Home Science Archaeology news: Incredible discovery of 2,700-year royal seal could prove Bible right

Archaeology news: Incredible discovery of 2,700-year royal seal could prove Bible right

King Hezekiah, according to the Bible, was the 13th king of Judah, whose reign has been dated to between 715 and 686 BC. Hezekiah features prominently in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament, and is said to have hailed from the House of David. The Bible states in 2 Kings 18:5-7: “Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before or after him.

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“He held fast to the Lord and did not stop following him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses.

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“And the Lord was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him.”

During his reign, Hezekiah is credited with building up Jerusalem’s power as well as establishing the worship of one God and one God only at the city’s Temple Mount.

But outside of scripture, what evidence is there to back the account of his life?

According to Professor Tom Meyer, a theologian at Shasta Bible College and Graduate School in California, US, there is “stunning” archaeological evidence to back the Bible’s accounts of the Biblical king.

READ MORE: End of the world: ‘Doomsday prophecy’ of Dead Sea Scrolls unearthed

Archaeology news: The seal of the Biblical King Hezekiah (Image: GETTY/Courtesy of Dr Eilat Mazar; Ouria Tadmor)

Archaeology news: The seal was discovered near Jerusalem’s Temple Mount (Image: GETTY)

He told Express.co.uk: “A small but stunning archaeological object has been discovered that is linked to one of the most famous kings of Jerusalem, Hezekiah.

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“In 2015, excavations in the Ophel – the raised area between the City of the David and the Temple Mount – produced a clay bulla or round seal dating to the eighth century BC inscribed with the name of its owner: Hezekiah.

“Other seals bearing Hezekiah’s name have been known to archaeologists from the black market, which can sometimes bring their authenticity into question, but this is the first-ever discovery of any Israelite king’s seal found during a proper archaeological excavation.”

In a Biblical context, such seals were often engraved with their owner’s name and other ornate decorations.

Archaeology news: Some of the greatest discoveries mappped out (Image: EXPRESS)

We are once again able to measure the Bible’s historical accuracy

Professor Tom Meyer, Shasta Bible College and Graduate School

The seals served to validate and authenticate official transactions as well as decrees issued by, in this case, royalty.

According to Professor Meyer, they were frequently worn around the neck on chains, in armlets or finger rings.

He said: “The Hezekiah seal was at one time inserted into a ring as the depressions around the seal demonstrate.

“The tiny seal, just over a centimetre in diameter, was one of over thirty seals found in the same location, in a refuse dump next to the remains of what was at one time likely a Judean royal administration centre near the Temple Mount.

Archaeology news: The ancient seal is adorned with King Hezekiah’s name (Image: Courtesy of Dr Eilat Mazar; Ouria Tadmor)

Archaeology news: A depiction of the Biblical king of Judah (Image: GETTY)

“Like the discovery of the seal of Isaiah the prophet – a contemporary of Hezekiah – Hezekiah’s seal was discovered by wet sifting, a form of advanced analysis to separate coarse or abrasive material with high pressured water to perchance discover a small artefact that would have otherwise been encased within a clump of earth and missed by the naked eye.”

An inscription on the seal bears Hezekiah’s name, and reads: “Belonging to Hezekiah (son of) Ahaz king of Judah.”

The seal is also decorated with a royal motif: a two-winged Egyptian Sun and an ankh – a symbol of life.

Professor Meyer said: “Through the wealth of data unearthed by archaeologists in Jerusalem, such as the seal of King Hezekiah, we are once again able to measure the Bible’s historical accuracy.

“King Hezekiah really did live in the eighth century BC and really was a contemporary of Isaiah the prophet who together with him strove to persuade the nation of Israel, who walked in darkness, to see the light of YHWH.”

According to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the seal was discovered alongside 33 other seals or bullas.

The University said: “Hezekiah is depicted as both a resourceful and daring king, who centralized power in his hands.

“Although he was an Assyrian vassal, he successfully maintained the independent standing of the Judean kingdom and its capital, Jerusalem, which he enhanced economically, religiously and diplomatically.”

Source:Daily Express :: Science Feed

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