JERUSALEM — An impression of what is believed to be the 2,700-year-old personal seal of the prophet Isaiah was uncovered in Jerusalem.
Isaiah lived during the eighth century BCE and prophesized about the return of the Jews from the Babylonian exile.
Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar of the Hebrew University reported on her discovery Thursday in the Biblical Archaeology Review magazine.
The impression of the seal, or bulla, was found during excavations in the area just below the southern wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The seal was found about 10 feet from where a seal of King Hezekiah was found three years ago.
The seal bore the name of Isaiah in Hebrew and is followed by the first three letters of the Hebrew word for prophet, or Navi. The aleph is missing and it is not clear if it was on the seal but was too damaged or did not appear on the seal, meaning that it belonged to someone else named Isaiah. The fact that it was found so close to a seal of King Hezekiah lends credence to the theory that it belonged to the prophet, however.
“Whether or not the bulla we found in the Ophel excavations is the bulla of the prophet Isaiah, it remains, nevertheless, a unique and fantastic discovery,” Mazar wrote in the article, according to The Times of Israel.
Isaiah is believed to have served as a spiritual adviser to the king. There are several biblical references to meetings between the two men.