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Scriptural ExegesisThe Shapes of Culture and the Religious Imagination: Essays in Honour of Michael Fishbane$
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Deborah A. Green and Laura S. Lieber

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199206575

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199206575.001.0001

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The Suffering Servant: from Isaiah to the Dead Sea Scrolls

The Suffering Servant: from Isaiah to the Dead Sea Scrolls

Chapter:
(p.89) 6 The Suffering Servant: from Isaiah to the Dead Sea Scrolls
Source:
Scriptural Exegesis
Author(s):

Israel Knohl

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199206575.003.0007

The radical separation between the world of the living and the realm of the dead is not universal through the Hebrew Bible. The distinctions weaken in the later stages of biblical literature. There is a blurring of the realms in Isaiah 52-3, wherein the prophet describes the figure of the Suffering Servant. Far from being cut off from God after his death, the servant is divinely rewarded. Similarly, the book of Daniel forecasts a reward of eternal life for the righteous: ‘many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life’ (12:2); Daniel identifies these righteous ones with Isaiah's Suffering Servant and goes so far as to assign heavenly status to them. Finally, the Dead Sea Scrolls show a figure who identifies himself with the Suffering Servant and at the same time claims superiority over the angels. This chapter traces the development of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah, Daniel, and the Dead Sea Scrolls, and examines the figure's distinctive combination of suffering and divine exaltation.

Keywords:   Suffering Servant, Isaiah, Daniel, Dead Sea Scrolls, Hebrew Bible

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