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

As World Leaders Gather to Remember the Holocaust, They Should Ask How Anti-Semitism Differs from Ordinary Hatreds

Jan. 22 2020

Today, an international conference titled “Remembering the Holocaust, Fighting Anti-Semitism” opens in Jerusalem, attended by representatives from some 40 governments, including the presidents of France, Russia, and Italy and the vice-president of the United States. While ample attention will no doubt be paid to the anti-Semitism of the extreme right, Fiamma Nirenstein fears that less will be paid to that of the left, and still less to the Islamic variety. She also fears that those in attendance will give in to a related, and dangerous, temptation to subsume anti-Semitism into an amorphous “hatred”:

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Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Anti-Semitism, Holocaust, Intersectionality, Radical Islam