Feb 8 2007
Have you ever heard of the Messianic Seal uncovered from Jerusalem? I shall tell the story very briefly below.
I came to know about the Seal through the book published in 1999 by Reuven Efraim Schmalz and Raymond Robert Fischer (Olim Publications, Israel), but I came to know of it only recently. The book front cover is shown below. What the book reveals is the discovery in 1990 in Jerusalem, from an underground grotto in Mt. Zion where the Upper Room building (which enshrines a memorial David’s Tomb – not the real one) is located. This building is on a small hill on the SW of the Old Jerusalem city outside the walls (for a map, please read the author’s article on the Real Calvary on this website). The story goes that an old Greek Orthodox monk found some forty artifacts in a cavity in the rock adjacent to David’s tomb before the 1967 war. Many of these pottery shards, oil lamps and stone pieces were engraved with a mysterious symbol that combined a menorah, a Star of David, and a fish symbol (with a cross at the center of some). Three of these pieces are shown in the figure. In 1990 these artifacts came to the attention of Ludwig Schneider, editor in chief of Israel Update when he visited the monk. It is from Schneider the book authors learned of the artifacts.
The Menorah is the seven-branched oil lamp in the Temple; it is a distinctly Jewish symbol and stands for the Torah which illuminates mankind. This lamp shone in the Holy Place before Yahweh in the Holy of Holies. The Menorah is also a symbol of the Tree of Life.
The Star of David symbolizes Christ descended from David, or shall we say, from the roots of Jesse. The foot of the Menorah could be considered the ‘root’.
The Fish symbol is a first century representation for Christ (coined from the Greek word for fish, the Greek letters representing ‘Jesus Christ God Son Savior’. We see this symbol widely used even in our days. If the Menorah stands for the Law, the Fish would stand for Grace. Yashua (Jesus) combines both Law and Grace.
The stone piece in the figure is supposed to be used as a base for holding an oil jar.
One of the pieces found had the Aramaic inscription which translates to ‘For the Oil of the Spirit’ almost identical to the use in James 5:14-16 where anointing oil is mentioned.
The grotto where the pieces were found is supposed to be an area in the first century church (believed to have been underground) used for baptismal purposes.
The first century origin of these artifacts is questioned by some scholars who suspect a much more recent origin. Such controversy is not new as we have seen about James’ Ossuary.
Whatever the truth, the Seal is a remarkable symbol of the Messiah.
For more information the reader may check the web for ‘Messianic Seal’