Seth Udinski, FISM News
In another fascinating discovery from the biblical era, last week archeologists in Israel uncovered a 3,100 year-old jug from the pre-kingdom age of ancient Israel. On the jug is inscribed the name “Jerubbaal,” leading biblical scholars and historians to conclude that this jug could very well have belonged to Gideon, the famous biblical leader of Israel from the Old Testament book of Judges. Of course, Gideon is referred to as “Jerub-Baal” several times in the book of Judges, including Judges 7.
Judges 7 refers to Gideon’s most famous act of his life. He led a tiny Israelite army of 300 men to a miraculous victory against a mighty Midianite army of 30,000. Of course, the historical testimony of the Bible tells us that it was God who miraculously gave the Israelites victory over Midian, after He had commanded Gideon to shave the size of the Israelite army down from 32,000 to 10,000, then from 10,000 to 300. Interestingly enough, the Lord commanded Gideon’s army blow trumpets and smash the water jugs that they had on hand, thus causing chaos in the Midianite army and giving Israel victory. If this particular jug did not belong to Gideon, perhaps it was created during the same time period in his honor.
The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said after the dramatic discovery,
Inscriptions from the period of the judges are extremely rare, and are almost unheard of in the archaeology of the land of Israel. A few previously uncovered inscriptions bore a number of letters that could not be linked. This is the first time that the name has been found as an archaeological find outside the Bible.
We may never know this side of eternity whether this jug belonged to the biblical Gideon or not. Still, this is now the second major archaeological discovery of a potential piece of biblical history in Israel in the last year, after a piece of fabric that could have belonged to King David or King Solomon appeared in Israel several months ago. It is exciting to think of the possibilities of biblical historical artifacts still waiting to be discovered in the Holy Land.