Archaeologists say they have a “fantastic discovery” of a 2,700-year-old clay seal found in Jerusalem that possibly belonged to Isaiah, which would make it the first piece of evidence concerning the prophet found outside the Bible.
Author and archaeologist Eilat Mazar wrote in an article in Biblical Archaeology Review on Wednesday titled “Is This the Prophet Isaiah’s Signature?” that that ancient Hebrew script found on a half-inch oval of clay, dating back to the eighth century B.C., could potentially have belonged to Isaiah the prophet.
The book of Isaiah in the Old Testament describes prophecies about the coming Messiah hundreds of years before Jesus Christ was born, with the Apostle Matthew quoting Isaiah later on in the New Testament when talking about John the Baptist’s ministry.
The piece of clay, also called a bulla, was one of 34 of its kind originally found during the Ophel excavations at the southern wall of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount in 2009. The seals were found in Iron Age garbage pits, originally located outside the wall.
National Geographic added that if the lettering on the seal is correct, it would be the first known link to Isaiah outside the Bible.
Mazar noted that the seal impression was found next to one of King Hezekiah, another biblical figure.
“It would not be the first time that seal impressions of two biblical personas, mentioned in the same verse in the Bible, were found in an archaeological context,” she wrote.
“In our City of David excavations (2005–2008), the seal impressions of Yehukhal ben Sheleḿiyahu ben Shovi and Gedaliyahu ben Pashḥur, high officials in King Ẓedekiah’s court (Jeremiah 38:1), were found only a few feet apart,” she continued.
“Furthermore, according to the Bible, the names of King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah are mentioned in one breath 14 of the 29 times the name of Isaiah is recalled (2 Kings 19–20; Isaiah 37–39). No other figure was closer to King Hezekiah than the prophet Isaiah.”
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Source: Christian Post