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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Reflections of Empire in Isaiah 1–39: Responses to Assyrian Ideology
Aster, Shawn Zelig

Atlanta: SBL Press, 2017 pp. xix + 360. $54.95

Series Information
Ancient Near East Monographs, 19

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Description: In this new book Shawn Zelig Aster relates the prophecies found in First Isaiah to the historical events of the 8th century BCE, when Assyria controlled much of the ancient Near East. Aster elucidates the arguments of Isaiah 1-2, 6-8, 10-12, 14, 19, 31, and 36-37 by explaining that the passages contain hidden polemic along with the imperial propaganda of the Assyrian empire. Aster illustrates that the prophet adapts motifs from Assyrian propaganda, while subverting Assyrian claims to universal dominion. Aster argues that Isaiah does this in order to promote belief in a single omnipotent God, more powerful than any human empire. The book exposes the meaning behind these passages of Isaiah, as well as the history of Israel in the period 745-701 BCE.

Subjects: Bible, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Prophetic Literature, Isaiah, Literature

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Review by John T. Strong
Published 1/3/2019
Citation: John T. Strong, review of Shawn Zelig Aster, Reflections of Empire in Isaiah 1–39: Responses to Assyrian Ideology, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2019).


Review by Patricia K. Tull
Published 12/6/2018
Citation: Patricia K. Tull, review of Shawn Zelig Aster, Reflections of Empire in Isaiah 1–39: Responses to Assyrian Ideology, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2018).


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