A minuscule 7th century BCE clay sealing reading “Belonging to Adoniyahu, the Royal Steward,” was recently discovered in the City of David’s sifting project.
In earth excavated from the foundations of the Western Wall under Robinson’s Arch in 2013, a national service volunteer some three weeks ago unearthed the one-centimeter inscribed letter sealer bearing the ancient Hebrew name of a character found several times in the Hebrew Bible, Adoniyahu, literally, “The Lord is my Master.” (In English translations of the Bible, the name is written Adonijah.)
According to archaeologist Eli Shukron, this inscription is unique and “of utmost importance.” The role of the Royal Steward (Asher al Habayit), he said, 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.
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