See William Shea, “Jerusalem Under Siege,” BAR 25:06 and Mordecai Cogan, “Sennacherib’s Siege of Jerusalem,” BAR 27:01.



Enrico Acquaro, “Scarabs and Amulets” in Sabatino Moscati, ed., The Phoenicians (New York: Abbeville Press, 1988), pp. 394–403. See also Moscati, “Arts and Crafts,” Phoenicians, pp. 244–247. Without minimizing local influences, the striding sphinx, the woman at the window and the Nimrud bowls show a “preponderance of Egyptian or Egyptianizing motifs.” See John E. Curtis and Julian E. Reade, eds., Art and Empire (London: British Museum Press, 1995), p. 135. See also Richard D. Barnett, “Layard’s Nimrud Bronzes and Their Inscriptions,” Eretz Israel 8, pp. 1–6. Further, Samarian ivories decorating the Ivory Palace of Ahab (1 Kings 22:39) and his Sidonian Queen Jezebel are closer in spirit to the Egyptian representations that inspired them than other ivories brought from neighboring localities. See Maria Luisa Uberti, “Ivory and Bone Carving,” in Moscati, The Phoenicians, p. 412.


Skilled artisans are among the categories of people cited by Homer’s Odyssey (chapter 17, pp. 382–386), as welcomed the world over. For a detailed discussion, see Cyrus H. Gordon, “Ugaritic Guilds and Homeric Demioergoi,” in Saul S. Weinberg, ed., The Aegean and Near East: Studies Presented to Hetty Goldman (Locust Valley, NY: J. J. Augustin, 1956), pp. 136–143. The mobility of the artisan guilds is also discussed in Walter Burkert, The Orientalizing Revolution: Near Eastern Influence on Greek Culture in the Early Archaic Age (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1992), pp. 6, 8.


John H. Currid, Ancient Egypt and the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1997), p. 170, notes 55–59.


This is my translation. Raphael Giveon, Footsteps of Pharaoh in Canaan (Tel Aviv: Sifriat Poalim, 1984), p. 112 [Hebrew]. For the Phoenician aspect, see Cyrus H. Gordon, “The World of the Phoenicians,” Natural History 75 (1966), pp. 14–23.


See Ruth Hestrin and Michal Dayagi-Mendels, Seals from First Temple Period: Hebrew, Ammonite, Moabite, Phoenician and Aramaic (Jerusalem: Israel Museum, 1978), p. 53 [Hebrew].


We find two-winged beetles in Phoenicia as well, but this is a later development.


The proximity of production dates led Cross, in his BAR article, to compare the icon on the Hezekiah bulla with the four-winged beetle on a Phoenician bowl, also from the Moussaieff collection. Raphael Giveon finds that the four-winged motif originated in the Mitanni Kingdom and was later absorbed into Phoenician art. (Giveon, Footsteps of Pharaoh, pp. 140–4 [Hebrew]). Nahman Avigad assumed that the Hebrew artisans adopted the four-winged scarab from the Phoenicians who had used Egyptianized themes. He admits, however, that the “two-winged scarab and the two-winged uraeus of Egypt [my emphasis] were often depicted as four-winged on Hebrew seals.” Nahman Avigad, Corpus of West Semitic Stamp Seals (Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 1997), p. 45.
Both two-winged and four-winged flying beetles with or without a solar disk were found in Jerusalem on jar handles during the period of Hezekiah. Almost all—60 out of 61—of these l’melekh (“belonging to the king”) seals were of the two-winged variety. Very few of the four-winged type were discovered. A.D. Tushingham, an expert in lmlk seals, maintains that the latter was the royal symbol of the Northern Israelite kingdom. Although rarely found on lmlk jars, the four-winged beetle was absorbed as a symbol by Judah, which already had the two-winged scarab as its royal symbol, because of King Hezekiah’s insistence that he was the legitimate heir to the defunct Northern Kingdom. This iconography was not original, but derived from Phoenicia, with which the Israelite dynasties had close ties. See A. D. Tushingham, “New Evidence Bearing on the Two Winged LMLK Stamp,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 287 (1992), pp. 61–64.
The two-winged icon, either alone or with the solar disk, emerged from a version of the old Egyptian solar disk motif that was prevalent in the entire Levant during the monarchical era. The origin of the two-winged variety of lmlk cannot be determined because the prototypes were crude representations with clumsy inscriptions.


