Early (10th Century B.C.) Evidence of Written Hebrew Language at Tel Zayit, Israel1
by Rich Deem


Skeptics often claim that Old Testament writers exaggerated or made up the existence of the Hebrew kingdoms described in the Old Testament books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. Hebrew rulers David and Solomon, are said to be minor players in the region at best, or fictional characters at worst. However, new archeological finds are confirming at least some of the historical claims of the Old Testament. Now, physical evidence confirms that the Hebrews possessed their written language as early as the 10th century B.C.

New evidence

Archeologists discovered an inscribed stone embedded into the wall of an extensive collection of buildings in Tel Zayit, about 35 miles southwest of Jerusalem. The 40-pound stone consisted of two lines of incised letters, representing the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Although not identical to modern Hebrew, the letters were recognizable as being an early form of the written Hebrew language. The site was given a preliminary date of the 10th century B.C. by examining associated pottery finds.

Conclusion Top of page

The discovery of a 10th century B.C. Hebrew city at Tel Zayit, Israel confirms the existence of a Hebrew kingdom during the reigns of David and Solomon described in the Old Testament books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. The presence of an stone incised with letters from an early version of the Hebrew language makes it reasonable to speculate that the Hebrews were already recording their history in written records at that time.

Evidencia Temprana (Siglo X AC) de la Lengua Hebrea Escrita en Tel Zayit, Israel

References Top of page

  1. A Is for Ancient, Describing an Alphabet Found Near Jerusalem (New York Times)

Last Modified June 6, 2006


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