Reading the Book of Isaiah: Destruction and Lament in the Holy Cities (Hardcover)
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Many scholars have approached both the origins of ancient city laments in some of the oldest Sumerian texts and how this "genre" found its way into the Tanakh/Old Testament. Randall Heskett goes a step further. He uses various historical-critical methods such as form criticism and redaction criticism to analyze and assess Lamentation and Restoration of Destroyed Cities as oral traditions of ancient Israelite prophetic genres. He also shows how a later exilic/post-exilic redactional framework may have semantically transformed older prophetic genres about destruction and restoration to be reflexes of the events around 587 BCE.
About the Author
Randall Heskett is an independent biblical scholar who has published several articles and published Messianism within the Scriptural Scroll of Isaiah, Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies, Vol. 456. He also recently published Proverbs, Bible Briefs Series. He is the president of Boulder University.
Praise for Reading the Book of Isaiah: Destruction and Lament in the Holy Cities…
'Randall Heskett sheds remarkable new light on Isaiah, showing how the book has appropriated ancient Near Eastern city-laments that bemoan the destruction of Mesopotamian cities. His work is of real significance, given his rare command of the particular interpretive methods that he employs and his remarkable mindfulness of the holistic shape of Scripture. He demonstrates how the Scriptures carefully shape the city-laments that they take up, placing them in service of prophetic themes and structures that stretch across the entirety of Isaiah's book. Heskett's study illuminates for the first time how the ancient city-lament genre does not operate with free, unrestrained agency within the Scriptures, but only as critically appropriated. This work makes an enduring contribution, with insights readers will want to access again and again.' - Dr. Stephen L. Cook, Catherine N. McBurney Professor of Old Testament Language and Literature, Virginia Theological Seminary
'Heskett's book expands the study of city laments in Isaiah in several directions, masterfully demonstrating how they operated in their original oral contexts and how they developed into other written genres in the 'Scripturalization' editing of the book of Isaiah, transformed in order to speak the concept of forgiveness and celebrate the restoration promised by God. But even more, he addresses the disjuncture between biblical scholarship and theology by showing how the transformed city laments in Isaiah cannot be read apart from the canonical context of Torah and Prophets, and for Jews and Christians today can be read in the context of the Holocaust and the Passion of Christ.' - Dr. Robert D. Miller II, Associate Professor of Old Testament, The Catholic University of America