July 18, 2021 | David F. Coppedge

Gideon Inscription Found

The nickname Gideon was given by his father, Jerubbaal, has been found on a piece of pottery dating from his era.

Israeli archaeologists find biblical name ‘Jerubbaal’ inked on pot from Judges era (Haaretz). This is an early announcement about a potentially important find. The Bible story of Gideon contains this passage in Judges 6:31-32. When Gideon obeyed God and tore down an altar of Baal in the middle of the night (this was before the famous battle), the townspeople were about to kill Gideon for it. His father Joash came to his defense with a some logic:

31 But Joash said to all who stood against him, “Will you contend for Baal, or will you save him? Whoever will contend for him shall be put to death by morning. If he is a god, let him contend for himself, since someone has torn down his altar!” 32 Therefore on that day he named Gideon Jerubbaal, that is to say, “Let Baal contend against him,” because he had torn down his altar.

That’s how Gideon got his other name. Now, according to the report the name “Jerubbaal” has been found on a piece of pottery near Gath, and it dates from the approximate time of the Book of Judges. Read the article in Haaretz for what is known at this point. Soon we will check what Biblical teacher Todd Bolen thinks of the discovery. Suffice it to say his Weekend Roundup on the Bible Places Blog speculates that the find will make the “Top 10” list of discoveries for 2021. John Stonestreet and Timothy Padgett at Breakpoint are cautiously optimistic about it based on his reading of the Jerusalem Post report from July 14.

The article notes that there’s no way of knowing for certain that this Jerubbaal is the same as the Bible’s. But, when you’ve got the right name in the right place at the right time, it’s enough to make you wonder. It pokes yet another hole in the knee-jerk skepticism of our cultural elites who’d otherwise see biblical stories as just another fairy tale.

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