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
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
The Torah is the central reference of Judaism. It has a range of meanings and it can most specifically mean the first five books of the twenty-four books of the Tanakh, and it usually includes the rabbinic commentaries. In rabbinic literature the word Torah denotes both the five books and the Oral Torah, the Oral Torah consists of interpretations and amplifications which according to rabbinic tradition have been handed down from generation to generation and are now embodied in the Talmud and Midrash. According to the Midrash, the Torah was created prior to the creation of the world, the words of the Torah are written on a scroll by a scribe in Hebrew. A Torah portion is read publicly at least once every three days in the presence of a congregation, reading the Torah publicly is one of the bases for Jewish communal life. The word Torah in Hebrew is derived from the root ירה, the meaning of the word is therefore teaching, doctrine, or instruction, the commonly accepted law gives a wrong impression.
Other translational contexts in the English language include custom, guidance, the earliest name for the first part of the Bible seems to have been The Torah of Moses. This title, however, is neither in the Torah itself. It appears in Joshua and Kings, but it cannot be said to refer there to the entire corpus, in contrast, there is every likelihood that its use in the post-Exilic works was intended to be comprehensive. Other early titles were The Book of Moses and The Book of the Torah, Christian scholars usually refer to the first five books of the Hebrew Bible as the Pentateuch, a term first used in the Hellenistic Judaism of Alexandria, meaning five books, or as the Law. The Torah starts from the beginning of Gods creating the world, through the beginnings of the people of Israel, their descent into Egypt, and it ends with the death of Moses, just before the people of Israel cross to the promised land of Canaan. Interspersed in the narrative are the teachings given explicitly or implicitly embedded in the narrative.
This is followed by the story of the three patriarchs and the four matriarchs, God gives to the patriarchs a promise of the land of Canaan, but at the end of Genesis the sons of Jacob end up leaving Canaan for Egypt due to a regional famine. They had heard there was a grain storage and distribution facility in Egypt. Exodus begins the story of Gods revelation to his people of Israel through Moses, Moses receives the Torah from God, and teaches His laws and Covenant to the people of Israel. It talks about the first violation of the covenant when the Golden Calf was constructed, Exodus includes the instructions on building the Tabernacle and concludes with its actual construction. Leviticus begins with instructions to the Israelites on how to use the Tabernacle, leviticus 26 provides a detailed list of rewards for following Gods commandments and a detailed list of punishments for not following them. Numbers tells how Israel consolidated itself as a community at Sinai, set out from Sinai to move towards Canaan, even Moses sins and is told he would not live to enter the land
Book of Micah
The Book of Micah is a prophetic book in the Tanakh / Old Testament, and the sixth of the twelve minor prophets. It records the sayings of Micah, whose name is Mikayahu, an 8th-century B. C. prophet from the village of Moresheth in Judah. The book has three divisions, chapters 1–2, 3–5 and 6–7, each introduced by the word Hear, with a pattern of alternating announcements of doom. At the broadest level, Micah can be divided into three equal parts, Judgment against the nations and their leaders Restoration of Zion, Gods lawsuit against Israel. Samaria and Jerusalem are given prominence as the foci of the prophet’s attention, Judgment against Samaria, Drawing upon ancient traditions for depicting a theophany, the prophet depicts the coming of Yahweh to punish the city, whose sins are idolatry and the abuse of the poor. Warnings to the cities of Judah, Samaria has fallen, Judah is next, Micah describes the destruction of the lesser towns of Judah. For these passages of doom on the cities, the device paronomasia is used.
Paronomasia is a device which plays on the sound of each word for literary effect. For example, the inhabitants of Beth-le-aphrah are told to “roll yourselves in the dust. ”Though most of the Paronomasia is lost in translation, it is the equivalent of ‘Ashdod shall be but ashes, ’ where the fate of the city matches its name. Misuse of power denounced, Denounces those who appropriate the land, the context may be simply the amassing wealth for its own sake, or could be connected with the militarisation of the region for the expected Assyrian attack. Threats against the prophet, The prophet is warned not to prophesy and he answers that the rulers are harming Gods people, and want to listen only to those who advocate the virtues of wine. A promise, These verses assume that judgement has already fallen, Judgment on wicked Zion, Israels rulers are accused of gaining more wealth at the expense of the poor, by any means. The metaphor of flesh being torn illustrates the length to which the classes and socialites would go to further increase their wealth.
