Incredible Biblical Discovery at the City of David
Archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar of the Hebrew University announced the find of a clay bulla (seal impression) inscribed with the name “Gedaliah Ben Pashchur” from her recent archaeological excavation at the City of David. The name appears in the Book of Jeremiah (38:1) in the same sentence as the mention of “Yehuchal Ben Shelamayahu” whose name was found on an identical clay bulla as part of an earlier phase of the same archaeological dig in 2005. This is the first time in the annals of Israeli archaeology that two clay bullae with two Biblical names that appear in the same verse of the Bible have been found in the same location. The fact that these two bullae were found on the site indicates that the building in which they were found was used by the king, or at least by his ministers, until the destruction of the First Temple.
“And Shephatiah the son of Mattan, and Gedaliah the son of Pashchur, and Yehuchal the son of Shelamayahu, and Pashhur the son of Malchiah, heard the words that Jeremiah spoke unto all the people, saying:” (Jeremiah 38:1)
Yehuchal the son of Shelamayahu and Gedaliah the son of Pashchur where both ministers of King Zedekiah (a descendant of King David and the last king to rule in Jerusalem before the destruction of the First Temple). They unsuccessfully plotted to kill the prophet Jeremiah by throwing him into a pit. Pashchur, Gedaliah’s father, may have been the deputy chief priest of the temple that “smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the upper gate of Benjamin, which was in the house of the Lord.” (Jeremiah 20:3)
Dr. Eilat Mazar completed the third phase her excavation of what she believes to be Kind David’s palace at the City of David site a month and a half ago and is currently sifting through the remains of that excavation. It was in this material that she found the seal. Much of the rubble from the dig has yet to be sifted and it is likely that more discoveries will be made. The Ir David Foundation was the principal sponsor of the excavation, together with the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Hebrew University, and the Shalem Center.