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Photographs from the Israel Museum in Jerusalem

Jezebel Seal - (15 of 44)

A royal seal possibly belonging to Queen Jezebel. It is inscribed: "l’yzbl", meaning 'belongs to Jezebel'. The large size of the seal would indicate it belonged to royalty.

The seal is on the left, with the imprint of the seal, called a Bulla, to the right.

The seal contains Egyptian symbols which were often used in Phoenicia. The top is a winged sphinx, with the face of a woman and body of a lion, and part of a female Isis / Hathor crown. To the left is an Egyptian ankh, the sign of life. Below a horizontal line is a winged sun disk. Below this is an Egyptian falcon with a cobra (uraeus) facing outwards on each side. The cobra is normally shown on the forehead of Egyptian pharaohs. Below the falcon is a lotus, which looks rather like a serpent. The lotus is a female symbol, generally linked with royal women.

The four letters of the inscription are scattered around the seal. The Y and Z are just below the sun disk. The B is at the bottom left, and the L at the bottom right. The top of the seal is damaged, which may have contained the additional two letters in the name of Jezebel.

“So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal …” (1 Kg 21:8)