Ancient Curse Tablet Discovered by Katy Archaeologist Suggests New Timeline for Old Testament Events

A tablet containing the words of an ancient Hebrew curse that predates the Dead Sea Scrolls has been discovered and translated by an archaeologist from Katy. The find, announced Thursday, could be evidence of the true biblical Exodus period.

Dr Scott Stripling – director of the Institute for Archaeological Studies at Katy Bible Seminary – led the team that discovered the small bent lead tablet on Mount Ebal in Israel. It reads: “Cursed, cursed, cursed — cursed by the God Yahweh. You will die cursed. Cursed you will surely die. Cursed by Yahweh – cursed, cursed, cursed.

The Dead Sea Scrolls are considered the defining artifact that determines the chronology of the Bible. The scrolls were written around 150 BC. Some historians claim that the Exodus, the flight of the Israelites from Egypt, occurred somewhere between 600 BC. AD and 300 BC. AD during what is known as the Persian period and the Hellenistic period respectively.

The exact date of the Exodus is a matter of debate among scholars, Stripling said. The tablet discovered by Stripling’s team was written around 1500 BC. AD, which could be proof that the events in the Bible happened hundreds of years earlier than previously believed.

“It tips the scales in favor of an earlier date and does not help the arguments of those favoring a later date,” Stripling noted.

It is the use of the word “Yahweh” that disrupts the original biblical timeline, Stripling said. If a tablet of this age was found in Israel, it means that the Israelites had already fled from Egypt and settled in Israel earlier than originally thought.

“We now have the name ‘Yahweh’, the biblical God of Israel, in an inscription dating from (Late Bronze Era II), which predates what many skeptics would say the Bible existed or there was even the possibility of writing a sacred text,” he said.

The artifact is at least 200 years older than any other extant Hebrew text.

“One can no longer pretend with a straight face that the biblical text was not written before the Persian period or the Hellenistic period, as many higher critics have done, when here we clearly have the ability to ‘write the entire text at a much, much earlier date.

The tablet is small, measuring just two centimeters by two centimeters. It is classified as a defixio, which in Latin means “cursed tablet”.

The tablet was folded in half, so to read the text without destroying it, Stripling formed a collaboration with four scientists from the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and two epigraphers to read the text. An epigraph studies and interprets ancient inscriptions.

The author of the tablet is said to have been a highly educated male religious leader, said Dr. Gershon Galil, professor of biblical studies at the University of Haifa.

“Clearly whoever wrote this was a genius,” Galil noted. “He was not just a scribe, he was a theologian. He was a leader.”

The curse was likely directed at the author as a reminder to himself of God’s wrath if he did not submit to God’s will, Stripling added.

The author most likely used an iron stylus to scrape the words into the lead, Stripling explained, which was a common method of inscription at the time.

“In the oldest book in the Bible, in Job 19:24, there is reference to the inscription with an iron pin on lead,” he noted.

Mount Ebal was known in the biblical books Joshua and Deuteronomy as “the mountain of the curse,” so it made sense that the text was found on the mountain, Galil said.

A peer-reviewed academic paper on the archaeological find is being written and is expected to be published later in 2022.

[email protected]

Comments are closed.