Book of Malachi
Malachi is the last book of the Neviim contained in the Tanakh, the last of the twelve minor prophets and the final book of the Neviim. In the Christian ordering, the grouping of the Prophetic Books is the last section of the Old Testament, the book is commonly attributed to a prophet by the name of Malachi. Although the appellation Malachi has frequently been understood as a name, its Hebrew meaning is simply My messenger. The sobriquet occurs in the superscription at 1,1 and in 3,1, there is substantial debate regarding the identity of the books author. One of the Targums identifies Ezra as the author of Malachi, st. Jerome suggests this may be because Ezra is seen as an intermediary between the prophets and the great synagogue. There is, however, no evidence yet to support this claim. Some scholars note affinities between Zechariah 9–14 and the Book of Malachi, Zechariah 9, Zechariah 12, and Malachi 1 are all introduced as The word of Elohim. As a result, most scholars consider the Book of Malachi to be the work of an author who may or may not have been identified by the title Malachi.
The present division of the results in a total of twelve books of minor prophets—a number parallelling the sons of Jacob who became the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel. The Catholic Encyclopedia asserts that We are no doubt in presence of an abbreviation of the name Málakhîyah, nothing is known of the biography of the author of the Book of Malachi, although it has been suggested that he may have been Levitical. The books of Zechariah and Haggai were written during the lifetime of Ezra, although the Ezra theory is disputed, it remains the dominant authorship theory. According to the editors of the 1897 Eastons Bible Dictionary, some believe the name Malachi is not a proper noun. This reading could be based on Malachi 3,1, Behold, if my messenger is taken literally as the name Malachi. Several scholars consider the book to be anonymous, with verse 1,1 being a addition, other scholars, including the editors of the Catholic Encyclopedia, argue that the grammatical evidence leads us to conclude that Malachi is in fact a name.
Another interpretation of the authorship comes from the Septuagint superscription, ὲν χειρὶ ἀγγήλου αὐτοῦ, the angel reading found an echo among the ancient Church Fathers and ecclesiastical writers, and even gave rise to the strangest fancies, especially among the disciples of Origen of Alexandria. There are very few details in the Book of Malachi. The greatest clue as to its dating may lie in the fact that the Persian-era term for governor is used in 1,8. This points to a date of composition both because of the use of the Persian period term and because Judah had a king before the exile
Book of Judges
The Book of Judges is the seventh book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible. Judges can be divided into three sections, a double prologue, a main body, and a double epilogue. The book opens with the Israelites in the land which God has promised to them but worshiping foreign gods instead of Yahweh, the God of Israel, and with the Canaanites still present everywhere. Chapters 1, 1–2,5 are thus a confession of failure while chapters 2, 6–3,6 are a major summary and reflection from the Deuteronomists. Once peace was regained, for a time Israel does right and receives Yahwehs blessings, only to relapse into doing evil, Judges follows on from the Book of Joshua and opens with reference to Joshuas death. The Israelites meet, most likely at the sanctuary at Gilgal or at Shechem, the cyclic pattern set out in the prologue is readily apparent at the beginning, but as the stories progress it begins to disintegrate, mirroring the disintegration of the world of the Israelites. The stories are not presented in order, but the judges as they appear in the text are, Othniel vs.
Chushan-Rishathaim, King of Aram. Some scholars have inferred that the judges were actual adjudicators, whereas the major judges were leaders. The only time a judge is said to have made legal judgments was Deborah. Despite their appearance at the end of the book, certain characters, early in the period of the judges. Judges contains a chronology of its events and it is overtly schematic and, according to biblical scholar Jeremy Hughes, shows signs of having been introduced at a period. The basic source for Judges was a collection of connected stories about tribal heroes who saved the people in battle. A statement repeated throughout the book, In those days there was no king in Israel implies a date in the monarchy for the redaction editing) of Judges. Since the second half of the 20th century most scholars have agreed with Martin Noths thesis that the books of Deuteronomy, Judges and Kings form parts of a single work. Noth believed that history was the work of a single author, living in the mid-6th century BCE.