Raymond Faulkner, A Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian (Oxford: Griffith Institute, 1986), p. 41. For the story of the winged sun-disk see Alfred Wiedemann, Religion of the Ancient Egyptians (London: H. Greuel, 1897), pp. 69–80. See also Herbert W. Fairman, “The Myth of Horus at Edfu,” Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 21 (1935), pp. 26–36. See Alan H. Gardiner, “Horus the Bẹhetite,” Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 30 (1944), pp. 23–40 and Adolph Erman and Hermann Grapow, Wörterbuch der Ägyptischen Sprache (Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1982), 1:179, no. 22.


Kurt Sethe, Urgeschichte und alteste Religion der Ägypter (Leipzig: Nendeln, 1930; Liechtenstein: Kraus Reprint, 1966) pp. 155ff. See also Gardiner, “Horus,” pp. 46–52.


Gardiner and T. Eric Peet, The Inscriptions of Sinai (London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1952), Plate VI, no. 10.


Gardiner, “Horus,” p. 49.


“Winged Sun-disk,” in Wiedemann, p. 75, fig. 14. See also Richard H. Wilkinson, “The Sphinx Stela of Thutmose IV in Giza,” in his Symbol and Magic in Egyptian Art (London: Thames and Hudson, 1994), pp. 152–153, Illus. 106. Usually, the sun god has only one uraeus for his protection. See also Gardiner, “Horus,” p. 48, n. 2, p. 50, fig. 3.


Gardiner, “Horus,” p. 53. See also Erman and Grapow, Wörtenbuch, 1.178 no. 11 and 10.179 no. 22.


The quote is found in Gardiner, “Horus,” p. 53.


Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar, 3rd ed. (London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1973), p. 584. Also, E.A. Wallis Budge, The Egyptian Book of the Dead (New York: Dover, 1967), cix–cx, p. 246 n. 2. For an explanation of ḫpr the verb, ḫprr the dung beetle, and Ḫprr the divine, see Faulkner, A Concise Dictionary, pp. 188–189; See also Daphne Ben-Tor, The Scarab as a Mirror of Ancient Egyptian Culture (Jerusalem: Israel Museum, 1989), p. 9 [Hebrew]. For the idea of the sun god appearing in more than one aspect in Egyptian religion, see Siegfried Morenz, Egyptian Religion (Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1992), pp. 142–145. The various names of the sun god are listed in George Hart, Egyptian Myths (Austin: Univ. of Texas, 1990), p. 45.


Giveon explains the relationship between the sun god and the dung beetle in Egyptian Scarabs From Western Asia From the Collections of the British Museum (Freiburg: University Press, 1985), p. 9.


Hezekiah is described as a king with impeccable behavior by the Chronicler. For a discussion of the aim of the Chronicler, see David N. Freedman, “The Chronicler’s Purpose,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 23 (1961), pp. 436–442 and Isaac Kalimi, The Book of Chronicles Historical Writing and Literary Devices (Jerusalem: Bialik Institute, 2000), p. 31 [Hebrew]. For an explanation of the diverging accounts of Kings and Chronicles see M. Breuer, “Torat ha-Teudot shel ba’al Sha’agat Aryeh,” Megadim 2 (1986), pp. 9–22 [Hebrew].


2 Kings 18:21, 19:9; Isaiah 36:6, 37:9, 17–22. The weakness of the Egyptian ally, however, is demonstrated by his failure to send help to Hezekiah, who was under siege in his capital. See Douglas J. Brenner and Emily Teeter, Egypt and the Egyptians (New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1999), p. 50. Compare Antony Spalinger, “The Concept of Monarchy During the Saite Epoch—An Essay of Synthesis,” Orientalia 47 (1978), p. 24. See also Hayyim Angel, “Differing Portrayals of Hezekiah’s Righteousness: Narratives and Prophecies,” Nachalah: Yeshiva Univ. Journal for the Study of Bible (1999), pp. 1–13. For Egyptian ties, see pp. 5 and 8.


