Evidence of a Royal Steward to a Davidic King Found in Jerusalem

Sept. 10 2019

Clay bullae—small, personalized stamps that would be pressed into wax to seal letters in ancient times—have repeated provided crucial insights into the biblical world. Just a few weeks ago, a volunteer found a bulla, dated by archaeologists to the 7th century BCE, bearing the name of “Adoniyahu, the royal steward.” Amanda Borschel-Dan writes:

According to the archaeologist Eli Shukron, . . . the role of the royal steward—[literally, “he who is over the house,” or] asher al ha-bayit—appears several times in the Bible and is used for the highest-level minister in the royal court. For example, the title of royal steward was used in the book of Genesis for Joseph’s high-powered position in Egypt.

The new Adoniyahu inscription gives a potential link to a 150-year-old mystery: a First Temple-era, 7th-century BCE rock-cave grave, which is also inscribed with the words “asher al ha-bayit.” The inscription, today found in the British Museum, has a partial name ending with the same three Hebrew letters as that on the new clay bulla.

The name Adoniyahu, [in English, Adonijah], appears in several iterations in the Bible, but not during eras that correspond to the 7th century BCE—the time period of the clay sealing. The most famous Adoniyahu occurs some 300 years before this newly attested Adoniyahu, and is a son of King David. He is called both Adoniyah and Adoniyahu.

There are two other notable Adoniyahus recounted in the Bible. One, a Levite, appears during the reign of Jehoshaphat (circa 870–849 BCE) [and] is mentioned in Chronicles. The other noteworthy Adoniyahu is found during the rule of Nehemiah, which occurs during the Persian era of the Second Temple period, circa 465-424 BCE.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Hebrew Bible

How Israel Helps Uphold the U.S.-Backed Liberal International Order

Oct. 16 2019

Seeking to reverse decades of diplomatic isolation, and in response to increasing hostility from Western Europe, Jerusalem in recent years has cultivated better relations with a variety of states, including some with unsavory rulers—ranging from the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte to Russia’s Vladimir Putin. While such a policy has provoked sharp criticism in some quarters, Seth Cropsey and Harry Halem explain that a small country like Israel does not have the luxury of disdaining potential allies, and, moreover, continues to do much to support American interests and with them the “liberal international order,” such as it is. Take the fraught case of its relations with Russia:

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Read more at National Review

More about: Israel diplomacy, U.S. Foreign policy, US-Israel relations, Vladimir Putin