2,600-year-old seal discovered in Jerusalem

2,600-year-old seal discovered in Jerusalem

No, not that kind of seal.

It’s the kind of seal that was used to sign documents. It’s called a bulla. It’s about 2,600 years old, and once belonged to an important Judean official.

It bears the Hebrew inscription “Adoniyahu Asher Al Habayit,” which literally translates as “Adoniyahu Appointed to the House” — a term used throughout the Bible to describe the most senior minister serving under the kings of Judea or Israel.

A teenager doing volunteer work at the site found it this week, while sifting dirt excavated from beneath Robinson’s Arch at the foundations of the Western Wall in 2013.

The bulla is approximately 1 centimeter wide. Its style of writing dates to the seventh century B.C.E., which is the period of the Kingdom of Judea.

The name Adoniyahu also appears several times in the Bible, most prominently as one of King David’s sons, who, according to the Book of Kings, did not end well. It’s also the name of one of the Levites who lived in the time of Jehoshaphat.


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