Historical proof for Jewish prime Minister

#1

Ive heard that in a Jewish kingdom there was a prime minister who would carry the keys of the kingdom around their neck. Where can we find evidence of this? People have pointed to Isaiah 22 but i just dont see it there. Can someone explain it to me or show me evidence somewhere else.

Thanks

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#2

I don’t think it’s so much a Prime Minister as it is, perhaps, a steward having stewardship?

Basically, if you have the keys, you have power over the gates, over the palace, over the treasury-- even if it doesn’t necessarily belong to you as an individual. But the office you hold allows you to control it to a degree, because your office and power are granted to you by the king, and the steward is the king’s faithful servant who will manage things on behalf of the king.

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#3

You are likely referring to the individual Shebna who was the comptroller or “treasurer over the house” during the reign of Hezekiah, king of Judah. He was unfaithful and thus had to be replaced.–Isaiah 22.15-25.

The kingdom of Judah was a monarchy that did not have any specific offices except those granted by each individual king which would differ from king to king. There was no specific office of a prime minister that had to be filled by the law, and Shebna was only the governor of the palace riches, not of the kingdom.

It should be noted that the British Museum is home to a lintel rock from the tomb of a royal steward named “Shebna” believed to one and the same as the Biblical figure mentioned in Isaiah 22.

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#4

22 Altogether, those chosen to be gatekeepers at the thresholds numbered 212. They were registered by genealogy in their villages. The gatekeepers had been assigned to their positions of trust by David and Samuel the seer. 23 They and their descendants were in charge of guarding the gates of the house of the Lord—the house called the tent of meeting. 24 The gatekeepers were on the four sides: east, west, north and south. 25 Their fellow Levites in their villages had to come from time to time and share their duties for seven-day periods. 26 But the four principal gatekeepers, who were Levites, were entrusted with the responsibility for the rooms and treasuries in the house of God. 27 They would spend the night stationed around the house of God, because they had to guard it; and they had charge of the key for opening it each morning. (1 Chron 9:22-27, NIV)

Anyone who has been put in charge of the keys, whether in a king’s palace or in the Temple in Jerusalem, is clearly a senior official who has been entrusted with a great responsibility. But “prime minister”? Where does that come from?

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#5

That makes alot of sence. I dont know where i heard prime minister. When i heard it, it was comparing peters office to a prime minister. Not sure if i misunderstood it

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