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It is filled with the common Egyptian symbols that were often used in Phoenicia at this time. The body of the sphinx is a lioness cf. Ezekiel 19 , clearly appropriate for the seal of a queen. To the left is an Egyptian ankh , the sign of life. A line then divides these symbols from a lower register. Below this is an Egyptian-style falcon. On either side of the falcon is a uraeus , the cobra most commonly seen on the headdresses of Egyptian royalty and divinities. Each of these snakes faces outward. The serpent-like symbol beneath the falcon is actually a lotus, which refers to regeneration but also is a typical female symbol generally connected to women, but especially royal women.

Jezebel plotted to have Naboth killed so that Ahab could take the vineyard as his own 1 Kings Actually, this is not as peculiar as it might seem at first. We have many seals where the lettering identifying the owner is distributed around an elaborate decoration in a way that matches the Jezebel seal perfectly.

Further reading

But what about the critical missing aleph at the beginning of the spelling of the name Jezebel in Hebrew? Actually, there are two letters that we would expect to find in a seal like this. So we should expect two additional letters before the four letters that actually appear on this seal— a lamed and then an aleph. Though theoretically any letter of the alphabet could fill the space of the second letter, only an aleph produces an acceptable name for such an elaborate seal.

There is one damaged part of this seal— at the very top. It is just large enough for the two missing letters: lamed and aleph. In my view, the broken-off part of the seal originally contained these two letters.

Elizabeth I's seal

There are additional reasons to believe that this Jezebel is the queen who figures so prominently in the Bible. The winged sphinx, winged sun disk and especially the falcon are well-known symbols of royalty in Egypt. The graceful Egypto-Phoenician style points to someone who apparently loved this type of art, a circumstance tallying with the fact that Jezebel was a Phoenician princess 1 Kings Because most seals were pressed into wet pottery or into small blobs of clay used to secure scrolls— serving much like a signature— symbols and letters were often carved in reverse.

When stamped into the clay, the seal images and inscription would appear correctly. This photo of the Jezebel seal and its impression, or bulla, show the seal in reverse and in proper stance. The double uraeus cobra at the bottom is a typical symbol of queens with prominent roles in religion and politics from the 18th Egyptian dynasty onward.

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Especially the Egyption queen Tiye seems to have functioned as a model for later queens. So, independent of the name of the owner, the iconography definitely suggests a queen. Although other individuals used the same symbols to indicate their closeness to the throne, no other seal uses them all. It is this goddess who is addressed by the highest god, Ilu, in the above quote from the Baal myth.

As Avigad recognized, the name Jezebel was rare in Phoenicia. It is probable that only princesses who would eventually become queens were named Jezebel. Similarly the pharaoh at his death was identified with Osiris, and it was Isis who had to restore him to life with the help of her sister Nephtys. These two goddesses were often represented as uraei.

By including the two cobras, the ankh symbol and the horned sundisk on her seal, Jezebel wanted to characterize herself as the revitalizing force behind the throne. From her Phoenician point of view, she had every right to aspire to such a semi- divine status. Similar ideas are found in Phoenician inscriptions. In an Aramaic inscription, a queen describes herself as the wife of the god Bel Baal.

Fit for a Queen: Jezebel’s Royal Seal - Biblical Archaeology Society

According to Ezekiel , 9 the king of Tyre imagined himself a god. It is well known that in Israel, too, the divine nature of kingship was sometimes recognized e. The seal attests to her aspiration for a divine status, and this may well have been what sparked the ire of the Biblical descriptions of her. Finally, the form of the letters on the signet, especially the Y, is Phoenician or imitates Phoenician writing. In short, I believe it is very likely that we have here the seal of the famous Queen Jezebel.

For further details, see Marjo C. PDF available from www. Lawrence Mykytiuk suggested an aleph was chipped off, but he doubted any identification with Queen Jezebel. Lawrence J. Atlanta: Society for Biblical Literature, , p. Bonnet et al. The letters on the seal are in the paleo-Hebrew script used before the Babylonian exile. Does our current first lady masquerade as a goond woman but controlling and persuading the pres.

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Learn More. Korpel May 01, 3 Comments views Share Total: 11 0 30 For her jewellery, she certainly didn't disappoint well-wishers who were queuing up to get a glimpse of the Monarch. She opted for a stunning silver and diamond brooch, large pearl stud earrings and a simple pearl necklace, just visible underneath the coat collar. The Queen is currently gearing up to celebrate a staggering 67 years on the throne having taken over from her father, King George IV, in We reckon this landmark occasion will call for another excellent outfit.

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