Jerusalem Seal Gives Evidence for Temple Ritual

Bible and archaeology news

Archaeologists surveying the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount in the area of Robinson’s Arch have found a button-sized, first-century C.E. seal inscribed in Aramaic with the phrase “pure for God.” Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists Eli Shukron and Ronny Reich believe the seal was impressed upon purified objects designated for ritual use in the Jerusalem Temple. Similar seals are mentioned in the Mishnah and discussed in the Talmud. “This is the first time an object of this kind has been found,” said Shukron and Reich. “Products being brought to the Temple had to be stamped pure, which is what this seal was used for.”

Jerusalem Seal Gives Evidence for Temple Ritual

Archaeologists surveying the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount in the area of Robinson’s Arch have found a button-sized, first-century C.E. seal inscribed in Aramaic with the phrase “pure for God.”

 

Read more about the seal.

Posted in News, Temple at Jerusalem.

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  1. Robert says

    Very interesting BUT the interpretation has to be different:
    The seal impression (the bulla) has two finger prints on the back and there is no evidence that it served to seal or to be attached to an artifact.

    In the Mishna (Kedoshim, Tamid 3:3) is mentioned the “chamber of the seals” which was in the temple. There the seals were kept, whose impressions on bullae served as evidence of the payment for sacrifice. The Chamber of the seals might have been a room where one could buy an official bulla as evidence of payment. Possibly, a range of bullae in various denominations were prepared and then exchanged there for cash, much like a modern ticket office.

    The purchase of seals, which are probably bullae, is also mentioned in the Mishna: “Who wishes to get libations, goes to Yohanan who is over the seals, hands him over coins and receives a seal. He goes to Ahiya who is over the libations,
    hands him over a seal and receives libations. At evening they meet, and Ahiya presents the seal and exchanges them for coins”. (Moed, Shekalim 5:4). The actual seals probably never left his room.

    The idea was not to “contaminate the oferings with “uncleane money”, but with “clean receipts”.

    Therefore the bulla discovered by Shukrun and Reich (if the reading is correct), is in fact a receipt, or the means (proof) of payment which was used to buy offerings.

    Robert Deutsch


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