|LMRA, LMRT, LNRA, LNRT Seal|
x (cannot classify)
This seal impression is listed on the Personal Seals page (685-22c) since that is the concensus among scholars. However, this unique seal (found in stratum 5 of En Gedi) contains an icon tremendously similar to that of the 2-winged LMLK seals (compare to Type S2DR in particular), & its inscription may be interpreted as either "Belonging to Nera" (like personal seals 686, 687, & 688) or "Belonging to the lord" in Aramaic that may be referring to a foreign (i.e., non-Judean) ruler such as Nebucadnezzar, king of Bablylon or a Judean governor such as Gedaliah (2Kings 25:22).
However, both the 2nd (M or N) & 4th (A or T) letters are unclear, so it could be read as LMRA, LNRA, LMRT, or LNRT. If this latter reading is correct, Pieter Gert van der Veen has translated it as "Belonging to Nurat", possibly a high-ranking woman involved in the production of balsam perfume, the resin of which may have been imported to Judah from southwest Arabia.
Photos of impression & restored jar fragment below are from IEJ vol. 45 #1 (published by The Israel Exploration Society), in which Gabriel Barkay discusses the reasons why it should be interpreted as a personal seal in the same typological family of LMLK seals instead of a successor to the LMLK seals during a later era:
Note: This impression also appears in:
"Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, & a revealer of secrets..."--Daniel 2:47
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||This page was created on March 25, 2002, & last updated on February 18, 2011|