Picture of the Month

July 2013

A stone mentioning “The Lord of Hosts”

This limestone was discovered in a cave in Judah. The inscription was in ancient Hebrew alphabet, inscribed around 800 to 750 B.C. The second line from right to left is the Tetragrammaton YHWH (Yahweh, or “The Lord”), followed by “of Hosts”. The term “The Lord of Hosts” occurs often in the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah, during the same period. This is the only reference to “The Lord of Hosts” outside the Bible. It is currently kept in the Israel Museum. The curse in the first line is directed toward grasshoppers, or a person whose name is close to that of the grasshopper.[Note: The first picture below is a cropped version of a picture showing the hand copy of the inscription, which is part of the exhibit in the Isarel Museum. The picture is cropped to make the ancient Hebrew alphabets in the hand copy about the same size as those on the stone to make it easier for you to compare the two. The second picture shows the ancient Hebrew alphabets YHWH traced in a different color with Photoshop so you can see how YHWH is written in ancient Hebrew. The third picture is the original uncropped version of the first picture; you can see part of the the English description next to it.]