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Recreating Jerusalem: Trito-Isaiah’s vision for the reconstruction of the city

Faculty Advisor




Bible, Jerusalem, history and criticism

Abstract (summary)

Judean literature indicates that Jerusalem’s destruction by the Babylonians in 587 BCE, and its slow recovery, triggered a theological crisis (with potentially existential implications). The earliest tremors of this crisis are reflected in laments, especially Lamen­tations and Psalms 44, 69, 74, 79, 89, 102, and 137. The theology of these texts is generally consistent, conveying grief-suffused confessions of corporate guilt, anguish over severed relations with Yahweh, and horror at the ruination and disgrace of Jerusalem and her inhabitants. To be sure, this literature frames these concerns within a worldview and liturgical practices in which Jerusalem’s preeminence and Yahweh’s sovereignty remain important and a diversity of belief and dissent – e.g., any radical impiety – is muted. Yet in late prophetic literature and historiography, counter-narratives that go even further are preserved. Opposition and reluctance to rebuilding and settling in the city are noted (Hag 1:1-11; Zech 8:4-8; Ezra 4; Neh 4:1-12; 11:1-2) and many texts appear to reflect the challenges of restoring the temple and maintaining enthusiasm for tithes and offerings (Hag 2:3; Mal 1:6-14; 3:8-12; Ezra 3:12-13; Neh 13:10-13). This apathy or disregard may have come especially from those who, in addition to worshipping Yahweh, also venerated other deities (Isa 57:3-13; 65:3-4; 66:3, 17; Jer 44) and/or worshipped at other cult sites (Isa 19:18-19; Jer 41:4-5; Zech 7:2-3).

Publication Information

Ristau, K. A. (2017). Recreating Jerusalem: Trito-Isaiah’s vision for the reconstruction of the city. In A. C. Gow, & P. Sabo (Eds.), Tzedek, tzedek tirdof: Poetry, prophecy, and justice in Hebrew scripture (pp. 72-98). Brill.


Item Type

Book Chapter



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