This article argues that Isaiah's so-called ‘refrain poem’ (Kehrvergedicht) in Isa. 9.7–20 is a composite text, going back to two early prophecies with different concerns. Isaiah 9.7–17* focused originally on the arrogant refusal of the divine word, while Isa. 9.18–20* reflected on the chaotic social circumstances in Samaria in the eighth century. The refrains in vv. 9,11cd, 16ef and 20cd were added to these two already connected prophecies at a later stage. The theological summary in v. 12 is yet another addition, closely affiliated with 5.24–25. Unlike v.

In studies on the composition of prophetic literature, the larger textual layers reinterpreting earlier texts, the so-called Fortschreibungen, received much attention. It is well-known that beside these larger literary elaborations prophetic books also contain shorter explanatory interpolations, often called glosses, which intend to clarify a particular imagery of the prophecy (e.g., Isa 9:14). A systematic reading of these short annotations has been neglected, however, in studying the formation of prophetic books. The present article reconsiders the Isaiah-Memoir from this perspective.

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