n Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages - King Mesha's occupation of Jahaz

Volume 42, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-0131


In this article, I discuss Mesha's account of the city of Jahaz's occupation. I first present two cases of a king and governor who provide for the weak sector of their tribal society. I then interpret Mesha's statement that after the Israelite army withdrew from Jahaz, he brought to the city two hundred Moabites, בל דשׁה (line 20). I suggest that בל דשׁה [] should be translated "all its [Moab's] poor (people)", rather than amending the text and rendering it "all its leaders/elite troops", as most scholars interpreted it. Mesha's inscription offers an example of a king who has settled the weak tribal sector of his kingdom, thereby reducing their pressure on his newly established kingdom.

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