After a period of peace, the cycle recurs, further themes are present, the sovereign freedom of Yahweh, the satirisation of foreign kings, the concept of the flawed agent and the disunity of the Israelite community. Although Judges probably had a monarchist redaction, the book contains passages and themes that represent anti-monarchist views, one of the major themes of the book is Yahwehs sovereignty and the importance of being loyal to Him and His laws above all other gods and sovereigns. Indeed, the authority of the judges comes not through prominent dynasties nor through elections or appointments, anti-monarchist theology is most apparent toward the end of the Gideon cycle in which the Israelites beg Gideon to create a dynastic monarchy over them and Gideon refuses
The Five Scrolls or The Five Megillot are parts of the Ketuvim, the third major section of the Tanakh. The Five Scrolls are the Song of Songs, the Book of Ruth, the Book of Lamentations and these five relatively short biblical books are grouped together in Jewish tradition. An early testimony that these five scrolls were grouped together is in the Midrash Rabba and this midrash was compiled on the Pentateuch and on the Five Scrolls. All five of these megillot are traditionally read publicly in the synagogue over the course of the year in many Jewish communities, in common printed editions of the Tanakh they appear in the order that they are read in the synagogue on holidays. The Song of Songs is read publicly in some communities, especially by Ashkenazim, in most Eastern Jewish communities it is read publicly each week at the onset of the Shabbat. There is a custom to read it at the end of the Passover Seder. Italian Jews read it at the Maariv of the first and second day of Passover, the Book of Ruth is read in some communities, especially by Ashkenazim, before the reading of the Torah on the morning of Shavuot.
Others read it in the Tikkun at night, or not at all, the Book of Lamentations is read on the Ninth of Av in all Jewish communities. Ecclesiastes is read publicly in some communities, especially by Ashkenazim, in other communities it is not read at all. The Book of Esther is read in all Jewish communities on Purim, the public reading is done twice, on the evening of Purim and once again the next morning. When read in the synagogue, these five books are sung with cantillation, in most communities, Esther is the only book accompanied by blessings before and after. But certain communities adopted the custom of the Vilna Gaon to recite blessings before the other four megillot as well, as indicated above, only two of the megillot are traditionally read in all Jewish communities, Esther on Purim and Lamentations on the Ninth of Av. The practice of reading the three books on the Three Pilgrimage Festivals is widespread but by no means universal. To read them is a custom among Ashkenazim, but many Sephardic Jews do not associate the three books with the three festivals.
The association is thus weaker among Hasidic Jews who were influenced by Sephardic customs, the term megillah is most widely used for the book of Esther, even though it is applied to the rest as well. The term megillah is used in a way, in reference to any lengthy story. Eugene H. Petersons Five Smooth Stones for Pastoral Work examines the application of the Megillot to Christian pastoral theology, the actual notes written in the printed texts of the Five Scrolls are the same as the notes in the Humash. However, the tune in which they are read varies depending on the scroll, Esther is read in a happier tune than the sad tune of Lamentations
Book of Genesis
The Book of Genesis is the first book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament. The basic narrative expresses the theme, God creates the world and appoints man as his regent. The new post-Flood world is corrupt, God does not destroy it, instead calling one man, Abraham, to be the seed of its salvation. At Gods command Abraham descends from his home into the land of Canaan, given to him by God, Genesis ends with Israel in Egypt, ready for the coming of Moses and the Exodus. The narrative is punctuated by a series of covenants with God, the books author or authors appear to have structured it around ten toledot sections, but modern commentators see it in terms of a primeval history followed by the cycle of Patriarchal stories. In Judaism, the importance of Genesis centers on the covenants linking God to his chosen people. It is not clear, what this meant to the original authors, while the first is far shorter than the second, it sets out the basic themes and provides an interpretive key for understanding the entire book.
The primeval history has a symmetrical structure hinging on chapters 6–9, God creates the world in six days and consecrates the seventh as a day of rest. God creates the first humans Adam and Eve and all the animals in the Garden of Eden but instructs them not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. A talking serpent portrayed as a creature or trickster, entices Eve into eating it anyway. Eve bears two sons and Abel, Cain kills Abel after God accepts Abels offering but not Cains. Eve bears another son, Seth, to take Abels place, after many generations of Adam have passed from the lines of Cain and Seth, the world becomes corrupted by the sin of man and Nephilim, and God determines to wipe out mankind. First, he instructs the righteous Noah and his family to build a huge boat, God sends a great flood to wipe out the rest of the world. When the waters recede, God promises that he not destroy the world a second time with water with the rainbow as the symbol of his promise. But upon seeing mankind cooperating to build a great tower city, God instructs Abram to travel from his home in Mesopotamia to the land of Canaan.
