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From Prophecy To Literature

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the early stages of development of the Isaianic material and compares it with the development of the Assyrian prophecies. It argues that a substantial revision of the Isaianic material can be situated in the late seventh century during the reign of Josiah. The development of the Isaiah tradition will be explored from two angles. First, from the angle of the early prophetic material: through the revision, the prophetic material developed into literature. Second, from the angle of the revision material: the revision has a literary character, but resembles or imitates the prophetic genre. The chapter concludes that there is a strong analogy between the Isaiah tradition and the Assyrian prophetic texts with regard to their respective development. The first parallel concerns the phenomenon of prophecy becoming literature. The second parallel relates to the phenomenon of literary derivatives of prophecy.

Keywords: Assyrian prophecy; Isaiah; Josiah; literature; seventh century



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