Translation of the Los Lunas Inscription

The stone inscription is carved in old-Hebrew letters. These are almost identical in shape and font-style with Phoenician characters. Each line in the message is to be read from right to left. In the Hebrew written language there are no vowels. It only uses consonants.

Each statement is separated from the next one by a dot sign. This separation style is not uncommon for old Hebrew or Phoenician inscriptions. E.g. the Middle Eastern Moabite Stone (9th century B.C.E.) follows a similar pattern using dot separators between words. (see 11)

The Los Lunas inscription starts with the top line, continues on the 3rd line, goes back into the 2nd line (that one was inserted later, hence the smaller line spacing !), it then goes on with the left half of the 3rd line and continues all the way down to the last line.

A detailed interlinear translation, which has been compiled from a careful drawing of the Los Lunas inscription, can be studied below:

interlinear translation

Here is a modern-day English translation of the Los Lunas Decalogue:

I am Jehovah your God who has taken you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slaves. There must be no other gods before my face. You must not make any idol. You must not take the name of Jehovah in vain. Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy. Honour your father and your mother so that your days may be long in the land that Jehovah your God has given to you. You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not give a false witness against your neighbour. You must not desire the wife of your neighbour nor anything that is his.