Abrams name is changed to Abraham and that of his wife Sarai to Sarah, because Sarah is old, she tells Abraham to take her Egyptian handmaiden, Hagar, as a second wife. God resolves to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for the sins of their people, Abraham protests and gets God to agree not to destroy the cities if 10 righteous men can be found. Angels save Abrahams nephew Lot and his family, but his wife back on the destruction against their command and is turned into a pillar of salt
Book of Deuteronomy
The Book of Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Torah and the Christian Old Testament. The Hebrew title is taken from the opening phrase Eleh ha-devarim, the English title is from a Greek mistranslation of the Hebrew phrase mishneh haTorah hazoth, a copy of this law, in Deuteronomy 17,18, as to deuteronomion touto – this second law. The book consists of three sermons or speeches delivered to the Israelites by Moses on the plains of Moab, shortly before they enter the Promised Land. Many scholars see the book as reflecting the needs and social status of the Levite caste. One of its most significant verses is Deuteronomy 6,4, the Shema Yisrael, which has become the definitive statement of Jewish identity, Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. Verses 6, 4–5 were quoted by Jesus in Mark 12, Patrick D. Miller in his commentary on Deuteronomy suggests that different views of the structure of the book will lead to different views on what it is about. Chapters 1–4, The journey through the wilderness from Horeb to Kadesh, chapters 4–11, After a second introduction at 4, 44–49 the events at Mount Horeb are recalled, with the giving of the Ten Commandments.
Chapters 12–26, the Deuteronomic code, Laws governing Israels worship, the appointment and regulation of community and religious leaders, social regulation, chapters 27–28, Blessings and curses for those who keep and break the law. Chapters 29–30, Concluding discourse on the covenant in the land of Moab, including all the laws in the Deuteronomic code after those given at Horeb, Israel is again exhorted to obedience. Chapters 31–34, Joshua is installed as Mosess successor, Moses delivers the law to the Levites, and ascends Mount Nebo or Pisgah, the narrative of these events is interrupted by two poems, the Song of Moses and the Blessing of Moses. Deuteronomy 12–26, the Deuteronomic Code, is its oldest part of the book and it is a series of mitzvot to the Israelites regarding how they ought to conduct themselves in Canaan, the land promised by Yahweh, God of Israel. The following list organizes most of the laws into thematic groups, The worship of Canaanite gods is forbidden, native mourning practices such as deliberate disfigurement are forbidden.
The worship at Asherah groves and setting up of ritual pillars are forbidden, all sacrifices are to be brought and vows are to be made at a central sanctuary. Sacrificed animals must be without blemish, first-born male livestock must be sacrificed. The procedure for tithing produce or donating its equivalent is given, the Pilgrimage Festivals of Passover and Sukkot are instituted. A catalog of which animals are permitted and which forbidden for consumption is given, the consumption of animals which are found dead and have not been slaughtered is prohibited. Judges are to be appointed in every city, judges are to be impartial and bribery is forbidden. Should the Israelites choose to be ruled by a King, regulations for the office are given, Regulations of the rights, and revenue, of the Levites are given
Book of Joel
The Book of Joel is part of the Hebrew Bible. Joel is part of a group of twelve prophetic books known as the Twelve Minor Prophets, a more apocalyptic passage comparing the locusts to an army, and revealing that they are God’s army. A call to national repentance in the face of Gods judgment, Promise of future blessings Banishment of the locusts and restoration of agricultural productivity as a divine response to national penitence. Future prophetic gifts to all God’s people, and the safety of God’s people in the face of cosmic cataclysm, Coming judgment on God’s enemies and the vindication of Israel. As there are no references in the book to datable persons or events. The main positions are, Ninth century BC, particularly in the reign of Joash – a position especially popular among nineteenth-century scholars Early eight century BC, 630–587 BC, in the last decades of the kingdom of Judah c. 520–500 BC, contemporary with the return of the exiles and the careers of Zechariah, the decades around 400 BC, during the Persian period Evidence produced for these positions are allusions in the book to the wider world, similarities with other prophets, and linguistic details.
