Photograph and drawing of seal courtesy Robert Deutsch; background image, Erich Lessing

A recently unveiled clay seal impression, or bulla (plural, bullae), bears symbols usually associated with ancient Egypt: a solar disk with downturned wings and six rays projecting from the top and bottom, flanked on either side by an ankh, a symbol of life. Yet the inscription on the bulla reads “Belonging to Hezekiah, [son of] Ahaz, King of Judah,” leaving no doubt that the seal belonged to Hezekiah, the Judahite king who is acclaimed in the Bible for purging the Judahite cult of foreign practices. Author Robert Deutsch explains why the borrowed royal emblems on this seal impression—and on others that have recently come to light—may not be as surprising as they might at first seem.