Israel Museum

Another bulla, from the same period, bears the impression of a seal owned by a “Nathan who is over the house.” Could it be, McCarter speculates, that the eunuch Nathan-melech was later promoted to the high position of court steward, the office that oversaw the daily affairs of the royal household? It’s a tempting guess; naµtan, “gift,” had to be short for a longer name that included a word for “deity.” His full name could have been Neátan-’eµl (Nathaniel), Neátan-yaµhû (Nethaniah)—or Neátan-melek (Nathan-melech).