Other commentators, such as John Calvin, attach no great importance to the precise dating, the preservation of the book of Joel indicates that it was accorded special status by its contemporaries as “the word of the Lord”. Its history as part of the Jewish and Christian canons followed that of the scroll of the Minor Prophets. The Masoretic text places Joel between Hosea and Amos, while the Septuagint order is Hosea–Amos–Micah–Joel–Obadiah–Jonah. The Hebrew text of Joel seems to have suffered little from scribal transmission, but is at a few points supplemented by the Septuagint, while the book purports to describe a plague of locusts, some ancient Jewish opinion saw the locusts as allegorical interpretations of Israels enemies. This allegorical interpretation was applied to the church by many church fathers, Calvin took a literal interpretation of ch.1, but allegorical view of chapter 2, a position echoed by some modern interpreters. Most modern interpreters, see Joel speaking of a literal locust plague given a prophetic/ apocalyptic interpretation, mentions in the first half of the book to the day of the Lord were ascribed to this continuator. 3, 4-8/4, 4-8 could be seen as even later, details of exact ascriptions differed between scholars.
The authenticity of 3, 4–8 has presented more challenges, although a number of scholars still defend it, there are many parallels of language between Joel and other Old Testament prophets. They may represent Joel’s literary use of other prophets, or vice versa, in the New Testament, his prophecy of the outpouring of God′s Holy Spirit upon all people was notably quoted by Saint Peter in his Pentecost sermon. The table below represents some of the more explicit quotes and allusions between specific passages in Joel and passages from the Old and New Testaments, plange quasi virgo, the third responsory for Holy Saturday, is loosely based on some verses of the Book of Joel. See works on the Minor Prophets as a whole, ahlström, Gösta W. Joel and the Temple Cult of Jerusalem
Books of Kings
In the Hebrew Bible, Kings is a single book called the Book of Kings. The fourth book of Neviim, the division of the Tanakh. In the Septuagint and Kings was divided into four books and Kings became III, the two Books of Kings presents a history of ancient Israel and Judah from the death of David to the release of Jehoiachin from imprisonment in Babylon, a period of some 400 years. Solomon comes to the throne after Davids death, at the beginning of his reign he assumes Gods promises to David and brings splendour to Israel and peace and prosperity to his people. The centrepiece of Solomons reign is the building of the First Temple, at the end, however, he follows other gods and oppresses Israel. The kings who follow Rehoboam in Jerusalem continue the line of David, in the north, dynasties follow each other in rapid succession. At length God brings the Assyrians to destroy the northern kingdom, Yahweh saves Jerusalem and the kingdom from an invasion by Assyria. But Manasseh, the king, reverses the reforms.
Manassehs righteous grandson Josiah reinstitutes the reforms of Hezekiah, but it is too late, speaking through the prophetess Huldah, affirms that Jerusalem is to be destroyed. God brings the Babylonians against Jerusalem, Yahweh deserts his people, Jerusalem is razed and the Temple destroyed, in the original Hebrew Bible First and Second Kings are a single book, as are First and Second Samuel. When this was translated into Greek in the last few centuries BCE, what it is now commonly known as 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel are called by the Vulgate, in imitation of the Septuagint,1 Kings and 2 Kings respectively. What it is now known as 1 Kings and 2 Kings would be 3 Kings and 4 Kings in old Bibles before the year 1516 such as the Vulgate. The division we know today, used by Protestant Bibles and adopted by Catholics, some Bibles still preserve the old denomination, for example, Douay Rheims bible. According to Jewish tradition the author of Kings was Jeremiah, who would have been alive during the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BCE.
The Deuteronomic perspective is particularly evident in prayers and speeches spoken by key figures at major transition points, a third source, or set of sources, were cycles of stories about various prophets, plus a few smaller miscellaneous traditions. The conclusion of the book was based on personal knowledge. A few sections were editorial additions not based on sources, judgement is not punishment, but simply the natural consequence of Israels failure to worship Yahweh alone. Another and related theme is that of prophecy, the main point of the prophetic stories is that Gods prophecies are always fulfilled, so that any not yet fulfilled will be so in the future
Book of Exodus
The Book of Exodus or, Exodus, is the second book of the Torah and the Hebrew Bible. The book tells how the Israelites leave slavery in Egypt through the strength of Yahweh, led by their prophet Moses they journey through the wilderness to Mount Sinai, where Yahweh promises them the land of Canaan in return for their faithfulness. There is no agreement among scholars on the structure of Exodus. One strong possibility is that it is a diptych, with the division between parts 1 and 2 at the crossing of the Red Sea or at the beginning of the theophany in chapter 19. On this plan, the first part tells of Gods rescue of his people from Egypt and their journey under his care to Sinai, jacobs sons and their families join their brother, Joseph, in Egypt. Once there, the Israelites begin to grow in number, several generations later, Egypts Pharaoh, fearful that the Israelites could be a fifth column, orders that all newborn boys be thrown into the Nile. A Levite woman saves her baby by setting him adrift on the river Nile in an ark of bulrushes, the Pharaohs daughter finds the child, names him Moses, and brings him up as her own.
