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Jehoash Inscription

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Title: Jehoash Inscription  
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Subject: 2003 in Israel, James Ossuary, Solomon's Temple, Mater lectionis, Hoaxes Vol.4
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Jehoash Inscription

The Jehoash Inscription is the name of a controversial artifact rumored to have surfaced in the construction site or in the Muslim cemetery near the Temple Mount of Jerusalem.

The inscription describes repairs made to the temple in Jerusalem by

  • Israel antiquities forgers charged (BBC)
  • Museum deems sole First Temple relic a fake (Jerusalem Post)
  • Resources on Biblical Archaeology
  • Is Oded Golan behind biblical scholarship's biggest fraud ring? Daily Telegraph magazine, May 2005.
  • King Solomon's Tablet of Stone Summary and transcript of BBC Horizon TV science documentary (2004).
  • Archaeometric analysis of the “Jehoash Inscription” tablet
  • The So-Called ‘Jehoash Inscription’: Transcription and Bibliography, by Giuseppe Regalzi

External links

  • Neil Asher Silberman and Yuval Goren, "Faking Biblical History", Archeology magazine, September/October 2003
  • Jonathon Gatehouse, "Cashbox", 'Maclean's' magazine, March 2005
  • Sasson, Victor. King Jehoash and the Mystery of the Temple of Solomon Inscription. iUniverse, Paperback, 240 pages, March 28, 2008.
  • Sasson, Victor. A response to N.A. Silberman and Y. Goren's article in the form of a letter to Archaeology magazine was not accepted by that magazine (letter date, October 2003). It was eventually published in the[ANE] in early March 2004. The letter is also in King Jehoash and the Mystery of the Temple of Solomon Inscription, pp. 90–92.

Main sources

  1. ^
  2. ^ Regalzi, Giuseppe (February 28, 2010). "'"The So-Called 'Jehoash Inscription. Associazione Orientalisti. Retrieved September 16, 2012. 
  3. ^ Ilani, A. Rosenfeld S.; Feldman, H.R.; Krumbein, W.E.; Kronfeld, J. (November 2008). "Archaeometric evidence for the authenticity of the Jehoash Inscription Tablet". The Bible and Interpretation. Retrieved September 16, 2012. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Reuters Antiquities dealer acquitted of forging inscription on burial box of Jesus's brother Jerusalem Post March 15, 2012. HighBeam Research accessed May 9, 2012
  6. ^ Mixed ruling on major antiquities forgery case Jerusalem Post March 14, 2012. accessed August 31, 2012
  7. ^ See his full report at
  8. ^ Cohen, Chaim, "'Biblical Hebrew Philology In The Light Of Research On The New Yeho’ash Royal Building Inscription", in Lubetski, Meir, editor, "New Seals And Inscriptions, Hebrew, Idumean, And Cuneiform", Hebrew Bible Monographs, 8, Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2007
  9. ^ Sasson, Victor. Philological and Textual Observations on the Controversial King Jehoash Inscription, Ugarit Forschungen Vol. 35 (for 2003 but published in 2004).
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b Amnon Rosenfeld, Howard Feldman, Yoel Kronfeld and Wolfgang Kumbein. "The Jehoash Inscription Table — After the verdict" (PDF). 
  12. ^ Nir Hasson, Court rules state can’t prove Jehoash Tablet fake at Haaretz, 10 August 2013.
  13. ^ Kalman, Matthew. "After Supreme Court ruling, collector Oded Golan poised to reclaim Jehoash Tablet".  


See also

In mid-2013, after judge Aaron Farkash of the Jerusalem District Court ruled that the state had failed to prove the artefact was a forgery, the state applied to the Supreme Court to obtain an official requiring the owner of the artefact, Golan, to consign it to the State without payment.[12] The Supreme Court ruled against the Israel Antiquities Authority, returning the tablet and ossuary to Golan, who intends to publicly display both.[13]

In a review article published in 2012, Rosenfeld, Feldman, Kronfeld and Krumbein summarized their earlier published studies and reviewed the expert testimony given at the trial of Oded Golan.[11] They supported the judge's conclusion that the forgery of the artifact could not be disproved, and stated that the trial evidence confirmed their own earlier conclusion that it is most probably genuine.[11]

Prof. Ronny Reich who played a key role in the widely publicized case of the antiquities collector accused of fraud, and was one of the founders of the Israel Antiquities Authority stated “Finally, allow me to play devil’s advocate and say that the inscription appears to me to be authentic, because it’s hard for me to believe that a forger (or group of forgers) could be so knowledgeable in all aspects of the inscription − that is, the physical, paleographic, linguistic and biblical ones − that they could produce such an object.”[10]

Victor Sasson responds that "the sandstone inscription need not be the first and original record. If the stone itself cannot scientifically be dated to late ninth century B.C.E., then the text could be a later copy of an original inscription... We do indeed have a reference to a possible renovation or restoration of an inscription. The author of the Tell Fakhriyah Assyrian-Aramaic bilingual inscription, dated to the mid-ninth century B.C.E., speaks of a possible future renovation of his inscription."[9]

In an article published in 2007, Professor Chaim Cohen of [8]

Israeli historian Frank Cross of Harvard University noted various errors in spelling and terminology. Yuval Goren of Tel-Aviv University demonstrated how the convincing fake could be produced by abrasive airbrushing. The stone itself remained hidden.

