Journal for the Study of the Old Testament

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.

Drawing inspiration from Isa. 19.19, which speaks of a ‘stele of Yhwh’ at the border of Egypt, B. argues that the assemblage of prophecies against foreign nations in Isaiah 13–23, of which Isaiah 18–20 is a part, is intended to function in the same way as an Assyrian victory stele, listing the nations subdued and proclaiming that Yhwh is ruler of the world.

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