Thursday, July 17, 2008

Gabriel's Stone Postlude

Israel Knohl's translation of Gabriel's Stone is available at this site.
Here's a picture of the stone that was in Time Magazine:
N. T. Wrong's blog has drawn attention to some early lines on the stone that help us with the key lines.
Lines 19-21 read, "By three days you shall know, for thus said 20. the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, the evil has been broken
21. before righteousness."
As several have suggested, the reference to three days very possibly is an allusion to Hosea 6:1-2: "Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces, but he will heal us. He has injured us, but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us. On the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence" (mostly NIV).
In other words, the stone, if authentic, is speaking of the restoration of Israel "by the third day."
The key lines are 75-81: "Three shepherds went out for Israel … 76. If there is a priest, if there are sons of holy ones ... 77. Who am I? I am Gabriel … 78. You will rescue them … for two ... 79. from before of you the three si[g]ns three ... 80. In three days, live, I Gabriel com[mand] yo[u], 81. prince of the princes, the dung of the rocky crevices ..."
Well, I for one find this text very ambiguous. I'm not inclined to think that the three days here are literal. And what exactly "live" means is not clear at all either. Prince of the princes, as several have pointed out, could easily refer to the angel Michael, who is mentioned at line 28.
In short, REALLY hard to say what this text was saying here.


Burton Webb said...

Certainly a lot tougher than piecing together genomic evidence...

Ken Schenck said...