Archaeologists in Israel announced this week that they may have found what they believe to be the signature of the Prophet Isaiah, according to Fox News.
Researchers found a clay seal stamp on an artifact that is about 2,700 years old. The discovery came as a team excavated the southern wall of Jerusalem's Temple Mount.
The researchers found the seal with the Old Hebrew script “Yesha‘yah,” which is the Hebrew name of Isaiah, according to National Geographic. It’s followed by the word “nvy,” which means prophet.
According to National Geographic, the discovery was one of 34 others found in Mazar’s 29 excavation. Most of them were from the Iron Age (1200 to 586 B.C.).
In ancient times, these seal stamps, which are called “bullas,” were used to authenticate different documents and items.
Dr. Eilat Mazar, who works at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said in a statement that the mark may have been from Isaiah himself since it was so close to another discovery — the bulla of King Hezekiah of Judah.
“We found the eighth-century B.C.E. seal mark that may have been made by the Prophet Isaiah himself only 10 feet away from where we earlier discovered the highly publicized bulla of King Hezekiah of Judah," he said.
Mazar, who led the team, said the researchers found the artifact in remains outside what was once an ancient royal bakery.
“If it is the case that this bulla is indeed that of the Prophet Isaiah, then it should not come as a surprise to discover this bulla next to one bearing King Hezekiah’s name given the symbiotic relationship of the Prophet Isaiah and King Hezekiah described in the Bible,” Mazar said in the statement.
In the Bible, specifically 2 Kings 18-19, the Prophet Isaiah served as counsel for King Hezekiah to protect Jerusalem. Isaiah was one of the closest people to Hezekiah during the era of 727 to 698 B.C.E. era.
However, Mazar said the mark is slightly damaged, so the finding may be incomplete, LiveScience reported. It’s unknown if the word “nvy” is followed by “aleph,” the Hebrew word for “prophet.” In fact, “nvy” could be a personal name.
If “aleph” does follow “nvy,” then the entire signature would read: "Belonging to Isaiah the prophet."
“The absence of this final letter, however, requires that we leave open the possibility that it could just be the name Navi,” he said.