IN SEARCH OF TREES: ISAIAH XLIV 14 AND ITS IMPLICATIONS

In: Vetus Testamentum

Abstract

Isa. xliv 14 forms part of the longer section Isa. xliv 9-20, one of the anti-idol polemics in Isaiah xl-lv. The verse mentions four different types of tree, two of which are well known, two hapax legomena. The identification of possible species and the confirmation that their provenance was in the West rather than in Babylonia lead to the conclusion that the author of the section was well acquainted with Western geography. An examination of the materials used for Babylonian image manufacture also demonstrates the author's ignorance in this regard. This has implications for the time and place of composition and calls into question the majority view that Isa. xliv 9-20 was composed in Babylonia in the late exilic period.

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