A nearly 3,000-year-old jar with a Hebrew inscription recently unearthed by archaeologists at Tel Abel Beth Macaah, a joint dig site between Azusa Pacific University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem captured the interest of national and international media. The ink inscription reads “lbnayo,” meaning “belonging to Benaiyo.” This implies that an Israelite man named Benaiyo lived in Abel Beth Macaah around the 9th century B.C. This is significant because it is the northern Israelite equivalent of a name found in the Bible (see 2 Samuel 23:20; 1 Chronicles 27:5; 1 Kings 1:8) and indicates that the site may have indeed been an Israelite city at this time (see 2 Samuel 20:29). The name means “Yahweh has built”.

News Stories:

Live Science features an interview with Robert Mullins, Ph.D., co-lead archaeologist of the dig site and chair and professor in APU's Department of Biblical and Religious Studies.

Haaretz provides an indepth look at Tel Abel Beth Macaah and its biblical significance, as well as highlighting the inscription and other signficant finds from the site.

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The ink inscription reads “lbnayo,” meaning belonging to Benaiyo, an Israelite name.


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