A small round 2,700 year old clay seal, also known as a docket, was excavated by the Israel Antiquities Authority near the Western Wall Plaza in Jerusalem, bearing a Hebrew inscription which translates as, “Belonging to the governor of the city.”
“This is the first time that such an impression was found in an authorized excavation,” Dr. Shlomit Weksler-Bdolah, Site Excavator, said in the Times of Israel. It supports the biblical rendering of the existence of a governor of the city in Jerusalem 2,700 years ago.”
“It is very overwhelming to receive greetings from First Temple-period Jerusalem. This shows that already 2,700 years ago, Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, was a strong and central city,” Dr. Weksler-Bdolah continued.
The Biblical era governors of Jerusalem in question were referenced in scripture, specifically Joshua in 2 Kings 23:8 and in 2 Chronicles 34:8, both of which are consistent with the chronology and history of the latter part of the First Temple era.
Josiah brought all the priests from the towns of Judah and desecrated the high places, from Geba to Beersheba, where the priests had burned incense. He broke down the gateway at the entrance of the Gate of Joshua, the city governor, which was on the left of the city gate. 2 Kings 23:8
Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land, and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the Lord his God. 2 Chronicles 34:8
“The Bible mentions two governors of Jerusalem, and this finding thus reveals that such a position was actually held by someone in the city some 2,700 years ago,” Dr. Weksler-Bdolah elaborated. “The finding of the seal with this high-rank title – in addition to the large assemblage of actual seals found in the building in the past – supports the assumption that this area, located on the western slopes of the western hill of ancient Jerusalem, some 100 meters west of the Temple Mount, was inhabited by highly ranked officials during the First Temple period.”
Written by Erin Parfet