The so-called Isaiah- “Denkschrift" (6:1-9:6) : an exegetical-historical study

Esterhuizen, Liza (2007-03)

Theses (MPhil (Ancient Studies. Centre for Bible Interpretation and Translation in Africa))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.


The so-called Isaiah Denkschrift (Isa 6:1-9:6) is seen by many scholars as the personal memoirs of the prophet during the time of the Syro-Ephraimitic war. The aim of this study is to investigate the related issues in this periscope within the framework of the Denkschrift. The aim of this study is to investigate the phenomenon of prophecy in the Ancient Near East and to study how this phenomenon manifests in Isa 6:1-9:6. This study examines the biblical and non- biblical literature relating to this phenomenon with the objective to gain an understanding of the text and the world behind the text. The exegetical process of the study also studied the historical background as it is found in the Denkchrift (Isa 6:1-9:6). The literature investigation of the study focuses on prophecy as it is found in the Hebrew Bible as well as in cross-cultural settings such as the West Semitic, Old Babylonian, Neo- Assyrian and Egypt cultures. It is eminent that in the Ancient Near East prophecy in the different cultures shows parallels and differences in the manifestation thereof. Within the corpus of the phenomenon of prophecy in the Ancient Near East, the study analyses the calling of Isaiah to become a prophet to the people of Judah. Isaiah 6 reports the prophetâ s vision of the heavenly divine council, his purification and the commission to prevent the repentance of the people and the resolve of Yahweh to punish them. Another unit within the Denkschrift addresses the symbolic action behind the naming of Isaiahâ s children within the Syro-Ephraimitic crisis. Chapters 7:3 and 8:1-4 records the circumstances surrounding the symbolism as part of Isaiahâ s prophecy when he prophecy to king Ahaz. The interlinking relationship between Isaiah and king Ahaz is visible in the Denkschrift as an issue in the understanding of Isaiahâ s prophecy and speeches. Chapter 7, 8 and 9 records the tension in the relationship and the study explores the significance thereof in the pending crisis. The literature study shows that this relationship can be interpreted in different ways and the aim is to compare these literary findings. The investigation of Isaiah 6:1-9:6 construe a prophetic message of disaster, judgement and doom but similarly also presents a message of promises, hope and future expectations. This message is still a message needed in a modern world today.

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