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250 pp.

£19.50 / $39.50 / €28
Paperback





The Tel Dan Inscription
A Critical Investigation of Recent Research on its Palaeography and Philology
Hallvard Hagelia

This inscription was found at Tel Dan in northern Israel in 1993 (one piece) and in 1994 (two further pieces). It was written in ancient Aramaic, and purports to have been written by an Aramaean king, Hazael of Damascus, who is known to have lived in the latter part of the ninth century BCE. In it, Hazael boasts of having defeated two kings, from Israel and Judah. It thus contains the earliest attestation of the name ‘Israel’ in ancient Near Eastern texts. It also contains the term btdwd, which apparently means ‘house of David’; if that is so, this would be the oldest non-biblical reference to King David of Jerusalem or to his dynasty.

Since the discovery of the inscription, an intense debate has raged over its meaning. This monograph concentrates on the writing and the language of the inscription. It presents a synopsis of different reconstructions of the inscription, investigates its text from a text-critical perspective, and studies its palaeography, its grammar and its vocabulary, situating its language among the Aramaic dialects. In a second volume, published by Sheffield Phoenix Press, The Dan Debate: The Tel Dan Inscription in Recent Research, the author considers all the other questions of its significance.

This volume was published in 2006 by Uppsala University in their series Acta universitatis upsaliensis: Studia semitica upsaliensia, 22, and is now distributed by Sheffield Phoenix Press.


Hallvard Hagelia is Professor of Old Testament Studies at Ansgar College and Theological Seminary in Kristiansand, Norway.

978-1-906055-59-9 paperback
Publication December 2006