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Old Testament Essays

On-line version ISSN 2312-3621
Print version ISSN 1010-9919


DE VRIES, Pieter. Structural analysis of Isaiah 61 with a special focus on verses 1-3. Old testam. essays [online]. 2013, vol.26, n.2, pp.298-314. ISSN 2312-3621.

An analysis of the structure of Isa 61 underlines the priestly character of its content. There are weighty reasons to depart from the Mas-oretic division of the text in Isa 61:1. The Masoretes placed a rebia above suggesting that we have here a major division. I suggest that a new metrical verse starts in Isa 61:1 with the expression In verses 1-3 the prophet, or the person to whom the prophets refers, is anointed seven times by YHWH: every time the colon opens with followed by an infinitive construct. My division of the cola however results in more bicola than tricola as suggested by the Masoretic accents. In Hebrew poetry the bicolon is far more usual than the tri-colon. So, when possible, a division in bicola must be preferred above tricola. I give my reasons to divide v. 3c not as a bicolon, but as a tricolon. Consequently I notice several stylistic features at the end of the first part of the hymn. My division suggests that the whole hymn consists of fifty cola, a number that corresponds with the number of the Jubilee. My aim is to show that the structure of the poem undergirds its priestly message and character.

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