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A bulla (clay seal impression) dating to the seventh century BC was recently discovered by the City of David sifting project. The earth that was sifted came from an excavation in 2013 beneath Robinson’s Arch at the foundations of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The bulla itself is one centimeter in size and bears the Hebrew inscription “Adoniyahu asher al habayit,” which literally translates as “Adoniyahu, who is over the house.” The name, Adoniyahu, is a biblical name, occurring three times in Scripture, with the most famous person being a son of King David and Haggith, known by his shortened name, Adonijah (1 Kings 1:5). The title in the inscription, Asher al Habayit, means “Royal Steward” which is a biblical title mentioned in Isaiah 22:15. Some have suggested there may be a link between this seal impression and a grave discovered 150-years ago, which also dates to the seventh century BC and is inscribed with the phrase Asher al Habayit. Interestingly, the name of the grave’s owner is only partial, and ends with the same three letters as on the recently discovered bulla. Others believe the grave to be that of the famous steward, Shebna, also known as Shevaniyahu, who was deposed from office for carving a grave for himself (Is. 22:15-19).

OFF-SITE LINKS:

- https://www.timesofisrael.com/tiny-first-temple-seal-impression-inscribed-with-biblical-royal-stewards-name/
- https://www.israelhayom.com/2019/09/13/seal-of-first-temple-era-royal-steward-found-in-jerusalem/

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ABRT 28 | 8/1/2019