New Discovery: The Seal of King Hezekiah and of Isaiah
Kehilanews.com, One for Israel Staff, October 10, 2018
The seal of King Hezekiah was recently discovered close to Hezekiah’s tunnel in the City of David, and earlier this year, yet another significant seal surfaced with what appeared to be the name of Isaiah the Prophet!
However, the seal was missing a piece and it is not clear whether it in fact was Isaiah the Prophet or another Isaiah. Experts are still arguing about it. However, we can say for sure that Isaiah was not only a contemporary of Hezekiah, but according to the Bible, the two men knew each other, met together, and Isaiah gave Hezekiah counsel. We can see this in Isaiah 38 and also in 2 Kings chapter 19:
Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Because you have prayed to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have heard you.’ (2 Kings 19:20)
According to Eilat Mazar, the fact that the two seals were found within ten feet of one another does “…seem to leave open the possibility that, despite the difficulties presented by the bulla’s damaged area, this may have been a seal impression of Isaiah the prophet, adviser to King Hezekiah.” It’s true that the writing is indeed typical of eighth century BC Hebrew, and there is also strong evidence of the Biblical events of this era, according to Haaretz:
“During Hezekiah’s reign, the kingdom was invaded by King Sennacherib of Assyria, an event described in Isaiah 36-37 and corroborated by the extra-biblical account inscribed in the Annals of Sennacherib Prism, the Rassam Cylinder and also Histories, written by the 5th century B.C.E. Greek Herodotus”.
The article tells us that expert Alan Millard, professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages at Liverpool University, “sees no reason to doubt that Isaiah was a real person who lived in the reigns of Sargon II, then Sennacherib – that being the Assyrian king who marched through Judah, conquering 46 of King Hezekiah’s fortified cities, but who mysteriously withdrew after reaching Jerusalem just as victory over the cowed Judahite king seemed assured.”