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Formation and Intertextuality in Isaiah 24–27

Formation and Intertextuality in Isaiah 24–27

J. Todd Hibbard
Hyun Chul Paul Kim
  • Book Info
    Formation and Intertextuality in Isaiah 24–27
    Book Description:

    Isaiah 24–27, the so-called Isaiah Apocalypse, is often regarded as one of the latest sections added to the book of Isaiah. The formation and interpretation of these chapters are widely recognized as important matters for understanding the compositional history of Isaiah, emerging religious thought in the Persian period, and scribal techniques for late biblical materials. The essays in this volume explore these and other important issues of Isaiah 24–27 in light of the abundant recent research on these chapters. In addition, this volume outlines new directions forward for research on these pivotal chapters and their place in Isaiah and the prophetic literature generally. The contributors are Micaël Bürki, Paul Kang-Kul Cho, Stephen L. Cook, Wilson de A. Cunha, Carol J. Dempsey, Janling Fu, Christopher B. Hays, J. Todd Hibbard, Hyun Chul Paul Kim, Beth Steiner, John T. Willis, Archibald L. H. M. van Wieringen, and Annemarieke van der Woude.

    eISBN: 978-1-58983-887-1
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

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  1. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  2. Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)
    J. Todd Hibbard and Hyun Chul Paul Kim

    The book of Isaiah provides readers with a colorful tapestry of images, rich poetic language, and a deep well of theological insights. Among the prophetic books, it offers the widest window into the social and political world of Israel and Judah during many of the turbulent times of the first millenium b.c.e. Its compositional arc is, in the view of critical scholarship, a long one, stretching from the eighth century b.c.e. to fifth or fourth centuries b.c.e. (or beyond). Though the longstanding division of the book into three major sections—Proto-, Deutero-, and Trito-Isaiah—has proved useful for understanding much...

  4. The Date and Message of Isaiah 24–27 in Light of Hebrew Diachrony
    (pp. 7-24)
    Christopher B. Hays

    The problem of the composition and redaction of Isa 24–27 has haunted scholars of the book throughout the past century and more. These chapters resist traditional methods for locating texts historically. With their imagery of God overcoming death and raising the dead, they are especially significant to our understanding of Judean religion and its heirs, Judaism and Christianity. Yet, disinterred from historical context, they drift unmoored.

    It is time to renew the study of Isa 24–27 in light of the outpouring of recent scholarship on linguistic dating of texts in the Hebrew Bible. There has not been a...

  5. City, Earth, and Empire in Isaiah 24–27
    (pp. 25-48)
    Hyun Chul Paul Kim

    The primary thesis of this study is as follows. Even though it is a collection of numerous loose pieces, Isa 24–27 as a composite whole displays key thematic and compositional functions in its present form.¹ First, echoing the ancient Near EasternChaoskampftraditions, the text depicts polemics against the empires and tyrants. The unknown identity of the city and double meanings of the earth/land signify the ongoing political struggles toward the culminating and impending historical future with Yhwh’s victory and kingship.

    Second, key intertextual allusions highlight the place and function of this text as a hinge between chapters 13–...

  6. City of Pride, City of Glory: The Opposition of Two Cities in Isaiah 24–27
    (pp. 49-60)
    Micaël Bürki

    Recent research on chapters 24–27 of the book of Isaiah highlight the numerous intertextual links of these texts with other oracles inside the book of Isaiah, other prophets, the book of Daniel, Psalms, and the myths of origin in Genesis.¹ These studies show that these chapters are the result of a literary work and that they constitute a kind of conclusion to the oracles against the nations (chs. 13–23). However, the internal structure of these chapters and their logic, as well as the history of their redaction, remains to be discussed.

    The motif of the cities, the anonymous...

  7. “Kingship” and “Kingdom”: A Discussion of Isaiah 24:21–23; 27:12–13
    (pp. 61-76)
    Wilson de A. Cunha

    Isaiah 24–27 remains as one of the most difficult parts of Isaiah and has spurred a substantial number of academic dissertations up to the present day.¹ One of its most difficult problems concerns the issue of ideological coherence. Already in 1892, Bernhard Duhm denied any ideological coherence for the chapters concerned. He saw two types of genres in Isa 24–27: (1) songs, which comprise Isa 25:1–5, 9–11; 26:1–19; 27:2–5; (2) oracles, consisting of chapter 24; 25:6–8; 26:20–27:1, 12, 13. Duhm claimed the songs are responsible for breaking the ideological unit of Isa...

  8. Isaiah 24:21–25:12: A Communicative Analysis
    (pp. 77-98)
    Archibald L. H. M. van Wieringen

    In my monograph on the unity of the Isaiah book and in my commentary on Isaiah, I speak about Isa 24–27 as a “coda.”¹ Although this indication is not incorrect, beyond the chapters 13–23, which are characterized by explicit indications of topographical spatial decors, the word “coda” suggests that there is nodramatic progressin the text.² In this contribution, I would like to examine Isa 24:21–25:12 from a communication-oriented approach in order to shed light on the communicative developments that take place in this text and to make clear that the text-internal reader also takes part...

