Mesha Stele-Father of Mesha

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Reb Chaim HaQoton
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Mesha Stele-Father of Mesha

Post by Reb Chaim HaQoton » Thu May 05, 2016 3:12 am

In English translations of the [Mesha Stele][1], the opening words are "I am Mesha son of Chemosh-melekh, king of Moab the Dibonite".
However, the truth is that the actual text of the Stele ([rendered in Hebrew characters][2]) reads:

אנך משע בן כמש** מלך מאב הדיבני.

The stars are apparently unreadable letters, which some scholars have deciphered as ית, rendering the name of Mesha's father Chemoshyat.
So where does it come from that his father's name is Chemosh-melek, but that is not what the text of the Stele says. This explanation, it seems takes the word מלך and repeats it twice, the first attached to Chemosh- as in Chemosh-melekh and then again to mean king. I think this is a mistake. Can anyone corroborate my findings or point me to a paper which discusses this issue?


[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesha_Stele
[2]: https://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%9E%D7 ... 7%A9%D7%A2

austendw
Posts: 60
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Re: Mesha Stele-Father of Mesha

Post by austendw » Mon Jul 04, 2016 2:06 pm

Can anyone corroborate my findings
You are entirely correct. The rendering Chemosh-melekh is derived from the 1898 reconstruction by Mark Lidsbarski.

Image

You will see that he squeezes the three letters of m-l-k into the gap in the top line - not terribly convincingly.

However, in the 1870s reconstruction by Ganneau, the recontruction is different:

Image

There are two letters g-d, giving the name as Chemosh-Gad.

Both the "melek" of the first reconstruction and the "gad" of the second are entirely speculative... i.e. - invented.
Call me Ishmael...

Reb Chaim HaQoton
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2014 5:00 am
Location: Beitar Illit, Israel
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Re: Mesha Stele-Father of Mesha

Post by Reb Chaim HaQoton » Tue Jul 05, 2016 9:38 am

Aha!

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