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Jews wrote 3,000 years ago

The University of Haifa has deciphered the most ancient Hebrew writing, which pushes the date of Jewish writing abilities back to 400 years before the previous estimate. The 10th century BCE inscription on potsherd closely parallels the biblical commandment to provide justice to widows and orphans.

The text is nothing short of astonishing:

You shall not do [it], but worship the [Lord].
Judge the slave and the widow, Judge the orphan
[and] the stranger. Plead for the infant, plead for the poor [and]
the widow. Rehabilitate … at the hands of the king.
Protect the poor [and] the slave, support the stranger.

Religion, thus, seems to have been a major issue for Jews already three thousand years ago. Slaves had full access to courts—a thing unheard of even 29 centuries later—and there is no indication in the text that they were only Jewish slaves. Justice, as the Torah enjoins us, has indeed always been a major value among Jews.

Jews had full sovereignty on this Land around 1,000 BCE—so much that they recognized and accorded benevolent treatment to strangers. At that time, Jews were ruled by monarchs, contrary to the claims by biblical minimalists of the fictitious nature of the Chronicles.

Shall we give this land to the Palestinians?

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Comments

Israel 3000 years ago was already a humane country since slaves were allowed to visit a court. Jews must be proud that Israel 3000 years ago was far more developed than Europe, for instance.

Adair Rugby 22 April 2010

Compassion to anti-Semite people is in Jewish blood. So, no one has to wonder why Israelis are always so willing to help.

Abayomi Rumford 22 April 2010

Judge the slave and the widow / Judge the orphan are the words which reflect the kind and responsible nature of Jews of those times. Judge the slave and the widow / Judge the orphan prove that even these socially vulnerable categories didn’t have to be afraid of their fate since the society took care of them.

Kenneth Saco 22 April 2010

Two states for two peoples were not even discussed then. Perhaps because Jews were wise enough not to let Arabs come to their land.

Graham Sacramento 22 April 2010

Judge the slave and the widow judge the orphan is what every decent Jew should always bear in mind. These words call Jews to be tolerant. Judge the slave and the widow judge the orphan is really beautiful.

Ann Salinas 22 April 2010

If people remembered these words, there wouldn’t be such a notion as Jordan local security and security service in any other country.

Quaid Salisbury 22 April 2010

Judge the slave and the widow sounds a bit strange. Why did Jews have to judge anyone? They should have taken care but not judge the slave and the widow.

Delaney San_Antonio 22 April 2010

Jordanian Jews would definitely support this sacred text.

Naruto Sanders 22 April 2010

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03.01 Arabs claim Dead Sea Scrolls