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Emet m'Tsiyon

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Inscription Discovered in Jerusalem of Name of Biblical Personage

UPDATING: better photo of stamp seals, 8-8-2008

A new discovery has been made in the area of the original Jerusalem, called `Ir David, City of David, which forms another physical [archeological] confirmation of the real life of a Biblical personage. This discovery is only the latest in a series of discoveries of names of Biblical personages in the `Ir David area. This person's name is found in the Book of Jeremiah [38:1], He lived in the late First Temple period, as did most or all of the other Biblical personages whose names have been found in that area. The building where this bulla [seal stamp impression] was found was also where at least one other bulla was found in `Ir David. The personage was named: Gedalyah son of Pash'hur [Jer 38:1] who served King Zedekiah. The other personage of whom a seal stamp impression was found was: Yehukal son of Shlemyah [Jer 37:3]. His name in Jer 38:1 is spelled Yukal. Here is the Hebrew:
גדליה בן פשחור ויהוכל בן שלמיה שהוא גם יוכל בן שלמיה


The archeologist Dr Eilat Mazar believes that the building where the bullae were found was King David's palace. However, since these names come from the late First Temple period, and King David lived before the Temple was built [It was built by his son, Solomon], then these findings alone are not proof that the building was David's palace, although it was a governmental/administrative structure. Furthermore, it is possible, even likely, that David's original palace was considerably renovated or torn down with a new palace built in its place by later kings. After all, we are talking about a period [of the First Temple] of 400 years approx. Given the proclivity of later rulers to compete with or improve upon or distinguish themselves from earlier ones, especially in regard to building works, then a new royal palace, built with the latest features and luxuries, is quite likely. Consider that in the United States, new presidents who move into the White House almost always do renovation work on the building, some more and some less.

`Ir David, the City of David, was the original Jerusalem where David ruled, built on a narrow ridge that goes downhill from north to south from the Temple Mount. It is now outside the Old City walls although it was within the walls up to and through the first of the two periods of Crusader rule in Jerusalem [up to 1187]. However, the city walls were torn down by one of the Ayyubid rulers [descendants of Saladin] and not rebuilt by later Crusaders, as far as I know. When the Ottoman Empire decided to rebuild the city's walls in the 16th century, the `Ir David area was left outside the walls. The small village of Silwan was built there apparently in the 19th century. Silwan takes its name from the Greek/Latin name Siloam for the pool at the southern, lower end of the ridge, Shilo'ah. Jews lived among Arabs in Silwan village up to the pogroms of the 1930s when Arabs drove Jews out of the neighborhood, although it does not seem that the local villagers took the initiative in the expulsion. Rather the decision seems to have come from the Arab leadership in the Arab Higher Committee, who operated with British encouragement.

See report from `Ir David. For news of the earlier discovery of a similar bulla in that location, see "Good News on the Archeological Front," here. This earlier report is part of another post not directly related to Israeli archeology.

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Coming: More on Obama the war candidate -- his mask drops with a loud bang, More on the anti-Jewish racism of the "Peace Process," Jews in Jerusalem, Hebron, the Land of Israel, archeological updates, peace follies, propaganda, etc.

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3 Comments:

  • Nice. If that indeed is King David’s palace, then tourism will explode to that location. In Bosnia, they are also excavating parts of old city in Visoko. It looks like a pyramide, but I don't think it's a pyramide. We'll see.

    By Anonymous Daniel (Srebrenica Genocide Blog), at 11:23 PM  

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