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Ho Prophets and other religions - Focusing on Isaiah 19:16-25

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1계명대학교

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ABSTRACT

Isaiah 19 includes remarkable passages. Egypt and Assyria, symbols of oppression and brutal tyranny, are united in harmony with Israel and blessed by the Lord of hosts; "Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing... Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands ..."(Isa. 19: 24-25). The purpose of this paper is to uncover the views of the Prophetic Books towards other gods and other religions while interpreting Isaiah 19: 16-25. During his 720-719 B. C. campaign, Sargon II, the king of Assyria, began a policy of cooperation and mutual alignment with the Delta Egyptians. And at that time, Jews were living in Egypt, especially in five cities including 'Sun city.' Also there were altars of Yahweh in Egypt like the temple in Elephantine. This situation is the background of Isaiah 19: 16-25. Although monotheism is dominant in the Old Testament, we can find polytheism and henotheism easily. In Deuteronomy 32: 8-9 and passages of Psalms(Ps. 82: 1, 6-7; 97: 7, 9), polytheism is apparent. In the story of Naaman(2 Kg. 5: 17-18) and prophecy of Micah(Mic. 4: 5), we see henotheism. Sometimes, for example the passage of 1 Samuel 2: 2, originally concerned henotheism, is revised as a passage of monotheism. In oracles against foreign nations, prophecies of judgement are announced based on common ethics rather than religious reasons. Although Cyrus was a pagan and the king of Persia, he was announced as "my(Lord's) shepherd"(Is. 44: 28) and "his(Lord's) anointed"(Is. 45: 1). God called peoples of Egypt and Assyria as well as Israel as 'my people' without regard for the differences of religion. God rules all nations and all peoples as the Lord of universe, as the Creator of the earth and heavens. This is a clue to solve problems of religious conflict.

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