King Ahaz's seal
King Ahaz's seal is a bulla (impressed piece of clay) originating from 8th century BCE. The place of discovery of this seal is unknown, and it is currently part of Shlomo Moussaieff's private collection. The seal contains an ancient Hebrew inscription mentioning the name of Ahaz of Judah, as well as the name of his father, Yehotam (Jotham), identifying Ahaz as the "king of Judah". The bulla contains a fingerprint which may belong to Ahaz himself.
The inscription "l'hz*y/hwtm*mlk*/yhdh" has been translated as:
- Belonging to Ahaz,
- son of Yehotam,
- king of Judah
Another extra-biblical source regarding the historicity of Ahaz comes from Tiglath-Pileser III, mentioning tributes he received in gold and silver from Ahaz, and from the bulla known as Ushna seal.
Unprovenanced artifacts that originate in the antiquities market are subject to authentication disputes. The authenticity of ancient bullae has been the topic of scholarly discussion. According to Robert Deutsch, an archeologist who is also the antique dealer who sold the Ahaz bulla, most scholars believe the bullae to be authentic. Others, such as Andrew Vaughn, agree that it would be difficult to fake a bulla, but do not rule out such a possibility, and in fact conclude that some bullae are forgeries.
- Caiger, Stephen L. Bible and Spade, Oxford University Press, 1936
- Jerusalem Forgery Conference (Special report, Biblical Archaeology Society)
- Hershel Shanks, Jerusalem Forgery Conference Report, p. 27 "Is it reasonable to ask whether they [bullae] could be fakes? The universal answer of all experts in the field is no. It is simply impossible to fake them."
- Hershel Shanks, Jerusalem Forgery Conference Report, p. 27
- Orte und Landschaften der Bibel. Die Geschichte Jerusalems und die ... - Page 384 Othmar Keel, Max Küchler - 2007 "Ein Siegelabdruck mit der Inschrift le'ahaz <ben> fhotam mcelcek fhudah »Für Ahas <Sohn> des Jotam, König von Juda« ist überraschenderweise anikonisch (271). Die Frage ist, ob ..."
- In the Service of the King: Officialdom in Ancient Israel and Judah - Page 58 Nili Sacher Fox - 2000 "Other highly decorated seals include the two ascribed to ministers of Uzziah"
- Orte und Landschaften der Bibel. Die Geschichte Jerusalems und die ... - Page 384 Othmar Keel, Max Küchler - 2007 "268 Siegel des Schebanjau, eines Ministers ('cebced) des jud. Königs Usija; zwei geflügelte Sonnescheiben rahmen den Namen ein (um 779-738a) 269 Siegel des Uschna, eines Ministers des jud. Königs Ahas; über dem Namen eine ..."