[b-hebrew] Seal Impression of Royal Adviser Recovered in Jerusalem

Bryant J. Williams III bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Tue Aug 5 15:44:45 EDT 2008


Dear List,

The following URL'S
http://www.bib-arch.org/news/dailynews.asp &
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1215331162371&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III


Below is from Biblical Archaeology Society referring to the Jerusalem Post
article:
http://www.bib-arch.org/news/dailynews.asp

Seal Impression of Royal Adviser Recovered in Jerusalem
August 1, 2008
A bulla, a lump of clay bearing a seal impression, inscribed with the name
Gedalyahu ben Pashur has been found in the City of David excavations currently
being conducted just south of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. The find was announced
by Eilat Mazar, who is leading the excavation; Mazar noted that the
just-discovered bulla was found just yards from the spot where a bulaa inscribed
with the name Yehukual ben Shelemyahu was unearthed three years ago. Both men
served as ministers to King Zedekiah, the last ruler of the Kingdom of Judah
before Jerusalem and its Temple were destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 B.C.
According to Jeremiah 38:1-4, both men were part of a group that urged King
Zedekiah to put Jeremiah to death because the prophet had preached that the
besieged city of Jerusalem surrender to the Babylonians.

Mazar has been something of a controversial figure because she believes that a
large stone structure she has been excavating had been the palace of King David.
She has also suggested that a wall she has uncovered had been originally built
by Nehemiah as part of the repairs to Jerusalem after the return from Babylonian
exile.

Below is the full article from the Jerusalem Post:
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1215331162371&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull

Jul 31, 2008 22:04 | Updated Aug 3, 2008 10:33
Seal of King Zedekiah's minister found in J'lem dig
By ETGAR LEFKOVITS

A seal impression belonging to a minister of the Biblical King Zedekiah which
dates back 2,600 years has been uncovered completely intact during an
archeological dig in Jerusalem's ancient City of David, a prominent Israeli
archeologist said on Thursday.

The seal impression, or bulla, with the name Gedalyahu ben Pashur, who served as
minister to King Zedekiah (597-586 BCE) according to the Book of Jeremiah, was
found just meters away from a separate seal impression of another of Zedekia's
ministers, Yehukual ben Shelemyahu, which was uncovered three years ago, said
Prof. Eilat Mazar who is leading the dig at the site.

The excavation at the City of David, which is located just outside the walls of
the Old City near Dung Gate, has proven, in recent years, to be a treasure trove
for archeologists.

"On the one hand it is so unexpected to find such a fragile bulla in such harsh
conditions of excavation, while on the other hand it was logical to find
precisely here the bulla of Gedalyahu ben Pashur - only meters away from the
place where we found the bulla of Yehukhal ben Shelemyahu - since these two
ministers are mentioned side by side in the Bible as having served together in
the kingdom of King Zedekiah," Mazar said.

The first bulla was uncovered inside an impressive stone structure, which Mazar
believes is the Palace of David, while the second bulla was found at the foot of
the external wall of the same structure, under a tower that was built in the
days of Nehemiah.

Both of the bullae with the names of the two ministers, measuring 1 cm. in
diameter each, were found among the debris of the destruction of the First
Temple period.

The letters are in ancient Hebrew and are very clearly preserved, Mazar said.

Both ministers are mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 38 1-4) along
with two other ministers when they came to King Zedekiah demanding the death of
the prophet Jeremiah for preaching to the besieged city to surrender.

Mazar said it was "absolutely fantastic" to have uncovered the seals "complete
and in perfect condition" after 2,600 years, affording scholars a clear read of
the names that were impressed on them.

"It is not very often that such a discovery happens in which real figures of the
past shake off the dust of history and so vividly revive the stories of the
Bible," she said.

The archeologist, who rose to international prominence for her excavation that
may have uncovered the Biblical palace of King David nearby, has been at the
forefront of a series of back-to-back Jerusalem archeological finds, including
the remnants of a wall from the Biblical prophet Nehemiah, also in the area.

Other Biblical-era bullae were previously found a quarter century ago at the
City of David site. In 1982, the Israeli archeologist Yigal Shiloh discovered a
cache of bullae in a nearby site, including one with the name of Gemaryahu ben
Shaphan - mentioned in the Bible as a minister and scribe during the reign of
King Jehoiakim (608-597 BCE).

The current dig is being conducted on behalf of the Shalem center, a Jerusalem
research institute, and the right-wing City of David Foundation, and was carried
out under the academic auspices of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


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