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More Bureaucrats than You Could Shake a Stick At

Not Washington, ancient Jerusalem:

The fact that such extensive excavations throughout the entire City of David/Silwan site have turned up the names of so many high officials attests to their dominance in the system of government. Indeed, this may be the most important conclusion to be drawn from these inscriptions. What they teach us, it seems, is that the ancient kingdom of Judea was governed by a class of high officials, of which the king may have been one, but that he was not omnipotent, and his power was not absolute.

While it is true that most of these high officials are not mentioned in the Bible or in any history, what is far more interesting, and what we did not know prior to the archaeological excavations, is that some of them held high positions in the government, and perhaps even took part in historic decisions.

Further archaeological evidence of the lives of these high officials are the family tombs discovered at the foot of the eastern slopes of the Kidron Valley, near the Ras al-Amud neighborhood. The accepted view is that these tombs were used by multiple generations of the families of Jerusalem’s high officials. Here again, no royal tomb has been found, despite well-publicized efforts in the early part of the twentieth century to locate the family tomb of King David.

(H/T: PaleoJudaica)

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