In what the first link refers to as a “breathtaking discovery,” a dig near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem has unearthed a small bulla artifact which has the name of “Isaiah” on it, inscribed in ancient Hebrew characters. It was found just feet from the location where a similar bulla was found previously which had the name of King Hezekiah of the ancient king of Judah on it. Besides the name of Isaiah being on the artifact, there are characters of another word which looks to be the Hebrew word “prophet.” The second word is incomplete, but the word “prophet” would be most appropriately linked to the prophet Isaiah who wrote a major prophetic book in the Bible. The proximity of this new find to the location where a previous artifact had the name of Hezekiah on it argues that it is, indeed, genuine. Additional information about this remarkable discovery is found in the second link.
King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah were not only contemporaries, but had a very close personal relationship. This relationship is described in II Kings 19-20 and Isaiah 37-39. Isaiah was the prophet who God sent to King Hezekiah to tell him he would die, but then turned him around soon afterward to inform Hezekiah he had decided to let him live as a result of Hezekiah’s fervent prayer. This account is worth comment as it demonstrates two vital principles. The first is that it shows that God can change his mind–sometimes quickly as in this case–as a result of prayer, so people should be emboldened to realize their prayers can make a difference. The second principle is that sometimes answered prayers do not work out as planned. Hezekiah was given additional years of life and fathered a son, Manasseh, who became an evil king who led the kingdom of Judah into gross degeneration. The reasons for Manasseh’s rebellion vs. God and his ultimate repentance are examined in detail in a post I wrote previously (see third link). The underlying lesson from this biblical account about the lives of Hezekiah and Manasseh is that sometimes things would work out better if God’s original plan had been implemented.
This discovery of Isaiah’s name on an ancient artifact near the temple Mount in Jerusalem (where one would expect it to be found based on biblical narratives) has, of course, elicited negative responses from the crowd of naysayers that always tries to minimize biblical verifications. However, my bet is that this artifact is genuine and that God has caused it to come to light at this time as an additional witness of the truthfulness of the biblical accounts.
My thanks to a reader for sending me one of these links. This discovery was well worth passing on to all readers of this blog.