And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. Isaiah 8:17
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Seals and Bows
In class last week we talked about being "sealed" in the covenant. I passed around a book with images of ancient seals - often cut into stone - from the British Museum. Here are some of those images.
I also pointed out that the 'rainbow' - sign of the covenant with Noah - is actually the weapon BOW. Here are images from cylinder seals and ancient Assyrian, Egyptian, Hittite and Greek carvings showing the King in his chariot with his bow. In virtually all of these images, the king is said to be the son of god.
And, finally, here is information on seals from the website thesealmaker.com :
One of the earliest examples of Seal Engraving has been found in the form of Babylonian cylinder seals which were engraved around 3200BC. The seals were cut into a wide variety of hard stones using wheels in very much the same way that stones are engraved today. The seals were used as personal imprint signatures or symbols of officials and important families for edicts and contractual agreements. The seal was pressed and rolled into the inscribed clay tablets to produce an easily recognisable impression. Since each seal had been uniquely engraved it was virtually impossible to forge. The use of the seals spread throughout Mesopotamia, Egypt and Asia.
In the reign of Edward III, figures of every kind, architectural, heraldic and other devices were introduced into seals. The use of seals in England became general within a few years of the Norman Conquest, and early in the 12th century they were universally adopted for the purpose of authenticating documents. Signet rings were made either by engraving the design on gems, agates and other hard stones, or by cutting into the metal of the ring. Larger seals, desk seals etc., were engraved on gold, silver, brass or steel. The seal was pressed into coloured wax, the wax impression was then attached to the document, but not stamped directly on to it.
Early heralds adopted the use of seals and due to their tremendous detail we are able to follow the history of heraldry with accuracy. The Royalty of England had the various Royal Arms as a seal. Each subsequent monarch changed their Royal Arms and doing so changed their seal.
Every seal is hand cut, preserving the unique quality of the completed article.
After a seal was cut into a ring, the seal engraver made many wax impressions which were given to the owner of the seal along with the signet ring. The owner then distributed the waxes among family, friends and officials, so that when an important document was sent the recipient could check the unbroken seal against the wax impression to ensure that the document was genuine. After the death of the owner of the seal, the signet ring used to produce the seal was cracked to prevent further use.