Jerusalem: 2,600 year-old clay seals indicate presence of First Temple treasuries
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – Archaeologists studying 2,600-year-old clay seals uncovered on and near Jerusalem’s Temple Mount believe the artifacts show ancient Israelites had two different treasuries, one for the First Temple and one for the Kingdom of Judah, the Jerusalem Post (JP reports).
Researchers Zachi Dvira and Dr. Gabriel Barkay examined dozens of clay seals unearthed over decades at the Temple Mount and at Ophel Park adjacent to the southern wall of the Old City of Jerusalem. An excavation site of special note is a structure excavated during the 1970s and 80s at the Ophel Park; known as the “royal building,” researchers believe this was the site of the Royal Treasury, JP reports.
Clay seals were used to close documents or containers, and sometimes had symbols and inscriptions. The seals were found to have impressions of woven fabric on them, indicating they were used to close bags of silver, precious metals or produce, the Times of Israel said.
In analyzing the seals, the researchers were impressed by one in particular that is inscribed with the paleo-Hebrew letters “_lyhw son of _mr,” JP reports. According to Dvira and Barcay, the letters spell “Hisilyahu son of Immer.”
The Bible refers to an Israelite priest called Pashur son of Immer in the book of Jeremiah chapter 20: “Pashhur son of Immer, the priest who was chief officer of the House of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesy these things.Pashhur thereupon had Jeremiah flogged. For thus said the Lord: I am going to deliver you and all your friends over to terror. And I will deliver all the wealth, all the riches, and all the prized possessions of this city, and I will also deliver all the treasures of the kings of Judah into the hands of their enemies: they shall seize them as plunder and carry them off to Babylon.”
It was common for Priests and Levites who presided over the Temple Treasury and the Royal Treasury of the Kingdom of Judah to share duties: “Hisilyahu could have been [Pashur’s] brother,” Dvira said.
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