Thursday, September 08, 2005

A debate of biblical proportions

New excavating in Jerusalem has reopened a debate of biblical proportions - between those archaeologists who argue that the Jerusalem of David and Solomon was a substantial city with large public buildings, and those who maintain that Jerusalem only became an imposing city centuries after the time of David and Solomon.

One interesting find, discovered by Dr. Eilat Mazar, was a "a bulla, a round clay seal about one centimeter in diameter in which its owner's name was inscribed." It was inscribed "in a Hebrew script characteristic of the late First Temple period," and "contained the name of Yehokal ben Shlamyahu ben Shavi, who is mentioned twice in the Book of Jeremiah."

"When Mazar investigated further to see who the owner of the seal was, she let out a cry of surprise: Yehokal ben Shlamyahu was a senior minister in the government of Zedekiah. He is mentioned in Jeremiah 37:3 as one of two emissaries dispatched by King Zedekiah to Jeremiah, asking him to pray for the people during the siege of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon. Chapter 38 tells that Yehokal was one of four ministers who asked the king to kill Jeremiah, alleging that the prophet was sowing demoralization among the besieged people."

Is this cool or what?

1 comment:

  1. If the kingdoms of david and solomons were so huge, encompassing an area from egypt all the way to lebanon, why can't we find a single archeological shred of it? Surely there should have been coins, letters, reports, military communications or just business transactions mentioning these mighty kingdoms.