Most of are familiar with the "wax seal." Now-days
it is still sometimes used to give documents a special stamp.
For example a graduation certificate or certificate of appreciation
are often decorated with it.
Archaeologists have often found seals on the ground in
Israel. Sometimes the seal will mention who the owner was.
For example, the seals of Biblical rulers like Ahaz, Hezekiah
and queen Jezebel have been found. A seal bearing the name
of the prophet Jeremiah’s secretary, Baruch, has also
been found. Seals could have different shapes; sometime they
were round and had images. These were called cylinder seals.
Mostly they had the image of a scarab, like the one seen in
our image. The little seal could be part of a ring, carried
by the owner. Instead of writing a signature on a document,
a small amount of soft wax or clay was put on the document
and after the agreement the seal was pushed in the wax or
clay - it was now real and legal. Sometimes a seal was used
to close a document, for example a certificate or a last will
- see Daniel 12:9. Someone who was given a royal seal (by
the king) could issue royal decrees - see Esther 8:2, 8 and
The image shows a seal made of jasper. It's dimensions
are only 11,5 x 7,5 x 4,5 millimetres.
On this small stone, we see a mirror image of text engraved
in very small ancient Hebrew consonants. It is almost unreadable
but experts, after an accurate examination, are in agreement
that what is written is:
lmqnyw ‘bd . yhwh
translation: (belonging) to miqneyaw
servant of JHWH
The result of the seal print:
It is probably Mikneiah the Levite who
played the harp as the “Ark of the covenant”, in
a great moment of joy lead by king David, was brought to Jerusalem
- see 1 Chronicles 15:18, 21 and 28.
The Bible, besides the literal use of seals, also mentions
symbolic seals, for example in Revelation 5:1(-5). Opening
or breaking the seals brings symbolic plagues over the world.
Also certain people, who have received God’s approval,
are regarded as 'sealed'. - see Revelation 7:4 and Haggaï