• David Lee Brown

Proof of the Biblical King Josiah

The Proof of the Biblical King Josiah is found in the form of a rare seal impression from the 8th century BC, bearing the name Nathan-Melech. It was found in a dig at the large Iron Age administrative center in Jerusalem’s City of David. Consequently, the City of David is just outside of the current walls of Jerusalem to the southeast. You can also look up to the Temple Mount from the City of David. So, this location is adjacent to Jerusalem and at this excavation, archeologists found a clay seal.   This clay seal impression, has the words, “(belonging) to Nathan-Melech, Servant of the King” on it. Nathan-Melech is named in 2 Kings as a Chamberlin (an officer who manages the household of a monarch) in the court of King Josiah.

2 Kings 22:1-2

“Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem.  And his mother’s name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath.  And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.”

Proof of the Biblical King Josiah Background

King Josiah reigned about 370 years after King David and was without a doubt the most powerful advocate for God since King David.  Josiah was actually prophesied to one day become king in 1 Kings 13:1-2 about 300 years before he was born.  King David made sure that all the tribes of Israel worshiped the one and only true God.  Solomon started allowing worship of other gods and then you have a long stream of kings either doing right in the sight of God or doing wrong.  The problem is that these kings from Solomon to Amon refused to dismantle all of the high places and worship centers of the false gods.  Then came King Josiah.  He not only restored the temple but destroyed all the worship sites of all the false gods in the kingdom of Judah.


Proof of the Biblical King Josiah and Restoration of Yahweh Worship

A priest named Hilkiah found the Book of the Law in the temple.  Apparently, it was hidden there during the pagan occupation and worship within the temple.  The priest kept it secret until Shaphan, the scribe, was sent by the King to get an inventory of the temple.  After the scribe Shaphan found and read the Law he brought it to King Josiah.  Shaphan read it to King Josiah and Josiah tore his clothes in shame, because of how far the Hebrew people had fallen from what God intended.  King Josiah in the 18th year of his reign gathered all the elders of Judah and read the newly discovered Pentateuch (First 5 books of the Bible) to them.  He then commanded that the covenant with God be re-established and the elders agreed.


Proof of the Biblical King Josiah

This burnt clay impression is the first archaeological evidence of the biblical name Nathan-Melech. Hence, according to Dr. Yiftah Shalev, the discovery is of immense scholarly value and value as an archaeological context. According to Dr. Shalev, the Natan-Melech bulla (clay seal) was found in the City of David. (City of David) Shalev told The Times of Israel.

“What is importance is not just that they were found in Jerusalem, but inside their true archaeological context,”

Many other seals, as well as seal impressions, have been sold on the antiquities market without any thought to the origin. In other words, they were not archeologically verified prior to being removed from the location they were found. This in situ find, said Shalev, serves to “connect between the artifact and the actual physical era it was found in.”

Excavation at the City of David

Archeology and Proof of the Biblical King Josiah

According to archaeologist Prof. Yuval Gadot of Tel Aviv University, in the 8th century BC, this area of the City of David became the central administrative center of Jerusalem. During the excavation, the newly unearthed two-story public building proves the beginning of the relocation of governmental administration to this area. The multi-room structure clearly shows signs of destruction in the sixth century BC, which correspond with the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC, according to the IAA press release. The destruction is evident through large stone debris, burnt wooden beams, and numerous charred pottery shards.

“These artifacts attest to the highly developed system of administration in the Kingdom of Judah and add considerable information to our understanding of the economic status of Jerusalem and its administrative system during the First Temple period, as well as personal information about the king’s closest officials and administrators who lived and worked in the city,” said Gadot and Shalev. Doron Spielman, vice president of the City of David Foundation, said, “This is an extremely exciting find for billions of people worldwide. The personal seal of Nathan-Melech, a senior official in the government of Josiah, King of Judah, as described in the second book of Kings. The ongoing archaeological excavations at the City of David continue to prove that ancient Jerusalem is no longer just a matter of faith, but also a matter of fact.”


Scholars and Proof of the Biblical King Josiah

While archeologists were quick to make the connection between the name on the seal with the reign of King Josiah, scholars were a little more skeptical. Therefore, scholar Mendel-Geberovich wasn’t as quick to confirm the evidence but was optimistic. He stated.

“Although it is not possible to determine with complete certainty that the Nathan-Melech who is mentioned in the Bible was, in fact, the owner of the stamp, it is impossible to ignore some of the details that link them together.”


2 Kings 23:11

“And he took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entering in of the house of the Lord, by the chamber of Nathanmelech the chamberlain, which was in the suburbs, and burned the chariots of the sun with fire.”


Proof of the Biblical King Josiah

While this proof is still preliminary and requires more research, I’m pretty confident that this find will hold up under scrutiny. Every time that the Bible is tested, it always wins. The historicity of the Bible is profoundly accurate. So, to question it is to question the one and only Almighty God. Specifically, because He wrote it through men that he inspired by His Holy Spirit. So, we can trust His precious Holy Word. Hence, this Nathan-Melech bulla is truly an amazing find.

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