Judeans during the time of Hezekiah were aware of Egyptian culture and symbols. See Sarah Israelit-Groll, “The Egyptian Background to Isaiah 19:18, ” in Meir Lubetski et al., eds., Boundaries of the Ancient Near Eastern World: A Tribute to Cyrus H. Gordon (Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press, 1998), pp. 300–303; Meir Lubetski and Claire Gottleib, “Isaiah 18: The Egyptian Nexus,” Ancient Israelite Religion, pp. 364–384; Kenneth A. Kitchen, “Late Egyptian Chronology and the Hebrew Monarchy,” Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Studies 5 (1973), pp. 225–233; Currid, Ancient Egypt, pp. 229–246; Donald B. Redford, Egypt, Canaan and Israel in Ancient Times (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1992), p. 351.


This is my translation, published in Lubetski et al., Boundaries. See also Lubetski, “Isaiah 18:1: Egyptian Beetlemania,” in Jewish Studies in a New Europe: Proceedings of the Fifth Congress of Jewish Studies in Copenhagen 1994 under the Auspices of the European Association for Jewish Studies (Copenhagen: C.A Reitzel Publishers and the Royal Library, 1998), pp. 512–520.


Lubetski, Jewish Studies, pp. 518–520.


A successful struggle for the reunification of Upper and Lower Egypt under one monarch takes place toward the end of the seventh century B.C.E. See the relevant Egyptian sources in James H. Breasted, ed., Ancient Records of Egypt IV (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1906), pp. 452, 454. Neferkara Shabako, the Nubian pharaoh of the XXVth dynasty who unified Upper and Lower Egypt, commemorated his achievements on a scarab; see J. Yoyottee, “Plaidoyer pour l’authenticité de scarabée historique de Shabako,” Biblica 37.4 (1956), pp. 457–476. Possibly Hezekiah emulated Shabako by symbolizing his attempted unification of Israel and Judah with a scarab seal.


Robert Deutsch, Messages From the Past (Tel Aviv: Archaeological Center Publications, 1999), p. 51. It is important to mention the cubic bronze weight in the British Museum (WA119433) on which a two-winged scarab is portrayed and is thought to be the royal symbol of the Kings of Judah. Curtis and Reade, Art and Empire, p. 195. Yigal Yadin already suggested in 1965 that the symbol of the four-winged beetle served as the royal insignia of the Judean monarchy: “A Note on the Nimrud Bronze Bowls,” Eretz-Israel, 8:6 and n. 1 and 2. He passed away before the information about the two-winged beetles appeared.


Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar, p. 75, n. 10. Further evidence of this style, where an inscription surrounds an icon and the phrase ends with a royal title, can be found as follows: A scarab from the period of the New Kingdom found in Tell el Ajjul reads ḫpr-rc nt̠r nfr ̣ḥk3, or prenomen (the name borne by the king before his ascension to the throne) of Tuthmosis III, “beautiful god, ruler,” (i.e., the king). See Giveon, Egyptian Scarabs from Western Asia, p. 100, no. 116 L. 976. Similarly, a scarab found in Gezer in the New Kingdom period has the following inscription: mn-h&#032E;prw-rc mr Thot nb, prenomen of Tuthmosis IV “beloved of the god Thot, Lord.” Giveon, Egyptian Scarabs, p. 124, no. 47, 104909. See also bulla 84527 and 84884 of Shabako, king of the XXVth dynasty, c. 716–695 B.C.E., in Giveon, Egyptian Scarabs, p. 166. Likewise, inscriptions on Amun-Re scarabs end with the word, nb, Lord; Giveon, Egyptian Scarabs, p. 44, no. 65 L. 612; p. 52, no. 90 L. 672 and many more.


Erman and Grapow, Wötenbeuch, p. 179, no. 22.


Gardiner, “Horus,” pp. 23–60, plate VI, nos. 2, 3, 4.


