• Job and Isaiah 40–55: Intertextualities in Dialogue

    Will Kynes (see profile)
    Bible. Job, Bible. Isaiah, Intertextuality
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Book of Isaiah
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    The intertextual connections between Isa 40–55 and the Hebrew Bible are well documented (Willey 1997, Sommer 1998, Schultz 1999). However, none of these studies deal with the parallels between Isaiah and Job, which is surprising because the two articles to deal explicitly with the subject (Pfeiffer 1927 and Terrien 1966) both suggest that Isaiah is dependent on Job, based on parallels such as Isa 41:20 and Job 12:9, Isa 40:4 and Job 21:22, Isa 51:17, 22 and Job 21:2, and Isa 51:15 and Job 26:12. Though the current consensus on Job’s date (5th to 3rd century BCE) would put the book after Isaiah, a product of the exile, several scholars still follow Pfeiffer and Terrien and date it before Isaiah (e.g. Pope 1973, Hartley 1998). So far the discussion has hinged primarily on which book’s message is perceived to be a later development in the evolution of Israel’s religion. I propose to use the recent development of intertextuality to approach the issue from a different perspective. Acknowledging the diachronic impasse on attempts to date the book of Job definitively, I will approach the intertextual connections between the texts from a synchronic, literary perspective, asking in particular, which direction of dependence makes better sense of the text alluded to in its original context, and then what effect the allusion would have in the alluding context. I call this approach “interchronic” because it addresses the intertexts at the intersection between the diachronic and synchronic poles, which divide most intertextual studies. My hope is not merely to push beyond the current standstill on the relative dates of Job and 2 Isa, but also to better understand what the author of Job, whom I believe is the later writer, is doing hermeneutically with his allusions to 2 Isa.
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    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
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