A plan for engaging the materials and methods of #ootle17?

Since I started the course of #ootle17, the Introduction to the Old Testament class online, I have been working on blogging, twittering, and some google doc activities regarding the topics of the week. This new experience of learning and sharing the biblical knowledge through my Personal Learning Network, such as blog, twitter, and google doc activities would be very helpful for me to continue studying and sharing what I read and have questions in the Old Testament regarding both my academic interest in the biblical knowledge and my faith in God for the ministry that I will do in the future after the seminary. Thus, I would like to continue being involved with the potential participants of my Personal Learning Network by engaging the materials and methods of this course.

The plan that motivates me to engage what I have learned through materials and methods of this course for a future ministry of mine would be very tentative or provisional, but I am sure that it would be a great plan for the people who will be participating in it.

The project that I like to engage the materials and methods of this course is an online bible study of the Old Testament for the college students of my church that I will be able to lead during the semester or a summer vacation. It is not easy, in general, to make a good schedule for a bible study which is convenient for all the participating students; during the semester, students have different class schedules, and during the summer vacation, students have flexible schedules for their working or traveling. In addition, we should find a cozy place for the bible study, which is also not easy to find during the semester when the rooms of a church building are packed with the schedules for various kinds of church meetings and plans. Thus, an online bible study using the Personal Learning Network that I have learned how to use in the course of #ootle17 will provide a chance to join a bible study for the students who want to join one, but hesitate because of the limitedness of their availability of time and space like some seminary students involved in this course of #ootle17. With an online bible study that I plan engaging the materials and method of #ootle17 including the online reading materials, podcasts and video links, blogs, twitter, and google doc,  the participants will have better access to the bible study with less limitedness of time and space using a method which may be technologically familiar and easy to them.

Here is an example of a tentative plan for a bible study that I can do with the college students of my church in the future, which will be scheduled for ten weeks at a time.

First, I will open a webpage for the bible study, like the home page of #ootle17, where all the participants will be able to access the materials and method for the bible study including the syllabus of the study and the instruction of how to make and use the Personal Learning Network for the study.  I guess the participants already will know better than me about how to make and use it considering the college students’ catching up with the advanced knowledge of using technology and online social network.

I will also provide a chance to meet all the participants face to face through the google hangout at the time when most of the participants are available and at least two times of real meeting with the participants during the whole session of the bible study, one for the beginning and the other for the ending of the study.

For the materials as the resource for the bible study, I could use some relevant course materials regarding the topic that I choose among the ones that I have worked in #ootle 17 all through the weeks of this semester. But, based on what I have learned about how to access the resource for a topic of the week, I will look for more additional supplementary reading or watching materials and links as the resources that are more appropriate for college students to access easily and that will be better understood by them.

For the work of the first week of the bible Study, I will ask the students to upload a short introduction about themselves and a motivation of joining the bible study in their personal blog and to twitter what they look forward to learning in the bible study, as we did in the course, which will provide them to get a chance to know each other and feel free to be involved in the group activities though the network.

Second, for the topic of the bible study, I will choose a topic for the bible study among the topics that I have been working on for my blog. However, this bible study is not for seminarians but for college students who do not have much experience of reading and studying the books of the Old Testament and connecting it to their Christian life.  Thus, I will start with one topic that I was working on for the make of a week as the topic of the whole session of the bible study and continue to proceed to another related topic based on my observation of the progress of the students’ learning through their working at their Personal Learning Network. This will require an additional work for me to figure out what are intriguing and meaningful questions for college students in the biblical text chosen for the bible study regarding the topic that I choose for the study.

For example, I will choose the topic of the creation stories of Genesis 1-11 for the first session of the bible study titled “Genesis I” with the reading materials and make option 1 of the week that I revise for the college students to work on for the bible study as follows.

In the bible study of “Genesis I”, we will read Genesis 1-11 with a focus on the creation stories regarding how the creation stories are narrated in Genesis and in other books of the Old Testament, what makes the creation stories in Genesis and in  other books of the Old Testament different, and how they are meaningful for us in our faith in God. The participants will work on the following online activities of blogging and twittering about what we are reading and questioning in the biblical text of the study for ten weeks

I. What we are doing for the blog is

  1. Read the first two creation stories and think about why two different stories are given at the beginning of Genesis as the first book of the Old Testament.
  2. Write your opinion about the question of 1 based on what you read and watch in the resource provided for the question.
  3. Read the following passages and compare a creation story you find in each passage with what you read in Genesis 1-2.
  4. Write about the difference you discover between the creation stories from  Genesis 1, 2 and other creation stories in each of the following passages based on the given resource.

Isa 51:9

Job 9:4-14

Job 26:7-14

Job 38:1-11

Psalms 8:1-9

Psalms 74:12-17

Psalms 89:8-10

Psalms 104:1-9

Psalms 136:1-9

Proverbs 8:22-31

5. Think about what makes the creation stories meaningful in each of the biblical text of the Old Testament they are narrated and in your Christian life.

6. Write what you think about the question of 5 based on the resource given for the question.

II. Working on the Twitter every week with what comes up to your mind about the questions we are working on in this bible study .

This example of a tentative plan for a bible study that I would like to engage the materials and methods that I have used and  learned through the work of #ootle17 will be a starting point for me to retain involvement with those participants who might make up part of  my Personal Learning Network and a good motivation for me to engage again the materials and methods of this course for the plan.

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Abraham, Israel’s ancestral role model of faith in God

The stories in Genesis 12-50 present the ancestral narratives of Israel in the lineage of Abram (Abraham later); Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Like the Primeval Story presented in Genesis 1-11, Bandstra suggests, the sources of these ancestral narratives are identified by the documentary hypothesis as the Yahwist, the Elohist, and the Priestly writers, which explains some parallels or connections between the episodes of different characters reflecting the features of three different sources. (p 81)

Bandstra presents the ancestral stories of Israel with three cycles regarding the three major saga[1] collections comprising the ancestral narratives; Abraham cycle, Jacob cycle, and Joseph cycle.

Similarly, Stanley presents the plot of Genesis 12-50 as Israel’s ancestral narratives with three Acts in terms of the main characters among the ancestors of the people of Israel and Judah; Act 1: Abraham and Sarah, Act 2: Isaac and Jacob, and Act3: Joseph and his brothers. (pp 218-222)

Which ancestral stories relate to the issue of trust in divine promises?

