Shaphan is a scribe mentioned in the Old Testament (II Kings 22:8-10). When the chief Temple priest Hilkiah discovers an ancient Torah scroll, he gives it to the scribe Shaphan, who in turn brings in to King Josiah. Josiah reads it aloud to a crowd in Jerusalem, resulting in a great religious revival. Many scholars believe this was either a copy of the Book of Deuteronomy or a text that became a part of Deuteronomy as we have it; as a result the event is known as the Deuteronomic reform.

According to the Bible, Shaphan had a son named Ahikam. [see Jeremiah 40:5 and II Kings, 25:22.] During the excavations of the excavations at the City of David headed by Israeli archeologist Yigal Shiloh's , a number of bullae were discovered in stratum X, a stratum that was destroyed by the Babylonians in ca. 586 B.C.E. Bulla 2 reads: "belonging to Gemaryahu ben Shaphan". Shiloh posited that the Gemaryahu of this bulla is to be identified with "Gemaryahu son of Shaphan the scribe" who is mentioned in a biblical text, a figure during the reign of Jehoiakim (r. 609-598 B.C.E.). [Jer 36:10 et passim] If this is the case, Ahikam and Gemaryahu are both sons of Shaphan. However, archaeologist Yair Shoham notes: "It should be borne in mind, however, that the names found on the bullae were popular in ancient times and it is equally possible that there is no connection between the names found on the bullae and the person mentioned in the Bible." [Yair Shoham, "Hebrew Bullae" in City of David Excavations: Final Report VI, Qedem 41 (Jerusalem: Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 2000), 33. ]

Shaphan's grandson is Gedaliah, the short-lived governor of Judah appointed by Nebuchadnezzar after the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE.


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  • SHAPHAN — (Heb. ןָפָש; rock badger, hyrax, coney ), son of Azaliah, Josiah s scribe and the head of one of the most influential and pro Babylonian families in the last days of Judah (II Kings 22:3). Shaphan was one of the messengers sent by the king to the …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Shaphan — Served in the court of King Josiah (2 Kgs. 22:3–20); and when the law book, thought by many scholars to be part of Deuteronomy, was discovered in the Temple, he gave the news to the king and was dispatched to consult the prophetess Huldah.… …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • Shaphan —    A coney, a scribe or secretary of king Josiah (2 Kings 22:3 7). He consulted Huldah concerning the newly discovered copy of the law which was delivered to him by Hilkiah the priest (8 14). His grandson Gedaliah was governor of Judea (25:22) …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • 2 Kings 22 — 1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother s name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath. 2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in …   The King James version of the Bible

  • 2 Chronicles 34 — 1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem one and thirty years. 2 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand …   The King James version of the Bible

  • Huldah — was a prophetess mentioned briefly in II Kings, Chapter 22, and Books of Chronicles 2, Chapter 34. She is approached by Hilkiah together with Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan and Asaiah to give the Lord s opinion after a book of the Law is rediscovered.… …   Wikipedia

  • Hyrax — Taxobox name = Hyraxes fossil range = Early Eocene Recent image width = 200px image caption = Heterohyrax brucei regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Mammalia infraclassis = Eutheria superordo = Afrotheria ordo = Hyracoidea ordo… …   Wikipedia

  • Jeremiah 36 — 1 And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that this word came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2 Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against… …   The King James version of the Bible

  • Jeremiah 40 — 1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, after that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him being bound in chains among all that were carried away captive of Jerusalem and Judah, which were… …   The King James version of the Bible

  • GEMARIAH — (Heb. גְּמַרְיָהוּ, גְּמַרְיָה; Yahu has accomplished ), two biblical figures. (1) Gemariah son of Hilkiah was one of Zedekiah s emissaries to Nebuchadnezzar, who brought the letter written by Jeremiah to the elders in exile (Jer. 29:3). He is… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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