Photo © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
“House of David“ inscribed on a victory stele
Iron Age II, 9th century BCE
H: 34; W: 32 cm
Israel Antiquities Authority
Accession number: IAA 1996-125, 1993-3162
This unique Aramaic inscription, part of a monumental stone slab commemorating the military victories of Hazael, king of Aram, contains the earliest reference to the Davidic dynasty outside the Bible.

In the inscription, the king boasts of killing Joram of Israel and Ahaziah of “the House of David” (Judah). The text contradicts the account in the Book of Kings, according to which Joram and Ahaziah were killed by Jehu, who subsequently seized the throne of Israel.
To my lord Eliashib, may the Lord seek your welfare, and now: Give to Shemaryahu a lethekh(?), and to the Kerosi give a homer(?), and as to the matter which you commanded me – it is well; he is in the house of God.

The Israel Museum, Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2005

Digital presentation of this object was made possible by: The Ridgefield Foundation, New York, in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir