HTS Theological Studies
On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Isaiah 36-39 is a coherent literary unity that both holds priority over II Kings 18-20 and reflects a historically reliable interpretation of the events surrounding Sennacherib's invasion. On a literary level, Isaiah 36-39 shows itself to be a vital piece of the overall literary structure of Proto-Isaiah in that it highlights the fulfilment of Isaiah's initial Immanuel prophecy in chapters 7-12. The historical occasion for the writing of Isaiah 36-39 is early on during the reign of Manasseh, when opinion in Judah would have been divided over how to interpret the historical events surrounding Sennacherib's invasion. Isaiah 36-39, therefore, sought to vindicate Hezekiah as a faithful and righteous king, Isaiah as a true prophet and YHWH as the one true God, in contrast to Manasseh's policy changes that clearly reflected his opinion that Hezekiah was a foolish king, Isaiah was a false prophet and YHWH was not powerful enough to protect Judah.
Keywords : Isaiah; invasion of Sennacherib; Immanuel prophecy; Mannaseh; Hezekiah.