Child theme in Isaiah 6-12

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Wed Feb 7 08:21:47 EST 2001

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Kirk <Peter_Kirk at>
To: Ian Hutchesson <mc2499 at>; Biblical Hebrew
<b-hebrew at>
Date: mercoledì 7 febbraio 2001 13.55
Subject: RE: Child theme in Isaiah 6-12

>OK, Ian, I don't want to discuss Enoch and Daniel, though I think you may
>going too far to say "fact" even here. This certainly isn't a "fact"
>concerning Isaiah, just an unprovable hypothesis.


You started off assuming that the prophecies in Isaiah were for things well
into the future. I basically said you cannot assume that -- by saying that
there are clear cases where prophecy is actually written long after the
reputed times. (The reason for this last statement is that we have good
datings for both the relevant sections of 1 Enoch and Daniel. We don't have
this for the other phophets.) Now you are once again way off track talking
about what 'certainly isn't a "fact" concerning Isaiah [which was never
claimed to be a fact], just an unprovable hypothesis' and not returning to
the original statement which made unwarranted assumptions about the date of
writing of the particular text and its purposes.

>By the way, when you refer to "vaticinio ex eventu" or even "vaticinium..."
>(perhaps you were writing Italian not Latin?),

(It could be from an Italian source, or it could be my Italianization of the
phrase. It's now hard for me to tell, living in a land where Giulio Cesare
is far more common that Iulius Caesar, or as we know it (basically)
/dzuli at si:z@/.)

>do you imply that there
>actually was an event after which the prophecy was made?


>Or would you use
>the term where, in your judgment, both the event and the prophecy of it
>the author's own imagination projected into the past? Or where the event
>non-historical but already understood to have happened, and the author then
>imagined a prophecy of the event?

It is sufficient that the reputed time of the text's concern is perceived by
the reader to be after the time of the central character (perceived to be
the prophet), yet taken by the text's writer (who is not the central
character) as related to the past. Traditions are very hard to map onto
history and there is no necessary reason for them to do so, yet those
traditions can easily be conceived of as having really happened -- whether
they had or not.


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