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Hebrew Studies 41 (2000) 290 Reviews Bartelt offers no in-depth analysis of 6:1-8:18. For example, he does not consider what content other than Immanuel-most obviously that of chapter 6, or the epigram of 7:9~might have some claim to be of central significance . Third, related to this is the lack of engagement with other approaches to the text. It is one thing to offer fresh insights based on syllable counts and structural analysis. It is another to fail to test these in any seri0us way against alternative construals. Fourth, the amount of interpretive illumination arising from the approach adopted is limited. It concerns mainly hypotheses about textual formation, and some suggestive linkages between verses, and is otherwise largely conventional about the content (apart from the hypothesis about the centrality of Immanuel). Finally, I simply do not think that verse is best approached via mathematics, even if some illumination can be shed thus. I do not think that any ancient author or redactor would have been aware of the counts which Bartelt offers, 0r would have been particularly impressed had they been pointed out; and I feel largely unmoved likewise. What this ultimately comes down to is one's heuristic understanding of the nature of ancient texts in general, and Hebrew verse texts in particular. I would need a lot more persuading that Bartelt's approach, valid as far as it goes, could in any way move from the margins to the center of the study of Isaianic, or any other, Hebrew verse. Walter Moberly, University ofDurham Durham, United Kingdom r.w.l.moberly@durham.ac.uk HOWLING OVER MOAB: IRONY AND RHETORIC IN ISAIAH IS-16. By Brian C. Jones. SBLDS 157. pp. xi + 292. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1996. Cloth, $29.95. The aim of this study is to show that Isaiah 15-16 does not contain a sympathetic attitude toward Moab, the old enemy of Judah and Israel, but "a satiric lament celebrating the troubles of Moab" (p. 271). In order to argue for this position, Jones deals with the question how an ironic intention can lay behind the lament form (chap. 4, pp. 113-161). In this chapter he shows that Isaiah 15-16 is an example of prophetic satire, and sympathetic expressions should be read ironically. Second Jones makes a textcritical and grammatical analysis of Isaiah 15-16 in order to remark tex- Hebrew Studies 41 (2000) 291 Reviews tual corruptions which have caused problems in the interpretation of the Isaian passage (chap. 5, pp. 163-215). He attempts to show that in redactional investigations scholars have been misled by incorrect construal of evidence. Isaiah 15-16 should be read as an integrated text with a particular ironic intention. In this point he admits that "the danger of circular argumentation in this endeavor is obvious" (p. 217). Finally, Jones deals with the rhetorical criticism of Isaiah 15-16 connected with the question about its genre (chap. 6, pp. 217-271). Isaiah 15-16 contain depictive rhetoric which aims to give a visual description of the situation. "The depiction itself is designed to move the audience to view the situation in a certain way, to take a particular attitude toward the Moabites" (p. 232). The basic assumption is that every author must take a particular relation to his audience. According to Jones, Isaiah 15-16 is a "reporter" who attempts to portray "an objective account of lamentation, flight and petition of the Moabites" (p. 234). In particular, Jones emphasizes the role of irony in Isaiah 15-16 and how rhetorical analysis can reveal this by showing that a reader is forced to abandon the literal meaning of the text. For example, Isa 16:2-5 is a caricature of Moabite appeal, and 16:6-12 rejects Moabites' petition (16:6) by presenting an ironic lament (16:7-11) and assuring that Moabites cannot find help from its god (16:12). This study is an important contribution to reading Isaiah 15-16 as a unity. But even in this case the question is whether the sympathetic attitude toward Moab should be read as a rhetorical irony. After all we have examples of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2158-1681
Print ISSN
0146-4094
Pages
pp. 290-291
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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