Isaiah described Assyria as the ‘rod of YHWH’s anger’ (Isa 10:5). The Neo-Assyrian Empire was the dominant power during the period of First Isaiah. After discussing the historical, canonical and geopolitical background I will explain the imprint of the Assyrian Empire on the book of Isaiah. I will use 10:5-19 as a case study to demonstrate the impact and adaptation of imperial themes within the book.
Isaiah saw a vision of YHWH enthroned in glory and he was commissioned with an unusual task for a prophet – that is to harden the hearts of the people. Judgement had been passed on Israel and Isaiah was charged with communicating the verdict to the people in a manner that would ensure they would not repent. After examining the various scholarly proposals for the hardening motif in Isaiah 6, I will offer my own proposal that the commission to harden the hearts is as a direct result of the idolatry of the people. I will go on to describe how the hardening motif functions in this passage and in the rest of Isaiah.
The first temple dedicated to YHWH in Jerusalem was constructed under King Solomon in the tenth century BC at the top of Mount Zion; where it stood until it was destroyed by the Babylonians in 585 BC. Solomon’s Temple was symbolic as the dwelling place of Israel’s god, a restored Eden, a microcosm, the cosmic centre, a bulwark against chaos and the story of Creation in stone.
The account of the creation of the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, how they were tempted by the serpent and their subsequent fall are recorded in Genesis 2:4b-3:24. A study of this pericope will reveal that Adam and Eve already know the difference between good and evil, that they are already divine in a specific way, that they do not complete the purpose for which they had been placed in the garden of Eden, and the nature of the sin which led to their expulsion from Eden.
When Moses first encountered the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the desert God revealed his name to Moses. The account is recorded in Exodus 3. Moses had fled Egypt because he had killed an Egyptian while defending a Hebrew slave. He was now living with his father-in-law, a priest of Midian called Jethro, […]
Numbers 20:1-13 describes an episode in the life of Moses, while he was leading the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt, during their forty year journey. As a consequence of his actions at Kadesh, Moses, the man of God and faithful servant, who spoke with God face to face, was not permitted to enter the […]