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How long shall they find evidence of plots to kill our prophets?

by michael August 05 2008
Set me as a seal on your extensive archaeological digs

Remember that time the ministers of King Zedekiah conspired to kill drama queen Biblical prophet Jeremiah? That was pretty awesome. Remember how archaeologists dug up the seal of one of the guilty ministers in the City of David? That was pretty awesome too.

Israeli archaeologists have unearthed a seal impression belonging to a minister of the biblical King Zedekiah, which dates back 2,600 years, during an archeological dig in Jerusalem's ancient City of David. The finding helps corroborate the story pertaining to the biblical minister's demand to have the prophet Jeremiah killed.

The seal impression, or bulla, with the name Gedalyahu ben Pashur, who served as minister to King Zedekiah (597-586 BCE) according to the Book of Jeremiah, was found completely intact just meters away from a separate seal impression of another of Zedekia's ministers, Yehukual ben Shelemyahu, which was unearthed three years ago.

Both ministers are mentioned in the Book of Jeremiah along with two other ministers when they came to King Zedekiah demanding the death of the prophet Jeremiah for preaching to the besieged city to surrender.

The impressions, measuring 1 cm in diameter each, were found among the debris of the destruction of the First Temple period, by an excavation team led by Prof. Eilat Mazar of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

And just in time for Temple-mourning holiday Tisha B'Av, too. 

You may remember Eilat Mazar from the last time she plucked the seal of a Biblical figure out of the dirt in the City of David. What the Bible doesn't mention, though, is the root cause of the apparent scourge of seal-dropping by Israelite Jerusalem's social elites. 

At this rate of historically- and Jewishly-significant archaeological discovery, it's probably only a matter of time until they find the Ark of the Covenant. So if you're in the neighborhood of the City of David and you see faces melting, you'll know why.

Image courtesy of bdnegin from Flickr under a Creative Commons license.

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