Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev used a trip to Turkey this week to offer Gaziantep mayor Fatma Sahin a trade: Two elephants for an ancient inscription from Yerushalayim, currently housed in a Turkish museum, that is considered one of the most important ancient Hebrew inscriptions in existence, Ilan Ben Zion reports for Times of Israel.
Sahin, a politician from the ruling AKP party, had spoken of her zoo’s elephant problem: it has just one.
Regev told her aides: “We’ll make a deal. We’ll give them the elephants, and they’ll give us the inscription of Chizkiyahu.”
Regev was referring to the Siloam Inscription, a 2,700-year-old ancient Hebrew text that provides concrete historical support for the account in Tanach of the construction of a tunnel which brought water from the Pool of Siloam to the City of David, below the southern edge of the Har Habayis, during the reign of Chizkiyahu Hamelech.