[b-hebrew] UK Report: Archaeological Find Confirms Hebrew Text of Jeremiah

Peter Kirk peter at qaya.org
Thu Jul 12 08:15:18 EDT 2007

On 12/07/2007 06:37, Gary Hedrick wrote:
>             Listers, here’s an interesting story from today’s issue of the
> Daily Telegraph in the UK. It suggests that a recent archaeological
> discovery from 2,500 years ago may substantiate the existence of a minor
> character mentioned in the Hebrew text of Jeremiah 39. But the spelling of
> the name in the recently-discovered inscription is slightly different from
> the name as it appears in the MT. Interesting report, nonetheless. Regards
> to all.
Thanks for this, Gary. I had already written about this at 
and have now updated that blog post with the new information from the 
Telegraph. The verse in question is of course Jeremiah 39:3.

To me there are two interesting points here which you have not brought out:

1) The tablet confirms the word division given in some modern Bible 
translations (NIV, TNIV, NLT) over that of the Hebrew Masoretic Text, 
KJV and NRSV, in that it is now clear that "Nebo" should go with the 
following "Sarsekim" and not with the preceding "Samgar". But it 
discredits the BHS margin which suggests an emendation to "Nebushazban" 
as in verse 13.

2) In the tablet Nebo-Sarsekim is called "the chief eunuch". This title 
ties up well with his Hebrew title RAB-SARIYS, "chief officer" in some 
translations but SARIYS generally if not always means "eunuch". This 
detail seems to me to confirm that this really is the same person with 
the same title. This is significant lexical support for the meaning of 
RAB-SARIYS - that is, if the translation of the tablet is secure.

Peter Kirk
E-mail:  peter at qaya.org
Blog:    http://www.qaya.org/blog/
Website: http://www.qaya.org/

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