Jeremiah was one of the prophets whom God used to deliver a message of pending doom upon a nation which had refused to heed his commands.
       And when the people heard the unpleasant news, some of the leaders of Judah wanted to kill Jeremiah. One such man was named Jehucal the son of Shelemiah, a high ranking prince who served under King Zedekiah. Another was Gedaliah the son of Pashhur.
     Seal impressions once made by both Jehucal and Gedaliah were recently uncovered in Jerusalem a few meters apart dating to a time shortly before the destruction of the city by the Babylonians. The seal reads “Belonging to Jehucal, son of Shelemiah, son of Shovi.”
Jehucal son of Shelemiah seal
Gedaliah son of Pashhur seal
Seal of Jehucal,
son of Shelemiah
Seal of Gedaliah,
son of Pashhur
      His father, Shelemiah, may also be the same man mentioned on another artifact known as Lachish letter IX which says: “May Yahweh cause my lord to hear tidings of peace! . . . Return word to my servant through Shelemiah giving us instructions as to what action we shall take tomorrow!”
      The second seal reads: “Gedalyahu son of Pashhur.”
      Jeremiah’s dealings with Jehucal and Gedaliah are recounted in the following passages of Scripture:
      “Now King Zedekiah the son of Josiah reigned instead of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah. But neither he nor his servants nor the people of the land gave heed to the words of the LORD which He spoke by the prophet Jeremiah.
      And Zedekiah the king sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, to the prophet Jeremiah, saying, "Pray now to the LORD our God for us." . . . Now Shephatiah the son of Mattan, Gedaliah the son of Pashhur, Jehucal the son of Shelemiah, and Pashhur the son of Malchiah heard the words that Jeremiah had spoken to all the people, saying, "Thus says the LORD: 'He who remains in this city (Jerusalem) shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence; `but he who goes over to the Chaldeans shall live; his life shall be as a prize to him, and he shall live.' "Thus says the LORD: 'This city shall surely be given i`nto the hand of the king of Babylon's army, which shall take it.' "
       Therefore the princes said to the king, "Please, let this man be put to death, for thus he weakens the hands of the men of war who remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, by speaking such words to them. For this man does not seek the welfare of this people, but their harm."
      Then Zedekiah the king said, "Look, he is in your hand. For the king can do nothing against you."
      So they took Jeremiah and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the king's son, which was in the court of the prison, and they let Jeremiah down with ropes. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire. So Jeremiah sank in the mire. Now Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian, one of the eunuchs, who was in the king's house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon. When the king was sitting at the Gate of Benjamin,  Ebed-Melech went out of the king's house and spoke to the king, saying: "My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have cast into the dungeon, and he is likely to die from hunger in the place where he is. For there is no more bread in the city."
      "Then the king commanded Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian, saying, "Take from here thirty men with you, and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon before he dies."   Jeremiah 37:1-38:10
Jeremiah well
WANT TO BE HEARD?
GIVE HEED TO THE WORDS OF THE LORD
 
      “Then the word of the LORD came to Zechariah, saying,  "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Execute true justice, Show mercy and compassion Everyone to his brother.  Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, The alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart Against his brother'
       "But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear. "Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Thus great wrath came from the LORD of hosts.
       "Therefore it happened, that just as He proclaimed and they would not hear, so they called out and I would not listen," says the LORD of hosts.  Zechariah 7:8-13
      This article is a chapter from our 3 volume book series "Bible Believer's Archaeology" which can be downloaded for your ebook reader or mobile device by visiting our resource download page by Clicking Here.
Photo Links to Artifacts Mentioned in this Article
Jehucal son of Shelemiah and Gedaliah son of Pashhur Seal
Sources:
 
Biblical Archaeology Review
Nov/Dec 2005 pg.18 & Jan/Feb 2006 pg. 26
Jehucal Seal information and photo
 
Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament.
Author: James Pritchard
pg.322 Lachish letter IX mentioning Shelemiah, BM125705
pg.322 Lachish letter VIII mentions Nedabiah, who may have been Zedekiah’s nephew as listed in 1Chronicles 3:18 BM125704
 
Illustration: Pen and Ink reproduction of the Jehucal seal based upon photograph. Illustrator: John Argubright
© copyright 2006 John Argubright
 
llustration: Pen and Ink reproduction of the Gedaliah seal based upon photograph. Illustrator: John Argubright
© copyright 2008 John Argubright
 
Artwork: “Jeremiah being rescued from the well” Illustrated in: “Art and Music -  Childcraft Vol. 13" (1939) Publisher: Quarrie Corp
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