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Achaemenid Creation and Second Isaiah

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For many years, scholars have entertained the idea that monotheism appeared in Second Isaiah as a result of Zoroastrian influence. Since the issue of monotheism is inappropriate for either the Persian or the Judaean contexts, this paper argues that a more fruitful angle to pursue the Persian context of Isaiah is through analysis of the concept of creation. This paper takes the Achaemenid creation prologues in the Old Persian inscriptions as a comparator for the use of creation in Second Isaiah, and places these two in a broader ancient Near Eastern context of creation mythology. It is argued that both share distinctive features in the way creation is presented and understood. Given the novel and similar concepts visible in both corpora, it is argued that the vision of creation and form of YHWH as creator are the earliest attested instance of “Iranian influence” on the Judaean tradition.

Affiliations: 1: University of Helsinki jason.silverman@helsinki.fi

10.1163/18747167-12341305
/content/journals/10.1163/18747167-12341305
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2017-09-20

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