House of Yahweh ostracon

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House of Yahweh ostracon is the name sometimes given to Ostracon 18, a pottery sherd dated to the 6th century BCE found with a collection of other ostraca in the excavation of Tel Arad.[1][2][3]


The inscription read as follow:

To my lord Eliashib
May YHWH inquire after your well-being.
And now, give to Shemaryahu a measure (of flour), and to the Kerosite you will give a measure (of flour).
And concerning the matter about which you commanded me, it is well.
He is staying in the house of YHWH.”

More than 100 ancient ostraca with Paleo Hebrew inscriptions were found on the same spot as well as at the Israelite Temple destroyed in 8th century BCE.[4] As the temple of Arad was already destroyed by the 6th century BCE, and as the ostraca refer to the place from where it was sent, after the period of Josiah's religious reforms and the concentration of worship in Jerusalem, the temple referred to by the ostracon seems to be the one in Jerusalem. This is further in accord with the fact that one of the bearers of the letter is a Kerosite, possibly related to the Nethinim that some consider to have been Temple slaves.[5] The ostracon is on display at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.


  1. ^ Israel exploration journal reader. 1 (1981) edited by Harry Meyer Orlinsky P:7
  2. ^ Daily Life in Biblical Times By Oded Borowski P103
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ T.C. Mitchell (1992). "Judah Until the Fall of Jerusalem". In John Boardman; I. E. S. Edwards; E. Sollberger; N. G. L. Hammond. The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 3, Part 2: The Assyrian and Babylonian Empires and Other States of the Near East, from the Eighth to the Sixth Centuries BC. Cambridge University Press. p. 397. ISBN 978-0521227179.