Ancient Treasures and the Dead Sea Scrolls

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I Decked You Out in Finery...

… and put bracelets on your arms and a chain around your neck. I put a ring in your nose, and earrings in your ears, and a splendid crown on your head. You adorned yourself with gold and silver, and your apparel was of fine linen, silk, and embroidery.
Ezekiel 16:11-13

Little gold or silver jewellery has been found in Jerusalem. The heavy tribute that the Israelites were obliged to pay to foreign powers may explain this rarity.

Collection of Israel Antiquities Authority, exhibited at The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem and Collection of ASJOS
Photo © The Israel Museum, by Dr. Jean-Luc Pilon, Canadian Museum of Civilization

9th century BCE
Jezebel, wife of King Ahab of Israel

So she wrote letters in Ahab's name and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters to the elders and the nobles who lived in the same town…
1 Kings 21:8

According to the Bible, Jezebel the Phoenician had a man named Naboth stoned so that her royal husband Ahab could seize the vineyard that the man had refused to sell him. "Do you not govern Israel?" she accused her royal spouse when she learned that he had not forced Naboth to give in…

However, in the patriarchal society of the time, the vast majority of women instead ruled life in the home and passed along the traditions of the tribe. Men remained the heads of the household. The Bible mentions other examples of women exerting political influence.

Seal of Jezebel
Seal of Jezebel.
Israel Antiquities Authority Collection, exhibited at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Photo © Israel Museum, Jerusalem