Chronicles as Evidence for Deutero-Isaiah

Today my class on the Bible focused on stories from among the Writings, the third major section of the Hebrew Bible, including Chronicles. I was struck that the ending of Chronicles provides important evidence for the multiple authorship of the Book of Isaiah.

In 2 Chronicles 36:22, the author makes much of the fact that the pronouncement of Cyrus, that exiles can and should return to their homeland to rebuild, fulfilled what the prophet Jeremiah was recorded to have said, that after 70 years there would be an end to the exile.

If the author of Chronicles knew of a prediction by Isaiah of Jerusalem which mentioned Cyrus by name, I am convinced that he would have mentioned Isaiah here too, and not just Jeremiah. The fact that he does not do so confirms what we were already able to tell from internal evidence, namely that the second part of Isaiah was not composed until the exilic period.

 

 

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