A pottery shard measuring 4” x 3.5” with Hebrew writing on it showed up on the antiquities market.   It reads, “As Ashyahu the king[1] commanded you to give into the hand of [Ze]chariah silver of Tarshish for the House of Yahweh: three shekels.”

It appears to be a receipt for a donation of three shekels of silver to the “House of Yahweh,” a reference to a temple.  It is dated between 835 and 796 BC, and thus likely refers to Solomon’s temple.  If so, this receipt was written approximately 130-160 years after the Temple was built.  

Significance:

  1. This is the oldest mention of Solomon’s temple ever discovered.

[1]The identity of this king is not clear, but it could be Jehoash or Josiah since it is similar in form and both kings had a temple official named Zechariah.

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