This is a near-final, proof copy of a revised conference paper from the SBL (Society of Biblical Literature) International Meeting, Vienna, 2007, as revised and updated in a Maarav journal article that actually appeared in 2010 and as updated using a 2011 essay in Fire Signals of Lachish. The final version, which is the version of record, was published in October 2012 as chapter 3 in Meir Lubetski and Edith Lubetski, eds., New Inscriptions and Seals Relating to the Biblical World (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2012), 35–58.


This revised conference paper presents the strongest results of the author's published dissertation as corrected and updated in a journal article published in 2010 and as updated using a 2011 essay. In Northwest Semitic inscriptions which are known to be authentic, using sound protocols, one can identify with certainty at least ten persons from before the Persian era who are mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. Another six such persons can be identified with virtual certainty, for a total of sixteen strong identifications (IDs).

Five other authentic inscriptions offer an additional seven IDs which, while not quite certain, are at least reasonable IDs and can be used as hypotheses. A provenanced wall inscription offers two other IDs whose historical value is unclear. Inscriptions in other languages and of other time periods increase the number of IDs of persons in the Hebrew Bible.


Hebrew Bible, biblical persons, biblical historicity, history of Israel, Old Testament history

Date of this Version