Long-sought royal seal of King Hezekiah has been found, the imprint of the royal seal in clay having been unearthed near Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
The royal seal of the biblical king Hezekiah has been the weave of legends until now. Many impressions have been recreated over the years based on clues picked from biblical accounts or historical accounts depicting King Hezekiah’s rule.
The recent discovery of the royal seal brought to light the clay imprint of a two-winged sun shielded on both sides by two ankh symbols. Papyrus documents dated back to the biblical king Hezekiah have been collected throughout history.
The royal seal was found in a trash heap hiding for millennia near the walls of Jerusalem’s Temple mount. King Hezekiah’s rule of Judea is established by scholars between 727-698 B.C. The biblical king Hezekiah is perhaps the most famous king in the gallery of Israelite rulers. He is the king under whose rule idol worship was rooted out. At the same time he is known for centralizing power and…giving new life to Temple Mount. Leaving biblical accounts aside, the king’s rule has been described in the chronicles of Sennacherib and Sargon II, Assyrian kings. Under the former’s rule, Jerusalem was under his siege. During this time, the chronicle recounts, the biblical king Hezekiah paid tribute to keep the city safe.
As the long-sought royal seal of King Hezekiah has been found, the archaeologists studying the authenticity revealed that the clay impression even bears an inscription reading: Belonging to Hezekiah, son of Ahaz, king of Judah.
Impressions of the royal seal have been recreated and sold on the antiquities market ever since the 1990s. However, some depicted a winged scarab or a winged sun. However, this is the first time that the original seal has surfaced during an excavation.
The clay imprint of the royal seal is half an inch in diameter. The winged-sun shielded by the two ankh symbols is believed to be the biblical king’s later-life seal as indeed, during his early life, the royal seal would have depicted a scarab with open wings, facing down and protecting the same two ankh symbols.
According to the chronicles and the biblical accounts, King Hezekiah would have switched between the two symbols as he had fallen severely ill. It is possible that the biblical king was poisoned by anthrax at the time. Nonetheless, as he prayed and prayed for his life, he miraculously recovered and lived to rule another 15 years.
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