(Watch Jerusalem) Archaeological evidence of biblical personalities abounds. Kings, pharaohs, princes, government officials, military officers and priests have all been attested to in the archaeological record. But there is another, especially intriguing, group of biblical figures: the prophets. Their sayings and writings, preserved in the Bible, are a claim of miraculous, supernatural inspiration. Of course, many scoff at their prophecies. Regardless of differing opinions, the question should be asked: Has any evidence been found of the prophets? Can anything be said of their historicity from the archaeological record?
Unlike the officials described above, prophets are difficult to demonstrate through archaeology. They usually did not hold governmental offices and thus would not have had much of the regalia, stamps and correspondence preserved. They did not build cities. More often than not, Israel’s prophets were hated by those in power—the authorities were more than willing to be rid of any evidence of them. Many (if not most) of the prophets were simply of humble occupations. Yet their preserved biblical texts live on as some of the most precious writings that we have.
Let’s examine the evidence that has emerged for a number of the biblical prophets. We’ll list them in the order that they appear in the biblical account.