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Judah’s Covenant with Assyria in Isaiah 28

In: Vetus Testamentum
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This paper argues that the “covenant with death” in Isa 28:15, 18 refers to Judah’s covenant with Assyria. While scholars usually take this to refer to Egypt at the end of the 8th c., a reference to Assyria makes better sense of the resonances of the metaphor of personified “death.” This oracle is contemporary with vv. 1-4 and functions together with those verses as a single prophetic discourse that predates the fall of the northern kingdom and prophesies destruction for both kingdoms at the hands of the Assyrians.

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