Burial Inscription from the First Temple Period


Courtesy of the western wall heritage foundation

The Shiloach Village near the City of David has the largest concentration of graves from the Biblical First Temple period. There, two inscriptions were found. The longer one reads:

This is the grave of …yahu, that is in charge of the house. There is no silver and gold here, only the bones of he and his wife. Cursed is the man that opens this.

The inscription seems to be referring to a person of very high social standing. The name which is cut off, “…yahu” is the end of the name Shebnayahu, none other than the persona mentioned in the Book of Isaiah:

15 Thus saith the Lord, the GOD of hosts: Go, get thee unto this steward, even unto Shebna, who is over the house: 16 What hast thou here, and whom hast thou here, that thou hast hewed thee out here a sepulchre, thou that hewest thee out a sepulchre on high, and gravest a habitation for thyself in the rock?