See Max E.L. Mallowan, Nimrud and Its Remains, vol. 2 (London: Collins, 1966), p. 599, fig. 583. For additional scarab objects belonging to the Egyptian Saite period see pp. 437–41, 472, and p. 645 n. 96.


See Wiedemann, Religion, p. 31.


Did the vision of the cherubim’s wings that spread upward in the Tabernacle (Exodus 25:25, 2 Kings 6:27) play a role in the design of the wings? Note the view of the rabbis in the Babylonian Talmud, Sukkah 5b. For illustrations of cherub wings from the ninth century B.C.E. see Elie Borowski, “Cherubim: God’s Throne?” BAR 21:04.


Some have suggested that the seal is a forgery. As Avigad noted, the problem is that Manasseh ascended the throne when he was just 12 years old. Would he have had a seal before then? He may have had property of his own despite his young age or the seal could have been used by the custodian of his property. See Avigad, “The Contribution of Hebrew Seals to the Understanding of Israelite Religion and Society,” in Patrick D. Miller et al., eds., Ancient Israelite Religion: Essays in Honor of Frank Moore Cross (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1987).


Miller, Ancient Israelite Religion, pp. 200 and 202–203.


Avigad, Corpus, no. 37.


Avigad, Corpus, no. 3.


See Robert Deutsch and Michael Heltzer, New Epigraphic Evidence from the Biblical Period (Tel Aviv: Archaeological Center Publication, 1995), p. 59,(no. 63 [8]).


Deutsch and Heltzer, New Epigraphic Evidence, p. 61 (no. 64 [9]) and p. 63 [11].


The translation is quoted from the article in BAR. Cross cites the verse as Malachi 4:2, which is based on the Septuagint. In the Masoretic Text the verse is 3:20. Cross, in his note 8, acknowledges Lawrence Stager for bringing to his attention the verse and its meaning. However, the meaning of this verse is not at all clear. Witness the plethora of explanations to the phrase in Andrew E. Hill, Malachi, Anchor Bible Series, 25D (New York: Doubleday, 1998), pp. 349–350. See also Mordecai Zer-Kavod, Minor Prophets (Jerusalem: Mossad Harav Kook, 1970), Malachi 3:20, n. 58. [Hebrew].


Edith Porada, Ancient Iran: The Art of Pre-Islamic Times (London: Methuen, 1965), pp. 99–199.


Porada, Ancient Iran, p. 154, fig. 84. See also an Achaemenid cylinder seal bearing the name of Darius and portraying Ahura Mazda rising from a winged disk on p. 176, fig. 89.


Avigad already observed that the Hebrew seal cutters produced more glyphic seals in the eighth century B.C.E. than their seventh-century counterparts. There is a 4:1 ratio between the iconic seals of royal officials in the eighth century B.C.E. and the iconic seals, bullae and seals dating to the end of the seventh century B.C.E. See “Seal,” Encyclopedia Biblica (Jerusalem, 1958), pp. 67–86 [Hebrew]; Hebrew Bullae from the Time of Jeremiah (Jerusalem: Israeli Exploration Society, 1986), p. 118.


Christoph Uehlinger, “Northwest Semitic Inscribed Seals, Iconography and Syro-Palestinian Religions of Iron Age II: Some Afterthoughts and Conclusions,” in Benjamin Sass and Uehlinger, eds., Studies in Iconography of Northwest Semitic Seals, pp. 257–288, esp. pp. 278–288; Sass, “The Pre-Exilic Hebrew Seals: Iconism vs. Aniconism,” in Sass, Studies., pp. 194–256, esp. pp. 196–199 and 243–245.


Yehudah Kil describes in detail the intentions of the king in going to battle with the Egyptians in 2 Kings (Jerusalem: Mossad Harav Kook, 1989), pp. 802–804 [Hebrew]. See Kil, 2 Chronicles (Jerusalem: Mossad Harav Kook, 1986), pp. 924–925 [Hebrew]. In fact, contacts with Babylonians already had begun during the reign of Hezekiah. (See 2 Kings 20:12–19; Isaiah 39:1–8.)