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Scholars analyzing the broken remains of a large wine jug unearthed at Abel Beth Maacah, have discovered an ancient Hebrew inscription on one of them. The inscription reads, “LeBenayau,” meaning “Belongs to Benayau.” This is a Hebrew name, with the classic Israelite “Yahwehist” ending yau (later, yahu). Archaeologists believe the wine jar was found in a storehouse that belonged to a Hebrew man named Benayau, indicating a Hebrew presence in the city in the 10th or 9th century BC, based on the dating of the jug. While minimalist archaeologists today believe the area of the town was abandoned during the 10th-9th century BC, and that it was only in the 8th century BC that it became an Israelite city, this discovery affirms the biblical description Israelites living at Abel Beth Maacah in the 10th century BC. In 2 Samuel 20:19, during the days of King David, Abel Beth Maacah is called “a city that is a mother in Israel.”




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