Prophets are corrupt, seeking personal gain, jerusalems rulers believe that God will always be with them, but God will be with his people, and Jerusalem will be destroyed. Zions future hope This is a passage, almost identical with Isaiah 2. Zion will be rebuilt, but by God, and based not on violence and corruption but on the desire to learn Gods laws, further promises to Zion This is another passage, promising Zion that she will once more enjoy her former independence and power. Despite their trials, God will not desert his people, the promised ruler from Bethlehem, This passage is usually dated to the exile. Assyria will be stricken, and Israels punishment will lead to the punishment of the nations, Micah responds by that God requires only to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God
Book of Habakkuk
The Book of Habakkuk is the eighth book of the 12 minor prophets of the Hebrew Bible. It is attributed to the prophet Habakkuk, and was composed in the late 7th century BC. Of the three chapters in the book, the first two are a dialog between Yahweh and the prophet, the central message, that the just shall live by his faith, plays an important role in Christian thought. It is used in the Epistle to the Romans 1,17, Epistle to the Galatians 3,11, a copy of these chapters is included in the Habakkuk Commentary, found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Chapter 3 may be an independent addition, now recognized as a liturgical piece, the prophet Habakkuk is generally believed to have written his book in the mid-to-late 7th century BC, not long before the Babylonians siege and capture of Jerusalem in 586 BC. Habakkuk identifies himself as a prophet in the opening verse, due to the liturgical nature of the book of Habakkuk, there have been some scholars who think that the author may have been a temple prophet.
Temple prophets are described in 1 Chronicles 25,1 as using lyres, some feel that this is echoed in Habakkuk 3, 19b, and that Habakkuk may have been a Levite and singer in the Temple. There is no information on the prophet Habakkuk, in fact less is known about him than any other writer of the Bible. The only canonical information that comes from the book that is named for him. His name comes either from the Hebrew word חבק meaning embrace or else from an Akkadian word hambakuku for a kind of plant. Although his name does not appear in any part of the Jewish Bible, Rabbinic tradition holds Habakkuk to be the Shunammite womans son. The prophet Habakkuk is mentioned in the narrative of Bel, in the superscription of the Old Greek version, Habakkuk is called the son of Joshua of the tribe of Levi. In this book Habakkuk is lifted by an angel to Babylon to provide Daniel with some food while he is in the lions den. It is unknown when Habakkuk lived and preached, but the reference to the rise and advance of the Chaldeans in 1, one possible period might be during the reign of Jehoiakim, from 609–598 BC.
The reasoning for this date is that it is during his reign that the Neo-Babylonian Empire of the Chaldeans was growing in power, the Babylonians marched against Jerusalem in 598 BC. Jehoiakim died while the Babylonians were marching towards Jerusalem and Jehoiakims eighteen-year-old son Jehoiachin assumed the throne, upon the Babylonians arrival and his advisors surrendered Jerusalem after a short time. With the transition of rulers and the age and inexperience of Jehoiachin. There is a sense of a knowledge of the Babylonian brutality in 1
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 Ezekiel
The Book of Ezekiel is the third of the Latter Prophets in the Tanakh and one of the major prophetic books in the Old Testament, following Isaiah and Jeremiah. The visions, and the book, are structured around three themes, Judgment on Israel, Judgment on the nations, and Future blessings for Israel. Its themes include the concepts of the presence of God, Israel as a divine community and its influence has included the development of mystical and apocalyptic traditions in Second Temple and rabbinic Judaism and Christianity. Inaugural vision, God approaches Ezekiel as the warrior, riding in his battle chariot. The chariot is drawn by four living creatures, each having four faces, beside each living creature is a wheel within a wheel, with tall and awesome rims full of eyes all around. God commissions Ezekiel as a prophet and as a watchman in Israel, Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites. Building a new city, The Jewish exile will come to an end, a new city and new Temple will be built, and the Israelites will be gathered and blessed as never before.
Most scholars today accept the authenticity of the book. According to the book that bears his name, Ezekiel ben-Buzi was born into a family of Jerusalem c.623 BCE. Josiah was killed in 609 and Judah became a vassal of the new regional power, in 597, following a rebellion against Babylon, Ezekiel was among the large group of Judeans taken into captivity by the Babylonians. He appears to have spent the rest of his life in Mesopotamia, the various dates given in the book suggest that Ezekiel was 25 when he went into exile,30 when he received his prophetic call, and 52 at the time of the last vision c.571. The Jewish scriptures were translated into Greek in the two immediately before the birth of Christ. The Greek version of books is called the Septuagint. The Jewish Bible in Hebrew is called the Masoretic text, ecclesiasticus 49,8 refers to it, so does Josephus. It is mentioned as part of the canon in Melitos catalogue, cited by Eusebius, in Origen, the first half of the 20th century saw several attempts to deny the authorship and authenticity of the book, with scholars such as C. C.
