Mescha Stele

the Mescha Stele photographed around 1891

the Mescha Stele (also Moabiterstein called) is a stone (Siegesstele) with an inscription in moabitischer language, which refers to alttestamentliche circumstances.

The basalt stone Stele is the oldest received monument in Hebrew language and writing and celebrates the victory and the release of the moabitischen king Mescha from the dependingness and tribute obligation on the Kingdom of Israel.

It became 1868 in east the dead sea with Dhiban (Dibon) of the German Missionar F. A. Small discovers. The stone is located today in the Louvre in Paris, a copy of it in the British museum in London. 1958 were found in Kerak a further fragment with similar inscription to the same event.

text of the Mescha Stele

I is Mescha, son of the Kemosch [...], king of Moab, the Dibonite. My father was king over Moab thirty years, and I prevailed after my father. And I made this Höhenheiligtum for Kemosch in Qarchoh (supposed some of Dibon), I built it as indication of the rescue, because he saved me from all aggressors (?) and left itself triumphieren over all my opponents.
Omri was king over Israel and pressed Moab many days, because Kemosch zürnte its country. And its son followed it. And also it spoke: “I want to press Moab.” In my days he spoke (so). But I triumphierte over it and over its house. And Israel surely always went to reason. And Omri had seized to the whole country of Medeba. And it lived in it in my days and in half of the days of its son, forty years, but Kemosch lived in it in my days. And I built Baal Meon and made the cistern therein and I built Kirjatan.
And the people of Gad lived in the country Atarot since more jeher. And the king of Israel built Atarot for itself. I attacked the city and took her. And I killed all people (?) the city as victims for Kemosch and for Moab. And I brought from there the altar of its loving (probable a God; this place also as “I brought from there the Uriel, their David “translated) and dragged it before Kemosch in Qerjot. And I let the people of Scharon and the people of Maharot live there. And Kemosch spoke to me: Go, take Nebo (in the fight) against Israel.
And I pulled at night loose and fought against it from the incipient crack of morning redness to noon. And I took it and killed all: seven thousand men and slaves and women and slaves and Dirnen, because I it (by spell) had geweiht the Kemosch. And I took from there (cult) the devices JHWHs and dragged her before Kemosch. And the king of Israel had built and stored Jahaz therein during its campaign against me. There Kemosch before me drove it out.
And I took from Moab two hundreds men, all its to leaders. And I brought it after Jahaz and took it, in order to attach it Dibon. I built Qarhoh, the walls, the walls of the park and the walls of the citadel. And I built its gates and I built its towers and I built the palace of the king and I made the dams basin [s for the Quel] len in the midst of the city. But a cistern did not give it in the midst of the city, in Qarhoh.
There I said to all people: Power you everyone a cistern in its house. And I let strike the pits for Qarhoh by prisoners of Israel. I built and made Aroër the road at the Arnon. I built pray Bamot, because it was a ruin. I built Beser, because it was in rubble, with fifty men from Dibon, because Dibon are completely my subjects. I governed over one hundred in the cities, which I had attached the country.
And I built [Mede] ba and pray Diblatan and pray Baal Meon and carried there of it [...] flock of the country. And [which] Hauronan [concerns], then lived in it [… and] Kemosch spoke to me: Steige down there and fights against Hauronan. There I descended and [… and it lived] to it Kemosch in my days [...] and from there [...] and I [...]

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