It is always exciting to learn of brand new discoveries that once again confirm the historicity of the Bible. What was just reported from Jerusalem (about a week ago or so) is truly incredible. Yet discoveries like this should not surprise us at all. Once again, the possible connection to the Bible with these inscriptions verifies the biblical record.
What was discovered was two inscriptions. Specifically, two small 2,600-year-old inscriptions were uncovered in the City of David’s where a parking lot (called Givati) once stood 10 years ago. The inscriptions were written in an earlier form of Hebrew (called paleo-Hebrew) and were found separately from each other by archaeologists Ayyala Rodan and Sveta Pnik.
As reported in the Times of Israel article, “One is a bluish agate stone seal ‘(belonging) to Ikkar son of Matanyahu’ (LeIkkar Ben Matanyahu). The other is a clay seal impression, ‘(belonging) to Nathan-Melech, Servant of the King’ (LeNathan-Melech Eved HaMelech).” The name of Nathan-Melech is mentioned once in 2 Kings as an official in the court of King Josiah. About the link between the inscription and the Bible, scholar Mendel-Geberovich commented, “Although it is not possible to determine with complete certainty that the Nathan-Melech who is mentioned in the Bible was in fact the owner of the stamp, it is impossible to ignore some of the details that link them together.”
“This possible link between the one seal “Nathan-Melech” inscription and the Bible is so exciting. While there cannot be 100% certainty of this link, the probability is high that the name mentioned on the inscription is indeed the same “Nathan” mentioned in 2 Kings.“
About the “Nathan-Melech” inscription, this name appears only in 2 Kings 23:11. This man served as an official in the court of King Josiah, and took part in the widespread religious reforms. The verse reads this way, “And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entrance of the house of the Lord, by the chamber of Nathan-Melech the officer, which was in the precincts; and he burned the chariots dedicated to the sun.”
“The inscriptions are not just another discovery,” said archaeologist Dr. Yiftah Shalev of the Israel Antiquities Authority. “Rather, they paint a much larger picture of the era in Jerusalem.” This IAA press release also mentioned that “These artifacts attest to the highly developed system of administration in the Kingdom of Judah and add considerable information to our understanding of the economic status of Jerusalem and its administrative system during the First Temple period, as well as personal information about the king’s closest officials and administrators who lived and worked in the city.“
It is always exciting to read about these new discoveries in Jerusalem that link/connect us to the Bible.
To view a 3 minute video, go HERE.
To read the entire Times of Israel article featuring these discoveries, go HERE.
(Note: All photos credited to Eliyahu Yanai, City of David)