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The prayer of Isaiah and the Sundial of Ahaz (2 Kgs 20:11)

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Chapter Summary

The prayer of a prophet is a significant literary motif in the books of Kings, in particular in those narratives that bring up a miraculous event. The actual wonder is ascribed to God when he is appealed in the prophet’s prayer. According to many commentators Isaiah is portraited in 2 Kings as a prophet like Elijah and Elisha. In the Ancient Near East the sun as a natural time-keeper played an important part in thinking about measurement of time, especially with regards to the length of a day and its several divisions in watches and hours. Various types of sundials were known to the Egyptians, Assyrians and Babylonians. The sundial of Ahaz survived the critical remarks of Iwry, not only in bible translations but also in the Modern Hebrew dictionaries.

Keywords: Assyrians; Babylonians; books of Kings; Egyptians; God; Isaiah; prophet’s prayer; sundial of Ahaz



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