Ce qui ressemble à un abécédaire de l'hébreu biblique contient 18 lettres gravées sur la première ligne, au moins 2 sur la seconde plus deux symboles. On y trouve aussi des restes d'autres inscriptions, au moins 3 mots et deux autres symboles. La forme des lettres semble plus archaïque que celle du calendrier de Gezer, et selon l'épigraphie, remonte elle aussi au Xe siècle av. J.-C..
Un côté de la pierre porte l'abécédaire ou l'alphabet qui s'étend sur 2 lignes:
|| ק ש
Le «w» entre Têt et Yod peut être un Mem non finalisé ou un Shin mal placé ou un gribouillis.
Le côté face de cette inscription a une dépression en forme de bol. Par ailleurs, la pierre porte aussi des graffitis- inscriptions, "Aide / guerrier" (עזר) et "bol/trône" (כס).
Texte anglais à traduire :
The inscription was discovered in-situ in what appears to be a secondary usage but a primary context (i.e., as a building stone rather than in a random pile of debris, or merely on the surface). It is one of the earliest dateable examples of an alphabet (or of writing in general) from Syria-Palestine, and several inferences can be drawn from it:
Its locus was a stratum caused by a fire dated by the excavators to the 10th century BCE. Until this discovery, critics could say inhabitants of this region at this period were illiterate and could not have recorded events mentioned in the Bible, though this single instance of writing does not imply anything about the veracity of the Bible.
It not only preserves writing – simple graffiti – but an ordered list of letters (although there are 4 pairs of letters swapped from their modern alphabetic order, and possibly 2 other omitted or aborted letters; indications that reflect negatively on the scribe's skill level).
The site is located in a region not central to the government of the Israelite monarchy (Jerusalem), which suggests that if people in this agricultural community could write, certainly people in the regional governments were equally capable. This, however, does not imply that the culture at this location at this time was related to the Israelites.
Its placement in a wall, and the context of its inscriptions ("help/warrior" and "bowl/throne") may indicate a belief that the letters possessed magical/apotropaic power to ward off evil spirits. Though it was probably plastered over in the wall where it was discovered and could not be read, it may have been ceremonially placed there during the wall's construction.
At an SBL presentation in November 2005, Ron Tappy seemed to favour the idea that the stone bowl (the reverse side of the stone block) had originally been used as a mortar for grinding herbs or equivalent usage. At the same event P. Kyle McCarter, the epigrapher attached to the Tel Zeitah excavation, characterised the inscription as an abecedary, and said that the letter forms suggest a South Canaanite development from the Phoenician base alphabet. In questioning after the presentation, McCarter added that the inscription (which he had earlier said was apparently the work of a good scribe) was a practice piece (he had earlier mentioned that it gave him the impression of carelessness). Tappy expressed his opinion that it was unlikely, for physical reasons, that the inscription was carved after the stone was placed in the wall.
The primary significance of the inscription will be for the development of early South Levant alphabets and letter-forms. It is not yet certain how old the inscription is - the destruction level indicates a date for the wall, but it is not known how much earlier than this the inscription is. McCarter has elsewhere suggested that the letter-forms are comparable to those of the Gezer calendar, and date from the early to mid-11th century.