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An ostracon (a pottery sherd with writing) bearing the name Jerubbaal, has been unearthed at Khirbat er-Ra‘I, located near the ancient city of Lachish. Jerubbaal was the nickname that Gideon was given after he destroyed the altar of Baal (Judges 6:32).  The ostracon dates to the 12th-11th century BC based on typology and radiocarbon dating from organic samples taken from the same archaeological layer in which it was found. This discovery is significant, as the name Jerubbaal is rare: it is only ever used for Gideon in the Bible, and this is the first discovery of it in an archaeological context. While it is impossible to know for certain if this inscription refers to the biblical judge without more information (ie. father’s name, title, or epithet), it does affirm that the name Jerubbaal was used during the time the Bible describes.

OFF-SITE LINKS:

- https://www.timesofisrael.com/five-letter-inscription-inked-3100-years-ago-may-be-name-of-biblical-judge/

- https://www.jpost.com/archaeology/3000-year-old-inscription-bearing-name-of-biblical-judge-found-in-israel-673576

- https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/israeli-archaeologists-find-biblical-name-jerubbaal-inked-on-pot-from-judges-era-1.9990617


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