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The City as Woman in Isaiah 1-39

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Chapter Summary

This chapter investigates one literary depiction of Jerusalem and other cities in the first thirty-nine chapters of the book of Isaiah, namely, the image of the city as a woman. There is no extended picture of Jerusalem as a woman in chapter 1, but the two images of whore and daughter together set the stage for the rest of Isaiah 1-39. Verse 9 compares the fate that might have befallen the inhabitants of Daughter Zion with the legendary fate allotted those two ancient cities. Two passages in chap. 14 have city and gender significance. In 14:29-31, Philistia is addressed as a city is spoken to, namely, in the feminine singular. The prophet had no hesitation in seeing his own city as a woman, and the tradents and editors of his tradition enjoyed and built on his imagery.

Keywords: book of Isaiah; Daughter Zion; Jerusalem; Philistia; prophet; woman



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