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IS THE RABSHAKEH ALSO AMONG THE PROPHETS? A RHETORICAL STUDY OF 2 KINGS XVIII 17-35

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Traditionally, discussion of the account of the siege of Jerusalem in 2 Kgs. xviii 13-xix 37 has focussed on historical or source-critical questions. This article approaches the account from a literary perspective, focussing in particular on the rhetorical content of Rabshakeh's speech to the defenders of Jerusalem in 2 Kgs. xviii 19-35 (//Isa. xxxvi 4-20). The Rabshakeh couches his mixture of threats, admonitions and promises in "prophetic" language, aiming thereby to make the Jerusalemites abandon their covenant with Yahweh to form a new one with Sennacherib. Thus, the narrator of the siege account depicts a confrontation between the Assyrian king as false god and Yahweh as true God, mediated by their respective "prophets", the Rabshakeh and Isaiah. Caught in the middle of these duelling antagonists is Hezekiah, whose choice will determine whether the remnant of Judah will remain Yahweh's people, or follow Israel into oblivion.

Affiliations: 1: Exeter

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/content/journals/10.1163/156853300506242
2000-01-01
2016-12-06

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