Lines 25-6 of the Moabite stone and a recently-discovered inscription

in Vetus Testamentum
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Abstract

The publication in 2003 by S. Ahituv of a damaged Moabite inscription suggests the need for a re-examination of lines 25-6 of the Moabite Stone. The latter passage is usually understood to refer to the use by the Moabites of Israelite prisoners (b'sry . yśr'l) to perform a task, which is thought to be the digging or cutting of hmkrtt, a word that has been variously interpreted as, for example, "ditches" or "beams". A different interpretation was advanced in 1966 by. F.I. Andersen. He argued that it does not refer to work by Israelite prisoners, and he offered the translation "and I cut the covenant tokens(?) for (or [which are] at) Qarhoh when I bound Israel [by covenant obligations]". The present article first argues on grounds independent of the newly discovered inscription that Andersen's interpretation should be rejected. The new evidence is then found to support the rejection, and Ahituv's view is accepted that the new inscription probably refers to the making of a reservoir (mkrt) by Ammonite prisoners (b'sry . bny'mn), and that the Moabite Stone refers to similar work by Israelite prisoners.

Vetus Testamentum

A Quarterly Published by the International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament

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