Jehoash Inscription - Fake?

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Jehoash Inscription - Fake?

Post by ducky »

Do you remember the Jehoash Inscription? Were there any linguistic clues indicating that it is a forgery? If so, what are they?

the Jehoash Inscription was a script is written in a 1stperson, and it writes the description of the repairing of the temple walls by the Jeohash, the King of Jehuda (at the end of the 9th century Bc).

You can see the script here (in Wiki) with their translation. ... nscription

This script is considered to be fake, and here I would talk about some of the linguistic findings that support that opinion.
Of course, No all of them are conclusive (some does, IMO), but there are too much of "weird" things that all of them together shouts the word "fake".

I'll write them in a few comments to not make a very large post and so it would be easier to read and focus at.
David Hunter
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Re: Jehoash Inscription - Fake?

Post by ducky »

3rd-line (Wiki: 4th-line) - נמלאה
כאשר נמלאה נדבת לב אש

The root מלא, in "Niphal" form, appears in the Bible 36 times, which 35 of them are in the "imperfect" form.

We read the Bible with pointing marks, and so we see these 35 cases as Niphal.
But of course, since the text did not come originally with vowels, this verbs' original form may have another pronunciation (Not Niphal).

The spelling of a word like ימלא could be voweled as:
1. Yimmale - Niphal
2. Yimla - Qal

The Masoretic voweled the text according to the evolution of the language, and changed some of the Qal forms to be read as Niphal.
(Only when they had the chance to do so, and that is that according to the words' spelling).

We can compare two similar verses, which one is Qal and one is Niphal (which probably is not really Niphal)
Gen. 6:11 מלאה הארץ חמס (here מלאה=mal*'a is Qal)
Gen. 6:13 ותמלא הארץ חמס (here תמלא=timmale is voweled as Niphal)
We should wonder, how come?

The only pure "no-question-asked" Niphal form comes only in the text of Song of Solomon 5:2.
שראשי נמלא טל.
This text (as it is written) is considered to be late.
And indeed, in the post-biblical texts, there was a common usage of the Niphal of מלא in the meaning of "change of state".
And so, this Niphal form in this Biblical late text represents the late evolution for this root usage.

But when we see all of the other imperfect forms in the old texts. and we don't see any pure Niphal form (as "perfect or Participle), it comes to mind that there was no old usage of מלא as Niphal, but only as Qal.
It is only that the Masoretic voweled them as Niphal because of an evolution in the language.
and this Evolution can be seen already in the late Song of Solomon.

Therefore, when the Script, which claims to be from 9th century BC, write נמלאה in pure Niphal form, this raised questions because we don't expect that form from that time.

And if we would say it is fake, we surely can understand the mistake that the man who wrote that did.
He was focusing on the Masoretic vowels and saw them as representing an ancient Niphal for that root.
And so, he figured to use that Niphal form too.

As I said, not everything is decisive, but that raises the first question that gives us doubts about the authenticity of that script.

I'll continue to write more "weird" stuff" later.
David Hunter
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Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:01 pm

Re: Jehoash Inscription - Fake?

Post by ducky »

6th-line (Wiki: 7th-line) - לרב
לתת כסף הקדשם לרב
next line:
לקנת אבן מחצב

The form לרב=larov acts a lot in the bible in the role of an adjective and it comes to pluralize its core = what comes before it (it can be more than one word).

Now this Core comes as an undefined word (no definite article).
For example:
1Kings 1:19
ויזבח שור ומריא וצאן לרב
The words שור, מריא, צאן comes with no definite article.

But in expressions of imagery (I don't know if this word fits. I mean something like a symbol of metaphor).
So... In expressions of imagery, the word that comes in the role of imagery, comes with a definite article.
For example:
1Kings 10:27
ואת הארזים נתן כשקמים אשר בשפלה לרב
The word שקמים comes with a definite article (כַּשקמים) because it comes as an image.

In this script, there is כסף הקדשם לרב
כסף הקדשים is the core
it doesn't come as an image to something else
But still, it comes with a definite article

The description of the temple repairing comes in 2Kings 12, and also in 2Chrinicles 24.
In verse 2Chrinicles 24:11, the description of the gathered "money" is mentioned twice.
and indeed, when the "money is with no definite article is connected to the לרב
ויאספו כסף לרב
But when it comes with a definite article, the form is changed
וכראותם כי רב הכסף

ְAnd another thing about the לרב
this adjective of לרב is actually an infinitive of רבב
and therefore no other infinitive should come later.

