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Stone inscription: “Cursed be Hagaf son of Hagav by Yahweh Sabaot”

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

How does an ancient inscription support the Bible?

A STONE block with an inscription, dated to about 700-600 B.C.E., belongs to the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem. The stone was taken from a burial cave not far from Hebron in Israel. The inscription states: “Cursed be Hagaf son of Hagav by Yahweh Sabaot.” How does this inscription support the Bible? It shows that God’s name Jehovah, written YHWH in ancient Hebrew letters, was well-known and used in daily life during Bible times. In fact, other inscriptions from the burial caves show that those who used the caves as places to meet and hide frequently wrote God’s name, along with personal names that include forms of God’s name, on the walls.

Commenting on these inscriptions, Dr. Rachel Nabulsi of the University of Georgia said: “The repeated use of the name YHWH is important. . . . The texts and the inscriptions show the importance of YHWH in the life of Israel and Judah.” This supports the Bible, wherein God’s name, written YHWH in Hebrew letters, appears thousands of times. Often personal names included the divine name.

The words “Yahweh Sabaot,” inscribed on the stone block, mean “Jehovah of armies.” This seems to indicate that not only the name of God but also the expression “Jehovah of armies” was commonly used in Bible times. This also supports the Bible’s use of the phrase “Jehovah of armies,” which appears 283 times in the Hebrew Scriptures, mostly in the writings of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Zechariah.