Browse By

Impression of King Hezekiah’s royal seal discovered

Ophel excavations south of Temple Mount in Jerusalem

The Ophel excavations at the foot of the southern wall of the Temple Mount, conducted by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology under the direction of Dr. Eilat Mazar, have unearthed an impression of the royal seal of King Hezekiah (727-698 BCE).

 Seal impression of King Hezekiah unearthed in the Ophel excavations

Seal impression of King Hezekiah unearthed in the Ophel excavations

Measuring 9.7 X 8.6 mm, the oval impression was imprinted on a 3 mm thick soft bulla (piece of inscribed clay) measuring 13 X 12 mm. Around the impression is the depression left by the frame of the ring in which the seal was set.

The impression bears an inscription in ancient Hebrew script:
“לחזקיהו [בן] אחז מלך יהדה”
“Belonging to Hezekiah [son of] Ahaz king of Judah”
and a two-winged sun, with wings turned downward, flanked by two ankh symbols symbolizing life.

The symbols on the seal impression from the Ophel suggest that they were made late in his life, when both the Royal administrative authority and the King’s personal symbols changed from the winged scarab (dung beetle) – the symbol of power and rule that had been familiar throughout the Ancient Near East, to that of the winged sun – a motif that proclaimed God’s protection, which gave the regime its legitimacy and power, also widespread throughout the Ancient Near East and used by the Assyrian Kings.

Dr. Eilat Mazar: “Although seal impressions bearing King Hezekiah’s name have already been known from the antiquities market since the middle of the 1990s, some with a winged scarab (dung beetle) symbol and others with a winged sun, this is the first time that a seal impression of an Israelite or Judean king has ever


Click here for the Top 12 Moments in Jewish History...LET THE ADVENTURE BEGIN! »


Join the over 1.4 million fans of Jews News on FB…It’s NOT news unless it’s Jews News!

Powered by WordPress Popup