A form of identification pressed into clay or wax as a mark of authenticity and authority. Each one bore a personal design or marking, paralleling the handwritten signature of today (Est 8:8). At the same time the seal also acted as a form of closure (when the medium solidified).
Paul described the Corinthian converts as God’s seal (indisputable proof) on his ministry (1 Cor 9:2).
“God has set His seal of ownership on us…The Lord knows those who are His…We are sealed by the Holy Spirit”, waiting the time when we are fully redeemed (2 Cor 1:22; Eph 1:13, 4:30; 2 Tim 2:19).
In the Book of Revelation an identifying mark is physically placed on the forehead of believers, while the non-Christians are forced by the anti-Christ to accept the mark of the beast on their right hand or forehead (Rev 7:3, 13:16,17, 20:4). Several times seals are also mentioned as securing God’s message and Jesus is authorised to break the seals and read the contents of the scrolls (Rev 5:5, 6:1-8:1).