2,700-year-old Inscription Unearthed in Jerusalem

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israeli archaeologists say the inscription on the rim of a bowl dating to the 7th century BC shows the connection between the Israelites of that day and today.

The Israel Antiquities Authority's excavation around the Gihon Spring in Jerusalem's City of David unearthed what it described as "a layer of rich finds," with thousands of pottery shards, clay lamps and figurines.

One pottery shard in particular has a partial name, "…riahu ben Benaiah," etched in the clay, which could refer to Zechariah, the son of Benaiah.

Researchers say the most similar biblical name is found in 2 Chronicles 20:14-15, where Zechariah prophesied before King Jehoshaphat sent his army to fight the Ammonites and Moabites.

Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. And he said, "Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat. Thus says the Lord to you: 'Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's."

IAA archaeologists Dr. Joe Uziel and Nahshon Zanton, who found the fragment, believe it dates to the period between King Hezekiah and King Zedekiah, who reigned during the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians.

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