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image of Vetus Testamentum

A majority of scholars, ancient and modern, interpret Isaiah v 16 as depicting the divine judgement on human sin as the embodiment and outworking of divine holiness. It is argued here that the word pair mišpat and edaqâ in this verse should probably have the same sense that they have in the preceding song of the vineyard in Isaiah v 7, where they depict those human moral qualities which God looks for in Israel (in replication of God's moral characteristics). The argument is advanced with reference to other usage of mišpa and edaqâ in Isaiah i-xii. Contextual factors, in relation to similar language in Isaiah ii, and with regard to the redactional shaping of Isaiah v 1-17, are also taken into account. A subtly diverent interpretation, implied by the Masoretic pointing, is finally noted as a possible qualification to the argument.

Affiliations: 1: Durham, England


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