The Trumpeting Place inscription

In This Week’s Parsha (Emor) we read, VaYiqra (Leviticus) 23.2 “Speak to the children of Israel and say to them: The L-RD’S appointed [holy days] that you shall designate as holy occasions. These are My appointed [holy days]: 3 [For] six days, work may be performed, but on the seventh day, it is a complete rest day, a holy occasion; you shall not perform any work. It is a Sabbath to the L-RD in all your dwelling places.”

From these verses [VaYiqra (Leviticus) 23.2-3] and the passage in Josephus, [The Jewish War (IV, ix, 12)] we see that the Priest “proclaimed” the beginning and end of every seventh day – the Shabbat – at the SW corner of the Temple

The Trumpeting Place inscription is an inscribed stone from the 1st century CE discovered in 1968 by Benjamin Mazar in his early excavations of the southern wall of the Temple Mount. The stone, showing just two complete words written in the Square Hebrew alphabet,[2][3] was carved above a wide depression cut into the inner face of the stone.[4] The first word is translated as “to the place” and the second word “of trumpeting” or “of blasting” or “of blowing”, giving the phrase “To the Trumpeting Place”. The subsequent words of the inscription are cut off. The third word (…לה), which is incomplete, has been interpreted as either “declare” or “distinguish”, giving either: “to declare [the Sabbath]” or “to distinguish [between the sacred and the profane]”, where the words in square brackets represent scholarly conjecture.[2][4][5]

It is believed to be a directional sign for the priests who blew a trumpet announcing the beginning and end of the Shabbat in the Second Temple period.[6] It is thought to have fallen from the southwest corner of the Temple Mount to the street below prior to its discovery. It has been connected to a passage in Josephus‘s The Jewish War (IV, ix, 12) in which he describes a part of the Temple: “the point where it was custom for one of the priests to stand and to give notice, by sound of trumpet, in the afternoon of the approach, and on the following evening of the close, of every seventh day”.

SOURCE: Wikipedia – The Trumpeting Place inscription

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Hebrew inscription: “Lebeit hatekiya, l’hev” which was placed in the southwestern corner of the Mount, indicating the site where a shofar was blown to announce the beginning and end of the Sabbath. a passage in Josephus’s The Jewish War (IV, ix, 12) in which he describes a part of the Temple: “the point where it was custom for one of the priests to stand and to give notice, by sound of trumpet, in the afternoon of the approach, and on the following evening of the close, of every seventh day”.

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The ‘Trumpeting Place’ Inscription

One stone found fallen on the paved street was carved with an inscription reading in Hebrew לבית התקיעה להב…, ‘To the trumpeting place to…’. On the basis of written sources, this stone probably indicated the place where the priests, serving on the Temple Mount in the Second Temple period, were to stand just before and after the Sabbath and blow a trumpet, announcing the inauguration or the close of the holy day of rest. The stone itself is on display in the Israel Museum

The shape of the ashlar block bearing this inscription indicates that it was originally placed at the top of the corner of the Temple Mount. The inscription was carved above a wide depression cut into the inner face of the stone. Various attempts have been made to complete the inscription. Some read the missing word as להכריז ‘to announce’; but the most convincing suggestion to date adds the words: להבדיל בין קודש לחול… that is, ‘to distinguish between the sacred [the Sabbath] and the profane [weekdays]’. This reconstruction fits Josephus’ account: …at the point where it was the custom for one of the priests to stand and to give notice, by sound of trumpet, in the afternoon of the approach, and on the following evening of the close, of every seventh day, announcing to the people the respective hours for ceasing work and for resuming their labours (Jewish War, Book 4, Chapter 9).

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