In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

138 SHOFAR Spring 1994 Vol. 12, No.3 of Judah. But terms such as i''l"1~jj, VW'l and the pair ~~WO-i11in (translated by Haak as "law and order") do not necessarily point to the king or his responsibilities, except within a framework of interpretation that already presupposes, or at least favors, a monarchic dating and a "politico-monarchic" focus for the book. Because premises cannot be presented as conclusions, Haak has not shown, in my opinion, that the Book of Habakkuk in its present fonn is most likely from the monarchic period, that it accurately reflects the historical persona of the prophet, or that the message of the book to its first audience dealt with the return ofJehoahaz to power. Haak has (only) shown that it is possible to read the Book of tenns of a latemonarchic political framework. Notwithstanding these or other reservations, Haak's Habakkuk is an important piece of scholarship. It is a must-read for anyone who is interested in the Book of Habakkuk and prophetic literature in general. Its author should be commended. This reviewer for one is looking forward to reading additional contributions by Haak to the study of prophetic literature. Ehud Ben Zvi Department of Religious Studies University of Alberta Zion's Final Destiny: The Development of the Book of Isaiah, A Reassessment of Isaiah 36-39, by Christopher R. Seitz. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1991. 228 pp. $24.95. The title and subtitles of this book are a good reflection of it. On the one hand, Seitz's main thesis is that "the Book of Isaiah grew out of a concern to understand and then adumbrate Zion's final destiny" (p. x). On the other hand, most of the book consists of an analysis of Isaiah 36-39. The tension between the two subtitles is resolved by Seitz'S claim that the Hezekiah-Isaiah narratives (Le., Isaiah 36-38) playa pivotal role "in the growth of the Book of Isaiah, bringing First Isaiah traditions to their culmination, while at the same 'time raising theological issues (esp. concerning Zion) only subsequently worked through in the context of Second Isaiah chapters" (p. 208). (As for Isaiah 39, see below.) Seitz clearly challenges many widely accepted positions and proposes alternative conclusions. Among these conclusions are the following: Book Reviews 139 (a) The so-called account B (Isaiah 36-37/2 Kgs 18:13, 17-19:37) is a unified composition which in its present form (Le., in its entirety) dates to the first decades of Manasseh's reign, not much later than the death of Sennacherib in 681 B.C.E. "The pedagogical target" of Isaiah 36-37 (38) was not "the average citizen," but the royal house, and more specifically, "young Manasseh" (p. 101). Seitz also rejects the "traditional" distinction between Bl and B2, claiming that the present narrative comes from a gradual "tradition process" whose beginning is most likely "an extended oral legend going back to the miraculous events of 701 themselves" (p. 95). Moreover, Seitz states that "no one would have been in a better position to recall and preserve the original 701 traditions, ultimately shaping them into their present, carefully structured form, than the circles associated with the triad of Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah-steward, scribe, and record keeper." He continues, "It is a further question whether circles associated with this same 'contingent of Hezekiah' also had the responsibility for redactional activity beyond the narrower context of the HezekiahIsaiah narratives, in an emerging Proto-Isaiah collection" (p. 115). (b) As for the report of "YHWH's angel" making an assault on the Assyrians (Isa 37-36), it belongs to the narrative, and "since this event [Le., the assault], strictly speaking, goes beyond the oracles at 37:7 and 37:29, which focus on the return of Sennacherib as well as his death in 'his own land' (37:7), it probably speaks to a matter whose source lies in historical events-however one accounts for the large number reported slain (185,000)" (p. 95). (c) Seitz admits that the language of the "mocking song" (Isa 37:22-29) resembles that of Deutero-Isaiah, but claims that the...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 138-142
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.