A national service volunteer working in excavated dirt from the Western Wall in Jerusalem recently discovered a 7th century BCE clay sealer, which reads “Belonging to Adoniyahu, the Royal Steward.”
Translated, Adoniyahu means “The Lord is My Master,” the Time of Israel reports.
The one-centimeter sealer was found late last month, in dirt that had been excavated in 2013 from the foundations of the Western Wall under the staircase known as Robinson’s Arch. The clay sealer was most likely used to seal important documents and letters.
According to archaeologist Eli Shukron, the inscription is “of utmost importance.” The role of the Royal Steward (Asher al Habayit), he said, appears several times in the Bible and is used for the highest-level minister in the royal court.
In the Book of Genesis, Joseph’s position in Egypt is called the Royal Steward.
Holding the seal in his hand, Shukron said, “After 2,600 years, you come and hold this bulla, which was used to seal a letter, that was sent 2,600 years ago by the highest minister in the kingdom, it’s something amazing… It makes my heart skip a beat.”
The seal or bulla was found as part of the City of David Sifting Project in Jerusalem.
“I overturned a bucket of earth into the sifting pallet and began washing it with a spray of water. And all of a sudden, in the dust, I identified a little piece of black-colored clay,” said Batya Ofan who found the seal.
“I immediately understood it was a bulla and there was much, much excitement. For me, holding an artifact from 2,600 years ago in my hand, from the time period of the Kings of Judah, is just amazing.”
Earlier this year, archaeologists found another bulla with the inscription “(belonging) to Nathan-Melech, Servant of the King” (LeNathan-Melech Eved HaMelech).” Nathan-Melech appears in 2 Kings as an official in King Josiah’s court.
In 2018, archaeologists found another bulla that some believe, says “Belonging to Isaiah.”
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Microgen, this is a stock photo.