched by the king of Moab recording his rebellion with Israel. It clearly mentions YHWH, Israel and the House of David all in Paleo Hebrew characters.

 

The Moabite Stone Now on display in the Louvre, France Museum

 
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The Moabite Stone on display

 

YHWH etched in Paleo Hebrew

 

 

The Moabites were a Transjordan tribe, situated east of the Jordan river (that’s what “Transjordan” means!) between Ammon to the north and Edom to the south. These tribes were ethnically and culturally pretty much like Israel and YaHuWdah, except they went against the whole believe in YaHuWaH. According to scripture, the Moabites and the Ammonites were both products of the unholy union between Lot and his rapist daughters. They are involved in the Balaam story in Numbers 21-23, and Moab is where Moses stands and recites the entire book of Deuteronomy.  In Judges 3, the judge Ehud delivers Israel from the Moabite king Eglon. 

 

The stone contains 34 lines carved in paleo-Hebrew script, the same used to write the Bible.

 Here is the full text of the stone, transliterated into modern script:

  1. I am Mesha, son of KMSYT (Kemosh-yat), the king of Moab, the Di-
  2. -bonite. My father was king of Moab thirty years, and I reign-
  3. -ed after my father. And I built this high-place for Kemosh in QRH (“the citadel”), a high place of sal-
  4. -vation because he saved me from all the kings (or “all the attackers”), and because let me be victorious over all my adversaries. Omr-
  5. -i was king of Israel and he oppressed Moab for many days because Kemosh was angry with his
  6. land. And his son replaced him; and he also said, “I will oppress Moab”. In my days he spoke thus.
  7. But I was victorious over him and his house. And Israel suffered everlasting destruction, And Omri had conquered the lan-
  8. -d of Madaba, and he dwelt there during his reign and half the reign of his son, forty years. But Kemosh
  9. returned it in my days. So I rebuilt Baal Meon, and I the water reservoir in it. And I built
  10. Qiryaten. The man of Gad had dwelt in Ataroth from of old; and the king of Israel
  11. built Ataroth for him. But I fought against the city and took it. And I slew all the people and
  12. the city became the property of Kemosh and Moab. And I carried from there the altar of/for its DVD (“its Davidic altar”?) and I
  13. dragged it before Kemosh in Qerioit, and I settled in it men of Sharon m[en]
  14. of Maharit. And Kemosh said to me, “Go! Seize Nebo against Israel.” so I
  15. proceeded by night and fought with it from the crack of dawn to midday, and I to-
  16. -ok it and I slew all of them: seven thousand men and boys, and women and gi-
  17. and maidens because I had dedicated it to Ashtar Kemosh I took [the ves-]
  18. -sels of YHWH, and I dragged them before Kemosh. And the king of Israel had built
  19. Yahaz, and he dwelt in it while he was fighting with me, but Kemosh drove him out before me. so
  20. I took from Moab two hundred men, all his captains. And I brought them to Yahaz, And I seized it
  21. in order to add (it) to Dibon. I (myself) have built the ‘citadel’, ‘the wall(s) of the forest’ and the wall

 

Ultra-condensed version: Omri has control of Moab; Moab finally revolts halfway through the reign of Omri’s son; lots of cities get destroyed, then rebuilt. Much tribute is taken to Chemosh.

This fascinating historical document recorded the events on this stone which harmonizes with Bible, NOW we get  both sides!