Archaeological Evidence For the Priestly Benediction

 

Archaeologists found two ancient objects with the priestly benediction (priestly blessing) inscribed on them. Two silver amulets, ancient objects dated to about the 600s BC, were found with engravings of the blessing. The priestly benediction is known to have come from Moses who blessed his people (Numbers 6:22-26) as he was commanded by the LORD (YHWH).

When the people of Israel were wandering in the wilderness, the LORD (YHWH) spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them… ‘The LORD (YHWH) bless you and keep you; the LORD (YHWH) make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD (YHWH) lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace'” (Numbers 6:22-26).

Artwork Home In the Wilderness by John Denison Crocker, 1853

Today, you can find a number of jewelers who sell silver necklaces with Numbers 6:24-26 engraved on one side. Some of these necklaces have the original Hebrew inscription on the back side. The silver amulet was traditionally worn around the neck by priests.

Other items of gold and silver were presented at the new Tabernacle (Tent of Meeting) as offerings to be used during the services such as twelve silver plates, twelve silver basins, twelve golden dishes, and a golden lamp stand whose pattern was shown by the LORD to Moses (Numbers 7).

The discovery of the silver amulet is one of the earliest objects found with the divine name, YHWH, inscribed on it. The divine name has a mysterious pronunciation that some claim to know how it is properly pronounced. In the Old Testament, we commonly see the word LORD (all caps) used instead of YHWH, mainly for the sake of not mispronouncing it.

In the 4-minute Ketef Hinnom video below, the discovery of two silver amulets are presented, giving credit to the people who found them in 1979 in a location south of Jerusalem. The speaker pointed to a verse in Jeremiah 17 in order to know that the engraver probably used an iron stylist with a diamond point to engrave the words on silver. Like other archaeologists, he dated the silver amulet to before the Babylonian captivity, during the time of Jeremiah, and four hundred years before the Dead Sea Scrolls. He goes on to say that the words on the silver amulet are exactly what we have today – without any error. Finally, the video ends with him confronting those (liberal scholars) who follow the failed Wellhausen Hypothesis (aka Documentary Hypothesis), affirming that those today, usually liberal scholars, who follow Wellhausen’s hypothesis are doing so by blind faith (not evidence). He described Wellhausen followers as those who “have made fools out of themselves as they try to deny the word of God.” For more information on why the Wellhausen Hypothesis fails, please read my article, 4 Ways To Respond to Wellhausen Problems and Astruc Cuttings.

https://ladyapologist.com/2018/10/28/wellhausenproblems/

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