The Ekron Inscription

By Aaron Demsky

Sidebar to: Discovering a Goddess

“The temple (which) Achish son of Padi son of Ysd son of ’Ada’ son of Ya‘ir ruler of Ekron built for Pt[n]yh, his Lady. May she bless him and ke[e]p him and prolong his days and bless his [l]and.”—translated by Aaron Demsky.

The inscription calls on a goddess (her name is highlighted in the drawing) to bless king Achish and his land. It is significant that the formula used here, “May she bless him and keep him” (tbrkh vtsûmrh), is reminiscent of the first of the three Priestly blessings as recorded in the Bible (Numbers 6:24): “May the Lord bless you and keep you” (yevarekhekha YHWH veyishmerekha) and in the inscriptions discovered by Gabriel Barkay at Ketef Hinnom in Jerusalem.b

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