Steven Collins
January 17, 2008
An article in the Jerusalem Post reports that an important ancient seal was found near the Temple Mount region in Jerusalem. Ancient seals are regularly found in archaeological digs, but this seal was particularly important because it belonged to a Jewish family linked in the Bible to Solomon’s First Temple.
The seal (see link) had the name “Temech” on it, which is the name of a Jewish family which “…were servants of the First Temple, and were sent into exile to Babylon.” This Jewish family, mentioned in Nehemiah 7:55, also had members who returned to Jerusalem under the leadership of Ezra and Nehemiah. Nehemiah 7:46 identifies this family as one of the families of “Temple servants.” This seal, obviously, supports the accuracy of the Bible as it is a tangible record of one of the families mentioned in the Bible as serving Temple needs.
Ancient Hebrew words and names were given only in consonants, so the vowels of each name must be inferred. “Temech” is the Jewish name translated from the three Hebrew consonants found on the seal. Many Christians will see the same three Hebrew consonants translated as “Tamah” or “Temah” in their Bibles, although the Complete Jewish Bible renders the name as “Temach.”