BEACON TRANSCRIPT – An important piece of history was unearthed, as King Hezekiah’s 2,700 year old royal seal was found near the wall that stretches along Jerusalem’s Old City. The artifact is not the first of its kind, but it is the first one to be discovered after excavations.
The dig was conducted by archaeologists from the University of Jerusalem, led by Dr. Eliat Mazar. They found the royal seal back in 2009, but it took a long time to understand and decipher the markings on its surface. However, they finally identified it as the seal of King Hezekiah as stated by the inscription that read “This seal belongs to Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz, king over Judah.”.
The royal seal in itself is below 1 centimeter in width, but bears two exquisite markings of two ankhs and a sun with two wings spreading downwards. It’s believed that King Hezekiah made the seal himself. It is also suggested that he ruled over Israel between 715 and 696 BC, boarding on a 29 year-old reign when he was just 25 years old.
King Hezekiah managed to keep the independence of the Judean Kingdom, providing with numerous enhancements where it concerned their economy, religion, and diplomacy. He is believed to have been an arduous believer, and greatly against the worshipping of idols in the Temple of Jerusalem. The king, whose name means “God has strengthened” was the 13th Judah monarch.
According to lead author of the study and archeologist, Dr. Mazar, there were also “thin cords” on the back side of the clay imprint. This indicates that the royal seal had been tied to a papyrus document that disintegrated through time. The seal, however, remained, and it’s become one of many antiquities market of its kind. But, it’s still the first one ever dug out from a site near the south of Temple Mount in Israel’s capital city.
King Hezekiah was praised and became known due to the enlightened manner in which he ruled over his people. For the most part though, very little is known about the Judean king. He was the son of former king, Ahaz, and Abijah, who was a descendent of Zechariah, the high priest who once served the Temple of Jerusalem.
According to a passage from 2 Kings 18:5, “After him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.”.
Image source: pcog.org