“Now there were not so many of the children of Nephi . . . as there were of the people of Zarahemla, who was a descendant of Mulek.” (Mosiah 25:2)
Archaeologists excavating in Jerusalem discovered a small stamp seal (a clay emblem that would be used to mark documents with a signature) in the 1980s belonging to a certain Malkiyahu ben hamelek, or Malkiyahu son of the king. Dating to the late 7th to early 6th centuries BC, “The oval-shaped stamp seal of Malkiyahu ben hamelek was fashioned of bluish green malchite stone and is very small, measuring just 15 mm long by 11 mm wide (smaller than a dime) and only 7 mm thick.” Although small, this stamp seal carries great importance for establishing the historical existence of one of the Bible’s more enigmatic figures, and potentially for a Book of Mormon personality.
Jeremiah 38 tells how the prophet Jeremiah was cast “into the dungeon [Hebrew: “the pit”] of Malchiah the son of Hammelech” (KJV Jeremiah 38:6). While the King James Bible incorrectly rendered it as a proper name, Hammelech (ha-melech) in Hebrew is “the king.” This is reflected in modern Bible translations: “So they took Jeremiah and threw him into the cistern of Malchiah, the king’s son” (NRSV).
The name rendered Malchiah in the Hebrew of this passage is Malkiyahu, exactly as the name on the stamp seal, meaning “Yahweh is king.” (This name is composed of the Hebrew elements mlk, “king,” and yhw, an abbreviation of the divine name Yahweh.) Accordingly, it is highly likely that the Malkiyahu on the stamp seal is none other than Malchiah in Jeremiah 38.
Read the full story at Meridian Magazine.
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