Among these three major groups of ancestral narratives, the major theme of Abraham’s stories appears to be dealing with God’s promises and covenant for Abraham with a homeland, offspring and being a blessing and Abraham’s trust in God’s promises. Bandstra explains that the Abraham cycle lays the groundwork for the history of Israel by continuing the primeval theme of blessing with his departure for a new land leaving “his comfortable surroundings with an eager but simple faith and facing many dangers and occasional stumbles.”  In addition, Bandstra suggests, through the challenges Abraham experienced in his journey, “his faith matures and his relationship with God deepens.” (p 81) Thus, among the three ancestral narratives, I suggest that Abraham’s stories prominently relate to the issue of trust in divine promises.

List some specific episodes that stand out in your mind that have to do with issues of belief, trust, and faith.

The first episode reflecting Abraham’s trust in God’s promises is Genesis 12:1-9 which begins with God’s call for Abram (Abraham later) to leave his homeland with His promise of a homeland, offspring, and being a blessing for Abram. For God’s command to leave his homeland, Abram simply followed God’s will and went with all his family, which I think shows Abram’s trust in God. The commentary of the Harper Collins Study Bible also interprets that this simple response of Abram shows his righteousness and faithfulness (p 21).  Stanley also suggests that from the beginning of the story, Abram is presented as a model of obedience to God following the command of Yahweh to leave his homeland and travel to Canaan. (p218)

However, in the next episode in Genesis 12:10-20, which narrates Abram and Sarai’s journey to Egypt to avoid a famine in the land of Canaan, Abram showed his lack of faith in God in his deceiving Pharaoh by passing off Sarai as his sister with a fear that the Egyptian who wanted to take Sarai for her beauty would kill him. Bandstra explains this as strategic for the theological plot development of Abraham cycle. According to Bandstra, this episode “benchmarks Abram’s insecurity and sets the story up for Abraham to grow in trust and confidence in God’s promises as the narrative progresses.”(p 83)

The same kind of episode is found in Genesis 20:1-7, which narrates Abraham and Sarah’s travel at Gerar. In this episode, Abraham again deceived Abimelech, King of Gerar, to save his life in the same way by saying Sarah as his sister. However, God intervened in the episode by revealing himself in the dream of Abimelech and saved Sarah’s virtue and abimelech’s innocence. (The Harper Collins Study Bible, p 31)

The third similar episode is found in Genesis 26:6-11, which is a story of Isaac and Rebekah in Gerar. In this episode, Isaac deceived the men of Gerar in fear of being killed like his father Abraham for Rebekah’s beauty.

According to the Harper Collins Study Bible, these three stories of the matriarch in danger occurring in three different forms expresses a threat to the promise of offspring, which might reflect Abraham and Isaac’s lack of trust in God’s promise offspring.(p 21)

There are more episodes that stand out in my mind relating to Abram and Sarai’s trust in God’s promise of offspring. One is the episode of the birth of Ishmael in Genesis 16, which reflects Sarai’s lack of trust in God’s promise of offspring and finding her own way of have an offspring of Abram; having a child through her slave, Hagar. In this episode, Abram’s following Sarai’s request appears to reflect his doubt or his own interpretation of God’s promise of offspring. Bandstra suggests that this episode “reflects the concern for heir, which was the ancestors’ great hope for the future and that it also reveals the uncertain nature of the inheritance, given the constant threat of infertility.” (p 86) In other words, in this episode, Abram and Sarai’s physical conditions appear to force them to feel uncertain about the fulfillment of God’s promise of offspring.

In the episode of God’s covenant of circumcision in Genesis 17:1-22, which Bandstra explains has the structure of a treaty covenant[2] between God and Abraham, with God’ change of the name of Abram into Abraham and of Sarai into Sarah, Abraham’s laughing and saying to himself about his doubt for God’s promise of giving a son by Sarah also appears to show Abraham’s trust issue about God’s promise of offspring even in the middle of God’s announcement of the covenant. In Genesis 18:12, it was Sarah who laughed to God’s announcement of Sarah’s having a son, which also seems to indicate Sarah’s doubt of God’s promise based on her age and infertile condition.

However, even with all these episodes concerning the issue of Abraham’s (and/or Sarah’s) trust in God, God continued to visit Abraham in his travels and confirm His promises with His covenant with Abraham, upon which Abraham relied on through the cycle of his life by following God’s command. Finally, Abraham witnessed the fulfillment of God’s promise of offspring, the birth of Isaac for Abraham and Sarah in their old age, which is the evidence of the fulfillment of God’s promise to give Abraham a son by Sarah,

The final episode in Genesis 22 about God’s command to sacrifice Isaac, which is mentioned as God’s test of Abraham (22:1), culminates Abraham’s faith in God after the birth of Isaac in his unquestioning obedience to God’s command to kill his only son, whom God gave him by His promise, without any complaint and hesitation.

Ellen F. Davis’s “The Binding of Isaac”[3] explains this episode as the issue of ‘mutual trust’ between God and Abraham and presents two possibility for God’s discharge of sadism or tyranny; i) this is a real test of God for Abraham’s faith in Him, his commitment to God before everything else; ii) this is God’s expression of His control of the covenant relationship, which entails the balance of boldness and submission. Considering the first verse of Genesis 22 and Abraham’s historical status as Israel’s ancestral role model of faith in God, I rather choose Davis’s first interpretation of this episode as God’s test of Abraham’s faith in Him. Bandstra also asserts that the first sentence of the text, “… God tested Abraham,” gives us the purpose of the story right at the beginning. (p91) At the end of the episode, when Abraham passed the test in 22:12, God repeated his promise of blessing in 22:15-18, which presents Abraham as a model for Israel in his full and immediate obedience to God’s word. (Bandstra, p 93).

What developments can you trace in the growth and quality of the ancestors’ trust?

As we can see in the episodes mentioned above and as Bandstra mentions for the episode of Abram’s deceiving Pharaoh, in the progress of the narrative, from the episodes which show Abraham’s weakness of faith in God as well as his faithfulness to follow God’s command to the culminating episode of Abraham’s unquestioning obedience to God’s command to sacrifice Isaac, we can trace Abraham’s trust and confidence in God’s promises with covenant growing and changed from an insecure and shallow quality to a deep and secure faith in the promise of God. (Bandstra, p94)

[1] Bandstra describes a saga as follows,

“A saga is a legendary narrative about an ancestor or community figure. The plot of a saga is simple and recounts the leader’s success in weathering threats or overcoming obstacles. Sagas explore human experiences and may have been intended to support the reader through life’s problems.”