But Moses is aware of his origins, and one day, there he marries Zipporah, the daughter of Midianite priest Jethro, and encounters God in a burning bush. Moses asks God for his name, God replies, I AM that I AM, God tells Moses to return to Egypt and lead the Hebrews into Canaan, the land promised to Abraham. Moses returns to Egypt and fails to convince the Pharaoh to release the Israelites, God smites the Egyptians with 10 terrible plagues including a river of blood, many frogs, and the death of first-born sons. Moses leads the Israelites out of bondage after a chase when the Pharaoh reneges on his coerced consent. The desert proves arduous, and the Israelites complain and long for Egypt, the Israelites arrive at the mountain of God, where Moses father-in-law Jethro visits Moses, at his suggestion Moses appoints judges over Israel. God asks whether they agree to be his people. Moses is told to ascend the mountain, God pronounces the Ten Commandments in the hearing of all Israel. Moses goes up the mountain into the presence of God, who pronounces the Covenant Code, Moses comes down the mountain and writes down Gods words and the people agree to keep them.
God calls Moses up the mountain where he remains for 40 days and 40 nights, at the conclusion of the 40 days and 40 nights, Moses returns holding the set of stone tablets. Aaron is appointed as the first hereditary high priest, God gives Moses the two tablets of stone containing the words of the ten commandments, written with the finger of God. While Moses is with God, Aaron makes a golden calf, God informs Moses of their apostasy and threatens to kill them all, but relents when Moses pleads for them
Book of Joshua
The Book of Joshua is the sixth book in the Hebrew Bible and the first book of the Deuteronomistic history, the story of Israel from the conquest of Canaan to the Babylonian exile. Almost all scholars agree that the book of Joshua holds little value for early Israel. Although Rabbinic tradition holds that the book was written by Joshua, transfer of leadership to Joshua A. Joshuas instructions to the people II, entrance into and conquest of Canaan A. Entry into Canaan 1. Reconnaissance of Jericho 2, establishing a foothold at Gilgal 4. Failure and success at Ai 3, renewal of the covenant at Mount Ebal 4. Other campaigns in central Canaan 5, summary list of defeated kings III. Division of the land among the tribes A, cities of refuge and levitical cities D. Summary of conquest E. De-commissioning of the eastern tribes IV, conclusion A. Joshuas farewell address B. Methodist writer Joseph Benson suggests that Gods revelation to Joshua comes either immediately after, God commissions Joshua to take possession of the land and warns him to keep faith with the Covenant.
The Israelites cross the Jordan River through the intervention of God. The conquest begins in Canaan with Jericho, followed by Ai, after which Joshua builds an altar to Yahweh at Mount Ebal, the covenant ceremony has elements of a divine land-grant ceremony, similar to ceremonies known from Mesopotamia. The narrative switches to the south, the Gibeonites trick the Israelites into entering into an alliance with them by saying they are not Canaanites, this prevents the Israelites from exterminating them, but they are enslaved instead. An alliance of Amorite kingdoms headed by the Canaanite king of Jerusalem is defeated with Yahwehs miraculous help of stopping the sun and the moon, the enemy kings were eventually hanged on trees. With the south conquered the narrative moves to the northern campaign, a powerful multi-national coalition headed by the king of Hazor, the most important northern city, is defeated with Yahwehs help and Hazor captured and destroyed. Chapter 11, 16–23 summarises the extent of the conquest, Joshua has taken the land, almost entirely through military victories.
Joshua 11,18 asserts that the conquest took a long time - the Amplified Bible, anglican churchman Charles Ellicott thinks the war seems to have lasted seven years. The land had rest from war, the list of the 31 kings is quasi-tabular, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, one
Book of Esther
The Book of Esther, known in Hebrew as the Scroll, is a book in the third section of the Jewish Tanakh and in the Christian Old Testament. It relates the story of a Hebrew woman in Persia, born as Hadassah but known as Esther, the story forms the core of the Jewish festival of Purim, during which it is read aloud twice, once in the evening and again the following morning. Esther is the book in the Bible that does not explicitly mention God. The biblical Book of Esther is set in the Persian capital of Susa in the year of the reign of the Persian king Ahasuerus. Assuming that Ahasuerus is indeed Xerxes I, the events described in Esther began around the years 483–482 BCE, and concluded in March 473 BCE. The Book of Esther consists of an introduction in chapters 1 and 2, the action in chapters 3 to 9,19. The plot is structured around banquets, a word that occurs twenty times in Esther and only 24 times in the rest of the Hebrew bible. This is appropriate given that Esther describes the origin of a Jewish feast, the feast of Purim, the books theme, rather, is the reversal of destiny through a sudden and unexpected turn of events, the Jews seem destined to be destroyed, but instead are saved.
