By Goeran Eidevall
Isaiah encompasses a wealthy number of enemy photographs from a time span protecting no less than 4 centuries. Eidevall's textual research in 'Prophecy and Propaganda' makes a speciality of the characterization of the enemy, the rhetorical process 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 examine starts off with textual analyses of passages facing the opposed empires of Assyria, Babylon, and Egypt. It then turns to Judah's northern buddies, Ephraim/Israel and Aram, shaped one other opposed alliance opposed to Judah, and the way oracles directed opposed to Samaria took on new value within the postexilic period, a result of rising schism among Samaritans and different Jews. The portrait of Moab is intriguingly ambiguous, however the photo of Edom is uncompromisingly detrimental. ultimately, the learn investigates nameless enemies of assorted varieties, who're usually characterised as rebels deserving serious punishment. the ultimate editors of Isaiah desired to discourage a variety of activities and attitudes that, in keeping with their criteria, amounted to competition to YHWH via 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 might be understood as circumstances of contextually decided (and constantly remodeled and reinterpreted) political propaganda. the ultimate editors belonged to a celebration aiding the spiritual politics of Ezra and Nehemiah. even though they describe themselves as humble servants and as marginalized sufferers of persecution, it's most likely that they really represented circles with entry to the ability constructions in their time.
A must-read for a person learning views on Isaiah in scholarly learn this present day.
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Additional info for Prophecy and Propaganda: Images of Enemies in the Book of Isaiah
The depiction of the anonymous attacker(s) focuses on perfection and aggressive 7 Davies (1989:115). Childs (2001:49). 9 Sumerian references are listed in Heimpel (1968:280-326), Egyptian references in Grapow ( 1983:69-73), and Assyrian references in Ponchia (1987:232, 241). See also Marcus (1977:87) and Schott (1926:86). An interesting discussion of the Mesopotamian material is provided by Cassin (1987:167-213). 8 26 Chapter 2 determination in performance, which entails invincibility. One of the most conspicuous traits in this characterization is the complete absence of unambiguously negative attributes.
11 Images of Empires 27 What function could such a statement have had within the propaganda war during the Syro-Ephraimite crisis? Paradoxically, this threat might have had the intent to reassure the people and the leaders of Judah—if it was directed against the nation’s prime enemy in this conflict, Israel. In that case, what we have here, is not an image of the enemy. It is an image of the enemy’s enemy. This would account for the propagandistic flavour, and the absence of negative attributes in the characterization.
6 Against a godless nation I send him, and against the people of my wrath I command him, to take spoil and to seize booty, and to trample them down like mud in the streets. 7 But he does not reckon it so, his mind does not see it that way. What is in his mind is to destroy, and to cut off not a few nations. 8 He says/thinks: “Are not my commanders all kings? 9 Is/was not Calno like Charchemish? Is/was not Hamath like Arpad, Samaria like Damascus? ” 12 When the Lord has completed all his work on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, he* will punish the arrogant mind of the king of Assyria, and his haughty pride.