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Back in mid-2011, I found out that the mis-translator of the so-called “YHWH Inscription”, a forged rock inscription claimed by the Caldwells and Cornukites to have been found at Jebel al-Lawz, was a certain Miles Jones. Today, Gordon Franz has responded to Jones’ tomfoolery on his blog. Note that I consulted the same Dr. Michael Macdonald of Oxford as did Franz on the matter of the “menorah” found in Madyan/Midian by Sung Hak Kim as soon as I heard of Miles Jones. I published the main points he made on AJaL and do publish his email to me here:

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your message.

The supposed “menorah” is in fact the letter “dh” (pronounced like the “th” in “this”) preceded by the letter “w” which has been taken to be the “base” of the supposed menorah, though as you can see when you look closely the two are not joined. The inscription is in the Ancient North Arabian dialect and script known as Hismaic which was in use in southern Jordan and North West Arabia between the last century BC and the fourth century AD. The graffito reads: w dhkrt lt ’l’n mr—- [the rest of the text is cut off by the edge of the photograph] and means “May [the goddess] Lat be mindful of ’l’n —-“. This prayer to the pagan deity Lat is extremely common in this type of graffito.

I hope that this is helpful,

with best wishes,

Michael Macdonald.

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