Isaiah 40:22 - Circle of the earth

Peter Kirk Peter_Kirk at
Thu Jul 18 16:48:09 EDT 2002

Surely "God of Israel" doesn't mean "God of the land of Israel"? Israel
was originally a person, then a nation, and only thirdly a land. So "God
of Israel" was originally "God of Jacob", then "God of the people of
Israel", long before they even lived in the land of Israel. The concept
of a god of a particular geographical area does not seem to have been an
Israelite one.

Peter Kirk

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lisbeth S. Fried [mailto:lizfried at]
> Sent: 18 July 2002 18:02
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: RE: Isaiah 40:22 - Circle of the earth
> >
> >
> > <Liz>
> > Then it was Canaan.
> >
> > <Bill>
> > Of course - I should have known that! Your breakdown of labels will
> > helpful and I'll keep it on hand.
> >
> > I do think that the ambiguity of the term is a hinderance to
> > the average
> > reader. For example, do you agree that this usage refers to the
> > "promised land?":
> No. The promised land is Israel.
> That's the whole point, in fact.
> That's why Isaiah refers to YHWH as the god of Israel.
> Israel is both Judah and Samaria combined, the Southern Levant.
> Isaiah doesn't refer to the God of Judah, or of the Jews.
> Yet, while in Babylon the people refered to themselves as Jews
> from Judah, and the returnees referred to themselves
> as Jews, as did the Jews in Elephantine.
> But YHWH is the god of Israel even in Ezra (Ezra 1:3).
> Liz
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