Yehweh Inscription (Beit Lei)

By the Editors of the Madain Project

The Khirbet Beit Lei (Beth Loya) Yahweh (YHWH) inscription is the oldest known appearance in Hebrew of the name ירשלם (Jerusalem). The inscription, along with several shorter texts and a number of graffiti, was discovered during road construction in a burial cave at the site of Khirbet Beit Lei, about five miles east of Lachish in the Judaean Shephelah. Though found in a burial cave, the texts are not conventional tomb inscriptions, and n…


The inscription is bounded on the right and left by deep lines, probably drawn at the time when the inscription was made. The text consists of two lines, separated from Inscription B (probably written by the same scribe).

Inscription Details

circa 600 BCE

The inscription read "yhwh ʾlhy kl hʾrṣ hry yhd lw lʾlhy yršlm", translated as; Yahweh (is) the God of the whole earth; the mountains of Judah belong to him, to the God of Jerusalem". Other scholars, including Lemaire and Puech, have proposed additional readings. Patrick D. Miller read it almost the same as Cross did: "[I am] Yahweh your God. I will accept the cities of Judah. I will redeem Jerusalem."

See Also


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