Israel says ancient papyrus supports its claim to Jerusalem

by WorldTribune Staff, October 27, 2016

Judaism and Jerusalem are all but identical i the minds of older Americans schooled in the Bible and history. Not so, say revisionists at the United Nations where Islamist regimes hold increasing sway.

On Oct. 26, an Israeli official said an ancient Hebrew script that dates to the 7th century BC* proves the historic connection between Jews and Jerusalem.

The relic, made of papyrus, is the earliest extra-biblical source to mention Jerusalem in Hebrew writing and is a strong repudiation of a UN resolution that ignores Jewish ties to the Temple Mount, Israeli Sports and Culture Minister Miri Regev said on Oct. 26.

A First Temple-era, 2,700-year-old papyrus bearing the oldest known mention of Jerusalem in Hebrew.
A First Temple-era, 2,700-year-old papyrus bearing the oldest known mention of Jerusalem in Hebrew.

Related: Watered down UNESCO resolution still erases Jewish connection to the Temple Mount, Oct. 23, 2016

“The discovery of the papyrus on which the name of our capital Jerusalem is written is further tangible evidence that Jerusalem was, and will remain, the eternal capital of the Jewish people,” said Regev.

“It is our duty to take care of the plundering of antiquities that occurs in the Judean Desert, and no less important than this is exposing the deceit of false propaganda, as is once again happening today in UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).”

Plundered from a Judean Desert cave by a band of antiquities robbers, the document was seized in an operation by the Israel Antiquities Authority’s (IAA) Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery.

Two lines of ancient Hebrew were preserved on the document made from the pith of the papyrus plant, according to IAA director Israel Hasson.

“A paleographic examination of the letters and a C14 [radiocarbon] analysis determined that the artifact should be dated to the 7th century BCE, to the end of the First Temple period,” said Hasson.

“Most of the letters are clearly legible, and the proposed reading of the text appears as follows: ‘From the king’s maidservant, from Naharata, jars of wine, to Jerusalem.’ ”

The antiquity is an original shipping document from the time of the First Temple during the Kingdom of Judah, indicating the payment of taxes or transfer of goods to storehouses in Jerusalem, Hasson said.

“The document specifies the status of the sender of the shipment [the king’s maidservant]; the name of the settlement from which the shipment was dispatched [Naharata]; the contents of the vessels [wine]; their number or amount [jars] and their destination [Jerusalem],” said Hasson.

“Naharata, which is mentioned in the text, is the same Naharata that is referred to in the description of the border between Ephraim and Benjamin in Joshua 16:7: ‘And it went down from Janohah to Ataroth, and to Naharata, and came to Jericho, and went out at Jordan,’ ” he added.

Dr. Eitan Klein, deputy director of the IAA’s Unit for the Prevention of Antiquities Robbery, said the document represents evidence of the existence of an organized administration in the Kingdom of Judah.

“It underscores the centrality of Jerusalem as the economic capital of the kingdom in the second half of the 7th century BCE,” he said.

Meanwhile, Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-Hacohen, on Oct. 26 threw a copy of the Jerusalem resolution into a trash bin right after it was approved by the World Heritage Committee (WHC) in Paris.

In attacking WHC’s approval of a text that ignored Jewish ties to the Temple Mount, Shama-Hacohen equated the Jerusalem resolution with the 1975 UN resolution that Zionism equals racism.

“The fate of this resolution shall be no different than that of UN resolution 3379 adopted in 1965, which equated Zionism with racism. That absurd resolution was canceled 16 years later, but the moral stain still remains on all those who adopted it,” Shama-Hacohen said.

“It might take years in our case as well, until the ‘Jerusalem resolutions’ are eradicated from the annals of this organization,” he added.

“In 1975 it was Israel’s ambassador to the UN, the late Haim Herzog, who tore the paper of the resolution to shreds on stage and in front of the entire world. I have no intention of doing it in front of you today; not because of your dignity, nor because of the dignity of this organization, but simply because this resolution paper is not even worth the energy needed for tearing it to shreds.

“It will be much simpler and a lot more appropriate to place it in its rightful place, the garbage place of history,” Shama-Hacohen said.

* Some academics prefer BCE (Before Common Era) to BC (Before Christ)