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'Isaiah' Seal: More Evidence of Biblical Narrative

02-25-2018
Isaiah Bulla, Photo, Courtesy, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

JERUSALEM, Israel – Archaeologists believe they may have found another piece of evidence that confirms the Bible narrative. Hebrew University of Jerusalem archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar presented her team's findings on a clay seal, called a bulla, which may have belonged to the biblical prophet Isaiah.

Mazar said the find is especially significant because the Isaiah seal was found in very close proximity to a bulla belonging to King Hezekiah.

Mazar, a third generation Israeli archaeologist, published a second volume summarizing the ancient artifacts uncovered in the Ophel excavations – the area adjacent to the southern wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City – between 2009 and 2013.

In 2009, her team unearthed a bulla inscribed by King Hezekiah, one of Israel's most important kings. Mazar told CBN News at the time she was "amazed" on a personal level at the find. (It was one of 22 seals uncovered in close proximity to one another.)

"We discovered the seal impression imprinted by King Hezekiah himself saying very clearly in ancient Hebrew "belongs to Hezekiah, son of Ahaz, King of Judea," she told CBN News Jerusalem Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell.

"We never found in archaeological excavations, scientific, stratigraphy such an item that is so close, private [and] tangible to any of the Israelite or Judean kings ever," she explained. "I believe it's as close as we can get to any biblical figure, not to mention such a figure as King Hezekiah."
 
For Mazar, the seal was one more piece of the puzzle verifying the biblical narrative of the Judean king and the Jewish connection to ancient Israel.

The Isaiah bulla is equally exciting because of the close relationship between King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah, recorded in 2 Kings 19-20 and Isaiah 37-39.

While Mazar was careful to point out why the bulla may have belonged to a different Isaiah (based on a missing letter in the Hebrew word for prophet), the two seals were unearthed in the same area at the same time.

"[The] chances of it belonging to any other but the known prophet Isaiah are extremely slim," Mazar wrote in an article published by Biblical Archaeology Review. "No other figure was closer to King Hezekiah than the prophet Isaiah."

When Israel's first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion testified in 1937 before the Peel Commission – the first to recommend dividing the land according to Britain's partition plan – he famously said, "The Mandate is not our Bible. The Bible is our mandate."

Ongoing archaeological discoveries, such as these two seals, continue to drive that point home.

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