Isaiah is one of the most relevant characters in the Bible. Not only is he one of the greatest Hebrew prophets. In addition, Christians consider him the one who announced the birth, sacrifice and glory of Jesus. A team of archaeologists has just found proof that it was more than just a character. It really existed.
Researchers from the University of Jerusalem who work in the ruins of the temple of this city have just located a small seal of clay called bulla. Inside it is the name Yesha’yah [u] (Isaiah) in Hebrew letters next to the NVY expression . They look like the first letters of the word nun-beit-yod-aleph, which literally means prophet.
The only problem is that letter A is missing because the piece is broken, so there is no 100% certainty that the word Isaiah is associated with that of prophet.
The piece has also appeared in the same excavation (only three meters) in which archaeologists found another bulla belonging to King Hezekiah of Judea. The tradition explains that Isaiah was a counselor to Hezekiah and advised him to resist the Assyrians through divine mediation. The council prevented the invasion of Jerusalem.
On the other hand, there is the fact that bullae are not mere ornaments but official documents that were used at that time as the equivalent of a delivery note. These small clay spheres contained in their interior different iconic representations used as register in barter.
The ancient inhabitants of Mesopotamia used the bullas to record the details of a transaction (usually cattle) when the goods were not delivered at the time. The merchants modeled a small ball of clay and wrote inside it the number of figures that corresponded to the quantity and type of item sold. Next, they sealed the noise and marked on the outside of it the content with symbols that are considered the background of the writing. The deal was closed when, breaking the noise , it was found that what was coined on the outside of the object coincided with what was written on the inside.
In other words, the content of a bulla is not literature, but real conversations In the outer part of this sphere supposedly signed by the prophet Isaiah it can be read that the conversation he had as an object to buy fabrics. To add more mystery, one of the two parties signed the sphere with its fingerprint. It is possible that it is the fingerprint of the biblical prophet himself.
There remains the small possibility that the sphere refers to another Isaiah, but the indications are too many to ignore. Excavations in the same site continue and may serve to shed even more light on the historical events reported in the Bible. [ Biblical Archeology Review]