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The Problem Of Comfort: Second Isaiah’s Rhetorical Environment And Its Intractable Problem

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Chapter Summary

This chapter suggests that the central issue with which Second Isaiah wrestles should be determined primarily from the issues Second Isaiah addresses, the embedded speeches of the audience that appear within Second Isaiah, and Second Isaiah's allusions to other biblical texts. It argues that the driving dilemma Second Isaiah wrestles with is the tension between Yhwh's stated intention to reconcile with Zion and the difficulties inherent in such a reconciliation, not least among these being the audience's doubts about Yhwh's trustworthiness. The tension and struggle involved in Yhwh's offer of comfort to Zion comes through clearly in the vacillations of the divine voice in Second Isaiah. The tension and intractability of Second Isaiah's problem emerge through the interaction of the major tonalities of the divine voice, as detailed analyses of those tonalities will show. Throughout, the audience's doubts and reluctance are present in the rhetorical situation of the text.

Keywords: biblical texts; Second Isaiah; Yhwh's; Zion



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