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Joseph Blenkinsopp

Abstract

Edomites were already well established in the Judean Negev before the Babylonian conquest, and archaeological evidence suggests that they profited by the disturbances of those years (597-582 bce) to infiltrate much of the province south of Jerusalem. After the collapse of the Neo-Babylonian empire, the interest of the Persians in the region was restricted to protecting the trade routes along the Mediterranean coast and the Transjordanian plateau and the approaches to Egypt. They also had no interest in sponsoring the return of deported Judaeans to the region. Once it became clear that there would be no intervention from distant Susa, the pace of Edomite colonisation quickened, a semi-deserted Jerusalem was occupied, and a sanctuary to the supreme Edomite deity Qôs (Qaus) arose on the site of the destroyed Yahweh temple. This ruled out the possibility of repatriation, and Judaism developed as a scattering of ritually segregated enclaves in different countries in line with other religions in late antiquity.

Joseph Blenkinsopp

The argument presented in this article is that the term ‘asham’ in Isa 53:10 refers to the sacrificial ritual of the guilt offering, that this reference is supported by indications throughout Isaiah 53, and that therefore the suffering and death of this Servant of the lord is to be understood as sacrificial by analogy with the ritual of the guilt or reparation offering in the book of Leviticus. This conclusion, much contested in contemporary scholarship, is supported by a survey of the reception of this text in the period prior to early Christianity.

Joseph Blenkinsopp

Abstract

The prophetic diatribe in Isa. xxviii 7-22 is directed against the Judean political and religious leadership anxiously seeking an alliance with Egypt of the twenty-fifth (Nubian) dynasty shortly before the Assyrian punitive campaign of 701 B.C. The opponents are accused of entering into a covenant with Death and Sheol. It is suggested that the covenant is represented as made with the Canaanite deity Mot (mōtu), rather than with Molech, in the expectation that Mot would take up their cause against his adversary Hadad, personification of the ô ô p of xxviii 15, 18, thus enabling them to survive the anticipated Assyrian attack. Isa. xxviii 7-8 suggests the possibility that the ceremony by which the pact was sealed, reminiscent of the Ugaritic texts KTU I.114, is represented as a parody of the tradition about covenant making at Sinai represented by Exod. xxiv 9 11.