Torrey and Morton Smith placing it variously in the 3rd century BCE, the pendulum swung back in the post-war period, with an increasing acceptance of the books essential unity and historical placement in the Exile. The most influential modern work on Ezekiel, Walther Zimmerlis two-volume commentary, appeared in German in 1969. Ezekiel depicts the destruction of Jerusalem as a sacrifice upon the altar
Book of Daniel
The Book of Daniel is a biblical apocalypse, combining a prophecy of history with an eschatology which is both cosmic in scope and political in its focus. In more mundane language, it is an account of the activities and visions of Daniel, in the Hebrew Bible it is found in the Ketuvim, while in Christian Bibles it is grouped with the Major Prophets. Its message is that just as the God of Israel saved Daniel and his friends from their enemies, the book divides into two parts, a set of six court tales in chapters 1–6 followed by four apocalyptic visions in chapters 7–12. The literary structure of the book of Daniel is marked by three prominent features, the most fundamental is a genre division between the court tales of chapters 1–6 and the apocalyptic visions of 7–12. The second is a division between the Hebrew of chapters 1 and 8–12, and the Aramaic of chapters 2–7. This language division is reinforced by the arrangement of the Aramaic chapters. Various suggestions have been made by scholars to explain the fact that the division does not coincide with the other two.
It should be noted that the settings of chapters 1–6 show a progression from Babylonian to Median times. Among them are Daniel and his three companions, who refuse to touch the food and wine for fear of defilement. They are allowed to continue to refrain from eating the kings food, in the second year of his reign Nebuchadnezzar has a dream. When he wakes up, he realizes that he forgot the content of the dream and he demands that his wise men tell him its content. When the wise men protest that this is beyond the power of any man, he sentences all, including Daniel and his friends, to death. Daniel explains the dream to the king, the statue symbolized four successive kingdoms, starting with Nebuchadnezzar, all of which would be crushed by Gods kingdom, which would endure forever. Nebuchadnezzar acknowledges the supremacy of Daniels god, raises him over all his wise men, Daniels companions Shadrach and Abednego refuse to bow to King Nebuchadnezzars golden statue and are thrown into a fiery furnace.
Nebuchadnezzar is astonished to see a figure in the furnace with the three, one with the appearance like a son of the gods. So the king called the three to come out of the fire, and blessed the God of Israel, and decreed that any who blasphemed against him should be torn limb from limb. Nebuchadnezzar recounts a dream of a tree that is suddenly cut down at the command of a heavenly messenger. Daniel is summoned and interprets the dream, the tree is Nebuchadnezzar himself, who for seven years will lose his mind and live like a wild beast
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 Jonah
The Book of Jonah is one of the Prophets in the Bible. It tells of a Hebrew prophet named Jonah son of Amittai who is sent by God to prophesy the destruction of Nineveh, set in the reign of Jeroboam II, it was probably written in the post-exilic period, some time between the late 5th to early 4th century BC. The story has an interpretive history and has become well-known through popular childrens stories. In Judaism it is the Haftarah, read during the afternoon of Yom Kippur in order to instill reflection on Gods willingness to forgive those who repent, unlike the other Prophets, the book of Jonah is almost entirely narrative, with the exception of the psalm in chapter 2. The actual prophetic word against Nineveh is given only in passing through the narrative, as with any good narrative, the story of Jonah has a setting, characters, a plot, and themes. It relies heavily on such devices as irony. The book calls Nineveh a “great city, ” referring to its size, assyria often opposed Israel and eventually took the Israelites captive in 722–721 BC.
The Assyrian oppression against the Israelites can be seen in the prophecies of Nahum. The story of Jonah is a drama between a man and an active God. Jonah, whose name literally means dove, is introduced to the reader in the very first verse, while many other prophets had heroic names, Jonahs name carries with it an element of passivity. Jonahs passive character is contrasted with the main character, Yahweh. While Jonah falls, God lifts up, the character of God in the story is progressively revealed through the use of irony. In the first part of the book, God is depicted as relentless and wrathful, in the part of the book, He is revealed to be truly loving. The other characters of the include the sailors in chapter 1. These characters are contrasted to Jonahs passivity, while Jonah sleeps in the hull, the sailors pray and try to save the ship from the storm. While Jonah passively finds himself forced to act under the Divine Will, the plot centers on a conflict between Jonah and God. God calls Jonah to proclaim judgment to Nineveh, but Jonah resists and attempts to flee and he goes to Joppa and boards a ship bound for Tarshish.
God calls up a storm at sea, and, at Jonahs insistence
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