REUT LIVYATAN BEN-ARIE/ ©EILAT MAZAR
ISAIAH THE PROPHET? The Isaiah bulla’s top register shows the remains of a grazing doe. Its middle register reads, “leyesha‘yah[u],” which means “[belonging] to Yesha‘yah[u]”; the anglicized name of Yesha‘yahu is Isaiah. This register’s damaged left end probably originally included the Hebrew letter vav (the “[u]” of “Yesha‘yah[u]”), and perhaps a heh (“h”), which would have served as the definite article (“the”) for the following word. The word nvy appears in the lower register. If the Hebrew letter aleph were added to the end of this word, at the bulla’s damaged left end, the word would then read nvy’, which signifies a “prophet” in Hebrew. This would strongly suggest that the bulla belonged to the prophet Isaiah. This drawing of the inscription shows the reconstructed vav, heh, and aleph.