An amazing archeological discovery in Israel was just unearthed, a piece of pottery with the name of a Biblical judge of Israel dating back over 3,000 years.
This is the first time that a name from the book of Judges has been found dating from that period.
Gideon, a judge of Israel, was used by God to defeat the Midianites with only 300 men by blowing shofars and breaking pottery that was hiding a candle. God used the loud sounds and the sudden sight of all the lights to startle the Midianites and cause them to scatter, giving Gideon’s men the opportunity to overtake them and win the battle.
The Bible uses two names for Gideon, Gideon and Jerubbaal. From the Bible book of Judges chapter 7 verse 1 it says, “Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the spring of Harod, so that the camp of the Midianites was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley.”
While it is not uncommon for ink inscriptions to be found on pottery, it is especially interesting that Jerubbaal’s name is written on pottery, since pottery is so closely associated with the Biblical story of the victory God gave to Jerubbaal (Gideon).
This piece of pottery was found at the archeological site Khirbat er-Ra‘I, only about 2.5 miles from Lachish, which is quite some distance from the Spring of Harod where the battle mentioned in the Bible took place. Seeing that Gideon was judge over all of Israel it is possible that he, or the pottery with his name on it, traveled to Khirbat er-Ra’I. Even if it is a different Jerubbaal than the Biblical Gideon it is still an important confirmation that the name Jerubbaal, not used at any other time in Bible history, was in use at that specific time that the Bible says it was.
On our tours to Israel we visit both the site of the Spring of Harod where Gideon’s 300 men were selected, and the site of Lachish. You can visit both of those sites and many others on our next tour of Israel! For more information click here.
Here is a video of our tour of the Spring of Harod. (these videos are not the final edit. There are some spelling issues, and we will be adding more cover shots, maps, etc. to these videos, but it gives you an good initial idea of the sites).
Here is a video of our tour of Lachish.