[2] Dr. Lester explains in his lecture of “Covenant A” that a treaty covenant is an agreement between two or more parties who may be equal or unequal with one another in their power and stature regarding the agreement. Bandstra also explains that the structure of a treaty covenant has mutual rights and obligations. (p 87)

[3] Bible Odyssey

http://bibleodyssey.org/en/passages/main-articles/binding-and-sacrifice-of-isaac.aspx

 

Can I construct an alternate story of the creation from the events that do not appear in the Genesis creation stories?

The creation story of the Bible in Genesis 1 begins with the verse “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.”(Gen1:1-2) As for this creation story and other primeval story in Genesis 1-11, Bandstra affirms that the book of Genesis reveals the basic features of Israel’s worldview with its concepts of deity and the nature of humanity (p35). Stanley also asserts that the biblical stories of origins present concerning the nature of God, humanity, and the physical world and provide profound religious insights regardless of whether they have historical or scientific values or not (p203).

However, as Stanley suggests, most of the stories in Genesis 1-11 are mentioned only in the Hebrew Bible and some references to the origins of the universe in the Hebrew Bible have substantial differences from the Genesis stories, which implies the possibility of different sources of the creation stories of Genesis and those narrated in different places of the Hebrew Bible.

Bandstra also suggests that there are many places in the Hebrew Bible other than at the beginning of Genesis that we can find reference to divine creation, such as Psalms 33, Proverbs 8:22-31, Second Isaiah 40:12-31, in which Bandstra claims the writer uses creation for a larger points he needed to make (p36). As the most well-known example, Bandstra presents two accounts of creation in Genesis, Gen 1:1-2:4 and Gen 2:5-25, in which we can find different reference of the deity, Elohim in the former, and Yhwh Elohim in the latter, and also different order and focus of events (p37).

These differences of the creation stories in the Hebrew Bible has been explained by Documentary Hypothesis which Dr. Lester explains in his lecture of “Documentary Hypothesis A” with Wellhausen’s Documentary Hypothesis that asserts that Torah or Pentateuch[1] is a composition of more than one literary or documentary sources: four sources of Yahwist (J), Eloist (E), Deuteronomy(D), and Priestly Writer(P).

Bandstra also presents Documentary Hypothesis as a theory that the Pentateuch was complied from four primary underlying documentary sources for the dominant explanation of the authorship and composition of the Pentateuch, that is, the acronym JEDP in their presumed chronological order (p21).

With this documentary hypothesis, Bandstra suggests that two accounts of creation in Genesis 1:1-2:4 and Genesis 2:5-25 could be understood as two creation stories from two different sources; the former is from P-source (Priestly writer), and the latter from J- source (Yahwist).

Then, another question comes out,  “Does this documentary hypothesis explain other creation stories in the Hebrew Bible, such as the references of the creation in Isaiah 51:9; Job 9:4-14; Job 26:7-14; Job 38:1-11; Psalms 74:12-17; Psalms 89:8-10; Psalms 104:1-9 ?

For the first account of creation from P-source, Bandstra suggests that it is Priestly “Elohim” creation story and the first two verses describing the earth, “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep,” describes the condition of precreation as “waters of chaos,”[2] which can be translated in three different ways. First, it implies an absolute beginning of the world with the verse1 as an independent statement. Second, with the two verses in a clausal relation of temporal statement followed by the main assertion, the writer focused on the condition of precreation rather than an absolute beginning. Third, like second one, the verse 1 as temporal setting, but verse 2 as background information, the main assertion comes in verse 3, “Then, God said, “Let there be light!” (p38)

Bandstra claims that the question of “which is an appropriate translation among these three?” is closely related to the question of “whether God created the world out of nothing (creation ex nihilo) or whether there was preexistent substance that God tamed and shaped into an ordered world.” (p38) Thus, Bandstra argues that on the basis of ancient literary parallels, the verse 2 can be understood to describe the universe of precreation as the “waters of chaos” with the phrase “the deep” in 1:2, which connects this story to other Middle Eastern creation stories of the Enuma Elish featuring Tiamat, Apsu, and Marduk.

Bandstra’s claim about the condition of precreation implied in the first two verses of Genesis 1 appears to be supported by the references of the creation noticed in Isaiah 51:9; Job 9:4-14; Job 26:7-14; Job 38:1-11; Psalms 74:12-17; Psalms 89:8-10; Psalms 104:1-9, which describe what happened at the time of creation as God’s ruling down the sea monsters, such as Rahab and Leviathan, ancient mythological monsters, stilling the water, and giving stability to the earth by ordering the unruly chaotic waters.

For example, in Isaiah 51:9, God is described to cut Rahab in piece and pierced the dragon, which implies God’s cosmogonic victory over the primeval chaos-dragon, Rahab (The Harper Collins Study Bible, p 979).

In Job 9:8, we can read an allusion to a combat myth of creation similar to that of Mesopotamian Tiamat and the same imagery also occurs in 9:13 with reference to Rahab (The Harper Collins Study Bible, p 701).

In Job 26:7, God stretches out Zaphon[3] over the void and hangs the earth upon nothing and 26:13, God’s hand pierced the fleeing serpent, which refers to Leviathan in Isaiah 27:1 (The Harper Collins Study Bible, p 716).

Job 38:8-11 reminds the reader of the battle of Tiamat and Marduk of Mesopotamian legend as if it was God’s victory over the sea at the time of creation (The Harper Collins Study Bible, p 727).

Psalm 74:13-15 describes the picture of the mythological creation battle where God defeated the monsters of the waters, like Leviathan, at the beginning of creation (The Harper Collins Study Bible, p 792).

Psalm 89:9-10 also describes the creative work of God in terms of a defeat of the power of chaos, such as Rahab (The Harper Collins Study Bible, p 804).

Psalm 104:7 echoes God’s victory over the watery chaos described in Psalm 74:13-15(The Harper Collins Study Bible, p 815).

Stanley also suggests that many of the creation stories in the Hebrew Bible have parallels in Mesopotamian legends, the Enuma Elish, which presents a creation story as a colossal battle among the gods against Tiamat, the goddess of the waters, who was defeated by Marduk, the chief deity of Babylon, in which Marduk created the physical world out of the body of Tiamat following the same basic order of creation as described in Genesis 1 (p 213).

