Christopher B. Hays
From Propaganda to Apocalypse. An Empirical Model for the Formation of Isaiah 24–27
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This paper suggests a new empirical model for the formation of Isaiah 24–27 on the basis of the demonstrable redaction and apocalyptic reinterpretations of propagandistic royal literature in the Hellenistic period. It concludes that the core of Isaiah 24–27 is Josianic, and that it only came to be understood as apocalyptic in the Hellenistic period, possibly through the excision of historical references from the text. A number of texts from Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Levant demonstrate the deep ancient Near Eastern roots of Isaiah 24–27's imagery. One of those texts, the »Potter's Oracle« underwent a process of composition and redaction through which it was de-historicized and came to appear »apocalyptic« – a process that may parallel the textual history of Isaiah 24–27.