The story begins with Ahasuerus, ruler of the Persian Empire, holding a banquet, initially for his court and dignitaries and afterwards for all inhabitants of the capital city. On the seventh day, Ahasuerus orders the queen, Vashti, to come, Ahasuerus has her removed from her position and makes arrangements to choose a new queen from a selection of beautiful young women from throughout the empire. One of these is the Jewish orphan, after the death of her parents, she was fostered by her cousin, Mordecai. She finds favour in the Kings eyes, and is crowned his new queen, shortly afterwards, Mordecai discovers a plot by two courtiers and Teresh, to assassinate Ahasuerus. The conspirators are apprehended and hanged, and Mordecais service to the King is duly recorded, Ahasuerus appoints Haman as his viceroy. Mordecai, who sits at the gates, falls into Hamans disfavour. Having discovered that Mordecai is Jewish, Haman plans to not just Mordecai. She invites him to a feast in the company of Haman, during the feast, she asks them to attend a further feast the next evening.
Meanwhile, Haman is again offended by Mordecai and, at his wifes suggestion, has a built to hang him. Ahasuerus is informed that Mordecai never received any recognition for this, to his surprise and horror, the King instructs Haman to do so to Mordecai
Book of Isaiah
The Book of Isaiah is the first of the Latter Prophets in the Hebrew Bible and the first of the Major Prophets in the Christian Old Testament. While virtually no one today attributes the entire book, or even most of it, to one person, Isaiah 1–33 promises judgment and restoration for Judah and the nations, and chapters 34–66 presume that judgment has been pronounced and restoration follows soon. It can thus be read as a meditation on the destiny of Jerusalem into. Isaiah speaks out against corrupt leaders and for the disadvantaged, Isaiah 44,6 contains the first clear statement of monotheism, I am the first and I am the last, besides me there is no god. This model of monotheism became the characteristic of post-Exilic Judaism. Isaiah was one of the most popular works among Jews in the Second Temple period, the scholarly consensus which held sway through most of the 20th century saw three separate collections of oracles in the book of Isaiah. God has a plan which will be realised on the Day of Yahweh, on that day all the nations of the world will come to Zion for instruction, but first the city must be punished and cleansed of evil.
Israel is invited to join in this plan, chapters 5–12 explain the significance of the Assyrian judgment against Israel, righteous rule by the Davidic king will follow after the arrogant Assyrian monarch is brought down. The oppressor is about to fall, chapters 34–35 tell how Yahweh will return the redeemed exiles to Jerusalem. Chapters 36–39 tell of the faithfulness of king Hezekiah to Yahweh during the Assyrian siege as a model for the restored community, chapters 55–66 are an exhortation to Israel to keep the covenant. Gods eternal promise to David is now made to the people of Israel/Judah at large, the book ends by enjoining righteousness as the final stages of Gods plan come to pass, including the pilgrimage of the nations to Zion and the realisation of Yahwehs kingship. Chapters 56–66 assume an even situation, in which the people are returned to Jerusalem. Anonymity → Isaiahs name suddenly stops being used after chapter 39, style → There is a sudden change in style and theology after chapter 40, numerous key words and phrases found in one section are not found in the other.
These observations led scholars to the conclusion that the book can be divided into three sections, labeled Proto-Isaiah, Deutero-Isaiah, and Trito-Isaiah. Early modern-period scholars treated Isaiah as independent collections of sayings by three individual prophets, brought together at a period, about 70 BCE, to form the present book. The second half of the 20th century saw a change in approach. The conquest of Jerusalem by Babylon and the exile of its elite in 586 BCE ushered in the stage in the formation of the book. Deutero-Isaiah addresses himself to the Jews in exile, offering them the hope of return, deutero-Isaiahs predictions of the imminent fall of Babylon and his glorification of Cyrus as the deliverer of Israel date his prophecies to 550–539 BCE, and probably towards the end of this period