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The "Earliest" Named-Depiction of an Israelite: the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III / Jehu Stele - 825 BCE

The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III—aka the Jehu Stele—displays the "earliest" ancient named-depiction of an ISHaRaLI (Israelite). An obelisk is a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument. This obelisk is made of black limestone. Shalmaneser III was a king of Assyria who ruled from 859—824 BCE. The Obelisk includes one panel showing sculpted pictures and an Akkadian Cuneiform inscription describing King IEUA [yeh-ooh-ah] (Jehu) the son of OMaRI (Omri) (2 Kings 9—10) paying tribute to King Shalmaneser III. King IEUA was a king of the Northern House of ISHaRaAL (Israel) from 842—815 BCE; he was a Northern ISHaRaALI. His reign was prior to the completion of the exile of the Northern House to Assyria which was around 722—721 BCE. The Obelisk was first erected in Assyria in 825 BCE. It was discovered in Northern Iraq in 1846, and is currently in the British Museum. The Obelisk is significant because it shows how Northern ISHaRaAL (Israel): 1) Wore pointy (European) Saxon-style hats, 2) Wore TSITSIT (fringes) and PaTILIM (bands) along their hems (not four very long tassels at four sharp corners), and, 3) Had their theophoric names perverted by the Assyrians by having their "IEU" prefix changed to "IAU".

Article Last Updated Feb 4, 2012.

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Comment by Genevieve Radley on February 3, 2012 at 20:08

Wow - these are really beautiful!

Comment by Jane E Lythgoe on February 4, 2012 at 10:30

Jan. The man kneeling is not giving a wave-offering—but, as stated in the article, he is paying tribute to an Assyrian king (thus the pagan symbols: the obelisk is Assyian). Tribute is "wealth, often in kind, that one party gives to another as a sign of respect or, as was often the case in historical contexts, of submission or allegiance" (Wikipedia).

Comment by Jane E Lythgoe on February 4, 2012 at 11:16

Jan. In Middle Persian the winged disc is called the "Faravahar" which is: "one of the best-known symbols of Zoroastrianism, the state religion of ancient Iran...the symbol is currently thought to represent a Fravashi (c. a guardian angel)...In present-day Zoroastrianism, the faravahar is said to be a reminder of one's purpose in life, which is to live in such a way that the soul progresses towards frasho-kereti, or union with Ahura Mazda, the supreme divinity in Zoroastrianism"


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