Justice for whom? A dynamic interpretation of Isaiah 51.1–8

Yisca Zimran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article offers an analysis of Isaiah 51.1–3, 4–6, 7–8. These units contain multiple similarities that emphasize the fundamental tension between the units, primarily regarding the nature of divine tidings and the identity of their beneficiaries. The first part of the article demonstrates the unique content and design of each unit through a literary analysis; however, since the reading process constantly reveals new content, the underlying tension is further intensified in the second part of the article, which leads to the conclusion that the units are deliberately ambiguous and multivalent. The multifaceted content facilitates an understanding of the units, and Deutero-Isaiah as a whole. The article demonstrates that the dynamic literary-rhetorical design and its interpretive consequences reflect the existence of various groups (which serve as the ‘rhetorical situation’ of these units), the prospective connections between these groups, and their potential for social, geographical, and ethnic mobility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-331
Number of pages29
JournalJournal for the Study of the Old Testament
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.


  • Ambiguity
  • Deutero-Isaiah
  • Isaiah 51
  • dynamic interpretation
  • dynamic rhetoric
  • exclusivity-inclusivity
  • justice
  • the rhetoric of change
  • the rhetoric of turning
  • universalism-particularism


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