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Archive for April, 2006

The Real Seal: Hezekiah Royal Bulla Impression

4th April 2006

The royal seal impression that I used as the basis for my April Fool’s Day post (ain’t Photoshop just amazing?!), is actually an impression of a bulla belonging to Hezekiah king of Judah. The bulla is part of the Kaufman collection and is published in Robert Deutsch, Biblical Period Hebrew Bullae. The Josef Chaim Kaufman Collection (Archaeological Center: Tel Aviv, 2003; Buy from The image is reproduced with permission:


As can be seen from the image, the black clay bulla is in a very good state of preservation. It measures 13.2 x 11.9 x 3.8-1.9 mm, while the seal impression measures 11.9 x 9.9 mm. On the back of the bulla a papyrus imprint is clearly visible along with a groove left by the chord that tied the scroll. The seal was likely set in a bezel of a ring, as is clear from the groove around the edge of the seal impression.


The seal, as can be seen from the line tracing above, is dominated by a royal emblem, what Deutsch considers a two-winged sun disk. The inscription is found above and below the emblem and reads:

לחזקיהו ×?×—/×– מלך יהדה

[Belonging to] Hezekiah, [son of] Ahaz, King of Judah.

For those unfamiliar with the script, here is a key from Deutsch’s volume:


The provenance of the seal impression is unfortuantly unknown, though there is no good reason to doubt its authenticity. There are actually four royal bullae beloinging to Hezekiah, impressed by three different seals, in the Kaufman collection.

Posted in Archaeology, Bullae, Inscriptions | 3 Comments »

Biblical Studies Carnival IV in Online at The Busybody

2nd April 2006

After I recovered from my 40th birthday bash (with the time change, it ended up being a very late night/morning! :-) ), I was pleased to notice that Loren Rosson III has uploaded Biblical Studies Carnival IV at The Busybody. Loren does an excellent job highlighting some of the best blog posts in academic biblical studies from the month of March. I encourage you to take a close look at the posts that he notes. Well done, Loren!

Biblical Studies Carnival V will be hosted by Kevin Wilson at Karamat in the first week of May, 2006. Look for a call for submissions on his blog sometime in the middle of April.

Submissions for blog entries posted in the month of April should be emailed to biblical_studies_carnival AT hotmail DOT com, or entered via the submission form at For more information, consult the Biblical Studies Carnival Homepage.

Posted in Biblical Studies Carnival | Comments Off

The Fool is Forty

1st April 2006

Tyler-5days.jpgSome forty years ago today, Dr. R. Winters (who evidently had a healthy sense of humour) performed a scheduled C-section on my mother the morning of April 1st, 1966 at the Royal Alexandria Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. At approximately 8:21 am, I was brought into this world, preordained to be the fool that I am today. I weighed in at 6 lbs 2 ozs and was 20.5 inches long and was by and large healthy — except for one brief notation in my rather sparse baby book (I was the last of four kids) that I will not disclose publicly! If the picture to the right is any indication, I was a stern lad — perhaps I was a bit perturbed about being given such an ignoble birthday! Sure, they say that they needed to do the C-section as soon as possible — they could of least waited until after twelve noon to make the cut! That’s OK, I’m not bitter. Really…

Well, some forty years later I can look back on my life and realize that I have been blessed. I have a wonderful family, including three great kids and a lovely, long-suffering, wife (suffering for about twenty one years to be precise!). I love my work (the piles of grading I have been creatively neglecting notwithstanding) — especially my colleagues and students. Never in a million years would I have thought I would be a religion and theology professor at a Christian college!

Life is good. Thanks for reading.

הודו ליהוה ×›×™ טונ ×›×™ לעול×? חסדו

Posted in Personal | 11 Comments »

“David King of Judah” Seal Uncovered (April Fool’s Day 2006 Post)

1st April 2006

N.B. This is a post I wrote for April Fool’s Day 2006 (April 1st). To set the record straight in case anyone was fooled, there was no “David King of Judah” seal discovered from Eliat Mazar’s (note spelling) Jerusalem dig. The actual seal below is a doctored image of a royal seal impression of Hezekiah from the Kaufman Collection. I left a number of subtle (perhaps too subtle for some!) hints that the post was a hoax: (1) the spelling of Haaretz and Mazar’s name; (2) the plene spelling of “David” in the seal; and (the most obvious) (3) the tag “AF’s Day.” If I offended anyone by my April Fool’s Day prank, then I am sorry. I meant it to be a joke and I hope everyone — even those fooled — may take it in the spirit in which it was intended — and I promise to only do it once a year! (and hey, what do you expect? I was born on April Fool’s Day!).

The Israeli newspaper Haarets reported this morning a significant discovery among the Eliat Mazur’s Jerusalem “City of David” archaeological dig (for more on some other discoveries from the same dig, see my posts here, including my posts on the Yehukal Seal also discovered at the site). It appears that a bulla/seal was recently discovered among the excavation remains from last summer. Most significantly, it was discovered among the rubble from the part of the excavation that she has identified as the remains of a 10th century royal palace.

The clay seal impression measures about 12 mm by 10 mm and is in a remarkably good state of preservation. The centre of the seal has what appears to be a two winged sun disk, which is probably some sort of royal emblem. The article has a good image of the seal along with a great line tracing:



The inscription is on two lines (above and below the sun disk) and reads in a clear paleo-Hebrew script: לדויד ישי מלך יהדה “[Belonging] to David, [son of] Jesse, King of Judah.”

This find is highly significant for a number of reasons, not least being that it appears to have been found in situ in the building Mazur has been excavating and thinks is King David’s palace (at least it was discovered among the rubble from that part of the excavation). While it is too early to speculate, it seems to me that the so-called “minimalists” will have a hard time denying this clear reference to what must be the biblical David.

Posted in April Fool's Day, Humour | 20 Comments »