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Royal Steward’s Tomb Inscription

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Royal Steward’s Tomb  Inscription
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Photo Comments

This Hebrew inscription was removed from the Tomb of the Royal Steward and is now on display in the British Museum.

This inscription was over the door (note the large “gash” there).  Nahman Avigad deciphered it – translating it as “This is [the sepulcher of . . . ] yahu who is over the house.  There is no silver and no gold here but [his bones] and the bones of his amah with him.  Cursed by the man who will open this!”

In the text, the phrase “who is over the house” refers to a very important personage in the Judean government.  His name, according to the inscription, was “. . . yahu.”  Unfortunately, the first part of his name is missing but many believe that the person who was buried here was none other than Shebna [yahu], the Royal Steward, whom Isaiah condemned for ‘hewing a tomb for himself on high’ – SEE Isaiah 22:15-17!

The amah (a female) mentioned in the inscription may also have been a very high functionary in the Judean government.

This tomb was discovered by Clermont-Ganneau in 1870.  This tomb had two Hebrew inscriptions – one above the door and the other to the right of it.