What does the Ox Know in Isa 1:3a?

In: Vetus Testamentum
Joshua Berman Dept. of Bible Bar-Ilan University Ramat Gan, 52900 Israel

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Many modern expositors of the image of the knowing ox in Isa 1:3a do not address the pastoral reality that animates the image. Drawing from the glosses of two medieval rabbinic exegetes and from studies of bovine ethology this study explores the suggestions that have been raised concerning this reality. The study probes the implications of each suggestion for a fuller understanding of the oracle of Isa 1:2-3 and its place at the beginning of the book of Isaiah.

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