Prophets of Clay
By Wendy Wippel
The prophet Isaiah is known primarily as the prophet that predicted the coming of Jesus Christ to save mankind from their sin. (Also noted for being an extremely long prophetic book, at nearly 27 thousand words.) He lived about 700 years before Christ.
Isaiah was born in Jerusalem; from the fact that the scriptures record Isiah’s interactions with kings it is believed that Isaiah was possibly of royal stock. Prophets, however, from the time of David on had regular interaction with their kings and were involved in and well- informed about their nations’ affairs, and would have held a fairly high office in the government of the nation.
It is obvious that Isiah was at least a very educated man, as his writings show him to be well-educated with respect to the traditional forms and language of prophetic speech. His prophetic writings are strong and vivid.
Isaiah was called to serve his country as a prophet in the midst of a vision he had when the current King, Uzziah, died, (Isaiah 6:1) And he served his country as its prophet for almost 64 years, amassing a big chunk of prophetic literature in our Bibles in the process. But eventually Isaiah graced the streets of Jerusalem no more.
That is, until now.
Sunday it was announced that a bulla (a clay stamp used by government officials at that time in order to certify communications) was found in the heart of Jerusalem in an area known as the Ophel.
The bulla carried clearly the name Isiaiah, as well as another Hebrew word that seems to spell ‘Prophet’, although this word is slightly obliterated at the end.
And this bulla was discovered only ten feet from where King Hezekiah’s seal was discovered three years ago.
Isaiah fulfilled his God-appointed role of prophet for God’s chosen people, speaking God’s word to them and warning them of the apostasy he saw, and he did that to the end, finally executed by the current king Manassah by being sawed in half.
We can thank him when we get to heaven, right?
Isaiah is actually known for one other thing. For being the book that supposedly was clearly not written by a single figure named Isaiah.
In the opinion of one “expert”:
“A number of different authors, some of whom were separated by relatively long periods of time, collectively wrote the book of Isiah. For example, Old Testament scholars have long recognized that Chapters 1–39 constitute a unit that is quite separate and distinct from Chapters 40–66.
It’s called the Deutero-Isaiah theory, based on supposed differences in terminology and style between early and later chapters.
I happen to have a higher source. Called the Bible. Specifically, John 12
“But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them”. (KJV)
John quotes two different verses from Isaiah.
“Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” is from Isaiah chapter 53.
And, “He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them.” is from Isaiah chapter 6.
And verse 39 says that the same Isaiah who spoke in chapter 6 was still speaking in chapter 53.
So much for Deutero-Isaiah.
And now a bulla bering his name shows up right on the streets of Old Jerusalem.
Is the prophet trying to tell us it’s almost time to come home?