The news of this discovery is bouncing around webland, but George is well qualified to comment reliably on it. I didn’t realize we had so many seal impressions from Hezekiah! I formerly did honours studies on Jeremiah 36, and was introduced to the existence of a number of seal impressions from Jeremiah’s era, involving several of the scribes appearing in the Jeremiah narrative, including Baruch himself.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has announced the discovery of an ancient ‘bulla’ (a clay seal with a personal stamp impressed upon on it) bearing the name of Hezekiah, King of Judah. This is not the first seal bearing Hezekiah’s name to come to light. Nonetheless, it is an exciting find, especially since it was found in situ.
This particular bulla was originally found in 2009 during soil sifting at the excavations on the Ophel ridge to the immediate south of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. The soil was part of ancient garbage debris that had been dumped between buildings in the northern section of ancient Jerusalem (Iron II). Eilat Mazar, head excavator at the site, interprets a nearby building as a royal storehouse.
Excavators initially misunderstood the writing on the bulla, reading the name as ‘Hezekiah [son of] Malkiah’. It was only recently, after a second check, that the writing on the bulla was deciphered more…
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