Message and Composition of the Book of Isaiah by Antti Laato

Message and Composition of the Book of Isaiah by Antti Laato

An Interpretation in the Light of Jewish Reception History

The study deals with the theological message and composition of the Book of Isaiah and promotes a thesis that an early Jewish reception history helps us to find perspectives to understand them. This study treats the following themes among others:


1 Hezekiah as Immanuel was an important theme in the reception as can be seen in Chronicles and Ben Sira as well as in rabbinical writings. The central event which makes Hezekiah such an important figure, was the annihilation of the Assyrian army as recounted in Isaiah 36-37.

2 The Book of Isaiah was interpreted in apocalyptic milieu as the Animal Apocalypse and Daniel show. Even though the Qumran writings do not provide any coherent way to interpret Isaianic passages its textual evidence shows how the community has found from the Book of Isaiah different concepts to characterize the division of the Jewish community to the righteous and sinful ones (cf. Isa 65-66).

3 Ezra and Nehemiah received inspiration from the theological themes of Isaianic texts of Levitical singers which were later edited in the Book of Isaiah by scribes. The formation of the Book of Isaiah then went in its own way and its theology became different from that in the Book of Ezra-Nehemiah.

Year first published: 2022

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