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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Prophecy and Propaganda: Images of Enemies in the Book of Isaiah
Eidevall, Göran

Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2009 pp. vi + 219. $34.95

Series Information
Coniectanea biblica: Old Testament Series, 56


Description: Isaiah contains a rich variety of enemy images from a time span covering at least four centuries. Eidevall's textual analysis in Prophecy and Propaganda focuses on the characterization of the enemy, the rhetorical strategy adopted, the text's function in its historical context(s), and the ideology of the author(s) and/or editor(s). The main part of the study begins with textual analyses of passages dealing with the hostile empires of Assyria, Babylon, and Egypt. It then turns to Judah's northern neighbors, Ephraim/Israel and Aram, formed another hostile alliance against Judah, and how oracles directed against Samaria took on new significance in the postexilic era, due to the emerging schism between Samaritans and other Jews. The portrait of Moab is intriguingly ambiguous, but the picture of Edom is uncompromisingly negative. Finally, the study investigates anonymous enemies of various kinds, who are often characterized as rebels deserving severe punishment. The final editors of Isaiah wanted to discourage a wide range of actions and attitudes that, according to their standards, amounted to opposition to YHWH by YHWH worshipers themselves.

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

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Review by Maire Byrne
Published 10/17/2009
Citation: Maire Byrne, review of Göran Eidevall, Prophecy and Propaganda: Images of Enemies in the Book of Isaiah, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2009).


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