In short, the source of the creation stories in the Hebrew Bible other than in the book of Genesis, which differ from those in Genesis, appears to be the Mesopotamian legend which Stanley suggest was popular in Babylon during the Exile.

Final question is “Can I construct an alternate creation story based on the events that do not appear in the Genesis creation stories?”

Stanley asserts that even with its different characters and story line of Mesopotamian legend, the similar order of creation in the two stories suggests a possibility that the writer of Genesis 1 may have known the Mesopotamian legend and got a clue to narrate a Yahwistic alternative story to give the exiled community. According to Stanley, however, by contrast to the chaotic struggles of the Mesopotamian creation story, “Genesis 1 depicts a deity who is so powerful that he can simply speak and the physical world comes to existence without any conflict; everything unfolds in a serene and orderly manner,” and “the Genesis picture of a single deity ruling unchallenged over an orderly universe and having a special concern of his creatures would have brought comfort to a group of exiles from Judah surrounded by a Babylonian culture that viewed the universe as a more chaotic and less friendly place.” (p 213-214)

Therefore, considering Stanley’s plausible comment on the specialty of the Genesis creation story compared to the Mesopotamian one, I think I cannot construct an alternate story of the creation from the events that do not appear in the Genesis creation stories, which will be filled with mythological battles of God with the watery force of chaos and thereby which would not deliver the intention of the narrator of Genesis properly.

[1] “Torah” or “Pentateuch” refers to the five books of the Hebrew Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

[2] In the glossary, “waters of chaos” refers to “The seas conceived as monsters who challenged Yhwh’s power and authority.”

[3] In Canaanite mythology, Zaphon was a mountain in the north where gods (especially Baal) lived, like Mount Olympus in Greek literature. (The Harper Collins Study Bible, p 716).

What does DtrH claim to be the right reason for the kings of Israel to found the shrines for Yhwh?

What reasons are given for the founding of these shrines in 2 Samuel 7:1-17,1 Kings 12:1-33, 1 Kings 16:29-33, and 2 Chronicles 3:1-5:14?

In 2 Samuel 7:1-17, with his settlement in Jerusalem, David expresses his wish to build a temple for the Lord by contrasting his house of cedar and the tent where the ark of God stays. However, God’s response in vv.5-16 suggests that it is not David who will build the temple, but someone else in his dynastic succession (v.5, 11). According to the commentary of the Harper Collins Study Bible, God appears to be hostile to a temple under any circumstances (vv.6-7), which may represent the core of an older oracle prohibiting rather than postponing the construction of a temple as mentioned in 2Kings 21:15, I have been moving about, wherever I have moved about, which emphasizes the freedom of the Lord to go where he pleases. The following verses (vv. 8-16) reflects the royal theology of Jerusalem in its emphasis on the dynastic promise to David and the commission of the erection of a temple in Jerusalem, which is considered an editorial composition of the Deuteronomistic Historian, who affirmed the establishment of the Davidic dynasty and the Jerusalem temple as conditions necessary for the realization of the Lord’s promise of rest from enemies for Israel (v.11), in spite of the prophetic suspicion of dynastic rule, possibly retaining echoes of an early oracle forbidding the building of a temple. (the Harper Collins Study Bible, pp.445-446)

Bandstra also suggests that David’s fetching the Ark of God from Kiriath-yearim and bringing it to Jerusalem was “an act of great piety and even greater political astuteness in that the presence of the great symbol of the tribal federation and focus of earlier religious devotion firmly established Jerusalem as the religious center of the newly unified nation.” (p254) By the quote of 2 Samuel 7:16, “Your house and your kingdom will be established firmly forever before me. Your throne will be established forever,” Banstra asserts that David’s desire to build a shrine for the Ark in Jerusalem was rejected by God through Nathan with a divine play on words; instead, God would build a house for David, meaning a perpetual dynasty. In terms of the Davidic covenant, God pledged his enduring support for Davidic dynastic succession and God would never remove his support from Davidic dynasty even with their sins, as He did with Saul. (p255)

Dr. Lester also presents this Davidic covenant in his lecture of “the Judeo Royal Theology B,” which Dr. Lester asserts reflects Deuteronomistic Historian’s (DtrH) conviction that Yhwh’s commitment to David described in 2 Samuel 7 is unconditional and everlasting in his descendants even with their disloyalty and thereby the kingship will not be taken away from them. In addition, Dr. Lester explains that as part of this Judeo royal theology, human king is considered as adopted son of Yhwh to rule over the entire cosmos and that the king, as representative of the deity, has the cultic and priestly functions that reinforces the king’s status as a priest based on a part of covenant that Davidic king enjoys in Yhwh.

This royal theology of DtrH should be the major reason for the founding of the shrines for Yhwh, which appears to be implied in the given texts, 2 Samuel 7:1-17, 1 Kings 12:1-33, 1 Kings 16:29-33, and 2 Chronicles 3:1-5:14. Stanley asserts that DtrH, who wanted to explain the entire historical events of Israel from the destruction of the northern kingdom by the Assyrians to the Babylonian exile of the southern kingdom, Judah, as God’s discipline of His people for their disloyalty to Him, especially their worship of other gods, paid attention to the societal leaders, kings, through out the story based on their conviction that Yhwh judges his people according to the conduct of their leaders, especially their religious behavior. Stanley also claims that what is important to DtrH is whether a leader was sufficiently devoted to Yhwh and his temple in Jerusalem and that this viewpoint is reflected in their depictions of the kings of Israel and Judah whose deeds of devotion to Yhwh are the basis of the judgment of them to be good kings or bad kings (p 251-253).

In 1 Kings 12:1-33, Rehoboam, Davidic king, and Jeroboam, non-Davidic king, became the kings of the divided kingdoms of Israel, the king of Judah (southern) and the king of Israel (northern), respectively, with the divine legitimation through a prophet. However, Jeroboam, who is a non-Davidic king and thereby assumed to be against the royal theology, founded two shrines, one in Bethal and the other in Dan, in order to prevent the people of the northern kingdom from going up to Jerusalem to worship Yhwh and turning to Rehoboam, the king of Judah; DtrH considers this act of Jeroboam problematic in his violation of the Deuteronomistic guidelines for proper worship (the Harper Collins Study Bible, pp 498-501).

