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An idea sometimes propagated during the late 19th an early 20th centuries was that because only 11 years separate the “early” and “late” dates for Hezekiah’s death (698/7 and 687/6 BC), it makes sense to reduce Manasseh’s reign from 55 to 45 years. If this is so, Hezekiah would have appointed twelve-year-old Manasseh co-regent during the second-to last (or possibly last) year of his reign. This idea is surely more plausible than the idea that Hezekiah appointed a 12-year old co-regent 11 years before his death. If this idea is, in fact, correct, and the lmlk impressions were used from c. 720 to c. 680 BC as a long-term administrative change in Judah’s wage distribution system for government officials in the Shephelah, instead of, as I have originally proposed, a short-term emergency change dating from perhaps c. 705 to c. 697 or c. 704 to c. 700 BC, the Top-Register impressions would belong to the early years of Manasseh, in the late 680s BC. Also, the rate of discovered lmlk handle (not necessarily jar) production under the long-term proposal would be about 35 per year, while that rate would be at least 95 if the ‘short-term change’ view holds.

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