Archaeology - Recent
Seal of the City of David
Monday, September 12, 2005
“Now Shephatiah the son of Mattan, Gedaliah the son of Pashhur, Jucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur the son of Malchiah heard the words that Jeremiah had spoken to all the people, saying,
“Thus says the Lord: ‘He Who remains in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence; but he who goes over to the Chaldeans shall live; his life shall be as a prize to him, and he shall live.’ Thus says the Lord: ‘This city shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, which shall take it.’”
How do we know this passage from Jeremiah 38:1–3 is historically accurate (compare Jeremiah 37:3). First, we can look back at history and see if these words were fulfilled, and secondly, we can look at the archaeological evidence. Excavations have been taking place for quite some time (1920s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s) in the ancient City of David, located in the lower part of Jerusalem, from where King David once ruled.
The latest excavations are taking place under the experienced hand of Dr. Eilat Mazar, who believes her crew has uncovered the palace of King David. The discovery of a plaque with a seal dating to 580 BC has a name on it that’s close to the names of one of King Zedekiah’s officers.
On the seal is the name “Jucal (also spelled Jehucal), the son of Shelemiah,” the same name that appears in Jeremiah 38:1. This seal dates from before the destruction of the First Temple. These finds, which align with the same time periods in Jeremiah, give historical authenticity to the Bible. They also give archaeologists hope for more discoveries in the palace of the kings of Israel.
These verses in Jeremiah speak of a decree to the Israelites to leave their homeland because God was about to cast them into exile. God would spare the lives of those who left. And He also preserved the decree so the generations that followed would believe that His Word is true!