The Stele of YHWH in Egypt. The Prophecies of Isaiah 18-20 concerning Egypt and Kush

Balogh Csaba: The Stele of YHWH in Egypt. The Prophecies of Isaiah 18-20 concerning Egypt and Kush. Kampen: N. N. 2009. 481 pag.

This is a study of Isaiah 18-20, three chapters in the so-called Isaianic prophecies concerning the nations, Isaiah 13-23 (24-27). Beyond being located close to each other in this literary corpus, there is at least one common element that ties these three chapters together: Isaiah 18-20 deal with two neighbouring countries of the Nile, Kush and Egypt respectively. The two lands were politically closely related in the era of the prophet Isaiah, so that addressing them in proximity to each other should not be surprising in a book set in the period of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (Isaiah 1:1). Through a detailed analysis of the three chapters I hope to contribute to a better understanding of the collection of prophecies on the nations in the book of Isaiah and, more remotely, of the wider phenomenon of prophecies concerning the nations, so prevalent in the Hebrew Bible. Sections of these three chapters captured the attention of scholars writing with various concerns, differing focus, adopting a diversified methodology. But a comprehensive study concentrating on Isaiah 18-20 has not yet been made. Insofar as Isaiah 18-20 is part of a collection of prophecies concerning various nations, the analysis of these chapters necessitates a survey of previous research on Isa 13-23 as a whole. At the same time, the methodological divergences in the background of studies devoted to Isa 13-23 can barely be understood without a concise assessment of the larger frame of this collection, the book of Isaiah.