02 December 2015

RARE FIND: Bulla of Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz king of Judah.

King Hezekiah's Seal Impression 
Found in the Ophel Excavations, Jerusalem*

"The bulla was discovered in a refuse dump dated to the time of King Hezekiah or shortly after, and originated in the Royal Building that stood next to it and appears to have been used to store foodstuffs. The building, one of a series of structures that also included a gatehouse and towers, was constructed in the second half of the 10th century BCE (the time of King Solomon) as part of the fortifications of the Ophel - the new governmental quarter that was built in the area that connects the City of David with the Temple Mount.
[. . . .]
"The symbols on the seal impression from the Ophel suggest that they were made late in his life, when both the Royal administrative authority and the King's personal symbols changed from the winged scarab (dung beetle) - the symbol of power and rule that had been familiar throughout the Ancient Near East, to that of the winged sun - a motif that proclaimed God's protection, which gave the regime its legitimacy and power, also widespread throughout the Ancient Near East and used by the Assyrian Kings.
[. . . .]
"This change most likely reflected both the Assyrian influence and Hezekiah’s desire to emphasize his political sovereignty, as well as Hezekiah’s own profound awareness of the powerful patronage given his reign by the God of Israel.

"While the changed Royal administrative symbol imprinted on the King's jars used the motif of a sun with wings extended to the sides, Hezekiah's personal changed symbol had a sun with sheltering wings turned down and a life-symbol at the end of each wing.

"This special addition of the symbol of life may support the assumption that the change on the King's personal seal was made after Hezekiah had recovered from the life-threatening illness of shehin (II Kings 20:1-8), when the life-symbol became especially significant for him (ca. 704 BCE)."

Source: Arutz Sheva


An Interesting Side Note

The illness known as Anthrax is very rare in the west. In developing countries relatively significant numbers of cases are found, particularly in animals. However, biological terrorist acts could cause it to spread. In Hebrew, the illness is now called Gahelet or Gameret. The purpose of this paper is to examine whether the illness is described in the Bible, and if so, to present that description and provide a broader survey of the features of this illness. The word Gahelet appears in the Bible, but not indicating a disease, while the source of Gameret is in the Talmud. In the Bible, Shehin is mentioned as the sixth of the ten plagues in Egypt, and also as the disease that affected Job. The natural course of the condition, as described in the Bible, matches the clinical symptoms of Anthrax, as we know it today. The Hebrew Language Academy is therefore advised to adopt the findings of this paper, and confirm the name of the illness in Israel--Shehin.

Source: Characteristics of anthrax: its description and biblical name--Shehin

* Another piece in the puzzle unfolding called GEULA


Avi said...

Truly this discovery is a piece of Geulah.
May you be blessed Neshama for telling us the stories of your return home in 2007. And may a Chaya soul arise in you.

Anonymous said...

When referring anything that is connected to Torah sources, advisable not to use the word 'Bible', but instead to refer to Torah. Bible is the Xtian name for both testaments, meaning the inclusion of the new testament.

Neshama said...

Anonymous, this was quoted text from A7, which I normally do not edit/change their wording.

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