Wily Scholars and Detectives

Last year in Israel, poking around in the dust near the Dead Sea, I kicked over a curiously inscribed stone, carved with words in a language I could not read. Realizing that I might have stumbled upon an important piece of Holy Land archaeology, I took the object to a well-known epigrapher in Jerusalem, who, after examining the piece for some hours, concluded that it said, in ancient Hebrew: "And lo, in the year 2008, Y____h will inflict upon you a Madoff, and your prosperity will dry up like the earth after a hundred-year drought; all your goats and all your wives and all your dwellings will evaporate like water in the sun." Continue reading at The Bible and Interpretation

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