Scholarly opinion

Professor Krumblein concludes that "Our preliminary investigations cannot prove the authenticity of the three objects beyond any doubt. Doubtlessly the patina is continuous in many places throughout surface and lettering grooves in the case of ossuary and tablet. On the other hand a proof of forgery is not given by the experts nominated by the Israel Antiquities Authority."[7]

The grainy whitish patina with yellow and grey particles embedded existing prior to 2005 and documented by the Israel Antiquities Authority as "James Bond" material looks like Meyer cement used around 1900-1920 at the Acropolis Monuments in Athens and other places. Unfortunately these materials are presently no longer existing on the ossuary and have been totally eliminated for reasons unknown. 5) The pictures further document recent (2005) addition of a reddish sticky or powdery and also rock staining material. In places also scratches and dark (black) material was recently added. These materials do not exist in photographic documents prior to 2005.

An external expert report, dated September 2005, prepared by Professor Wolfgang E. Krumbein, a world-renowned authority of the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg Germany, threw new light on the controversy. His conclusions contradict those of the Israel Antiquities Authority:

External expert report

The commission concluded that various mistakes in the spelling and the mixture of different alphabets indicated that this was a modern forgery. The stone was typical of western Cyprus and areas further west. Patina over the chiseled letters was different from that of the back of the stone and could easily be wiped off the stone by hand. In a press conference in Jerusalem on June 18, 2003 the Israel Antiquities Authority commission declared the inscription a modern forgery.

Limor Livnat, Israeli Minister of Culture, appointed a scientific commission to study the Jehoash tablet, as well as the James Ossuary.

Israel Antiquities Authority commission

On March 14, 2012 Jerusalem Judge Aharon Farkash stated "that there is no evidence that any of the major artifacts were forged, and that the prosecution failed to prove their accusations beyond a reasonable doubt."[4] However, the court also ruled that it was unable to conclude that the Jehoash Inscription was authentic and noted that an associate of the accused forgers had confessed to aiding in its fabrication.[5][6]

Then police conducted a new search in a storage space that Golan had rented in Ramat Gan but had not originally disclosed to them. There the police found scores of artifacts, ancient seals and other inscriptions in various stages of production along with the tools to create the imitations. Under harsh questioning, Golan admitted that he knew about the Jehoash Inscription and promised to hand it over.

A March 19, 2003, article in Maariv reported that a court had issued a search warrant for Golan's apartment, office and rented warehouse. The search brought forth allegedly incriminating documents and photographs of Golan beside the Jehoash Inscription. Under interrogation, Golan promised to reveal the location of the stone in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

Israeli magazine Maariv correspondent Boaz Gaon reported that the Israel Antiquities Authority Theft Unit had focused their attention on the "Jehoash Inscription" as expensive bait to defraud a prominent collector in London. Israeli investigators linked a phony business card and a phone number to a Tel Aviv private eye who admitted that his employer was Oded Golan, the collector who owned the James Ossuary (another artifact of uncertain authenticity). Golan denied that he was the owner of the stone and claimed that the real owner was a Palestinian antiquities dealer who lived in an area under Palestinian Authority and could not be identified.

Police investigation

Original Hebrew text[2] English translation[3]
[אנכי · יהואש · בן · א]

חזיהו . מ[
הדה . ואעש . את . הב[...]
ה . כאשר . נמלאה . נד
בת . לב אש . בארץ . ובמד
בר . ובכל . ערי . יהדה . ל
תת · כסף · הקדשם · לרב ·
לקנת · אבן · מחצב · ובר
שם . ונחשת . אדמ . לעשת .
במלאכה . באמנה . ואעש
את . בדק . הבית . והקרת ס
בב . ואת . היצע . והשבכ
ם . והלולם . והגרעת . וה
דלתת . והיה . הים . הזה
לעדת . כי . תצלח . המלאכה

יצו . יהוה . את . עמו . בברכה
[I am Yeho'ash, son of

A]hazyahu, k[ing over Ju]
dah, and I executed the re[pai]rs.
When men's hearts became
replete with generosity in the (densely populated) land and in the (sparsely populated)
steppe, and in all the cities of Judah, to
donate money for the sacred contributions abundantly,
in order to purchase quarry stone and juniper wood and
Edomite copper / copper from (the city of) ‘Adam, (and) in order
to perform the work faithfully. (Then) I renovated—
the breach(es) of the Temple and of the surrounding walls,
and the storied structure, and the meshwork,
and the winding stairs, and the recesses, and the
doors. May (this inscribed stone) become this day
a witness that the work has succeeded,
(and) may God (thus) ordain His people with a blessing.


Text of the inscription


  • Text of the inscription 1
    • Police investigation 1.1
    • Israel Antiquities Authority commission 1.2
  • External expert report 2
  • Scholarly opinion 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • Main sources 6
  • External links 7


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