In The News: Hezekiah’s Seal

“On Wednesday (December 2, 2015), archaeologists in Jerusalem announced the discovery of a rare biblical-era seal… According to Hebrew University, the inscription reads: ‘Belonging to Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz King of Judah… the back side of the clay imprint of the seal had markings of thin cords that were used to tie a papyrus document (theatlantic.com).  “The bulla was found during excavations in 2009 but its significance was initially overlooked… only this year did Hebrew University archaeologist Reut Ben Arieh decipher the inscription on the seal impression and determine its significance” (timesofisrael.com).  This is not the first seal of Hezekiah to be found.  Dr. Eilat Mazer, the leader of the excavation said, “Although seal impressions bearing King Hezekiah’s name have already been known for the antiquities market since the middle 1990’s… this is the first time that a seal impression of an Israelite or Judean King has ever come to light in a scientific archaeological excavation” (inquisitr.com).

Sennacherib, King of Assyria, also mentioned Hezekiah.  British Colonel R. Taylor discovered Sennacherib’s annals (the Taylor Prism) in Nineveh in 1830.  It reads, “As for Hezekiah, the Judean who did not who did not submit to my yoke, I surrounded and conquered forty-six of his strong-walled towns and innumerable small settlements…” (Price, The Stones Cry Out, p. 272). 

This is not the only King of Judah or Israel that has been discovered in Archaeology.  On August 6, 1993, it was announced, “An Israeli archeologist has discovered a fragment of a stone monument with inscriptions bearing the first known reference outside of the Bible to King David, and the ruling dynasty he founded, the House of David” (nytimes.com).  “The Tel Dan inscription, or ‘House of David’ inscription, was discovered in 1993 at the site of Tel Dan in northern Israel in an excavation directed by Israeli archaeologist Avraham Biran.  The broken and fragmented inscription commemorates the victory of an Aramean King over his two southern neighbors: The ‘King of Israel’ and the ‘King of the House of David’” (biblicalarchaeology.org).  “A ruler of the Arameans probably Hazael is victorious over Israel and Judah.  The Stele was erected to celebrate the defeat of the two kings.  In 1994 two more pieces were found with inscriptions which refer to Jehoram, the Son of Ahab, Ruler over Israel, and Ahaziah, who was ruler over the ‘House of David’ or Judah.  These names and facts correspond to the account given in chapters eight and nine of 2 Kings” (bible.org). 

Jehu, King of Israel, has been found by archaeology. Archaeologist Henry Layard discovered a large black stone (The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III), in the ancient Assyrian city of Calah, in 1945.  “The store was a four-sided polished black (obelisk) of black limestone 6 ½ feet high.  On each side panel of the obelisk were carved five registers of relief sculptures depicting various scenes of tribute brought to the Assyrian court… the big surprise came when the lines above one register showing a figure kneeling before the Assyrian King was translated: Tribute of Jehu, Son of Omri…” (Price, p. 77). 

Jehoiachin, King of Judah, has also been found in archaeology.  “Shortly before World War II Ernst Weidner worked in a Berlin Museum on many uninspiring and unpretentious cuneiform records of a storehouse of grain and oil found with the palace compound of Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon (The Babylonian Rations Tablet, B.H.)… To Weidner’s surprise he found the name of King Jehoiachin of Judah, together with his five sons and their Jewish tutor, as the recipient of grain and oil on several of these documents in the year 592 B.C., five years after Jehoiachin’s exile had begun” (Jackson, Biblical Studies in the Light of Archaeology, p. 20). 

These Kings were historical characters.  We’ve looked only at some of Israel and Judah’s Kings.  However, many of the people and places of the Bible have been confirmed by archaeology. 

About Bryan Hodge

I am a minister and missionary to numerous countries around the world.
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