In this important addition to the Old Testament Library, renowned scholar Brevard S. Childs writes on the Old Testament’s most important theological book. He furnishes a fresh translation from the Hebrew and discusses questions of text, philology, historical background, and literary architecture, and then proceeds with a critically informed, theological interpretation of the text.
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“Woe is me; I am lost!’ He is awestruck, not because he is only a mortal before the infinite, but because he is a sinful human being, sharing the impurity of an entire nation. In the presence of the Holy One of Israel, he perceives his true state. The explicit juxtaposition of the prophet’s own sinfulness with that of his people indicates that the focus was not just on the individual; rather, Isaiah shares the selfsame sickness as all of his people, both lost and corrupt.” (Pages 55–56)
“The reference to ‘double for all her sins’ is not to suggest that Israel received more punishment than deserved, but rather the author makes use of a legal image already found in Ex. 22:3(4), which requires a guilty one to restore double for a crime.” (Page 297)
“What Isaiah envisioned was not a return to a mythical age of primordial innocence, but the sovereign execution of a new act of creation in which the righteous will of God is embraced and the whole earth now reflects a reverent devotion ‘as water covers the sea.’” (Page 104)
“The sign of Immanuel, in striking contrast from the simply constructed sign oracle in 8:1–4, now has a double edge. For those of unbelief—Ahaz and his people—the sign is one of destruction (v. 17), but for those of belief, the sign of Immanuel is a pledge of God’s continuing presence in salvation (v. 16).” (Pages 67–68)
“The Unity of the Book of Isaiah’) R. Clements outlined his understanding of the unity of Isaiah in terms of a redactional process in which at least four distinct layers can be identified: an eighth-century (preexilic), a seventh-century (‘Josianic’), an exilic, and a postexilic redaction.” (Page 2)
Brevard S. Childs (1923–2007), Old Testament professor at Yale University from 1958 until he retired in 1999. Childs had a significant positive influence in biblical theology by insisting that interpreters should be Christians who view the text as Scripture and regard the final form of the canon as the norm for interpretation. However, he held to many liberal views about Scripture, denying that Moses wrote the Pentateuch and seeing elements of pagan mythology in the Bible.