Biblical Archaeology Review 29:5, September/October 2003
Ossuary Update

What About the Jehoash Inscription?

By Hershel Shanks

The stone tablet that purports to have been commissioned by Jehoash, the ninth-century B.C.E. king of Judah, raised questions from the start. The first line of the inscription is missing, including the name Jehoash; the top of the plaque is broken off. The first letter of Ahaziah (Ahazyahu in Hebrew) with which the inscription now begins is also missing. Since Ahaziah was the father of Jehoash, however, this is enough for scholars to reconstruct the missing first line of the inscription to read “I am Jehoash son of A-.” And therefore the plaque has become known as the Jehoash inscription. (For a full text of the inscription, see “Jehoash Inscription,” BAR 29:03)

The inscription records the collection of money for repairs to the Temple during the reign of Jehoash, closely paralleling descriptions of repairs to the Temple by King Jehoash recorded in 2 Kings 12:5–15 and 2 Chronicles 24:4–14.

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