First Temple Period Hebrew Seal found

It is always exciting when an Hebrew seal of the 7th Century B.C. is found, as announced today here. In an excavation 100 m west of the Western Wall an impressive seal was found. It shows a Hebrew archer in Assyrian style military outfit and his name, Hagab, engraved in ancient Hebrew script next to him. At least he doesn’t look like a grasshopper, which the Hebrew meaning of this name is. The name appears in reverse, so that it would come out right, when impressed in clay.

It was stated that this name of Hagab also appears in the Bible, namely in Ezra 2.46. That is where the comparison ends, of course, for this Hagab was one of the Nethinim, temple servants. Temple servants were not usually dressed in warrior’s suits.

The seal was found in an excavation, located some 100 m. from the Western Wall. This wall, of course, did not exist at the end of the First Temple period. The Western wall at the end of the First Temple period was located at least 25 m further to the east. That wall was part of the 500 cubit square Temple Mount, which was probably built a century earlier by King Hezekiah.

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