In 1 Kings 16:29-33, Ahab, the king of Israel, is described to be even more sinful than his predecessors in his marrying Jezebel and worshiping Baal by building the house of Baal and erecting an altar for Baal in it, which DtrH considers was also against Yhwh and thereby resulted in the destruction of the northern kingdom, Israel, by the Assyrians (the Harper Collins Study Bible, p 508).

In 2 Chronicles 3:1-5:14, Solomon’s building of the Temple in Jerusalem, the account of which is shorter than in 1 Kings, is described to emphasize the parallels between the temple and the tabernacle, which implies the Temple of Jerusalem was built following the direction of God and the final verse of 2 Chronicles 5:14, “for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God,” verifies the importance of the royal theology as the legitimate reason of building the shrines of Yhwh (the Harper Collins Study Bible, pp 601-604).

How credible do these reasons seem to you?

Considering the theory of the double redaction of the Deuteronomistic History (DtrH) developed by Frank Moore Cross and Richard D. Nelson in which the major claim of DtrH has changed from the first redaction to the second one, as Dr. Lester mentions in his lecture of “Deuteronomy & the DtrH A,” these reasons do not seem to be credible to me.

Why does the narrator express such different opinions [concerning] the northern and southern shrines?

As Stanley mentions, what matters to DtrH is whether a king was sufficiently devoted to Yhwh and his temple in Jerusalem (p 252); the two themes of DtrH, the Judeo royal theology in which God’s everlasting commitment to Davidic dynastic succession and the city of Jerusalem, which is called Zion, as God’s everlasting place to dwell, and sin of Jeroboam worshiping golden calf (Dr. Lester’s lecture of “Deuteronomy & the DtrH A), make DtrH’s opinions concerning the northern and southern shrines different.

The Central Message of Judges 19:1-21:25

The story described in Judges 19:1-21:25 reflects a social and political context of the Judge’s period. Dr. Lester suggests in his Lecture A about the emergence of Israel that the Judge’s period was between the Israelites’ settlement in the Promised land and the rising of the monarchy. According to Dr. Lester’s lecture, unlike Joshua ch. 1-12 which describes Israel’s entering the Promised land as Israel’s all united tribes’ unmitigated success of driving out the Canaanites from the land,  the book of Judges depicts the Judges’ period as many failures of Israel’s independent tribes’ driving out the Canaanites in the land; Dr. Lester explains that this coheres with the continuing presence of the non-Israelites among the people for centuries thereafter.

Bandstra also explains the age of Judges as Israel’s transitional period “after the great leadership of Moses and Joshua and before the coming era of the monarchy” and “a time of threat and danger when Israel, internally, seemed to be losing the faith of its ancestors and externally, other groups were threatening Israel with extinction.” (p223) In addition, Bandstra suggests that every judge story in the book of Judges follows the cyclic pattern of the Deuteronomic thematic outline; (1) Israel turns from Yhwh; (2) an enemy oppresses Israel; (3) Israel cries for help; (4) Yhwh sends a judge to deliver Israel, who Bandstra suggests may have been called ‘judge’ because of his fulfillment of God’s judgment to Israel’s enemies and who was empowered by God to rescue the Israelites in trouble. (p 228) Compared with the story of Israel’s all united tribes’ unmitigated success in Joshua ch. 1-12, which Dr. Lester explains is more idealized part of what the Deuteronomistic historian wants to show as what perfect obedience look like, the independent activities of each tribe of Israel might bring about more failure than success in their battle with the Canaanites and let the tribes of Israel lose their faith in God and separated from each other by acting independently.

Considering this information about the Judges’ period regarding the central theme of the story, what is the central theme of this story of Judges 19:1-21:25 that the narrator wants to express? The story described in Judges 19:1-21:25 represents the intertribal conflicts of Israel, that is, Israel’s Civil War against the Benjaminites, in the Judges’ period. After the death of Joshua, the Israelites were threatened and attacked by various non-Israelites in the land (1) which the narrator explains as the result of their worship of Baal rather than Yhwh (2-3). After the stories of judges, Ehud (3), Deborah (4-5), Gideon (6-8), Jephthah (10-12), and Samson (13-16), to deliver the Israelites in trouble, the story of the intertribal conflicts of Israel is given to the reader before the story of the beginning of the monarchy begins in the book of 1 Samuel.

Is this coincidence that the story of intertribal conflict of Israel is given at this position? I think the location of this story at the end of the book of Judges also reflects the central theme of the story; the story appears to articulate the necessity of the unity of Israel’s tribes they showed with the leadership of Joshua and their focus on Yhwh in Joshua ch. 1-12 which resulted in unmitigated success of their entering the Promised land and to provide a clue to the beginning of the monarchy in the history of Israel.

In short, in the story of the intertribal conflict of Israel, the central theme of the story appears to be “the necessity of Israel’s unity as the people of Yhwh with their focus on Yhwh to keep themselves from the enemies in the land under the guidance of an effective and sustained leadership, a king.” The narrator might implicitly express this theme when he starts and ends the story with the sentence, “In those days there was no king in Israel…” in 19:1 and 21:25; in The Harper Collins Study Bible, it is mentioned that the first sentence, “In those days, when there was no king in Israel,” of 19:1 laments the lack of a king who would make such horrifying lawlessness unlikely as the sentences of 17:6, 18:1, and 21:25 do. (p 376)

Stanley also explains this point as follows,

By the end of the book, the narrative has made its point that the system of intermittent judges is incapable of ensuring the peace and stability of the people, whether against outsiders or against one another. For this, a monarchy is needed (Judges 17:6; 21:25).  In this way, the artfully structured story line of the book of Judges prepares the way for the establishment of the monarchy in the book of Samuel. (p264)

Thus, the story would have served for the people who preserved it and told it in ancient Israel to recognize the importance of their unity as the people of God with their focus on Him for their salvation and security and also of the leadership, a king, who would keep them in law and settled at the time of threat and danger.

In the story of Judges 19:1-21:25, the central theme is presented through the whole story of Israel’s Civil War against the Benjaminites, who are described as kinfolks of Israel (20:13), starting from a story of a certain Levite and his concubine leading to the Israelites’ Civil War and ending with Israel’s plan to recover from the disastrous consequences of the war. (The Harper Collins Study Bible, pp. 376-381) However, there are some details of the plot elements that would seem strange or even offensive to many modern readers in our social context, which might have functioned good in some way for the ancient audience and its society.