  9. Food of the Gods: Canaanite Myths of Divine Banquets and Gardens in Connection with Isaiah 25:6
    (pp. 99-116)
    Beth Steiner

    The change in tone and content in Isa 25:1 from the verses that precede it has sometimes led to the conclusion that it should be seen as separate from chapter 24, and for a while it was thecommunis opiniothat 25:1–5 was a secondary interpolation. Some scholars still argue that 25:6–8 should follow directly on from 24:21–23,¹ but 25:4 presupposes Yahweh reigning on Zion and so can be linked to 24:23, the unnamed city in verse 2 connects with 24:10, and the apparent use of Isa 4:5b–6 by 25:4–5 fits well with the way...

  10. Death and Feasting in the Isaiah Apocalypse (Isaiah 25:6–8)
    (pp. 117-142)
    Paul Kang-Kul Cho and Janling Fu

    ⁶ Yhwh of Hosts will prepare,

    For all peoples, on this mountain,

    A feast of rich foods,

    A feast of aged wine,

    Of rich foods filled with marrow,

    Of aged wine well refined.

    ⁷ He will swallow on this mountain

    The cover that covers

    All the peoples

    And the veil cast

    Over all the nations.

    ⁸ He will swallow death in perpetuity.

    The Lord Yhwh will wipe away the tears

    from all faces

    And the reproach of his people, he will remove

    from all the earth.

    For Yhwh has spoken.¹ (Isa 25:6–8)

    Isaiah 25:6–8 describes an extraordinary event,...

  11. Resurrection or Transformation? Concepts of Death in Isaiah 24–27
    (pp. 143-164)
    Annemarieke van der Woude

    “Die Kultur entspringt dem Wissen um den Tod und die Sterblichkeit.”¹ According to Jan Assmann, culture is nothing more, and nothing less, than finding ways to deal with the knowledge that our life is limited and that we have to die.² Culture realizes an opportunity to think beyond the borders of our mortality. Every time, and every society, seeks its own answers to the problem of death.³ In this respect, there is no difference between biblical times and, for instance, twenty-first century Dutch society.

    Israel’s answer to its finite existence is not to claim the immortality of the soul. Instead...

  12. Deliverance as Fertility and Resurrection: Echoes of Second Isaiah in Isaiah 26
    (pp. 165-182)
    Stephen L. Cook

    A corpus of authoritative, sacred writings was in place by postexilic times, to which Israel’s early apocalyptic visionaries, such as the authors of the so-called Isaiah Apocalypse (Isa 24–27), made ready reference.¹ In a text such as Isa 26, we see a new medium of revelation emerging that relies on the mantic study and cross-referencing of Scripture. Here, apocalyptic prophecy forges a new symbolic universe through the study and reactualization of an emergent scriptural corpus. The role of intertextuality in the development of Israelite apocalypticism was not isolated. As Marvin Sweeney writes, illusions to preceding biblical texts “play a...

  13. Isaiah 24–27 and Trito-Isaiah: Exploring Some Connections
    (pp. 183-200)
    J. Todd Hibbard

    In recent years, several publications have explored intertextual elements of Isa 24–27.¹ Most of these studies have examined how the author(s) of these four late chapters of Isaiah engage(s) with other texts, primarily from within the Hebrew Bible, though there is some acknowledgement that other nonbiblical texts and traditions have been utilized as well. These studies have noted that intertextual connections between Isa 24–27 and elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible do not seem to privilege one portion of the canon, though it is safe to say that several intertexts are found within Isaiah itself. This is not surprising,...

  14. Yahweh Regenerates His Vineyard: Isaiah 27
    (pp. 201-208)
    John T. Willis

    Isaiah 27 is a very difficult text. At least four people appear in this chapter (Yahweh, the composer or prophet, the inhabitants of the fortified city, and Jacob or Israel or the people of Israel), sometimes in the first person, sometimes in the second person plural, and sometimes in the third person. The composer refers to Yahweh in the third person in 27:1, 7a, 8b, 9c, 11d–e, 12a, 13b. Yahweh speaks in the first person in 27:2–5. The composer refers to Jacob or Israel in the third person in 27:6, 9a–b and to “the fortified solitary city”...

  15. Words of Woe, Visions of Grandeur: A Literary and Hermeneutical Study of Isaiah 24–27
    (pp. 209-226)
    Carol J. Dempsey

    Isaiah 24–27 has long been considered the “Apocalypse of Isaiah,” since material in these chapters possesses some similarities to apocalyptic literature. Recent scholarship, however, argues against assigning this block of material to the apocalyptic genre.¹ Although the precise genre of these four chapters has yet to be determined, one thing is clear: Isa 24–27 is a block of material rich in literary form and technique, whose poet used exceptional rhetorical skill to communicate a provocative message that is sure to evoke a response from the text’s listeners and readers.

    With respect to the dating of Isa 24–27,...

  16. Bibliography
    (pp. 227-246)
  17. Contributors
    (pp. 247-248)
  18. Index of Ancient Sources
    (pp. 249-265)