Rare First Temple-Era Discovery Brings Biblical Narrative Alive

by | Jan 2, 2018 | Apologetics, Evangelism

Israeli archaeologists excavating the Western Wall Plaza recently made a unique and significant discovery when they unearthed a stamped piece of clay from the First Temple period which belonged to the “governor of the city” of Jerusalem, the most prominent local position to be held in Jerusalem 2,700 years ago.

The extraordinary find is a small lump of clay, stamped and pre-fired. It measures 13 by 15 mm. and is 2 to 3 mm. thick. The upper part of the seal depicts two men facing each other in a mirror-like manner, and the lower part holds an inscription in ancient Hebrew script. Its exact use is yet unknown.

Dr. Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, excavator of the site on behalf of the Israel Antiques Authority (IAA), believes that the seal “had been attached to an important transport and served as some sort of logo, or as a tiny souvenir, which was sent on behalf of the governor of the city.”

She further suggested that “it is likely that one of the buildings in our excavation was the destination of this transport sent by the city governor.”

Finding a seal with this high-ranking title, in addition to the large assemblage of other seals found in the building in the past, supports the assumption that the excavated area, located on the western slopes of the western hill of ancient Jerusalem, was inhabited by high ranking officials during the First Temple period.

Support for the Biblical Narrative

“This is the first time that such a seal is found in an authorized excavation. It supports the biblical rendering of the existence of a governor of the city in Jerusalem 2,700 years ago,” Weksler-Bdolah pointed out.

The two standing men facing each other on the seal have their heads depicted as large dots, lacking any details. The hands facing outward are dropped down, and the hands facing inward are raised. The figures are wearing a striped, knee-length garment.

In the register beneath the double line is an inscription in ancient Hebrew: לשרער, with no spacing between the words and no definite article. It denotes לשר העיר, i.e., “belonging to the governor of the city.”

Prof. Tallay Ornan of the Hebrew University and Prof. Benjamin Sass of Tel Aviv University who studied the seal explained that “the title ‘governor of the city’ is known from the Bible and from extra-biblical documents, referring to an official appointed by the king.”

Governors of Jerusalem are mentioned twice in the Bible: in 2 Kings, Joshua is the governor of the city in the days of King Hezekiah, and in 2 Chronicles Maaseiah is the governor of the city in the days of King Josiah.

A City With a Magnificent Past

The seal was presented to Jerusalem’s mayor, Nir Barkat, during his visit to the Davidson Center, near the Western Wall, last week.

Barkat stated that “it is very overwhelming to receive greetings from first temple-period Jerusalem. This shows that already 2,700 years ago, Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, was a strong and central city.”

“Jerusalem is one of the most ancient capitals of the world, continually populated by the Jewish people for more than 3,000 years. Today we have the privilege to encounter another one of the long chain of persons and leaders that built and developed the city. We are grateful to be living in a city with such a magnificent past, and are obligated to ensure its strength for generations to come, as we daily do,” he added. {eoa}

This article originally appeared at unitedwithisrael.org.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Troy Black Shares A Message to Help You Fight For Faith Again

Troy Black Shares A Message to Help You Fight For Faith Again

Young, old, rich or poor—nobody is immune to the feeling of brokenness. Jesus' life, death and resurrection on earth is a constant reminder that death no longer has a sting. Fear and hopelessness lurk throughout the earth trying to find an opportune moment to consume...

Kevin Sorbo’s Transformative Encounter as a Teen with Billy Graham

Kevin Sorbo’s Transformative Encounter as a Teen with Billy Graham

Actor Kevin Sorbo is known today for his roles in faith-based movies, like "God's Not Dead" and "Left Behind," but the iconic "Hercules" star's Christian roots took form at an early age. Sorbo recently told CBN's "Faith vs. Culture" he first read the prophetic book of...

7 Forms of Functional Cessationism

7 Forms of Functional Cessationism

In this article, cessationism refers to the doctrine, practice or belief that the ascension ministry gifts and the manifestations of the Holy Spirit ceased with the early church and do not function in the present church age (Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Cor. 12: 4-11). The...

Practical Tips to Maximize Your Time

Practical Tips to Maximize Your Time

We all have the same amount of time—four hours a day, seven days a week. And the longer I live, the more I discover that time is too valuable for us to waste any of it. That’s why it is so important that we learn to live on purpose, for a purpose. The truth is if you...

Enter the Courts of Heaven with Rabbi Curt Landry

Enter the Courts of Heaven with Rabbi Curt Landry

This article was first released by Curt Landry Ministries. Note: This is the first of a two-part series of articles. When you enter heaven's courtroom to do spiritual warfare, you are asking that the will of God, what is written in His books, be released from heaven...

RECENT ARTICLES

The Spiritual Awakening of Buffalo, New York

Monday night, Jan. 2, 2023, God drew our nation to prayer as Bills player Damar Hamlin experienced cardiac arrest on live tv. Could this have been the largest spontaneous prayer meeting in the...
Dr. Don Colbert: How This Every Day Ingredient is Killing Your Brain

Dr. Don Colbert: How This Every Day Ingredient is Killing Your Brain

Read Time: 4 Minutes 43 Seconds Of the many artificial sweeteners out there, such as aspartame, sucralose (Splenda), saccharin (Sugar Twin and Sweet’N Low) and neotame (NutraSweet), aspartame is one of the most common. How common? Aspartame is an ingredient in more...

Pin It on Pinterest