Religion 21 Professor Niditch Ancient Israel Chapin 114

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To Think About:

1. Isaiah 1 is a beautiful example of classical Hebrew poetry. Notice the use of parallel pairs of terms, the building blocks of traditional Hebrew poetry. Be prepared to discuss the style of Isaiah's poetry. What images does he use? Does he employ symbols which you have seen in other biblical contexts?

2. Does Is 1 contain themes you have seen before in the prophets (See 1:11-14 and 1:17, 23)?

3. Note the opening words of Is 1:2 (cf. Deut 32:1). Discuss this chapter in terms of the lawsuit form.

4. Trace the pattern of sin and forgiveness, seen in Hos 2, for Is 1.

5. What is the meaning of Is 1:29? Think in terms of Baal cult.

6. In 6 is an initiation account, a scene in which the prophet describes his first encounter with God and his call to prophecy. Describe the pattern of elements in this call genre. Keep your list in mind for work later with Ezek 1 and Jer 1.

7. Compare Is 6:1-3 with 1 Kgs 22:19. Find other relevant parallel passages.

8. Compare Is 6:5 with Moses' words at Ex 4:10, 6:12, 30. In spite of the similarities, how does Moses' reaction to "the call" differ from that of Isaiah?

9. What kind of rite of passage occurs in Is 6:6-7?

10. What is the meaning of 6:9-13? Is there hope in the midst of desolation? What is the tone of 6:9, 10? Is the Lord asking Isaiah to entice the people so that they do not see the truth as in 1 Kgs 22? For help with this question see Ezek 22:20-22 and compare to Is 6:13 (very end of vs). Do you think the last line in Is 6:13 is original to the passage? (cf. Is 1:25)
A Survey of the Exilic Prophets
XI. December 10, 12

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