This article updates the cutoff point for the inscriptions treated in the book mentioned in the title, which was mid-2002, to July 31, 2008. It evaluates 32 proposed identifications (IDs) of biblical persons in ancient Near Eastern inscriptions of 1200-539 B.C.E. All 32 IDs or non-IDs are listed and indexed at the end.


This article does two things. First, it corrects things in the book, Identifying Biblical Persons in Northwest Semitic Inscriptions of 1200-539 B.C.E. (2004), abbreviated IBP below:
• Regarding potential forgeries, the article applies the principles for treatment of unprovenanced inscriptions set forth in Christopher A. Rollston, “Non-Provenanced Epigraphs II: The Status of Non-Provenanced Epigraphs within the Broader Corpus of Northwest Semitic,” Maarav 11 (2004): 71–76.
• It disqualifies proposed IDs in eight (8) inscriptions that are forgeries or probable forgeries, notably including the two bullae frequently attributed to the biblical Baruch.
Second, it evaluates 32 proposed identifications (IDs) of biblical persons in inscriptions of 1200-539 B.C.E. Doing this updates the book, IBP, from its original coverage through mid-2002, to July 31, 2008. In order to evaluate these proposed IDs, it uses the protocols set forth in the book, IBP, pp. 9-89. Resulting IDs and non-IDs appear in six categories of strength or weakness, from unmistakable to disqualified.
• Constructively, it makes eleven strong, reasonable, or possible IDs of biblical persons in provenanced Northwest Semitic inscriptions and two reasonable IDs in inscriptions written in other languages (one in Egyptian hieroglyphics and one in Babylonian Akkadian).
• It gives page-by-page corrections to the book, IBP, if they affect IDs. These corrections end with a summary of the results of the book as corrected by this article on pp. 125-126. A summary and an index only of the results in the article appear on pp. 126-132.


Hebrew Bible, Old Testament, biblical historicity, historical reliability of the Old Testament, identifying biblical persons, palaeography, Semitic paleography, Semitic inscriptions, Hebrew inscriptions, Northwest Semitic epigraphy, epigraphic Hebrew, epigraphic Aramaic, Melqart stele, Ahab, Ahikam, Ahiqam, Ahaziah, Azzur, Balaam, Bala‘am, Baruch, Berekyahu, Bar-hadad, Ben-hadad, Beor, Be‘or, David, Esarhaddon, Gedaliah, Pashhur, Gemariah, Gemaryahu, Goliath, Hadadezer, Hanan, Hazael, Igdaliah, Immer, Joash, Jehoash, Jehucal, Jucal, Yehukal, Yukal, Jerahmeel, Josiah, Mikneiah, Miqneiah, Nebo-sarsekim, Rab-saris, Neriah, Shaphan, Shelemiah, Zechariah

Published in:

Maarav 16.1 (2009): 49–132.

Date of this Version