Seal of ancient biblical king uncovered in Jerusalem

An impression of a seal, first discovered by excavators in 2009, has been determined to have belonged to an ancient biblical king, King Hezekiah of Judah, according to a story on wnd.com.

The impression, known as a bulla, was among a number of items found over the last few years at a building in the Ophel, a section of Jerusalem near the Temple Mount, that had been used by royalty in the past.

Upon its discovery, researchers looking at the inscription thought it read “Melkiyahu”, an name from the times, but Reut Ben Arieh, an archaeologist from Hebrew University noticed punctuation marks dividing the inscription into two words, changing the meaning to “king” and “Judah.”

With this new information, it was determined the inscription read “Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz, king of Judah.”

Hezekiah was the ruler of Judah in the eighth century B.C., and is spoken of well in the Bible in the book of 2 Kings, saying, in chapter 18, verse 2, “Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem.”

Verse 3 adds “And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did,” and verse 5 adds “He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him,” according the the King James Version.

The leader of the excavation project, Eilat Mazar, said in a press conference, the discovery strengthened what they already knew about Hezekiah, adding the bulla was the closest they could get to something that was most likely held by King Hezekiah himself.

Mazar noted there were other seals in the antiquities market that bear King Hezekiah’s name, but none of those were as valuable as the newly discovered one, making the point that none of the others were from an archaeological excavation, which makes a great deal of difference.

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