By Goeran Eidevall
Isaiah includes a wealthy number of enemy pictures from a time span protecting not less than 4 centuries. Eidevall's textual research in 'Prophecy and Propaganda' specializes in the characterization of the enemy, the rhetorical approach followed, the text's functionality in its ancient context(s), and the ideology of the author(s) and/or editor(s). the most a part of the research starts off with textual analyses of passages facing the adverse empires of Assyria, Babylon, and Egypt. It then turns to Judah's northern associates, Ephraim/Israel and Aram, shaped one other adversarial alliance opposed to Judah, and the way oracles directed opposed to Samaria took on new value within the postexilic period, as a result rising schism among Samaritans and different Jews. The portrait of Moab is intriguingly ambiguous, however the photo of Edom is uncompromisingly unfavourable. ultimately, the learn investigates nameless enemies of assorted varieties, who're frequently characterised as rebels deserving serious punishment. the ultimate editors of Isaiah desired to discourage quite a lot of activities and attitudes that, in line with their criteria, amounted to competition to YHWH by means of YHWH worshipers themselves.
Ideological language, reminiscent of the Zion-centered viewpoint and the mythical model of the occasions in 701 BCE, is paradigmatic in Isaiah, elevating the query to what volume the prophecies therein should be understood as situations of contextually decided (and always transformed and reinterpreted) political propaganda. the ultimate editors belonged to a celebration helping the non secular politics of Ezra and Nehemiah. even though they describe themselves as humble servants and as marginalized sufferers of persecution, it really is most likely that they really represented circles with entry to the ability buildings in their time.
A must-read for a person learning views on Isaiah in scholarly study this day.
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Additional info for Prophecy and Propaganda: Images of Enemies in the Book of Isaiah
13) and then as a plunderer of birds’ nests (v. 14). The bovine metaphor in v. 13bγ, “like a bull ( )כאבירI laid low”,87 has numerous counterparts in the Assyrian tradition of royal self-praise. ”88 The bull simile in v. 89 Yet one may sense a touch of irony in the ambiguous phrase: ואוריד … יוׁשבים. In the context of a genuine self-praise, it would be natural to take this as a reference to the heroic deed of throwing down rulers from their thrones (cf. the translation in NRSV: “I have brought down those that sat on thrones”).
6, lines iv. 11-13, and the comments made by Parpola (1997:8), in his footnote to line 13. 95 In Isa 10:15, then, the status of the proud Assyrian king (the former tree-feller) has been reduced to that of a tool in the woodcutter’s hands. A similar shift of roles can be observed as regards the rod/staff metaphor in v. 5. 97 In Isa 10:5, the phrases “rod of my anger” and “staff of my fury” carry a wide range of connotations. 98 From that perspective, one might say that the comforting rod ( )ׁשבטand staff ( )מׁשעןfrom Psalm 23 have been replaced by utterly discomforting counterparts.
5 and 15 deprives Assyria of its authority and independence (on the rhetorical-ideological level, at least). A rod, a staff, an axe or a saw—they are all instruments, in the hands of someone else, wielded by the user as (s)he wishes. These metaphors express the Jerusalemite vision of Assyria’s subordination to YHWH. At the same time, they manage to insinuate that the Assyrian disinclination to accept these terms was something unprecedented and unnatural. Rebellion and insubordination would have been unacceptable at all events, but the image of a tool that revolts against its user and starts thinking and acting on its own (v.