The first one is Gibeah’s outrageous sexual crime against their kinfolks of Israel in which the Levite let his concubine raped by the men of Gibeah and put to death to save himself from their threat of homosexual rape (19:22-30). In this plot, Gibeah’s crime of rape and murder was an offense to Israel’s foundational principles and it made the Levite’s personal anger lead to intertribal conflict ending in the Benjaminites’ destruction (20:1-48). This plot element might seem very strange and offensive to many modern readers in the way of what happened to the Levite’s concubine and the tribal destruction of the Benjaminites as the result of this personal crime. However, the plot element might have served good for the ancient audience to recognize the Deuteronomic message about the sin against Israel’s foundational principles that would result in their own destruction and exile as God’s punishment.

The second one is Israel’s punitive expedition against Jabesh-gilead to destroy them for their not coming up to the Lord to Mizpah (21:8-11) and capture young virgins among them to get the Benjaminite survivors to have wives without the Israelites’ breaking their swearing at Mizpah (21:12-14). This plot might also seem strange and offensive to the modern reader in that Jabesh-gilead was destroyed only for the reasons of their not coming up to the council at Mizpah and of the Israelites’ compassion for the Benjaminiate survivors to allow them to have wives and keep them survive among their tribes (21:15-23). However, this plot element might have served good for the ancient audience to recognize the importance of focusing on God, the violation of which would also result in the tribal destruction like the case of Jabesh-gilead (Deuteronomic message), and of the unity of Israel with twelve tribes and their compassion for their kinfolk tribes.

Finally,  as Stanley mentions in the cited passage above,  the story depicts that the leaderships of Israel, judges, were incapable of ensuring the peace and stability of the people even against one another and as explained in The Harper Collins Study Bible (p380),  21:25 implies that “looking back at chs 17-21, the idolatrous shrine, rape and murder, civil war, and genocide all might be a consequence of having no king,” which Stanley asserts prepares the way for the establishment of the monarchy in the book of Samuel. (p264)

The Perspective of the Deuteronomistic History (DTRH), Is It Credible or Not?

As for the Deuteronomistic History (DH or DTRH)[1], Bandstra mentions as follows,

The DH tells us that Israel prospered as a nation when the people, and especially its leadership, adhered to the terms of the covenant that Yhwh had made with the people at Mount Sinai. If the nation was faithful, they experienced prosperity. If the nation ran into difficulty, it was because they had neglected the service of its God. The consequences of history are laid out explicitly in the blessings and curses of the Torah, most clearly in Deuteronomy 27–28. A consistent pattern was seen to work out in history. If the people sinned, God sent punishment. If the people then repented, God sent deliverance. If the people got in trouble, God was always there to help but only if they reaffirmed their covenant commitment. Israel at times experienced God’s favor and at other times his wrath. But they were never disowned. This historical cycle is called the Deuteronomic theme and can be summarized by four arc of cycle: sin, punishment, repentance, and deliverance. (p192)

Some passages of the Hebrew Bible, which are summarized as follows, exemplify this perspective of DTRH mentioned by Bandstra in the cited passage above.

In Deuteronomy 28:1-68, which Dr. Lester describes Moses’ farewell or dying speech (in his lecture “Deuteronomy & DTRH B”), Moses presents blessings and curses that Israel shall have according to their obedience/ disobedience to God.  First, Moses addresses that with Israel’s obedience to the Lord, constant observance of the Lord’s commandments, and loyalty to the covenant, all the blessings shall come upon their entire lives with their well-being and exaltation, which is repeatedly mentioned in the form of conditionality (If…if…) at 28:1, 2, 9, 13, 14. And next, Moses also affirms that Israel’s disobedience to the Lord, breach of covenant shall bring all the curses to their entire lives with all kinds of affliction and disaster that they have never experienced in their lives including an assault and a siege by an imperious nation like Assyria and Babylonia (28:49-50) or an exile to the domineering nation (28:36, which might suggest Babylonian exile) till they are totally destroyed. For the curses, Moses starts with a conditionality (if…) at 28:15 and then uses “because…” at 28: 20, 45, 47, to describe what brings the curses to them. And finally, the author reaffirms that even their lazy observance of God’s law shall bring them unbearable maladies and disaster till they are destroyed. In short, this passage presents the perspective of DTRH regarding blessings and curses that Israel shall have based on their faithfulness to God and his covenant.

In Joshua 23:1-16, which presents Joshua’s farewell address (The Harper Collins Study Bible, p343), Joshua affirms that God has kept his promises for Israel’s getting into the Promised Land by destroying the enemies of Israel on the way to the land. However, he continues, if Israel is tempted by the survivors of the enemy nations, serves other gods, and breaks the covenant of God, God will destroy Israel to perish from the Promised Land. This passage also emphasizes the relationship between Israel’s faithfulness to God and his covenant and the events of social and political history.

In 1 Samuel 12:1-25, which also presents Samuel’s farewell address to turn the responsibility for leading Israel over to the king Saul (The Harper Collins Study Bible, p405), Samuel asserts that the king (Saul) chosen by Israel and divinely granted by God for their request will not rescue them as God has done for them in the history and lets them realize that their request for a king to reign over them is a sin against God, who himself is the king of Israel, by demonstrating his special ability as a prophet of calling on God (12:18).  He also affirms that both the king and Israel should obey and serve God faithfully with all their hearts and observe the covenant in order for them to be well. If not, both the king and the people of Israel shall be destroyed by God. Thus, this passage also reflects the perspective of DTRH and implies the close relationship between Israel’s faithfulness to God and his covenant and the events of social and political history.

In 2 Kings 17:5-18, which describes the Israelites’ (the northern kingdom) captivity to Assyria, the writer presents his Deuteronomistic point of view (The Harper Collins Study Bible p545) that all the disasters the Israelites had in the Assyrian captivity occurred because of the king and the people of Israel’s sin against God, that is, to worship other gods, disobey the commandments, and keep committing sins not to listen to the prophets’ warning to repent and keep the law of God.  This passage clearly mentions that the Assyrian captivity of the Israelites was God’s punishment for the king and the people of Israel’s sins against God, which reflects the perspective of DTRH and implies the close relationship between srael’s faithfulness to God and his covenant and the events of social and political history.

