Seal Impression of Nathan-Melech Discovered in Jerusalem

A seal impression belonging to “Nathan-Melech, servant of the king” has been discovered in Jerusalem’s City of David. The inscription dates to about 600 BC, which is about the same time as a figure named “Nathan-Melech” served Josiah, king of Judah (2 Kgs 23:11). It’s not known if these two are the same person.

He removed from the entrance to the temple of the LORD the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun. They were in the court near the room of an official named Nathan-Melech. Josiah then burned the chariots dedicated to the sun.

The Times of Israel covers the story well and provides a number of illustrations. But you might want to begin with this well-made 3-minute video.

I will just add that Robert Deutsch published an identical seal impression in his book Messages from the Past in 1999; both impressions were made from the same seal. The new discovery has the significant advantage of being found in context instead of on the antiquities market.

HT: G. M. Grena, Joseph Lauer, Jared Clark


One thought on “Seal Impression of Nathan-Melech Discovered in Jerusalem

  1. Thanks, Todd! In earlier years, one might've thought this was a Fools Day joke by the IAA, as they're not inclined to support dealers or collectors by authenticating antiquities previously known only from out-of-context discoveries.

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