The Significance of the Rhetorical Ambiguity in Isaiah 54:16

  • Nissim Amzallag Department of Bible, Archaeology and Ancient Near East, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheba, Israel
  • Shamir Yona Department of Bible, Archaeology and Ancient Near East, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheba, Israel
Keywords: primeval Yahwism, kbd-YHWH, copper metallurgy, anti-Edomite ideology, book of Isaiah


Abstract: The ambiguity in Isa 54:16a concerning the identity of the subject (YHWH or the smith) of the two verbs evoking a metallurgical action (to blow and to cast) is identified here as a rhetorical device intending to conceal the essential relation of YHWH with metallurgy. Integrated in the whole Isaiah 54 chapter, this device becomes a plea for the definitive replacement of Edom with Israel as YHWH’s people, exactly as in Isaiah 34-35 and Isaiah 61-63


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