Isaiah Bulla

Isaiah Bulla

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Biblical characters mentioned in extra biblical inscriptions - Abiezer

Biblical characters mentioned in extra biblical inscriptions - Abiezer 

Abiezer is the name of a prominent family from the tribe of Manasseh (the family of Gideon), see Joshua 17:2 And the lot was for the rest of the children of Manasseh according to their families; for the children of Abiezer, and for the children of Helek, and for the children of Asriel, and for the children of Shechem, and for the children of Hepher, and for the children of Shemida; these were the male children of Manasseh the son of Joseph according to their families.

יהושע יז " ב. וַיְהִי לִבְנֵי מְנַשֶּׁה הַנּוֹתָרִים לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם לִבְנֵי אֲבִיעֶזֶר וְלִבְנֵי-חֵלֶק וְלִבְנֵי אַשְׂרִיאֵל וְלִבְנֵי-שֶׁכֶם וְלִבְנֵי-חֵפֶר וְלִבְנֵי שְׁמִידָע אֵלֶּה בְּנֵי מְנַשֶּׁה בֶּן-יוֹסֵף הַזְּכָרִים לְמִשְׁפְּחֹתָם "

The name is interpreted according to the combination of two words, my father - אבי   see Genesis 9:18, and help / helper – עזר, see Kings 14:26, the name Abiezer means - my father (father = god) is my helper.

The name Abiezer in extra biblical inscriptions

Abiezer is one of the names mentioned in the Samaria Ostraca, which consist of 102 inscriptions from the 8th century BCE. The Ostraca were discovered in excavations by Harvard University in Samaria in 1910, and another seven Ostraca were found in excavations that were conducted there during the years 1931-1935. The Ostraca were confiscated by the Turkish authorities and taken to the Istanbul Museum. The significancy of the Ostraca is in the names of the people and the places that are mentioned on them.The inscriptions provide hints of the administration and economy of the Kingdom of Israel in the 9th and 8th centuries BCE. The potsherds were found in the palace of the kings of Israel in Samaria and they are documenting the shipments of wine and oil to the palace. The format of the inscriptions is fairly constant: the date given by the year of the kingly rule (the king´s name is not mentioned), the name and quantity of the product, and the name of the place and the person that the product is sent to. One of the names that were written is Abiezer. This can be a privet name or an name of a place the the Abiezer family (from the tribe of Manasseh).

Ostracon  number 13


בשת העשרת מאבע
זר לשמריו נבל
ין ישן לאש...
English translation
At  the 10th year from Abiezer
To Shmeryu (a personal name) a jug (of (
Wine that finished fermentation to Ash[….](personal name)
From Tol (place name)

Ostracon  number 13

בשת. \/˥ מאבעזר. לאש
בעלא. מאלמתן.

English translation
In  the 15th year from Abiezer To Asha (a person name)
a. Ahmeleh (a person name)
Bahlla (a person name?)  from Elmatan (a place name)

Shmuel Ahituv -  "HaKetav VeHaMiktav" second edition 2012 ,Handbook of Ancient Inscriptions from the Land of Israel and the Kingdoms beyond the Jordan from the Period of the First Commonwealth.