Clay artifacts bearing the seal of King Hezekiah and possibly the seal of the Prophet Isaiah are to be unveiled in Edmond, Oklahoma, on Sunday.
The 2,700-year-old symbols were found during excavations south of the Temple Mount, in an area called the Ophel, which was in use by the Judeaan royal household for centuries. Each of the small bulla (plural: bullae) bearing the seals would have been used to indicate ownership of particular objects.
Dr. Eilat Mazar, who made the discoveries, told Breitbart News on Monday that there is no doubt about the seal of King Hezekiah: “It says the name of the king, the name of his father, and his title.” She noted that many bullae with the seal of Hezekiah had been found.
The identity of the seal of Isaiah is not quite as certain: the seal could have referred another person with the same name, although the Prophet Isaiah was a close adviser of King Hezekiah. The one bulla with Isaiah’s name is missing a key letter that could indicate whether the owner was Isaiah the Prophet or someone else, Ha’aretz notes.
The dramatic story of how Hezekiah resisted the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem, with help from Isaiah, is told in 2 Kings 18-19, and again in 2 Chronicles 32.
That story will be recounted in a special exhibition, “Seals of Isaiah and King Hezekiah Discovered,” at Edmond’s Armstrong Auditorium, from June 10 through August 19. In addition to the bullae, the exhibition will feature artifacts from Assyria documenting the Biblical story.
An opening ceremony will be held at the Armstrong Auditorium at 11:00 a.m. Central Daylight Time on June 10, to be joined via simulcast by a companion ceremony at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel.
The discoveries were made possible by the partnership between the Herbert W. Armstrong College, with its roots in the Church of God, and the late Benjamin Mazar, Eilat’s grandfather, whose work she has continued.
Dr. Mazar told Breitbart News that a new technique of “wet sifting” made the discovery of the bulae possible.
Ironically, she said, that technique was developed after the Muslim religious authorities responsible for managing the Temple Mount were caught in 2000 removing large truckloads of earth from underneath the Temple Mount in an attempt to obliterate evidence of Jewish history there.
Archaeologists who attempted to salvage artifacts from the Temple Mount dumps developed “wet sifting,” which makes the discovery of smaller objects possible.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.