Archaeologist in Israel may have found the signature of Isaiah the Prophet, one of the most significant Biblical characters in recorded history.
“We found the eighth-century B.C.E. seal mark that may have been made by the prophet Isaiah himself only 10 feet away from where we earlier discovered the highly-publicized bulla of King Hezekiah of Judah,” said Dr. Eilat Mazar of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Signatures were recorded on clay seal impressions called bulla. This was discovered in close proximity to a royal bakery next to the Southern Wall of the Temple Mount.
A released statement from the Biblical Archaeology Society elaborates on the discovery:
At about a half-inch wide, the oval-shaped bulla is inscribed in ancient Hebrew script with the name Yesha‘yah[u] (the Hebrew name of Isaiah), followed by the word nvy. “Because the bulla has been slightly damaged at end of the word nvy, it is not known if it originally ended with the Hebrew letter aleph,” says Mazar, “which would have resulted in the Hebrew word for “prophet” and would have definitively identified the seal as the signature of the prophet Isaiah. The absence of this final letter, however, requires that we leave open the possibility that it could just be the name Navi.” Mazar concludes, “The name of Isaiah, however, is clear.”
Dr. Mazar notes the special relationship which existed between King Hezekiah and the Prophet Isaiah as strengthening arguments for the find. “If it is the case that this bulla is indeed that of the prophet Isaiah, then it should not come as a surprise to discover this bulla next to one bearing King Hezekiah’s name given the symbiotic relationship of the prophet Isaiah and King Hezekiah described in the Bible.”
Hezekiah and Isaiah’s relationship is recorded in the book of 2 Kings chapters 18-19 in the Bible.