Isaiah history

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Isaiah history

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1richardbsmith
Jun 3, 2009, 8:59pm

Most critical scholars consider that the Book of Isaiah was written by multiple hands from the period before the exile until after the return to Israel. This covers roughly the years from 742 to sometime after 538.

These dates begin during Assyrian dominance, through Babylonian ascendancy, up to the time of Cyrus.

This gives a convenient time frame for the broad structure of the Book of Isaiah: Chapters 1-39 Isaiah I written largely by the prophet; 40-55 Isaiah II written during the exile with a presumption of the exile; 55-66 Isaiah III written after the return to Israel with references suggesting a Palestinian background.

For the first section, Isaiah I, the critical years are 735 with the Syria conflict, 714 the Egyptian alliance, and 705 the revolt against Assyria.

In this thread I would like to discuss specifically historical references. You do not need to agree with the scholarly division of Isaiah into 3 different periods and multiple writers, but please respect those, including me, who do.

As always, all perspectives are encouraged. References to historical sources, Kings, Chronicles, Micah, Jeremiah, other prophets are also encouraged.

2richardbsmith
Editado: Jun 15, 2009, 2:37pm

Have been reviewing material on Assyria and Damascus to get a better context on the ups and downs for period Israel and Judah.

Had a question on the dating of Asa's reign.

From 1 Kings
15:9 In the twentieth year of Jeroboam’s reign over Israel, Asa became the king of Judah. 15:10 He ruled for forty-one years in Jerusalem

To me this puts the start of Asa's reign at 902 BCE, yet most references seem to date the start to 913, based on archeological finds?

Any thoughts on the discrepancy?

Just a typo by the Deuteronomist?

3richardbsmith
Editado: Jun 16, 2009, 11:06pm

Staying back in the time before Isaiah, to work up to the period context.

Ben Hadad, 883 to 843, breaks treaty with Israel to join Judah against Israel 1 Kg 15.29. Asa's reign 913 to 873. Ba'asha's reigh 900 to 877. The date for this encounter would then be around 880?

Qarqar is dated 853, with Syria, Israel, and Judah as allies against Assyria.

Dating the events described in 1Kg 22.40, 22.1, and 1 Kg 20, to indicate a series of conflicts between Israel and Syria between 858 and 853, just before Qarqar and Ahab's death.

Is it more likely that 1 Kg 20 and 22 are mistaking Ben Hadad with two different Syrian kings who had similar names or that the Palestine coalition was strong enough to counter Assyrian aggression, despite an extended period of mutual animosity and weakness caused by constant conflict? Not to mention the inconsistency of the portrayal of the wealth of Ahab and the indication of Israel being a vassal to Syria in chapters 20 and 22.

Any thoughts or recent scholarship on this question?

4richardbsmith
Jun 21, 2009, 9:41pm

Spent some more time reading on the Arameans this weekend. The interplay between Judah, Israel, and Damascus makes for some interesting reading. A better understanding of that interplay makes Isaiah come alive.

Have not read this, but I am assuming that with Hadad being the name of a head Aramean tribal deity, Benhadad then becomes son of Hadad. Perhaps too much to read son of god.

Other Aramean names also use the Hadad reference: Hadad'idr and Hadadezer.

Wonder how common the name, or if it was used only by the kings and leaders of the Aramean tribes?