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Nation/World

3,000 Year Old Receipt

Tue., Nov. 4, 1997, midnight

A recently discovered piece of pottery recording a donation to the “House of Yahweh” may contain the oldest mention outside the Bible of King Solomon’s Temple. The 3-by-4-inch artifact is nearly 3,000 years old, dating to a time when kings sent messages inscribed on pottery. Extensive testing has convinced several scholars of its authenticity, according to the Biblical Archaeology Review, which reported on the find in its November-December issue. The inscription indicates a Judean king sent it to a temple contributor. It says “Ashyahu the king” commanded a donation for “the House of Yahweh” of three shekels of silver. The amount was apparently written in to serve as a receipt. There is no specific reference to Solomon’s Temple, but because it was the only temple in that area at the time, scholars say that is the reasonable inference.


 

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