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The Role of Redaction Criticism in the Evaluation of a Textual Variant: Another Look at 1QIsaª XXXII 14 (38:21–22)

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With the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, new emphasis has been placed on the extent to which the last stages of the formation of the Hebrew Bible have been preserved in early manuscripts. It is very widely held that such manuscript evidence comes in 1QIsaª XXXII 14. Here, Isa 38:21–22, which commentators suspected were secondary long before the discovery of the scrolls, are written in a secondary hand partly down the margin. This has led to the conclusion that 1QIsaª preserves an earlier unexpanded form of this passage. In this study, I argue that, despite the validity of this approach and attractiveness of this specific case, 1QIsaª XXXII 14 more likely reflects an omission. It will be seen that a redactional analysis of Isa 38, informed by the parallel in 2 Kgs 20, illuminates the text-critical evaluation of 1QIsa&ordf XXXII 14.

Affiliations: 1: 47 Forest Oaks Dr., Durham, NC 27705, USA


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