Davidic Seal


So, you're probably asking yourself, "What is this gibberish?" It's my Davidic seal, of course.

You say you don't know what a Davidic seal is?! Well, see, during the First Temple period in Jerusalem people used clay seals to mark their letters and documents. The form of the Seals was very simple, "To so-and-so, the such-and-such". The "to" in this construct refers to ownership (as in "Belonging to") instead of receivership.

When the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar burned Jerusalem in 586 BCE all the letters went up in smoke but the fire essentially kilned the clay seals. This kilning process helped preserve them through the ages. Many of these seals have been found in archaeological digs of Jerusalem.

I decided to make such a seal for myself and that is what this is. It reads...
"To [ ] John [ ], the [ ] Scribe [ ]".
"Scribe" is about as close to "computer programmer" as I could get using Biblical Hebrew.

The script used on this seal is called proto-Canaanite. The Jews used this script during the First Temple period. During the Babylonian Exile the Jews adopted the more commonly used Aramaic script which they use today and the proto-Canaanite script fell into dis-use. The proto-Canaanite script is interesting for two reasons. First, it is a similar to the Phoenician script that the Greeks adopted and which eventually became the alphabet you are reading now. Secondly, both the proto-Canaanite and Phoenician scripts are old enough to strongly reflect the early development of the alphabet.

Lets look at the first two letters of the Hebrew word "scribe" [ ]as an example.
The first letter, , was originally a symbol for water and was used to represent the sound "m" because the West Semitic word for water, "mayim", begins with this sound. Over time this symbol evolved into our letter "m".
The second letter, , originally represented an eye and was used for a strong glottal stop because the West Semitic word for eye, "'ayin ", begins with such a stop. Over time it became our letter "o".

So, the next time you write the letters "m" or "o" think about how they've retained the waviness of water and the roundness of an eye nearly 4000 years after these symbols were first scribbled into the sand.