Re: [ANE-2] Re: R. Gmirkin on the date of the Pentateuch
Such dateable texts might be those such as First Isaiah which is fairly
universally accepted as being from the time it purporsts
I was going to comment on the circularity of a dating argument that contains
such assumptions, but NPL already did. Let me just add that an important
implication of the dating of the Pentateuch to c. 273-272 BCE as argued in my
book is that texts such as First Isaiah that utilize the Pentateuch must
necessarily postdate 273 BCE in their final form. Materials in the prophets
without Pentateuchal allusions might predate 273 BCE, and a very valuable future
study would be to rigorously identify such potentially older materials and to
look for commonalities in genre and language. (For instance, it seems to me
that Pss. 1-50 were already in existence in 273 BCE based on that criterion,
unlike the remainder of Psalms which are full of Pentateuchal references.)
My intuition is that the woe oracles may be older compositions.
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- From: "Niels Peter Lemche" <npl@...>
> The Book of Isaiah cannot be older than its youngest component.I am having problems accepting this particularly with texts so heavily
redacted over centuries. The "historical Isaiah" (The Isaiah of chapters 1-39) lived somewhere during the last half of the 8th and earliy 7th centuries BCE. Deutero-Isaiah (ch. 40-55) lived some 150 years later and Isaiah III (ch. 56-66) later yet. It would seem to me that a text cannot be dated older than its OLDEST component with the caveat that older material can be added later. I think the most comprehensive work to date on Isaiah is "The Book Called Isaiah" by H. G. M. Williamson of Oxford.
The oldest component that can be dated by epigraphy, of Numbers is the
Priestly Blessing discovered on silver amulets from Isaiah's time but this does more to show the complexity of this problem. It cannot be stated with certainty that the blessing was not copied from a text of Numbers (the amulet blessing is missing a line found in numbers) and it cannot be stated with certainty that the text WAS copied from numbers rather than from an oral tradition that later found its way to Numbers.
I do see three different hands (Deutero-Isaiah the most lyrical) in Isaiah, though.