Seen here is a jar handle stamped with a royal seal bearing an inscription in the Hebrew language and script : lmlk mmßt "(Taxes due) to the king (from the district of) Mamshit".
Approximately one thousand similar storage jar handles from the seventh century B.C.E. have been found at various sites in Judah with a few scattered in the northern cities. These jar handles bear seal impressions with the word lmlk "to (the) king" and the name of one of four cities: Hebron, Sochoh, Ziph or Mamshit. The impressions with the word lmlk can be divided into two groups: those with a four-winged beetle and those with a two-winged sun disk. Incised concentric circles sometimes appear alongside the winged sundisk. Besides lmlk impressions, some storage jars bear personal names, probably those of officials of the Judaean royal administration, during the reign of Hezekiah.
Many articles have been written on the lmlk seal impressions; however, scholars have failed to reach a consensus to their significance. It has been suggested to explain the word lmlk as "according to the king(’s measurement)" which would have been used to certify a standard volumetric measurement. However, this suggestion seems unlikely since the sizes of these storage jars which bear the word lmlk differ. The cities, Hebron, Sochoh, Ziph and Mamshit, may have served as centres for the collection of taxes in the area of the Kingdom of Judah. As to the unknown site of Mamshit, it has been proposed to interpret Mamshit as memshelet "government" in order to identify it with Jerusalem, the capital city of the Kingdom of Judah. In all likelihood, royal storehouses were established in these cities and the storage jars were deposited in them. Therefore, it seems probable that the contents of the jars with lmlk impression were collected as taxes to the king. The reason behind the establishment of this system of tax collection under Hezekiah was due to the oncoming campaign of Sennacherib, king of Assyria, between the years 705-701 B.C.E. In this period, taxes were raised in order to strengthen the defense fortifications in Judah. This method of preparation in another time of war is recorded in the bible as undertaken by Rehoboam: "And he strengthened the fortresses, and put commanders and stores of food, of oil and of wine in them" (2 Chronicles 11:11).