What Ancient Seal Reveals About Jerusalem's History
JERUSALEM, Israel This week, the Hebrew University announced one of the most significant archaeological finds in years. It affirms the biblical record and the life of one of ancient Israel's most famous kings.
It's small, only 1 centimeter wide, but already made a big impact. It's called a bulla, an ancient seal. What makes this so significant is the name on the bulla: King Hezekiah.
"We discovered the seal impression imprinted by King Hezekiah himself saying very clearly in ancient Hebrew "belongs to Hezekiah, son of Ahaz, King of Judea."
Hebrew University archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar discovered the bulla during one of her excavations. For Mazar, it was the discovery of a lifetime.
"Astonished," Mazar told CBN News. "I think this was the most amazed find for me personally ever. I was amazed."
Mazar and her team discovered the bulla in an rea called the Ophel, built by King Solomon and located near the southern wall of the Temple Mount.
Mazar says the discovery is unprecedented.
"We never found in archaeological excavations, scientific, stratigraphy such an item that is so close, private, tangible to any of the Israelite or Judean kings ever," she explained. "I believe it's as close as we can get to any biblical figure, not to mention such a figure as King Hezekiah."
The Bible describes Hezekiah in II Kings 18:5: "He trusted in the Lord God of Israel so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him."
Mazar says the bulla was Hezekiah's personal seal for important documents. She says the find validates the Bible.
"I'm amazed to see repeatedly, that the archaeological evidence goes so beautifully along with the biblical story," she said. "Just repeatedly showing us that so much of the biblical narratives are accurate, simply as that accurate."
The find also connects the Jewish people to ancient Israel.
"We're talking about what 2,800 years, just as the Bible says. We're talking about the Kingdom of Judah and Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. We're talking about the history of Jerusalem in such a tangible, independent way."