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2 Samuel 11:14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15In it he wrote, “Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”

How was the letter sealed?

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    The command of a king is usually sealed with the impress of the Royal seal.
    – Nigel J
    Nov 16 '20 at 17:46
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    Thanks, Nigel. Provide some supporting links and I'll mark yours as the answer.
    – Tony Chan
    Nov 16 '20 at 17:48
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In 2015 an unprecedented archaeological event took place - the finding of a 3,000 year old royal seal dated to the time of King David :

The dating of the seal corresponds to the historical period of the Jebusites and the conquest of Jerusalem by King David, as well as the construction of the Temple and the royal official compound by his son, King Solomon.”

Dr. Gabriel Barkay of the Temple Mount Sifting Project in Jerusalem

I only mention this to make the point that such a thing did exist in the time of David and this seal may be his or Solomon's.

But this event was surpassed more recently when it was found that Hezekiah certainly had one :

For the first time, the royal seal of King Hezekiah in the Bible was found in an archaeological excavation. The stamped clay seal, also known as a bulla, was discovered in the Ophel excavations led by Dr. Eilat Mazar at the foot of the southern wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Royal Seal of Hezekiah Comes to Light June 09/2020

In order to acquire the vineyard of Naboth, Jezebel sent secret letters to the elders in his city and gave instructions for specific actions to be taken which would result in Naboth's certain death.

This was very similar to the way in which David secretly arranged the decease of Urijah. And Jezebel, to accomplish both the secrecy and the certainty of the events . . .

wrote letters in Ahab's name and sealed them with his seal and sent the letters to the elders ... [1 Kings 21:8 KJV]

The seal of a king is inviolate. It is also a matter of something that will be accomplished in the name of the king.


This is of more than mere historic interest :

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. [Ephesians 4:30 KJV].

The King has made a private, discrete matter certain. And the seal is the impress of the King himself.

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    I like your answer so much that I upvoted it and marked it as the answer as well.
    – Tony Chan
    Nov 16 '20 at 19:25
  • @TonyChan Glad to be of service.
    – Nigel J
    Nov 16 '20 at 19:29
  • I agree - excellent answer! +1.
    – Dottard
    Nov 16 '20 at 20:57
  • The question asked “HOW was the letter sealed” not if @NigelJ Implying therefore that it could have been placed in one of at least two ways. Either it was placed on the document such that to gain access to the contents of the letter it had to be broken or it was placed on the document whereby the contents were accesible without having to break the seal. One can place a seal on an envelope directly onto the flap AND the body of the envelop requiring the seal to be broken or merely onto the body and the flap left open. Both cases it’s sealed and authenticated; only in one case is it sealed shut Nov 17 '20 at 11:56

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