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image of Vetus Testamentum

The prophetic diatribe in Isa. xxviii 7-22 is directed against the Judean political and religious leadership anxiously seeking an alliance with Egypt of the twenty-fifth (Nubian) dynasty shortly before the Assyrian punitive campaign of 701 B.C. The opponents are accused of entering into a covenant with Death and Sheol. It is suggested that the covenant is represented as made with the Canaanite deity Mot (mōtu), rather than with Molech, in the expectation that Mot would take up their cause against his adversary Hadad, personification of the ô ô p of xxviii 15, 18, thus enabling them to survive the anticipated Assyrian attack. Isa. xxviii 7-8 suggests the possibility that the ceremony by which the pact was sealed, reminiscent of the Ugaritic texts KTU I.114, is represented as a parody of the tradition about covenant making at Sinai represented by Exod. xxiv 9 11.


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