In 2 chronicles 36:11-21, which describes the fall of Jerusalem under the reign of Zedekiah (The Harper Collins Study Bible p645), the writer describes the unfaithfulness of Zedekiah and the leading priests and the people who desecrated the Temple and despised God’s words proclaimed by the prophets, which he explains roused God’s wrath to result in the Babylonian exile. However, at the end, the writer adds that this is also fulfillment of God’s word proclaimed by Jeremiah. This passage also clearly mentions that the Babylonian exile was God’s punishment for the king Zedekiah and the leading priests and the people’s sins against God, which is the perspective of DTRH and also implies the close relationship between Israel’s faithfulness to God and his covenant and the events of social and political history.

As we can see in the summary of each passage, the claims of the passages appear to reflect the perspective of DTRH implying the close relationship between Israel’s faithfulness to God and his covenant and the events of social and political history. The question is “How can I assess the credibility of the positions of DTRH in the passages above?”

According to Bandstra, even though the Former Prophets may be classified ‘history’, the writers of the Former Prophets (Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings) who were supposed to be DTRH and believers in Yhwh with a conviction that Yhwh was active in Israel’s history, believed that the historical events were accounted for by divine causality in addition to human power politics and economic factors (p189). In addition, Bandstra mentions that the Jewish community’s including the Former Prophets into the section titled “the Prophets” implies that the intent of the Former Prophets was not only to record historical events but also to testify the work of Yhwh in the human history (p190). Thus, according to Bandstra, the DTRH’s writing the Former Prophets could be considered as a prophetic activity of writing history from a transcendent perspective.

Stanley also suggests that in the historical setting of Babylonian exile, DTRH’s perspective to see the history of Israel regarding the relationship between Israel’s faithfulness to God and his covenant and the events of social and political history offered two important benefits as follows.

First, it enabled the followers of Yhwh to hold on to their faith including their belief in Israel’s special covenant relationship with Yhwh, despite the painful events of their recent past. By describing Yhwh’s active involvement in his people’s history, the story suggested to the readers that their present circumstances also had meaning and purpose. Second,  the narrative implied a course of action for the future. If Yhwh had brought them to this point because they and their ancestors had been unfaithful to him, then the exiles should make a serious effort to discover what Yhwh wanted form them in the present and commit themselves to serving him alone. (p252)

Like Bandstra, Stanley also claims that the goal of DTRH was not only to record events in the past, but to convince the Israelites to accept their beliefs and pertain to the fundamentally conservative vision for maintaining their identity in the midst of a foreign culture and living by the law of Yhwh to keep away from Babylonian influences with repentance of their sin against Yhwh and anticipation of the day of Yhwh’s deliverance. (p252)

Claude Mariottini [2] considers DTRH as an example of historiography, which he defines as “the presentation of history based on the examination, evaluation, and selection of past historical events in order to communicate a message to a specific audience.” According to Mariottini, DTRH is a historiography in that it is a prophetic interpretation of Israel’s life from their enterance to Canaan in the days of Joshua till the fall of Jerusalem in 587 BCE and the purpose of this history is to show that the Babylonian exile was a result of Israel’s violation of the commandments of the covenant. He also suggests, as another feature of historiography, DTRH’s use of only the materials relevant to their purpose and those proving their thesis among several written resources, which implies that there should be historical materials that were not coherent with the perspective of DTRH. Finally, Mariottini asserts that DTRH had a message to communicate to their audience, which he claims reflects the perspective of DTRH to see history from “prophetic eyes, the eyes of faith,” “to penetrate the meaning of events and explore their religious significance.”

With these characteristics of DTRH as a historiography, Mariottini affirms that the Book of Deuteronomy provides DTRH with the theological and ideological foundation for the proper understanding of the history of Israel; Israel’s rejection of Yhwh in their violation of the covenant, that is, their worshipping the gods of Canaan and oppressing members of the community, had brought the nation to its tragic end.

All this information that I found in the course materials provides me with some clues to assess the credibility of the perspective of DTRH by answering the questions provided by Dr. Lester as follows.

Do you find these claims coherent with other biblical witness?

Considering the DTRH’s characteristics as a historiography presented by Mariottini, I think these claims of DTRH should not be totally coherent with other biblical witness; DTRH used only the materials relevant to their purpose and those proving their thesis among the resources, which implies there would be materials of biblical witness that are not coherent with the perspective of DTRH. However, among the Books of the Hebrew Bible, I think these claims appear to be coherent with Jeremiah’s Temple sermon in Jeremiah 7:1-15 (26:1-6) where Jeremiah admonishes the people of Judah including the king and the religious leadership who had believed in Royal theology and the Zion theology about their obligations of observing the commandments of the covenant  and proclaims God’s judgment on Judah, which later would be understood by the Jewish to be fulfilled by God in their Babylonian exile.

Are they intelligible in light of the way we understand the world today?

I think the answer to this question would be different depending on how we understand the world today. As a Christian, I understand the world today as a way that is somewhat similar to the perspective of DTRH; I understand the world today meaningful as it is on God’s plan for us humanity with diverse race, gender, ethnicity, and culture, etc., and other creatures, even with its ugliness filled with lots of violence, social injustice, and sins against God. However, I don’t think all the human histories are the results of our obedience or disobedience to God and his covenant as DTRH claims. Instead, I think, the events of social and political history of humanity might be the results of the sins we humanity have committed against God (similar to DTRH), not the punishment of God himself (different from DTRH). With my faith in loving and merciful God who sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, for the salvation of us, I think the claims of DTRH in the passages are not intelligible for the Christians like me in the world today. For the non-Christians today, the claims also might not be intelligible because they do not believe in God and the claims of DTRH does not make any sense for those who do not believe in the existence of God in the world.

Are they moral? How or how not? What if they are not?

The answers to these questions would be also different depending on the answer to the question of “What does “moral” mean?” If I define it as a Christian following the first definition provided in the app of “Dictionary.com”, ” of, relating to,  or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical,” the answer would be “Yes, they are moral because they are concerned with God’s rules of right conduct; “Obedience to God as the only God for us and faithful observance of his covenant will bring us blessings, and disobedience bring us curses. ”

However, for a non-Christian, the claims of DTRH are not moral with the given definition of “moral” because for a non-Christian, the rules of right conduct are given not by God, but by the social norms or obligations of the community or society. Therefore, with the given definition of “moral”, if the claims are not moral, it implies that the perspective of DTRH was not credible because their claims do not relfect God’s rules of right conduct and thereby not provide a way of repentance and anticipation of deliverance from their tragic situation.

[1] This includes Deuteronomy and Former Prophets that were shaped by the theological perspective of the Deuteronomist (Bandstra, p190).