But we see in the script
לרב לקנת

So these are two other cases which show that the script is not authentic.
David Hunter
Posts: 754
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:01 pm

Re: Jehoash Inscription - Fake?

Post by ducky »

13th-14th-lines (Wiki: 14th-15th-lines) - עדת
והיה הים הזה לעדת כי תצלח המלאכה

This is a very conclusive case.

The word עדת=edut in the Bible does not mean "testimony", as a version of a witness (as I see in a dictionary).
But it means
1. Law.
Like in Psalms 19:8
תורת ה תמימה משיבת נפש
עדות ה נאמנה מחכימת פתי
תורה // עדות

2. The covenant between God and his people.
and it is enough to compare all of the parallels between:
ארון העדות // ארון הברית
לוחות העדות // לוחות הברית

ְA note about the word עדות/עדת=Edut...
It is probably ended with an "o" vowel and not with a "u" vowel.
And never mind the reasons for this change. Just a note.

When the Bible wants to write "testimony" (the version of a witness), it uses the words
and also עדה=Eda
For example:
Deut. 31:21
וענתה השירה הזאת לפניו לעד
Here, the witness is the שירה (the testimony)

Josh. 24:27
הנה האבן הזאת תהיה בנו לעדה
Here, the stone is the witness (the testimony).

And also, we can see int Gen. 31:47 the word גלעד=gal'ed which is parallel to the יגר שהדותא in the same verse
the word עד in גלעד comes in the meaning of the testimony (which the גל is the witness).

The script uses the form of עדת in the meaning of עד.
it should be written והיה הים הזה לעד and not והיה הים הזה לעדת

ְAnother problem with this sentence is the link that was made between the word ים=Yom=Day and with the "testimony".
Because there is nowhere that can be found such a link.

The testimonies come with something stable and not with a "Day" which is a specific time that passes.
Testimonies are known to come with a "well", "stone", "God", "poetry" which are stable and can act a "reliable witness".

So here are two other cases that show that the script is not authentic.
David Hunter
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Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:01 pm

Re: Jehoash Inscription - Fake?

Post by ducky »

15th-line (Wiki: 16th-line) (last line) - עמו

The suffix W in עמו represents the meaning of "his" (as the usual way we see in the Bible)
But we don't expect that in the scripts.

עמו = his people

In the epigraphy study and in the archeology that was found, the suffix of "his" always comes with the suffix H.
עבדו is written עבדה
and so on...

We can see this Suffix H for "his" also in the Bible, especially in the poetry style, as in Gen. 49:11
אסרי לגפן עירה... ובדם ענבים סותה

A note:
There is one case when the word רעו is found in a script.
And it is in the script of the Siloam tunnel.
and it seems at first that this form appears with the suffix W (as רע+ו = רעו).
But the original form of the word is not really רע but it is רעה=re'e.
and the form רעו in the script represents the dropping of the H רעהו-->רעו.
So this case has nothing to do with the script we're talking about.

Therefore, it was expected to see in the script the form of עמה and not עמו.
David Hunter
Posts: 754
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:01 pm

Re: Jehoash Inscription - Fake?

Post by ducky »

There are more to write, but I think I'll stop here.

Other "weird" cases in this script are:

1. The beginning style of the verse which connects the first sentence (as the introduction) immediately to the second verse. And according to the known style of these kinds of scripts, it was expected to see the second sentence as an independent.

2. the sentence לעשת במלאכה באמנה comes as a description for the devotion of the workers.
And that it is how it is understood in Chronicles (which is a rewrite of Kings). In Kings, this sentence comes as a "reason" for the donations. It seems that the man who wrote the script got the version of Chronicles, and not from the older version of Kings.

3. בדק הבית is used in the Bible as "damages" and it comes with the verb חזק and not with עשה (which literally means to do the damage.
But this case can be explained by metonymy which "doing the בדק הבית" is actually means "doing the חז"ק of בדק הבית).
But still, in the first temple era, it comes with the root חזק and not with עשה.

4. והלולם - this is a longer case to write and it touches the case of the spelled word.

5. יצו ה את עמו בברכה
The indirect object בברכה doesn't fit the syntax.
The excuse that can be found to this is by a "typo" which the letter B was doubled.

I'm finished to write about it.
If there is any comment or corrections, I'd be happy to learn more.
David Hunter
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