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Title: The King Diseased and Healed (Isaiah 38), the King Embarrassed and Comforted (Isaiah 39)
Subtitle: What Do These Figures Add to the King Beleaguered and Rescued (Isaiah 36-37)?
Author(s): BEUKEN, Willem A.M.
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 86    Issue: 4   Date: 2010   
Pages: 379-391
DOI: 10.2143/ETL.86.4.2062421

Abstract :
Recent Old Testament research has shown that the promise to David (2 Sam 7) passed through a multifaceted process of interpretation and adaptation, which consequently met the social and religious needs created by Israel’s changing position on the world stage. This study indicates that the redaction of the book of Isaiah occupies a special place in the process of interpretation which the promise to David theme has undergone. The sequence of actions in Isa 36–39 portrays the actants Zion and Hezekiah, each with a specific function. The former defends Jhwh’s sovereignty against the king of Assyria, who assumes godlike rights for himself. The latter embodies Jhwh’s never ceasing fidelity towards the house of David through the vicissitudes of world politics and life. In this way, the reader is left at the end of the first part of the book of Isaiah with two studied open questions: (1) What shape will the house of David take after Hezekiah’s vow to spend his days in the praise of Yhwh in his temple (38,19-20) and in the prospect of the deportation of his progeny to Babylon (39,7-8)? (2) How will the daughter of Zion, the champion of Yhwh’s honour against Assyria (37,22-25), face the impending overlordship of Babylon (39,6-7)?

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