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Chapter Four: Isaiah 56:9-57:21

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Chapter Summary

The literary treatments of this unit by commentators and redaction-critics can be divided into three main types. First, there are those commentators who make one main division within 56:9-57:21, usually between 56:957:13 and 57:14-21, but who defend the unity of 56:9-57:13 in its present form. By contrast, a third approach to 56:9-57:21 has been advocated in two recent studies. This involves treating the poem as a unified composition, and has been advocated by Polan, who approaches the text from the viewpoint of rhetorical criticism and also by Steck. Steck regards 56:957:21 as only part of a larger composition which includes 58:1-59:21. These two large units are parallel in construction, but whereas 56:9-57:21 is addressed to the leaders of the people, and 58:1-59:21 is addressed to the people themselves. This material came into existence as part of an overall redaction of the book of Isaiah in the early Hellenistic period.

Keywords: Hellenistic period; Isaiah 56:9-57:21; rhetorical criticism



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