A Covenant with Death: Death in the Iron Age II and Its Rhetorical Uses in Proto-Isaiah

A Covenant with Death: Death in the Iron Age II and Its Rhetorical Uses in Proto-Isaiah

by Christopher B. Hays

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802873118
Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Publication date: 11/15/2015
Pages: 465
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author


Christopher B. Hays is D. Wilson Moore Associate Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is also the author of Hidden Riches: A Sourcebook for the Comparative Study of the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Near East.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Charts xi

Foreword Matthew J. Suriano xii

Preface xv

Acknowledgments xvi

Abbreviations xviii

0 Introduction 1

0.1 Topic 1

0.2 Method 1

0.3 Historical context and mechanisms of influence (chs. 1-2) 3

0.4 ANE beliefs about death and their impact on Judah (chs. 1-4) 4

0.5 The rhetoric of death in Isaiah 1-39 7

1 Death and the Dead in Mesopotamia during the Iron Age II 11

1.1 Introduction 11

1.2 Historical sketch 11

1.3 Mechanisms of Mesopotamian influence 21

1.3.1 Linguistic contacts 23

1.3.2 The question of religious imposition 25

1.4 Death in Mesopotamia 34

1.4.1 Burial and mourning in Mesopotamia 35

1.4.2 The Mesopotamian dead 43

1.4.3 The Mesopotamian underworld and its deities 48

1.5 Conclusions 55

2 Death and the Dead in Egypt during the Iron Age II 57

2.1 Introduction 57

2.2 Historical sketch 58

2.3 Mechanisms of Egyptian influence 60

2.4 Death in Egypt 66

2.4.1 Burial and mourning in Egypt 67

2.4.2 The Egyptian dead 76

2.4.3 The Egyptian underworld and its deities 83

2.5 Conclusions 89

3 Death and the Dead in Syria-Palestine outside Israel and Judah 93

3.1 Introduction 93

3.2 Bronze Age cults of the dead in inland Syria and Hatti 95

3.3 Ugarit 98

3.3.1 Ugarit and the Bible 98

3.3.2 The archaeology of death in Ugarit 100

3.3.3 Death in the Ugaritic texts 104

3.3.3.1 Burial and mourning 105

3.3.3.2 The Ugaritic dead 105

The Ugaritic cult of the dead up to the "Spronk synthesis" 105

The rpum (et al.) 107

The Ugaritic marzihu 115

A "minimalist" backlash 117

3.3.3.3 The Ugaritic underworld and its deities 122

3.4 Between Ugarit and Israel 127

3.5 Conclusions 131

4 Death and the Dead in Iron II Israel and Judah and in the Old Testament 133

4.1 Introduction 133

4.2 A brief history of modern scholarship 135

4.2.1 Early modern scholarship 135

4.2.2 The mid-century assertion of distinctiveness 136

4.2.3 A new flourishing of underworld and afterlife 138

4.2.4 "Minimalist" backlash, redux 143

4.3 The archaeology of death in ancient Judah 147

4.4 Death in the Hebrew Bible 153

4.4.1 Burial and mourning 154

4.4.1.1 Burial in the texts 154

4.4.1.2 Mourning 162

4.4.1.3 The marzeah 163

4.4.1.4 The corpse 165

4.4.2 The Israelite dead 166

4.4.2.1 The powers and cult of the dead 166

4.4.2.2 The Rephaim 167

4.4.2.3 Necromancy 168

4.4.2.4 Summary 174

4.4.3 The underworld and its deities 176

4.4.3.1 Terms for and images of the underworld 176

4.4.3.2 Underworld gods 179

Molek and child sacrifice 180

4.4.3.3 Demons 183

4.4.4 Yahweh and the dead 184

4.5 Historical conclusions 190

4.6 The rhetoric of death in the Hebrew Bible 193

4.6.1 Rhetoric and the Bible 193

4.6.2 Uses of the rhetoric of death in the Hebrew Bible 196

5 The Rhetoric of Death in Isaiah 1-39 203

5.1 Introduction 203

5.2 Texts 203

5.2.1 Threats of unhappy afterlife 203

5.2.1.1 Isaiah 14:4-23: The tyrant in Sheol 203

Reversal of royal funerary expectations 208

The myth of He le-l 211

The rhetoric in historical context 215

5.2.1.2 Isaiah 30:27-33: A pyre for the king 222

5.2.1.3 Isaiah 22:15-19: Shebna's tomb 232

5.2.1.4 Isaiah 36:12: A hellish meal 249

5.2.2 Comparisons of the living to the dead 253

5.2.2.1 Isaiah 5:11-17: The nobility's parade to hell 253

5.2.2.2 The hoy-oracles 258

5.2.2.3 Isaiah 29:1-8: A "near-death experience" for Jerusalem 262

5.2.2.4 Isaiah 8:16-9:6: Those who consult the dead are like them 270

5.2.3 Other reactions to cults of the dead 279

5.2.3.1 Isaiah 7:10-13: YHWH's sign from Sheol? 279

5.2.3.2 Isaiah 19:1-15: Egypt will consult its ghosts in vain 281

5.2.3.3 Isaiah 28:1-22: The covenant with Mut 288

The Egyptian goddess Mut 294

Competing proposals 303

Exegesis 305

5.2.4 Life's triumph over death 315

5.2.4.1 Isaiah 25:6-8: "He will swallow up Death forever" 318

5.2.4.2 Isaiah 26:11-21: "Your dead shall rise" 323

5.2.4.3 Isaiah 38:9-20: The Psalm of Hezekiah 337

5.2.4.4 Isaiah 37:4,17: "The Living God" 345

6 Conclusions 347

6.1 Death in the Ancient Near East during the Iron Age II 347

6.2 The rhetoric of death in the Hebrew Bible 349

6.3 Isaiah's rhetorical employment of death imagery 350

6.4 The offer of life 352

6.5 Implications 353

6.5.1 "Foreign" influences 353

6.5.2 The formation of the book of Isaiah 355

6.5.3 Isaiah's role in the history of Judean religion 357

6.5.3.1 Isaiah's condemnation of religious practices 357

6.5.3.2 Isaiah and resurrection 358

6.5.4 Isaiah as Judahs "Book of the Dead"? 359

Bibliography 363

Index of Sources 409

Index of Authors 430

Index of Subjects 439

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