[2] “Historiography”  Dr. Claude Mariottini-Professor of  Old Testament         https://claudemariottini.com/2010/11/15/historiography/

What is “the servant of Yhwh” for Second Isaiah?

Dear David,

How’s it going?

Today, I am writing to you to give you some information about ‘the servant of the Lord (or Yhwh)’ mentioned repeatedly in Isaiah 40-55 that you asked me the other day who it is.  I read and listened to some resources of “the servant” in Isaiah 40-55, which is called ‘Second Isaiah,’ to find an answer to your question.  As a result, I found some information about Second Isaiah in general as well as about “the servant” in it.

First of all, I found that the author of these chapters of Isaiah who lived in Babylonian exile in the mid-500s BCE is not the same prophet of Isaiah 1-39, who lived in the 700s BCE in Jerusalem, from what I read in Bandstra.[1] In fact, I didn’t know it before I read it. You can see some reasons to support this when you read 40:1-2 in its reference to the destruction of Jerusalem as a past event, in 43:14, 48:20, Babylonia is described as its present setting, and in 44:28, 45:1-4, Cyrus the Persian is mentioned as their coming deliverer. Bandstra also asserts that this prophet is one of the most inspiring of the Hebrew Bible in his synthesis of traditions and his original and brilliant poetry to draw from Israel’s historic faith, reapply it to the new setting of exile, and give the refugee people of Yhwh reason for hope.

In addition, Bandstra mentions that the prophetic anthology of Second Isaiah is called “the book of Comfort” based on passages like what you read in 40:1-2, 6, 8, which starts with the phrase “Comfort, comfort my people!” and which is expressed in some of the most beautiful and fascinating poetry in the Hebrew Bible. In another resource of reading, I found that Second Isaiah prophesied at the time of hope in the history of Israel and Judah living in Babylonian exile toward the end of the exilic period, which might be related with the fact that the main theme of Second Isaiah is consolation. [2]

As for “the servant of Yhwh” in Second Isaiah, I discovered a prevalent interpretation about it in the materials that I read and listen to. Among them, Dr. Lester’s lecture of “Response to Exile B,”[3] which I have been listening to for the online course of “The Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” provides an interpretation of “the servant” as the most famous figure of Second Isaiah, repeatedly mentioned as “my servant”, referring to “Israel,” sometimes called “Jacob” (41:8-9; 42:1-4, 19; 44:1-2, 21; 45:4; 48:20; 49:1-6; 50:4-9; 52:13-52:12). According to the lecture, in these verses of the given chapters, “the servant of the Lord” is interpreted as “people of Israel,” which is clearly mentioned in 41:8; 44:1-2; 44:21; 45:4.

However, as you can guess, there is a resistant opinion against this interpretation of “the servant” as “Israel”. It is the Christian reading tradition that considers the exilic Israel as a sinner that needs judgment. Dr. Lester introduces a theory of Bernard Duhm in 19th CE as one of its leading scholars that the part of “the servant” called explicitly “Israel” which describes “the servant” as suffering in the servant’s innocence must not be the original part of Second Isaiah, but a later addition to it. Duhm suggests the verses of the so-called servant songs, Isaiah 42:1-4; 49:1-6; 50:4-9; 52:13-53:2, imply some other figure, not Israel. However, Dr. Lester asserts that there is no manuscript evidence that verifies such a decision that these were not the original verses of Second Isaiah and that these songs have very coherent and naturally organic place in the surrounding texts.

I found also this interpretation of “the servant” as “Israel” in the Harper Collins Study Bible that I consult for understanding the verses from the Bible; among the Servant Songs in 52:13-53:12, as the last and most striking of the so-called servant songs, it says that the servant appears to be have been exiled Israel in the original historical context. However, the Harper Collins Study Bible also presents the early church’s interpretation of “the servant” in this passage as Jesus Christ as used in Acts 8:32-35, and suggests that Jesus’ own sense of identity and mission may have been shaped by this figure as you can find in Mark 8:31; 9:30-32; 10:33-34.

Among the resources that I read, Bandstra suggests various possible interpretations of “the servant of Yhwh”; the servant of Yhwh can be a metaphor for Judah suffering in Babylonian exile in that Judah conveyed healing to other nations by witnessing the saving power of Yhwh;  another possibility of the servant is an actual individual, that is, a real prophetic figure, such as Jeremiah or Second Isaiah himself; the Christian interpretation is Jesus of Nazareth, which can be noticed in the use of Second Isaiah in Handel’s The Messiah (p351).

Stanley also presents the debates about the identity of “the servant of Yhwh”; Christians’ claim of its pointing to the coming of Jesus in Isaiah 53; scholars’ division over whether the term refers to an individual, as Bandstra mentions, most likely the prophet, or to Israel in figurative terms as a person (p461). Stanley provides the verses to support each position of the scholars, which is compatible with that of Bandstra, as you can guess.

Finally, there is one more resource of reading that strongly claims “the servant” in Isaiah 53 to be “the nation of Israel “who silently endured unimaginable suffering at the hands of tis gentile oppressors. It is “the rabbinic interpretation of Isaiah 53” by Tovia Singer,[4] who insists that the reference of “the servant” in Isaiah 52-53 as “the nation of Israel” is understandable in its connection to the preceding chapters of the three Servant songs in addition to the verses including explicit calling as “Israel” or “Jacob”, as mentioned above.

All these resources that I found about the interpretation of “the servant of the Lord” in Second Isaiah show that the understandable interpretation of “the servant of the Lord” in the original historical context appears to be ‘exiled Israel’ as mentioned in the Harper Collins Study Bible and the other resources and that there are more possible interpretations regarding the context of the verses that the term is used, such as the Christian interpretation of the term as “Jesus of Nazareth” based on the citation or application of the content of Isaiah 53 in the New Testament.

I hope this information will be help for your understanding of “the servant of the Lord” in Second Isaiah as it is great help for mine.

Blessings,

Young Sun Lee

[1] Barry Bandstra’s freely-available, online textbook, Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible (4th edition, 2009): http://barrybandstra.com/rtot4/rtot4–00-toc.html, 348.

[2] Christopher D. Stanley, The Hebrew Bible : A Comparative Approach. (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2009), 461.

[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxogccIbysM&feature=youtu.be&list=PL-VPCh99l1-mh0JGg9zQ6zbUO1GfLWIrG

[4] https://outreachjudaism.org/gods-suffering-servant-isaiah-53/