Yohanan Aharoni

“[Belonging] to Eliashib, son of Ehiyahu” is the simple inscription on this seal, one of three found in the stratum VII (seventh century B.C.) Arad fortress.

Other Arad documents, including a military order (see photograph) from the stratum VI (605–595 B.C.) archive are addressed to Eliashib. Thus we know that he probably served as commander during the time of both stratum VII and stratum VI.

The materials from which the seals were made are unknown and would be difficult to determine without harming the seals. Two were found with string threaded in them, indicating that they may have been hung on a wall. Eliashib probably used them to seal official documents and consignments from the fortress’s storerooms. The fortress may have been a very busy place—the commander may have needed three seals so that his subordinates could help share his workload.