SERIES: The History of the Esrtwhile
“Biblical Name Unearthed”
Many artifacts of the ancient past are often destroyed by fires, earthquakes, and floods. Furthermore, archeologists must dig down through layers of earth to find artifacts. In so doing they cannot help but destroy a number of them. In view of the forgoing, it is amazing that artifacts from antiquity have survived at all.
However, in 2005, archeologists made two remarkable discoveries in Jerusalem’s ancient City of David. They uncovered two clay seal impressions or bullae dating back to when Jerusalem was destroyed in 607 B.C.E.
One of the bullae bears the ancient Hebrew name “Gedalyahu ben Pashhur,” or “Gedaliah the son of Pashhur” in English. The other bulla bears the Hebrew name “Yehuchal ben Shelemyahu,” which is “Jucal the son of Shelemiah” in English.
Amazingly, Jeremiah 38:1 names both Gedaliah and Jucal! These men served as officials in the court of King Zedekiah. Yes, those named in Jeremiah chapter 38 were real people!
Just how significant are the discoveries of these bullae? The Jerusalem Post reports: “This is the first time in the annals of Israeli archeology that two clay bullae with two Biblical names that appear in the same verse in the Bible have been unearthed in the same location.”
Personal Seals (Bullae) of Two Judean Kings
“Archeologist have found impressions made from what are believed to be the personal seals of two Judean kings. One text reads: “Belonging to Ahaz [son of] Yehotam [Jotham], King of Judah.” Other texts read: “Belonging to Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz, King of Judah.” (2 Kings 16:1, 20) Ahaz and Hezekiah reigned during the eighth century B.C.E.”